- 1 Primacy
- 2 Primer
- 3 Using Constructs
- 4 Life Techniques
- 5 Matter Techniques
- 6 Time Techniques
- 7 Combined Techniques
- 8 Sources
Primacy, the ogre tradition of magic, is based around the manipulation of primer to form constructs that enable extraordinary feats. These constructs can take the form of tools, of augmentations of living creatures (whether external or infused into the creature), or of independently-acting creations (such as snotlings).
Primacy is organized into arcanum based on a conceptual division of the world. Smash currently has access to knowledge relating to the arcanum of life and time. From his studies he has learned that the other eight arcanum are death, fate, forces, matter, mind, prime, space, and spirit.
Given the resources he has access to, Smash’s use of primacy shows itself in two ways. First, he can develop specific enhancements for a snotling bonded to him as a familiar. These are uncanny abilities the snotling can use to produce defined effects, such as his Stimulate Base Life enhancement.
Second, he can create improvised constructs from primer (or snotlings): one-use gadgets for performing feats covered by his known primacy practices. This allows him to perform more dynamic and creative feats, but at greater risk and cost.
With significant effort, ogre primacy may be used to permanently embody enhancements in a snotling maintained as a familiar. These enhancements allow the repeated use the same spell by embodying it as a persistent ability of the snotling.
When designing a snotling enhancement, define the type of effect the enhancement can produce, using the example enhancements below as guides for the proper scope of a snotling ability. Describe how the snotling's use of this ability appears (understanding that this appearance may still be relatively subtle). There is no need to roll the dice for embedding the enhancement in the snotling so long as Smash has reasonable time to work with his familiar (generally a few days worth of training in his spare time).
Snotling enhancements must be individually purchased. The cost in enhancement points of a snotling enhancement is equal to the highest rank of the practices used in the construct, plus any additional costs from prepaying for factors, plus one if the construct is covert instead of sensory. Snotling enhancements cannot allow for the performance of vulgar spells. The cost of this enhancement is paid by Smash’s investment of his available enhancement points, which will be awarded distinctly from the primacy points used to increase knowledge of an arcanum.
Some powers may have expanded utility with the addition of various factors (for instance, adding a target or allowing reduced intimacy of sympathy). If these factors are not prepaid when buying the power, they may instead be paid by committing primer to the familiar. Roll on the recovering primer table to see if this additional primer is recovered after the power is used. The familiar may connect with a bonded snotling within range of its touch for this purpose as part of the activation of the power.
If the first roll when using a covert familiar power is a 1, then — whether or not the roll is rerolled — the power becomes unavailable for future activation until the familiar has a moment to absorb a point of primer. Sensory powers never require primer in this way.
Primer can be temporarily transformed into new forms using the techniques of ogre primacy. A concept of the desired magical effect is determined and confirmed by the GM to be possible within the arcanum of primacy known to the caster. The caster then conceives a design to embody the performance of the magical effect (e.g., a glove allowing the performance of telekinesis, an eyepatch granting a supernatural sense). This design is then impressed into the primer, with the resulting construct able to be used to perform the conceived feat.
Smash originally learned a technique for infusing in which the designs are impressed into primer using a lengthy ritual of inscribing the conceived design onto paper, burning the document, then mixing its ashes into the primer. Using the Staff of Life, Smash can instead program primer by channelling his direct intention.
As Smash doesn’t have access to primer, he can instead use snotlings. One snotling can be used in place of one point of primer when forming a construct. The snotling or snotlings shift into the shape of the construct for as long as necessary, then return to their prior state at the conclusion. This is unless the cost of the construct results in the permanent destruction of primer, in which case a number of snotlings are destroyed equal to the number of points of primer lost.
The creation of permanent constructs from improvised gadgeteering involves the prime arcanum of primacy, which, guarded closely by Usun, Smash does not have access to. As such, Smash may not transform primer into a permanent construct, nor permanently transform a snotling into a particular construct. Instead, all of his improvised manipulations of primer or snotlings are temporary, such that the resulting construct may only be used once before reverting.
Most constructs, and spells in general, produce instantaneous effects, though these effects may have long-lasting consequences. However, some spells naturally require a duration to be useful. Such spells have a duration of one scene (or one hour if the notion of a scene if a poor fit).
Please note that while some example spells below are described as snotling enhancements, any of the example spells—any of the known practices in general—may be embodied in constructs.
Define the effect. Define the single intended effect the caster desires to see in the world, within the limits of the practices known to the caster. The precise target of the effect does not need to be specified at this time, but the factors included may limit the eventual choice of targets.
Describe the design. Describe the physical design of the construct.
Identify primer. Confirm Smash has sufficient primer (or snotlings) to commit to the construct.
Infuse the primer. The design is infused into the primer. With the Staff of Life, this may be performed with a touch.
This results in a one-use magical construct that may be activated to attempt to achieve the effect defined in the first step. No roll is required in the process of building a construct. However, using a construct may still require a roll to determine if the attempt cleanly succeeds or produces a twist, with explanations for twists possibly being explained narratively as the result of a faulty infusion. Further, rolls will be required after activation to determine if the primer is recovered or if backlash occurs on vulgar effects.
When tracking time at combat speeds, thanks to the Staff of Life, Smash may infuse a construct and activate it as part of a single action.
Each construct has an aspect, a description of how much the construct disrupts the natural order of the world. The more blatant a construct’s aspect, the more costly it is to cast and the more violent is the world’s backlash against it. There are three possible aspects: sensory, covert, and vulgar.
Sensory constructs represent the most fundamental privilege of mages – to know the secrets of the world. Sensory constructs might allow a mage to perceive something otherwise imperceptible, understand something previously unintelligible, or learn something otherwise inaccessible. Sensory constrcts sometimes expand the scope of a mage’s senses and sometimes bypass the senses to deliver information directly.
Sensory constructs are private workings – they affect only their own caster or their familiar, and cannot be imbued into their targets as constructs of stronger aspect can. The function of sensory practices is totally undetectable by normal means and involves no change in the world whatsoever – practices of this sort don’t rely on any kind of probe or sonar, but rather widen the gates of their caster’s perception to allow for instant apprehension of their target phenomena. Intense metaphysical scrutiny might note the casting of sensory magic as ripples in the caster’s soul, but otherwise sensory practices are beyond even magic’s ability to detect. Similarly, sensory constructs cannot be countered or dispelled.
Sensory constructs have a default commitment of 1 primer. Sensory constructs never cause backlash.
Covert constructs subtly bend the world to the mage’s will. Covert constructs can be very significant in effect, but don’t exercise dramatic and overt supernatural power. The effect of a construct is covert when it manipulates the natural order rather than upends it.
Covert effect are in principle detectable by mundane means – thermal vision might detect inexplicable heat fluctuations, weather vanes might shift minutely, and so on – but look more like the effects of faulty equipment or blind luck than of miracles. Other magic can detect or interfere with covert magic by locking onto or hindering the means of its operation.
Covert constructs have a default commitment of 1 primer. Covert constructs never cause backlash.
Vulgar constructs blatantly transform the world in accordance with their caster’s desire, causing the caster’s will to trump the order of the world and imagination to become reality. Vulgar constructs allow their casters to instantly and sometimes violently change the world around them, or to bring impossible states of affairs into being; objects vanish or levitate, space-time bends and warps, the dead walk, and minds are untethered from bodies.
Vulgar constructs have a default commitment of 2 primer. Vulgar constructs may cause backlash.
Area factors increase the total area a construct can affect:
- 0: affected area is within an adult’s armspan
- 1: a hallway or living room
- 2: a lecture hall or basketball court
- 3: the floor of a building or a modestly-sized home
- 4: a blood bowl field or mansion
- +1: further area factors each roughly double the total area
Healing / Damaging factors alter a construct’s ability to inflict or repair wounds:
- 0: bashing wounds (such as stunning or knocking out)
- 1: badly hurt
- 2: permanent injuries
- -1: transfers instead of inflicts/heals
Precision factors allow constructs to overcome targeting obstacles:
- 0: the mage clearly perceives the target and their location (normally with sight or tough) and is in the target’s vicinity
- +1: the target is healing obscured and targeting required guesswork or magic
- +1: the target is very distant
Size factors allow constructs to effect on larger single targets:
- 0: a centaur, ogre, or wagon
- 1: a dyre or small boat
- 2: a barn or whale
- 3: a modestly-sized home
- +1: further size factors each roughly double the total possible size
Sympathy factors allow constructs to reach across sympathetic distance between the target and the caster. Constructs with multiple targets need only enough sympathy factors to reach the single most distant target, so a construct targeting two intimate characters and one encounter character needs 4 sympathy factors. A construct that exploits a sympathetic connection against the will of at least one of its endpoints degrades that connection by one step; this wear and tear heals by one step for each day a sympathetic connection goes untouched by magic. Connections to inanimate objects or places only regenerate if their sentient endpoints want them to.
- 0: Sensory – the subject is in sensory range
- 1: Intimate – the caster has closely interacted with the subject for appreciable time (a full adventure, by default), or is targeting the subject through a piece of their physical substance
- 2: Known – the caster has frequently interacted personally with the subject, or is targeting the subject through live communication or through an important friend or possession
- 3: Acquainted – the caster met and interacted with the subject casually, distantly, or occasionally, or is targeting the subject through a photo or other accurate representation
- 4: Encountered – the subject has been met, held, or touched by the caster once
- 5: Described – the caster has never encountered the subject but knows about them
- N/A: Unknown connections are beyond the reach of sympathy factors
Target factors each double the number of discrete objects, characters, or zones of space a construct affects:
- 0: One target
- 1: Two targets
- 2: Four targets
- + 1: Double the previous number of targets
Ogre constructs are built from primer, the raw stuff of creation. The more blatant or wide-ranging a construct’s effect is, the more primer that construct requires.
Smash can use snotlings that he’s bonded to himself as primer. Rather than transforming primer into the desired form, a bonded snotling may be transformed instead. As many snotlings as required may be used this way, up to the limits of Smash’s available bonded snotlings.
Determine the primer commitment of the construct based on the aspect and factors of the construct. No construct has a total commitment of primer of less than 1.
The commitment determines both the temporary investment of resources into the function of the construct and the degree of risk posed for the loss of primer if the reversion to liquid primer (or living snotling) fails.
In social situations, Smash will only be accompanied by his familiar, though he may also equip snotlings transformed into constructs.
Smash will have trouble managing more than two untransformed snotlings in addition to his familiar in active adventuring situations (e.g., spelunking, sneaking, fighting).
Smash can maintain a pool of up to five bonded snotlings in addition to his familiar, available for use as primer given access to them. This pool of bonded snotlings can be replenished at a rate of one per week from Mercato’s home hive or one every two weeks from Mercato’s travelling hive without risking the hives shrinking in size. Without access to a hive, with the encouragement of the life techniques, Smash may regain up to one snotling a month. It takes about a day for Smash to bond a snotling to himself enough to use it as primer, during which it settles into his pack, not necessarily requiring active involvement by himself.
On physical costs for snotlings, roll 1d6. If the result meets their threshold (see below), there is no effect. If it doesn’t, the snotling suffers an injury.
|Roll 1d6 for snotling injury:|
|6||Stunned||The snotling needs a moment to collect itself, but is otherwise fine.|
|3‑5||KO’d||The snotling is incapacitated for the remainder of the scene.|
|2||Casualty||The snotling is badly hurt.|
|1||Casualty||The snotling is destroyed.|
|Roll 1d6 for snotling injury:|
|6||Stunned||The snotling needs a moment to collect itself, but is otherwise fine.|
|3‑5||KO’d||The snotling is incapacitated for the remainder of the scene.|
|1‑2||Casualty||The snotling is badly hurt.|
The familiar’s resistance will improve naturally as more enhancements are added to it.
While Smash is likely to be the best at using his own constructs, given his knowledge of their workings, they may be used by any character that possesses them and is able to determine their method of activation. That character's player declares its activation and—based on the design of the artifact, the intended result, and our understanding of the character's competence—a difficulty will be assigned.
Constructs that are given to another character must be used by them within that scene (or within one hour) or they will decay (all primer embedded within is lost). Similarly, once used, they must be recovered within that scene (or within one hour) for the casting mage to recover the primer or snotling(s). Overcoming this limitation would require the use of the prime arcanum.
This roll determines whether the use of the construct is an unqualified success (where the roll meets or exceeds the assigned difficulty) or produces a twist. As usual, twists are not necessarily failures, but instead tend towards a chaotic result including a mix of success and failure.
In addition to the roll for success, roll for recovering primer.
When activating a vulgar construct, in addition to the rolls for success and primer recovery, roll for backlash.
Roll on the following tables after a construct is either used or unmade without being used to determine how much primer can be recovered. Roll with advantage when dismantling an unused construct.
|1d6||Sensory Constructs||Covert Constructs||Vulgar Constructs|
|5||–||–||Lose 1 Primer|
|4||–||–||Lose 1 Primer|
|3||–||Lose 1 Primer||Lose Half Primer (↑)|
|2||–||Lose Half Primer (↑)||Lose Half Primer (↑)|
|1||Lose 1 Primer||Lose Committed Primer||Lose Committed Primer|
Roll for backlash whenever using a vulgar construct. Unless otherwise specified, this roll is made with advantage. This roll may not be rerolled for any reason.
- 6 – No Effect
- 5 – No Effect
- 4 – No Effect
- 3 – Corona
- 2 – Aurora
- 1 – Aurora
- Natural 1 – Anomaly
- Disadvantaged Natural 1x1 – Maelstrom
- -1 to check for every two primer committed to a construct beyond the base aspect cost
The starting duration of a backlash is one scene. However, as backlashes fade, they turn into a backlash of lower intensity, but higher duration. The increase in duration works as follows:
- one scene / one hour
- one day
- one week
- one month
- one year
So, for example, by default, an anomaly lasts for one scene, but produces an aurora that last for another day, then a corona for another week beyond that.
Where a backlash is already in effect and another is rolled:
- If the additional backlash is less severe than the current one, modestly increase the area of effect of the existing backlash.
- If the additional backlash is equally severe to the current one, increase the duration by one step and significantly increase the area of effect of the existing backlash.
- If the additional backlash is more severe than the current one, it subsumes the lesser one.
- Intensity 1 – Corona
- Magic cast in the area has perceptible side effects.
- The effects of the use of primer leach out into the world, causing any further use of primer techniques to be immediately perceptive. People may perceive strange sights, sounds, or sensations. While these are not directly harmful, the casting mage may be identified as their cause by observant others based on connections that will appear between the caster and the disturbances. If spellcasters can refrain from using any additional magic, they can refrain from being noticed, however.
- After the required time, the corona disappears
- Future backlash checks in the area are made without advantage.
- Intensity 2 – Aurora
- Weird phenomena alter the appearance of the area.
- Backlashes of aurora strength begin to take on lives of their own. Aurora zones act on the world regardless of the presence or absence of magic; the local laws of nature have been pushed so out of kilter that the area is marked with some kind of constant, detectable distortion. Aurora backlashes correspond vaguely to magic of sensory aspect, affecting a place’s look and feel rather than its nature.
- After the required time, the aurora reduces to a corona of one higher duration
- Future backlash checks in the area are made with disadvantage.
- Intensity 3 – Anomaly
- The physical or supernatural laws of the area change tangibly.
- Anomaly backlashes are felt as well as seen. They’re roughly analogous to covert practices in their power to bend and twist the facts of the world, but unlike covert practices are starkly obvious aberrations of the natural order. Like auroras, anomalies reflect the spells and mages that generated them, and intensify in the presence of primer manipulation. Unlike auroras, anomalies are more than scene dressing; an anomaly backlash might enrage local spirits, cloud the minds of bystanders, or disturb the flow of time. Anomalies have the potential to impede or even injure characters within their boundaries, especially when a lot of magic is in use. The mere presence of practices can turn light showers of hail into lashing storms or loosening earth into sucking quicksand.
- After the required time, the anomaly reduces to an aurora of one higher duration
- Future backlash checks in the area are made with increased disadvantage (roll three, take the worst).
- Intensity 4 – Maelstrom
- Local reality warps drastically.
- Worse still than anomalies, maelstrom backlashes involve the violent breakdown of natural law. The world’s answer to the practice of creation, maelstroms are nightmarish vortices of fractured reality. Maelstroms parody the spells that spawn them, extending their consequences to grotesque extremes or counteracting them in a lunatic bid for cosmic balance.
- After the required time, the maelstrom reduces to an anomaly of one higher duration
- Future backlash checks in the area are made with increased disadvantage (roll three, take the worst).
Purview: animals, bodies, blood, flesh, growth, healing, health, plants, reproduction, satiation, vitality
Life, the gross arcanum of the primal wild, holds dominion over material vitality. Life is matter undergoing both dynamic growth and homeostatic equilibrium, physical substance that strives unceasingly to sustain its animation against the ravages of entropy. Life is ostensibly fragile, maintained by the rarest of coincidences and flimsiest of chemical status quos, but is at the same time possessed of a fierce resilience that transcends simple material sturdiness or energetic inertia. The supernatural forces of the fallen world frequently twist, disrupt, or counterfeit natural life, and the mysteries of natural biology have been thoroughly plumbed by common science.
Life primacy manipulates living material, biological processes, and vital energy. It can warp or repair living things, sabotage or optimize the chemistry that sustains living things, and sap or replenish a living thing’s health, satiation, or overall vim. The thoughts and desires of biological creatures are bound intimately up with their bodies, so life primacy can indirectly affect moods, instincts, and urges. Anything part of a living thing is subject to the life arcanum, whether plant or animal.
Life primacy only has direct effect on substance that’s currently alive, and can’t control or transform corpses, fingernail clippings, fallen leaves, or other once-living detritus. Spilled blood or cut hair loses vitality after a turn has passed, and severed limbs or other major body parts take at most a minute to die and leave life's purview. Life doesn’t directly affect poisons, pheromones, or other organic secretions or byproducts, but can control if and how they’re produced and how living beings metabolize or process them. Life infusions can bestow and trigger a bird’s sense for magnetic fields or an electric eels internal generators, but such secondary effects are entirely non-magical.
Life primacy that doesn’t use the practice of making doesn’t quite obey conservation of mass, but does obey a broader conservation of vital force. Creatures that gain or lose size or strength in the course of life-based transformation make up the difference in terms of hunger, health, and fatigue; patterning can turn a human into a ravenously hungry tiger or a mouse brimming with vigor and satiation.
Sensory life primacy detects and analyzes living things, revealing properties such as species, health, or instinctive drive.
Covert life primacy makes nearly-imperceptible alterations to living beings, altering their experiences of the world or tweaking their capabilities. It can enhance or alter senses, banish fatigue, or sharpen reflexes. Covert primacy might work at a level beneath metahuman perception, making mostly-imperceptible changes. Covert primacy is enough to buffer against poisons or recover someone from being knocked-out.
Vulgar life primacy makes drastic changes to living beings. It can transform one creature into another, rearrange body parts, or heal injuries.
Mild life backlashes change the appearances of living matter or alter the instincts and behaviors of nearby rodents, birds, or other simple life forms.
Stronger backlashes might materially impact the instincts, statuses, or capabilities of some or all living beings nearby.
Particularly severe life backlashes can drastically mutate or outright slay those nearby.
Life spells can boost almost any physical action a living being takes, and can hinder actions of nearly any kind by undermining the living actor’s health or self-control. They can heal or directly inflict wounds of any kind to living targets, potentially using damage factors to render wounds resistant to healing or to steal the victim’s life-force in order to heal the attacker or a third party. They can launch bashing or lethal attacks by growing natural weapons, directing hostile animals, or animating plant life. Life spells that produce and control tangible minions can often attack, defend, and barricade simultaneously, but are also subject to conventional attack.
Creatures transformed by life spells don’t change their core or derived character traits, but become able to use them in new ways and might enjoy boosts when they do so. By the same token, a transformation might hinder or outright disallow certain actions of the subject. Radical differences in size might boost or hinder interactions between different characters, make larger characters impervious to the actions of smaller ones, or make direct interaction all but impossible; titanic or minuscule characters act on entirely different scales from those of human size, and treat each other as environmental features or background details requiring special equipment or circumstances to meaningfully affect.
Life spells can inflict or repair injuries, diseases, deformities, or other physical maladies. Modifications that result in states of affairs a body could have reached on its own are lasting, but bodily transformations or preternatural senses only last as long as supernatural aftereffects normally do. They can make long-term changes to the health and development of living things, though it can take many years for such effects to bear out. Life aftereffects can produce carnivorous horses, clawed humans, or other life forms that normally wouldn’t exist, but not life forms that normally couldn’t exist.
Initiate of Life (●)
Initiates can detect and imprint themselves on life. They can scrutinize creatures to gauge their physical traits, and can enjoy sensory boosts on attempts to notice, diagnose, or take aim at living things. Knowing spells can pinpoint nearby creatures, and unveiling practices can completely trump stealth that relies on stillness or camouflage. Covert spells can boost the caster’s attempts to be noticed or understood by living creatures.
Knowing life measures and analyzes life forms. It can gauge a living thing’s physical traits, state of health, energy level, or maturity, and reveal a subject’s physical capabilities or active physiological processes. It can compare one scrutinized subject to another to tell how closely the two are related and whether they’re affected by matching diseases, wounds, or other effects. In combination with the knowing practice of other arcanum, knowing life can predict how a life form will likely be affected by a phenomenon from the conjunctional arcanum’s purview.
Tactile Empathy (Life ●/Sensory/Knowing) This enhancement empower a snotling to pinpoint and describes what a scrutinized subject can feel by touch, whether the weight of a hidden blade or the pain of an unhealed wound. Intense and unusual sensations are easy to identify, while slight or common ones more difficult.
Signifying life expresses the caster’s resonance through the incidental appearance and behavior of surrounding life forms. It can pattern birdsong, goosebumps, or swarming after the caster’s intentions, or cause skin coloration, pheromone release, or other physiological communicative cues to become more noticeable. Signifying practices might encode information that only bears out over days, months, or years, altering how fungi spread, flowers bloom, or hair grows.
Inscribe Foliage (Life ●/Covert/Signifying) The enhanced snotling can ensure that the lichen, weeds, or other sessile life on a target surface will grow in a pattern of the caster’s design.
Unveiling life reveals living things to the caster’s senses. The mage can immediately tell if something they perceive is alive, how that living thing can be broadly classified (whether as a mammal, flower, or other category), and whether that living thing is or isn’t significantly hurt or possessed of some other standout quality. Unveiling can detect the aberrations produced by undeath, immortality, or other supernatural states of being, though identifying their specifics takes Knowing magic.
Vital Signs (Life ●/Sensory/Unveiling) A snotling with this enhancement always knows whether something they perceive with their senses is alive, and whether it’s healthy, hurt, or dying.
Special: A life mage and their familiar are always aware of each other’s physical condition.
Apprentice of Life (●●)
Apprentices can direct or buffer against life’s functions. They can hinder the perception, concentration, or judgement of living creatures or boost others’ attempts to capitalize on such impairment. They can direct the behavior of animals and influence the desires of sapient beings, but can’t override ingrained instinct, devotion, or self-regard. Apprentices can boost physical actions or resistances by enhancing the actor’s body and heal living beings of any kind of damage. They can alter the long-term health and wellness of living subjects, producing obstructive or debilitating aftereffects but not directly hindering action or inflicting damage. They can launch bashing or lethal attacks by driving animals to violence, but creatures so manipulated rarely continue their assault upon suffering any serious injury or resistance and might still be forced to ignore their instincts through magical means.
Perfecting life hones and fortifies living patterns. It can optimize the function of living systems, allowing creatures to operate at their peak strength, agility, or coordination, thereby boosting physical actions or eliminating difficulties arising from exhaustion, illness, or poison. It can toughen wood, flesh, or other living tissue against damage or cleanly and completely repair any damage the subject could heal from naturally.
Enhance Vision (Life ●●/Covert/Perfecting) The construct enhances the natural eyesight of its wearer for one scene. While it doesn't allow new forms of perception (e.g., infrared), night vision is significantly enhanced as well as clarity both near and far within the natural limits of what its wearer might be capable of.
Mend Wounds (Life ●●/Vulgar/Perfecting) The construct can heal wounds caused by violent trauma. It can mitigate stabbings, blunt impacts, or cuts, but not incineration or necrosis (e.g., badly hurt but not permanent injuries or death).
Ruling life activates and directs unconscious biological processes and reflex action. It can cause sudden sneezing, adrenaline release, floral bloom, or other physiological reaction. It can manipulate biochemistry or trigger instincts to alter moods or sharpen urges. It can trigger reflex actions like the clenching of a fist or the kicking of a leg. It can prevent living bodies from harming themselves or their symbiotic components, curing headache, heartburn, or other internal malady or guarding donated tissue against rejection. Ruling can’t make a body harm or cease to sustain itself and doesn’t suspend a living being’s control of its own body, but can distract, embarrass, or manipulate sapient creatures and control animals already inclined to straightforwardly obey their instincts.
One-String Puppet (Life ●●/Covert/Ruling) A snotling is imbued with the uncanny ability to trigger a reflex action in a human target. Someone with their finger on a crossbow trigger might be made to pull it, or someone walking a flight of stairs might be made to trip when one leg flails out. Each reflex action is a distinct activation of this ability.
Stimulate Base Life (Life ●●/Covert/Ruling) A snotling is imbued with the uncanny ability to encourage basic living processes. A plant might be encouraged to open its flowers or a person to feel tired, hungry, or irritable.
Veiling life hides or disguises living things. It can alter subtle or overt cosmetic features such as voice, coloration, or scent. It can alter the apparent subtle biological qualities so as to fool in-depth analysis, changing a sample’s blood color, age, racial coding, or contamination.
Animal Form (Life ●●/Covert/Veiling) The snotling can be rearranged into a living shape that it maintains for one scene, then reverts to its original form. This new form can mimic a natural or fanciful animal of the same mass. An attempt to mimic a specific animal may require a successful skill check.
Copy Identifying Features (Life ●●/Covert/Ruling, Veiling) The snotlings causes the traces of the caster’s body (or that of a second target) to duplicate those of the subject. While the spell is sustained, its beneficiary leaves behind tracks, fingerprints, hair, nails, claws, etc. as appropriate to the subject. Traces of the beneficiary remain changed after the spell ends. Opposes mundane skill and mortal magic efforts to identify the target.
Living Mask (Life ●●/Vulgar/Veiling) The construct forms a temporary body covering such as a mask. An attempt to mimic a specific individual may require a successful skill check.
Disciple of Life (●●●)
Disciples can twist life according to their desires. They can deal direct damage to living beings, hinder or disable a living being’s physical actions, or transfer wounds of any kind between living subjects. Severe consequences can paralyze or puppeteer a living thing, such that they helplessly boost the caster’s actions or take complex physical actions in the caster’s stead. Disciples can launch attacks, defend themselves, or blockade movement by commanding animals or animating plant life.
Fraying life disorders living things and interrupts the coordination of biological processes. It can interfere with speech, manual dexterity, feats of strength, or locomotion by ruining the synchronicity of muscles and tendons. It can ruin the body’s deeper cohesion to cause headaches, mood swings, digestive problems, and other maladies, up to the point of inflicting direct bashing damage. Fraying can also confuse and unfocus urges and instinctive behavior, spoiling a predator’s hunting ability or a beaver's productive labor.
Diminished Perception (Life ●●●/Covert/Fraying) This enhancement allows a snotling to degrade one of the target’s senses. For example, with vision, this may prevent a living creature’s eyes from focusing properly, hindering or completely precluding attempts to read, recognize details, or take aim at anything beyond immediate reach.
Weaving life adjusts, animates, and controls living Patterns. It can seize and puppeteer plants and animals, causing trees to lash out with roots and branches or people to go rigid with paralysis. It can manipulate the physiological characteristics and proportions of a living thing, changing a subject’s size, sex, build, or breed within the confines of its age and species. Weaving can mold organic matter like clay, animating wood, blood, hair, or other largely uniform living tissue, but can’t alter something’s mass or change how tissues connect; a life mage can lengthen someone’s bones into protruding spines or shift an animal’s distribution of muscle, but not melt a complex creature into goo. Weaving can manipulate the flow of life force itself to transfer wounds between living creatures.
Doppelganger (Life ●●●/Vulgar/Weaving) The construct can transform a target into a duplicate of a specified subject for one scene.
Replace Injury (Life ●●●/Vulgar/Weaving) The construct can compensate for a permanent injury to a person for one scene.
Unseen Rider (Life ●●●/Covert/Weaving) The snotling gains the uncanny ability to redirect the instincts of a non-sentient animal. It can absorb itself through their skin and, for the duration of its occupancy, compel a general mode of natural behavior. A mother bear might be compelled to treat a target like a threat to her cub, or a wolf to treat a specified person as the leader of its pack. It can re-emerge on command when the compelling is finished.
Wake Foliage (Life ●●●/Vulgar/Perfecting, Weaving) The construct can animate and control plant life, allowing it to attack, obstruct, or seize things on the caster’s behalf. Large, sturdy plants like trees can strike for lethal damage, while softer vegetation might deal bashing damage or only be able to seize and entangle. Perfecting fortifies the plant life against harm and tearing, so while thin creepers of ivy can’t meaningfully harm a human adult they can still strongly hinder movements.
Adept of Life (●●●●)
Adepts can transform living patterns completely. Their spells can inflict direct damage of any kind on living creatures or strip those creatures of their faculties and strengths. Victims of severe consequences might find their core physical ability deteriorating. Adepts can transform living subjects, altering their senses, capabilities, or sizes, but can only be scaled to a degree; absent the appropriation of external material, a subject can’t usually gain more than half again their initial mass, based loosely on their health and satiation, and can’t lose more than nine tenths. Targets transformed by severe consequences might be totally disabled. Patternings that transform the brain don’t affect the mind directly, but do give subjects new instincts and transform their thinking over time. The instincts of a new form hinder thoughts or actions that contravene them, and each day spent in an inhuman form might threaten the long-term loss of mental attributes or skills.
Patterning life completely reconstitutes living patterns. It can totally alter substance, size, and body plan, molding life forms according to the caster’s will. It can turn people into frogs or trees into swarms of hornets, but can also fuse or warp living beings into hybrids or mutants completely of the caster’s design. Such creatures are still subject to mass, proportion, and other physical design constraints (though perfecting can lend unusual durability to otherwise untenable designs) but might have any combination of natural capabilities.
Photosynthesis (Life ●●●●/Covert/Perfecting, Patterning) This spell allows its beneficiary to derive nutrition and energy from sunlight exposure, and near-flawlessly recycles the chemicals and nutrients involved. The caster still needs water, but otherwise does not need food so long as they spend the better part of each day in direct sunlight undertaking minimal activity. This magic tinges the skin green and alters the digestive and circulatory systems in subtle ways, so medical scrutiny of the subject may uncover the transformation.
Unraveling life tears living patterns apart and spoils their capabilities. It can directly rip or blight flesh, dealing direct damage of any kind, or it can attack specific capabilities to inflict total blindness, muscle atrophy, or malignant cancer. Unraveling can be used beneficially to destroy the parasites, bacteria, or tumors afflicting a living pattern. Spontaneous unravelings can produce aftereffects that threaten a target’s traits, while rituals can directly cripple victims in lasting ways.
Life Tap (Life ●●●●/Vulgar/Unraveling) Resisted by the target and cast with at least two damage factors, this spell drains the vital energy of its subject, inflicting deadly damage and healing the caster or a second target.
The Book of Life
The Shaping Techniques as Chronicled by Simola Green in Her Study with Anssi the Clever at the Anvil of Flesh
Usun seeing his reflection in Lake Iyral, is how the story is told. The possibility of a second of his kind. A mirror with its own will. He swore an oath then, the Beth Iryal, to make it so. And he did, though the cost was dire.
— Anssi the Clever
Anssi dismisses any questions about the methods used in making Iryalbeth, claiming it as pointless for us lesser creations to consider. Whether he inquired about it from Usun and was rebuffed, or truly doesn't have curiosity for any learning without a practical use to him, I can't say.
It does seem, clear, though, that Usun gave up some portion of his strength to make her, which would explain why he didn't, or couldn't, repeat the process. The first generation of ogres was therefore made, not through Usun's manipulation of the well of primer, but through an adaptation into themselves of the same natural process of reproduction they observed in the lesser creatures around them. And from that, us, more than mere animals, even if less than our progenitors.
— Simola Green
Purview: chemical reactions, drugs, gases, liquids, machinery, poisons, solids, terrain
Matter, the gross Arcanum, holds dominion over inanimate physical substance. Matter is the raw material appropriated in the growth and creation of life and left in the wake of life’s passing. Though often chemically active, matter is metaphysically inert, and symbolizes supernatural change rather than motivates it.
Matter primacy analyzes, shapes, and transmutes nonliving substance. Objects, terrain features, and the very air can be animated or transmogrified according to the caster’s will. Organic and inorganic materials alike fall within matter primacy’s purview so long as they aren’t part of a living pattern. Matter is effective on materials dusted on, attached to, stabbed through, severed from or secreted by living creatures, even if those materials are animated by alchemy, necromancy, or other magic; flakes of dead skin, prosthetic limbs, plates of food, pools of blood, and shambling zombies are all subject to the arcanum. Otherworldly inanimate substances such as the twilight remnants of buildings or the terrain of the spirit world can also be affected by matter primacy, so long as appropriate primacy is used to enable the matter primacist to interact with their target in the first place.
Matter can cause objects to bend or transform under their own power. Such actions have strength proportionate to the material; animate paper can’t lift a wagon, but another wagon could, and stone and metal can do serious injury to flesh. However, matter primacy animates objects by sculpting and shaping them, not pushing or accelerating them, and doesn’t impart any energy that outlasts the magic at work. Objects can’t be heated, cooled, electrified, or even thrown with matter alone. A boulder swung by an an arm of stone smashes through obstacles but stops and falls from rest at the end of its arc.
Matter primacy can reorganize substances so that their internal energies are easier or harder to release. Catapults or firearms sculpted with magic are fully functional, petroleum burns readily despite having once been water, and conjured francium reacts explosively with moisture in the air. Matter can similarly affect living beings indirectly by producing drugs, poisons or acids. Such effects are wholly natural, and might be bypassed or disabled by other supernatural powers.
Sensory matter primacy analyze the structure and composition of the caster’s surroundings, providing information normally accessible only through sensitive equipment, hours of laboratory work, or detailed chemical reference.
Covert matter primacy influence properties matter beneath the threshold of normal human perception, such as the rates of chemical reactions or the subtleties of turning gears. Such spells can strengthen or weaken objects, direct chemical processes, or sabotage machines.
Vulgar matter primacy can reshape or animate objects, transmute one substance or object into another, or force machines chemicals into activity or quiescence despite direct and obvious pressure to the contrary. They can shift and hold substances into states never found in nature by altering their shapes, phases, and physical properties.
Weak matter backlashes change the appearance, texture, or surface consistency of matter in the area, or cause anomalies in air flow, water currents, or dust deposition.
More powerful backlashes might lead to the appearance of sinkholes, the diffusion of airborne hallucinogens, or the threat of architectural collapse.
Deadly matter backlashes might wrack the area with earthquakes, change the air to acid, or trigger the growth of unliving terrain that impales, crushes, or suffocates anything caught within.
Many Matter spells don’t directly affect rolled actions or alter game traits but do change the range of actions that characters can take, such as by raising walls or disabling vehicles. The ability of such effects to directly affect characters might call for contested rolls, but the outcomes of those rolls have no bearing on the effects themselves – a pit still opens in the floor whether or not the person it opened under was able to leap to safety. Matter spells can boost or hinder a variety of physical actions by conjuring obstacles, strengthening equipment, or animating minions. Substances created by matter are completely real and can trigger supernatural vulnerabilities or spirit bans with no extra effort on the caster’s part.
Spells that produce matter that’s explosive, radioactive, toxic, or otherwise potent beyond its normal size and mass need area or size factors to generate indirect effects and successful checks to inflict consequences on other characters; missing factors or low successes indicate insufficient exposure, purity, or internal energy to produce the desired indirect result.
Almost all effects of matter magic are lasting. Substances don’t retain the impossible states of being or blatant supernatural properties that sustained spells might grant them, but do retain their forms and substances even in the aftermath of vulgar magic – lead remains gold, pumpkins remain carriages, and so on. Subtle changes to objects can linger in the usual fashion, rendering things unusually effective, precise, or resistant to wear. Matter magic makes merits, particularly resources, extremely easy to raise, and usually guarantees a character whatever mundane equipment they care to own.
Initiate of Matter (●)
Initiates can investigate and mark the material around them. Sensory spells of this level can boost rolls to search for objects, analyze materials, or reason out chemical relationships.
Knowing matter reveals subtle properties such as composition, purity, or volatility. A mage can compare one substance to another they can detect or imagine, predicting how the two will react. Knowing can analyze distinct objects rather than general substances, determining precise size, shape, mass, and durability.
Map Material (Matter ●/Sensory/Knowing) The mage envisions the three-dimensional shape of a substance they can perceive. This spell can pinpoint gaps in seemingly solid walls or the hollows left by swimmers in water. The caster always learns the total size of a contiguous sample of material, but requires size factors to accurately envision an object larger than a car.
Signifying matter expresses the caster’s nimbus through the inanimate. It allows the idle swirl of dust, condensation of water, or rustle of leaves to reflect a mage’s disposition or communication. Such changes don’t disturb the consistency or content of the subject material, but layer it with additional meaning and tone, whether subtle or overt.
Transmutation Marks (Matter ●/Vulgar/Signifying) This spell charges matter an aspect of the caster’s nimbus, causing it to bear a lingering sign of the caster’s power. This imprint can be used to imply that wholly natural events were the caster’s doing.
Unveiling matter reveals the presence and surface properties of objects and materials in the caster’s range of perception. It can broadly classify matter, recognizing on sensory contact if something is acidic, explosive, metallic, organic, toxic, or radioactive. It can differentiate between substances, revealing colorless gases filtering into the air or incongruous chemicals in a plate of food. Unveilings can recognize whether things are or aren’t metaphysically matter at all, telling between sleepers and corpses or rocks and mussels.
Air Monitor (Matter ●/Sensory/Unveiling) For the duration of one scene, the construct will monitor the air for dangers, whether for an actively harmful poison or toxin, or the absence of an element necessary for life.
Sense Poison (Matter ●/Sensory/Unveiling) This spell detects poisonous substances, whether dripping from a snake’s fang or swirling in a proffered wineglass.
Purview: divination, duration, history, parallel timelines, postcognition, prediction, second chances, speed, stasis, wear and tear
Time, the gross arcanum of arcadia, holds dominion over the flow and sequence of events. Time is less a force than it is a medium; it doesn’t make things happen but rather allows things to happen, to concretely have happened, and to have changed the world by having happened. In the fallen world, time flows steadily: the present snakes relentlessly forward, devouring the haze of endless potential that is the future and trailing a singular, coherent past in its wake. Time isn’t the same thing as history, and has no special interest or function in ensuring that one event happens rather than another or that the past remains static or even makes logical sense. Time isn’t the same thing as age, either; the former usually inflicts the latter, but doesn’t have to.
Time magic reads, bends, or interrupts this perpetual flow. It can investigate or alter how patterns are affected by time’s flow, changing if and how things age. Divination is an active thing, requiring that the time stream itself be bidden to reveal the information it’s gathered in passing, and prophecy is harder still. There’s no default future that all time mages see; a forward-looking augury must actually sculpt the trajectory of the present, condensing the chaos of everything that might happen into the wavering notion of what will probably happen. Such auguries are best guesses as to a subject’s future based on the present, don’t take the caster’s own newfound knowledge into account, and grow increasingly unreliable the farther forward the mage looks. They are, however, consistent with each other – if a new augury contradicts an old one, it’s because something’s changed. Whether prophecy discovers the future or creates it is unclear, and so is whether a time mage alters the world or simply slips into whichever one of many worlds best suits their desires.
Time magic treats history as a passive recording and the future as unexplored terrain – neither are causal agents. Spells which read, occlude, or manipulate history do so from the present and so can preempt or follow each other as normal game actions do. A spell cast on Tuesday which shrouds Sunday from augury will have come too late to foil a divination that happened on Monday. Magic that visibly interacts with or alters the past only actually does so from the moment that magic is cast – scried-upon characters don’t notice anything strange on Sunday, but might on Monday suddenly remember being watched by a ghostly apparition and wonder why they didn’t react.
Time can scan the past and predict the future, but it can’t peer directly into the present, meaning anything happening in or simultaneous to the current scene – that takes Space magic. It takes around an hour for the turbulent action of the present to congeal into the static, intelligible past.
Sensory time primacy allows mages to perceive the flow of time itself. This allows for the detection of temporal anomalies and of other time magic, making it invaluable for detecting time-wielding spies or for receiving messages from the past or future. Sensory magic can also mark the flow of time, precisely measuring durations or determining the ages of scrutinized objects or persons.
Covert time primacy culls data from the time stream or sends data through it, giving the caster or another target visions of the past or future. Covert primacy can influence time’s flow in ways technically tangible but too brief or subtle to register to human senses. A time mage might react with surprising speed or always seem to beat deadlines, but not blur from place to place. The onset of a complication might be strangely delayed, but a watched pot eventually boils.
Vulgar time primacy can grossly disrupt time’s flow. It can speed things up, slow things down, trap subjects in stasis or even cause alternate pasts, futures, and presents to bleed into the now. Vulgar auguries tangibly disrupt the time stream, causing apparitions of the targeted time to manifest around the caster and images of the caster to manifest in the targeted time. A time spell can alter the present by changing the past, but in a limited and disjointed fashion that only manifests from the present onwards and usually only affects the spell’s subjects.
Weak backlashes can mess with bystanders’ senses of time, cause durations to elapse at the wrong speed, or foul up divinations.
Stronger backlashes slow, hasten, or rewind events that happen within them.
Severe time backlashes can overlay pasts, futures, or parallel presents onto the world. A character entering a severe time backlash might find themselves standing in the distant past or future, or struck repeatedly by attempts to erase them from continuity.
Targets reflexively resist attempts to read their past or future even if they can’t detect the attempt, unless they’re okay with or would be okay with being augured by the casting mage. Characters can’t passively resist being spied upon if they happen to be present in a time and place being augured through other vectors. Time magic can boost initiative, and boost or hinder actions that depend on speed and timing. Its serious consequences can disable targets in a variety of ways, and advanced applications might be able to directly inflict or heal damage by reopening old wounds or delaying new ones. Even total rewinds can’t restore lost primer or meta-game resources (e.g., rerolls) and can’t undo dramatic events such as mutation, soul loss, and death; such consequences stick with a pattern regardless.
Time spells don’t target the generic “past” or “future”, but specific events in their targets’ timelines. A spell doesn’t look “ten years ago”, but might look at “me, ten years ago” or “me, when I last fought”, formally targeting the caster in both cases. A Time spell needs target factors to ensure that it finds a moment containing predefined sets of characters and things; “when my master and my lover last met on my roof” has three targets and therefore requires two target factors.
Time ●●: The mage can determine what’s most likely going to happen absent interference and before the fact of their now knowing the future is taken into account.
Time ●●●: The mage can learn the results of specific hypothetical actions they might take, or at least have control over.
Time ●●●●: The mage can learn what kind of actions they or other targets of the spell would have to take in order to bring a hypothetical future about.
Sometimes, the storyteller honestly doesn’t know when and how a future event is going to happen, often because it depends on random chance or player decisions.
In such cases, a spell’s results are murky and cryptic, but that spell can be sustained in latent form. A latent prophecy is sustained at the usual cost, but can’t be dispelled and has no time limit: rather than ending after an hour, it lingers indefinitely, even through the mage’s sleep. As soon as the prophesied event occurs, the mage can release the spell to to become retroactively aware. This gives a player license to have their characters make reasonable offscreen preparations and to show up in, avoid, or otherwise act on the prophesied scene.
Perceiving and Reacting to Divination
Magical senses can detect when their user is the target of a divination. Augured mages can potentially respond with a spell of their own, usually veiling to hide their pasts or fraying to cloud their futures. Times in which a character was shrouded by sustained time magic, or which have been retroactively occluded by patterning, attempt to resist competing time magic.
Mage Sight also allows a mage to immediately “remember” someone or something else in their past being covertly augured while they were present. Such a mage isn’t the spell’s formal target and can’t block or resist it directly. They must rule time to scrutinize the spell and pattern time to retroactively shield their own past from it.
Time spells that investigate or affect the present must be cast at sensory range unless paired with space. Time spells that scan or interact with the past or future are cast at sympathetic range without need for conjunctional acana. A spell that draws on the past or future to transform the present needs sensory range to its present target as well as sympathy to whatever other target’s timeline is being used.
Time spells need sympathy factors to access the timeline of something the caster doesn’t have at hand. A mage might have a “sensory” connection to the parking lot they’re standing in but only an “encountered” connection to the meadow that lot replaced. A handful of soil, mouse skeleton, or other relic of the meadow could allow for an “intimate” connection, since it would count as a physical part of the target; a geological survey or photograph of the meadow as it was would suffice for encountered. Simply declaring a target time without possessing any personal or physical link (“where I’m standing, five thousand years ago”) means dealing with a “described” sympathetic connection. Time spells always use a mage’s current sympathy to a target, so it’s harder to see the past of a friend who’s grown distant or a house last seen years ago.
Access to parallel timelines takes sympathy to the source of that timeline’s divergence. Timelines stemming from the mage’s recent actions or events in the current scene (such as a one in which someone was shot rather than missed, or in which a door was opened rather than closed) are sensory, but increasingly obscure and divergent timelines are increasingly costly to access. A world in which Ka-Sahan still stands is only described unless the mage has a relic of or deep connection to whatever event might have caused, in another world, Ka-Sahan to not be razed.
As usual, sympathetic connections tapped against either endpoint’s will degrade one step and only heal each day they’re untouched by magic. Otherwise, time can’t alter sympathy directly.
Be aware that, by default and unless modified otherwise, all snotling enhancements have a sympathy of 0 and therefore must be used on a visible target.
Spells can leave subjects with skewed timing or alter the rate at which perishable materials decay. Time often eases or complicate other divinations. Ritual time spells that rewrite portions of history or fuse one timeline with another can create lasting, dramatic changes. People tend to take such things in stride, assuming their memories are playing tricks on them if today’s status quo doesn’t seem to match yesterday’s.
Initiate of Time (●)
Initiates observe time in action and leave their mark upon it, occasionally availing themselves of sensory boosts on certain actions.
Knowing time allows a mage to measure time’s characteristics and parameters. It can determine how long something has existed in its current form, whether a creature or object. It can tell how a character, object, or place has been or is being affected by the passage of time. Knowing time can be used to intuit how long a process or activity has been going on or how much time an otherwise predictable process has left. It can also investigate the parameters of temporal anomalies or time-related supernatural powers.
Measure Duration (Time ●/Sensory/Knowing) This enhancement allows a snotling to discern and communicate when an autonomous process will come to its natural end – it can predict the death of a houseplant, the detonation of a demolition charge, or the collapse of a burning building.
Tell Age (Time ●/Sensory/Knowing) This enhancement allows a mage to tell, with a moment’s observation, how long something has existed in its current form. It can tell when a book was bound, how long someone has had their current haircut, or when an object was last repaired.
Signifying time allows a character to express their magical signature through manifestations of time’s passing or the flow of time itself. The ticking of timepieces, the corrosion of metal, and other continuous processes can be made to reflect the caster, though sometimes with a long delay. The mage can also leave lasting marks on the present or another time they’ve accessed through other magic, leaving messages for other time mages to read.
Time Capsule (Time ●/Covert/Signifying) A snotling gains the uncanny ability to tease the threads of local time into a particular shape, leaving a message for other augurs to read – the caster might note something of interest in the scene, warn other mages not to scry further, or make notes for their own benefit.
Unveiling time lets a mage perceive time’s action. It can recognize timekeeping devices, estimate ages relative to the mage or other elements of the scene, and recognizes whether something is getting older, growing stronger, or otherwise changing with time. Unveiling time can also grant a mage a flawless sense of time, allowing them to measure the duration of anything they experience, always know what time it is relative to whatever their favorite reference point is, and enjoy a sensory boost to initiative and actions dependent on timing.
Detect Immortality (Time ●/Sensory/Unveiling) A snotling with this enhancement can tell on sight whether something is failing to age towards death. Vampires, elves, spirits, and beneficiaries of certain time spells stand out, but this rote doesn’t distinguish between them.
Special: A time mage and their familiar are always aware what time it is.
Apprentice of Time (●●)
Apprentices can activate and direct time’s inherent capabilities. They can read the past or future, potentially boosting actions whose success immediate pre- or post-cognition would ensure. They can investigate the histories or likely futures of targets, learning information or predicting actions.
Perfecting time organizes the time stream. By creating self-sustaining patterns that can survive the chaos of the indeterminate future, the mage can learn what will happen in a target’s future given present conditions. Long-term precognition allows for planning and strategy, while short-term precognition can boost attempts to parry blows, navigate traffic, or otherwise perform tasks requiring rapid reaction and adaptation. Perfecting spells can also bolster time against manipulation or degradation, preventing subjects from being slowed or warped by other magic.
Moment of Weakness (Time ●●/Covert/Unveiling, Perfecting) A snotling gains the ability to share a vision of the next point in time its target will be particularly vulnerable – hurt, tired, or low on willpower or other resources. Modest rolls to gather information may determine when and where, with more difficult successes filling in other helpful details.
Predict Intruders (Time ●●/Covert/Unveiling, Perfecting) This snotling can divine the next time when a place will be entered by unauthorised persons, as the mage defines them (and subject to occultation or other supernatural counterfeiting of authority). Increasing levels of success can determine more of (in order) When, Who and How the entry will take place; beyond that are extra facts useful to someone determined to stop it.
Right on Time (Time ●●/Covert/Unveiling, Perfecting) The snotling can ensure that, within reasonable limits of the possible, you always arrive at the moment you mean to. This moment may be specified relative to the actions of others at the place of your arrival, but in that case they become a target of the power.
Ruling time can force the present to recall and reveal the past, allowing a mage to gaze into history. Such magic might deliver pieces of information in flashes of insight or allow a mage to watch history play out at normal speed. Ruling time can also activate or delay the onset of any steady, autonomous change with a set timer or duration, even halting ticking clocks or hissing fuses at vulgar aspect. Vulgar ruling of time can suspend aging entirely, but also freeze the subject’s ability to recover using the passage of time, such as rest or natural healing.
Glimpse Origin (Time ●●/Covert/Unveiling, Ruling) The snotling gains the ability to call up the moment that its subject came into being or entered their current state. It might show a character’s birth, training, or most recent promotion, or it might show the scene in which a wound was inflicted or a contract was signed.
Veiling time falsifies the properties of timelines or hides them outright. Veiling time can’t fake the contents of the past without use of other arcana, but can change apparent dates or ages or block divinations.
Private Past (Time ●●/Covert/Veiling) The snotling gains the ability to contest any attempts to view the target’s past. The target appears veiled and indistinct in divinations that don’t target but incidentally include them. They still interact with the viewed scene in this form, so their actions can be deduced from context. A similar rote uses fraying to stop the caster’s future from being predicted.
Disciple of Time (●●●)
Disciples can also warp time’s substance, boosting or hindering a variety of rolls or wholly disabling targets by speeding or slowing the flow of time. They can inflict direct bashing damage on targets whose health or integrity relies on continuing and well-ordered activity.
Fraying time weakens time’s coherence and consequences. Fraying can contest attempts to control or organize time and render the future scattered and chaotic, foiling prophecy. It can also ruin a target’s ability to tell and keep time and cause the passage of time to become chaotic and disjointed. This can cause sounds to garble, machines to malfunction as parts move out of sequence, or living creatures to lose all coordination or even suffer bashing damage as their bodily processes slip out of sync. Fraying doesn’t deny a target any defense to attack, however – threats that come too close become as disordered as the enchanted target.
Scorched Time (Time ●●●/Vulgar/Fraying) The construct can violently roil local time in its target area such the scene becomes impossible to augur by mortal time magic. This spell is usually cast with area factors, and its after-effects render the area’s history murky and confusing.
Preservation (Time ●●●/Covert/Fraying) The snotling can protect its master and their personal possessions from everyday wear. Items don’t fray, dull, or rust, and the caster tends not to callous or wrinkle and ages at about eighty percent as fast as they should. This spell resists magic that would rot or age the caster or their person. A version of this ability using unmaking (rank five) can halt the subject’s aging entirely.
Weaving time can speed and slow action. Sped-up targets divide the time needed to complete extended tasks and receive boosts to initiative and a variety of actions. Slowed targets are hindered and find their opponents boosted. Severe consequences can slow a target to near immobility, freezing characters and objects in place. Stopped characters can’t act, but are still able to defend themselves; incoming attacks bring their own time with them into the victim’s personal space. In combination with perfecting, weaving can glimpse hypothetical futures predicated on actions under the mage’s direct control – the caster can learn what would happen if they were to push a button, or go down a fork in the road, or otherwise make some decision that’s still up in the air, by perfecting their intent to take that action and weaving it forward.
Haste (Time ●●●/Vulgar/Weaving) Time seems to slow down for the user when the construct is activated, allowing them to act with incredible speed. This spell boosts initiative, attempts to attack and defend, and other short-term physical actions and multiplies the subject’s ground speed.
Sense of the Flux (Time ●●●/Covert/Perfecting, Weaving) A snotling is imbued with a feel for the weight of events. It can sense and communicate the general impact of an event that is under it or its master’s control.
The Book of Time
The Vuorinen Treatise on Precedence and Antecedence, Annotated by Ergholt the Precise
Time + Life
Twenty-Something (Time ●●, Life ●●/Covert/Veiling, Perfecting) The snotling can grant its master the appearance and physical resilience of a young adult, boosting resistance against fatigue. Not only do they have the boundless energy of a teen, but they will never appear more than 25 years old – even under magical scrutiny. The vain mage is no more physically powerful than before, but can easily pull all-nighters, stay healthy on takeout, and revise the definition of drinking “too much”.
These rules are based on an adaptation of White Wolf's Mage: the Ascension rules. This adaptation, and the original rules of Mage: the Ascension, will be referenced where the provided rules are insufficiently precise and as a starting point for the working of primacy magic not discussed here.
The previous version of ogre primacy may be found here.