Chapter Six: Rule of Misticism (p.2)

Rituals

Once the character gains in Mistic Ability, he or she can access the list of rituals. The rituals are ranked in power ranging from level one to level ten just like spells and skills. Depending on the level of the character's Mistic Ability, the rituals that the character can evoke will vary.

Each ritual has 10 descriptors which define the rite: Name, Level, Alignment, Range, Area of Effect, Duration, Material Components, Calling, Evocation, and Description.

Name defines the word or phrase commonly used to identify the ritual.

Level defines the level of power and level required in Mistic Ability to evoke the ritual.

Alignment defines the Path evoked with the use of the ritual.

Range defines the effective distance of the ritual. Most rituals affect only the mistic. However, some rituals have effects with ranges similar to spells.

Area of Effect defines the area, volume, mass, or number of targets a ritual affects.

Duration defines the amount of time that the ritual remains in effect.

Material Components define what the ritual requires for evocation and what the effects of the ritual are represented by in game terms. Most rituals require only the mistic's talim or talisman of the paths.

The Calling represents the words required to evoke the ritual. The caster must recite the calling. Callings are written by the player and must have a certain number of words depending on the level of the ritual.

The Evocation is final line of the evocation. Evocations are provided in the ritual list and must be used by all mistics.

Lastly, the Description of the ritual details the special effects, nature, and results of the rite.

The Talim or Talisman of the Paths

Every mistic must carry a talimitas (talim for short)--Curi for "Talisman of the Paths." The talim is a cherished object used by the mistic as a focus for his or her rituals. Generally, the talim is a set of three small, leather pouches full of small stones. However, depending on the individual mistic, the talim can take many different personal forms. The one thing common to all talismans is that they somehow represent the Three Paths.

In game terms, the talimitas must have counters or markers of some sort--a starting total of eleven is needed. The counters can be small stones, coins, pins, ribbons, or rings. The talim counters are used to represent the character's alignment to the Paths.

Talismans must be carried by the player at all times. Talismans are personal objects and cannot be taken, stolen, or used by another player.

Alignment to the Paths

Because of the heroic nature of Archaea, the Elder of the Realm must carefully adjudicate the role of mistics in the adventure. Therefore, player-characters can only be White mistics. But being a mistic of the Path of Light does not mean that the character cannot do wrong or cannot access the other Paths for power. The character is aligned with the Path of White and cannot stray too far from the good without risking becoming a representative of a different mythos.

For his or her talisman, a starting mistic begins with ten counters for the Path of White, no counters for the Path of Black, and one counter for the Path of Gray. Each counter represents an Alignment Point. For each successive level in Mistic Ability, the character gains one more counter or AP that starts in the Path of Gray. For example, the character reaches level 2 Mistic Ability; he or she now has 12 counters with the new counter starting for the Path of Gray.

Depending on the nature of the rituals evoked per event, the counters will move between Paths.

Evoking a ritual of the Path of White does not change the status of the counters.

However, every time the character evokes a ritual of Black, he or she loses an Alignment Point and moves a counter from White to the Path of Night. For example, during an event, the character invokes a ritual from the Path of Black; therefore, he or she moves a counter from White to Black. A second ritual from the Path of Black will move another counter.

Furthermore, every time the character evokes a ritual of Gray, he or she moves a counter from White to the Path of Gray and if possible a counter from the Path of Black to Gray. Therefore, for every ritual of Gray evoked the character gains two counters in the Path of Gray.

As long as the character evokes only White rituals, he or she need not worry about losing alignment to the Path of Light. However, certain situations may require the evocation of different powers. Given time and dedication to enlightenment, the character regains in Light. Unlike the Magic Points of mages, a mistic's alignment does not recover through rest. A mistic regains one Alignment Point per level of Mistic Ability for the Path of Light at the start of every event or at the start of every day for a multiple day event.

For example, the character has level 3 Mistic Ability. Therefore, at the start of an event, he or she may take 3 counters from either the Path of Black or Gray and return it to the Path of White. At times, the character may actually use more counters than he or she regains per event.

If at any time the mistic is reduced to zero counters for the Path of Light, the character ceases to follow the White. Depending on the number of counters in the other Paths, the character may become Path of Gray or Path of Black. The Elder of the Realm must determine the result of leaving the Path of White. The Elder may temporarily suspend the character's mistical powers until he or she recovers counters in the Path of White. Or if the character has strayed too far, the Elder may recommend that the player become a villain character.

Furthermore, beyond rituals, if the mistic performs a significant action to further the cause of either the Path of Black or Gray, the Elder may force the character to move counters to reflect the sudden change in alignment. Likewise, if the mistic performs a significant action to further the cause of the Path of Light, the Elder may restore counters to the character's Path of White. Again, the Elder of the Realm must carefully adjudicate the responsibilities of mistic characters and the ramifications of their actions.

Gaining Rituals and Ritual Books

Mistics automatically gain most of the rites listed in the rituals list as long as they are of sufficient level to evoke them. Some rituals, like spells for mages, are considered lost and must be discovered through the course of the game. Rituals marked with an asterisk (*) are lost and must be found.

Unlike the array of spells open to mages, the knowledge and wisdom of misticism is far more intense and ephemeral. Even centuries of study have produced only a fair number of rites available to the realm. The secrets held by the remnants of the Icuni world and by the most powerful mistic minds have yet to be shared.

Once a caster reaches a new level in Mistic Ability, he or she may enter the granted rituals into their repertoire. The player must compose the calling for each ritual and record them in a safe, permanent place--usually, a ritual book. The mistic's ritual book contains and represents all the rites that the character knows and can evoke. Ritual books must be carried with the player at all times. Like spell books, the mistic's ritual book is a personal item and cannot be use by another or stolen.

A mistic may not evoke a ritual that he or she does not have in his or her ritual book. A mistic may not enter a ritual into his or her book that is beyond his or her level of ability.

Evoking a Ritual

In game terms, the evocation of rituals is similar to the invocation of spells. Unlike spells, rituals are often timely to evoke and require a certain amount of preparation. The mistic must know the calling and the evocation of the ritual; the mistic must be of sufficient level; and the mistic must have the necessary components and alignment to invoke the spell.

As long as the mistic has the time and remains aligned with the Path of Light (e.g. has at least one counter for the Path of Light), he or she may evoke rituals.

The Calling

The calling gathers the mistical energies required by the ritual and brings clear focus to the mistic's thoughts.

The player must write the callings for each ritual he or she knows. Listed in the ritual list under each rite are the numbers of words required for the calling. The calling must contain the required number of words, make sense, and must be original. The calling must be written into the mistic's ritual book. At the beginning of an event, an Elder may check the player's book.

Evoking requires the character's full concentration. The player must recite the calling clearly and exactly. The player may memorize the calling or read from a book. The recitation must be done as quickly as possible but the words must be spoken clearly and out loud. Like magic, whispered recitations must be clear enough and loud enough to be heard and understood by someone in melee range of the mistic.

All rituals, unless specifically noted, require a simple gesture component. The mistic must have at least one hand free to evoke the ritual. The player may gesture with the hand or hold his or her ritual book open with the free hand. The gesture helps other players identify the mistic is performing a rite. If the mistic does not have a free hand, he or she cannot evoke. Furthermore, certain rituals may require certain specific gestures or actions that must be performed during the evocation.

The player may not walk, run, speak any other words than the calling and evocation, or make any other action. However, the player may gently dodge attacks as long as he or she remains in one place (though the mistic cannot use a weapon or shield to block). If the mistic moves quickly, is startled, or disturbed violently while evoking then the ritual is ruined and the character's alignment is still appropriately affected.

The Evocation

Once the calling is completed, the evocation must be spoken immediately. The evocation represents the release of the mistical energies and also allows the Elders and other players know what type of ritual is being used.

All the evocation lines are listed under each ritual. Though the player may create his or her own callings, the mistic must use the listed evocations.

Certain rituals may allow the mistic to hold the energy of the ritual before releasing it with the evocation. While holding a ritual, the mistic cannot move, speak, fight, or be disturbed. The mistic must remain in place until evocation. If the mistic is disturbed or breaks concentration, the ritual is ruined and the character's alignment is still appropriately affected.

Once the evocation is spoken, the ritual takes immediate effect and the appropriate results are released.

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