Forces is the study of rapidly changing Patterns – energies that are in constant, complex motion.
Forces is a very powerful Sphere, but also somewhat limited. It encompasses the most common effects of mystic wizards – throwing fireballs, conjuring lightning, lifting things with the power of your mind. Yet, their flashy nature makes these Rotes prone to Paradox, and more importantly, there are many problems that can’t be solved just by throwing sunfire at them.
Forces cannot create forces from nothing – to do so requires the Prime Sphere, and Quintessence. (However, there is usually enough energy around the Mage to fuel all but the largest effects without needing to create more from nothingness.) Forces cannot make minute or precise changes without the aid of Mind to coordinate the effects (such as telekinetically building a clock). Range is limited without Correspondence, and a Mage cannot affect the forces in an object or living being without Matter or Life.
- Apprentice Forces (Perceive Forces)
- Developing senses he never knew existed, the Mage can now tune himself in to forces – seeing electricity, hearing magnetism, tasting radioactivity. With properly focused Rotes, the Mage can learn to see in spectrums other than visual light, able to see in the dark. A Mage can watch where forces come from and where they go, although he cannot yet interact with them. However, this Sphere alone does not allow the Mage to intercept and understand the forces he sees – electricity is still moving at the speed of light. Sorry, but you won’t be watching TV in your head just yet.
- Initiate Forces (Control Minor Forces)
- The Mage can now control the forces around him, although in a clumsy fashion. Precision is out of the question, but a Mage can still make an effective shield against bullets – or radioactivity, light, or heat. He can lengthen shadows or bend light by playing with that realm of forces, or cause radiation to turn harmlessly away. At this level, the Mage can only affect one type of force at a time, and only on a personal level – any forces bigger than the Mage are uncontrollable. The Mage cannot yet make forces from nothingness.
- Disciple Forces (Transmute Minor Forces)
- Finally able to grasp and twist the Patterns of forces, a skilled Mage can convert forces to other types, shift their intensity, or create and banish them at will. He can give motion to an object, make a fire burn cold or cause shadows to explode into burst of light. Mages at this level can fly, hurl lightning, and perform other dramatic feats. With other Spheres, the Mage might even mold the forces into an object or creature. However, the scale is still limited to the minor, personal level. A Mage of this level can set a person ablaze, but could not do the same to an entire building at once. At this point, a Mage could create illusions of light - but would need Matter or Life to arrange an illusion of those Patterns, and Mind to orchestrate anything complex.
- Adept Forces (Control Major Forces)
- The Mage has overcome his own boundaries, and can now affect force on a much greater scale. Anything that was possible with Control Minor Forces is now possible on a large scale – shielding a bus or turning a building invisible. But the same limitations apply – he cannot make Major Forces from nothing, and cannot change one type of force to another. His work with Major Forces is still very imprecise.
- Master Forces (Transmute Major Forces)
- The Master of Forces now has nearly unlimited power. He can change one form of force to another – on any scale – and create massive forces from nothingness (with Quintessence). He can create storms of fire, massive bursts of electricity, shadows that blot out city blocks, or turning night to day. Or he could perform effects with finesse and precision, carving mountains into his likeness with a thought. These effects are incredibly Paradoxical, but incredibly deadly. When a Master of Forces combines the Sphere with others, the carnage is nearly unlimited – but the Paradox grows even worse.
Alternate Names Among the TraditionsEdit
- Akashic Brotherhood: The Five Agents
- Celestial Chorus: The Elemental Powers
- Cult of Ecstasy: Illusion of Different States
- Dreamspeakers: Voice of the Thunderbird
- Euthanatos: Tejas
- Order of Hermes: Ars Essentiae
- Sons of Ether: Energetic Physics
- Verbena: The Art of Winds
- Virtual Adepts: Race the Lightning
- In the absence of visible light, the mage can shift his perceptions up or down the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. This allows him to view infrared or ultraviolet light, radio waves, x-rays, etc. He won't be able to discern colors, but may read other interesting perceptions from the various spectra - x-rays would allow him to see an object's underlying structure, and he could see in the dark using infrared.
- Quantify Energy
- By invoking this Effect, a mage can sense the type and amount of energy at work around her. She can easily translate her perceptions into accurate measurement units such as volts, amps, tesla, g's, etc. Note that this includes kinetic energy, which allows the mage to determine an object's velocity in relation to her if she knows the object's mass.
- Discharge Static
- The mage can cause the static electricity in the air to discharge spontaneously in a localized area. If the Effect centers around a victim, he will suffer one Health Level of damage per success scored (he can try to soak this damage, the usual +1 success does not apply). If a living target suffers more Health Levels than its Stamina rating, it is stunned (unable to act) a number of turns equal to the difference. This Effect is easier to perform when the air is dry (low humidity) or when the mage is around powerful electrical machinery.
- Some Akashic Brothers use a similar Effect to become living reservoirs of static electricity, which they discharge when striking opponents.
- System Havoc
- Using this Effect, a mage can touch any electrical machinery or power distribution system and virtually destroy it by fluctuating the current entering the system into spikes of electrical energy. Many advanced systems are tempest-hardened (protected against surges). Tempest-hardening may minimize the damage the mage inflicts, but virtually any system can be shut down if not damaged.
- Virtual Adepts use a similar Effect to control electrical machinery. Their control is rudimentary at best, and the mage must also have a firm understanding of the machinery (gained via Technology, Computer or Science).
- Walking on Water
- By controlling the molecular cohesion on the surface of a liquid (usually water), a mage can make the surface solid enough to walk across. Depending on the number of successes the character rolls, other people can follow along.
- Telekinetic Control
- The willworker may telekinetically control the movements of an object, assuming it's already in motion. The object cannot be made to move faster than its original speed, though the mage can slow or stop it by siphoning kinetic energy into the air around it. This velocity limitation results from the mage's inability to create more kinetic energy to impart to the object. The Adept can, however, redirect the flow of kinetic energy to change the object's direction; bullets may be reversed to strike the gunman, while a moving car may be forced sideways instead of forward.
- The more successes the caster rolls, the more kinetic energy he can command: four successes would grant control over a speeding bullet or a sprinting man, five a moving car, etc. It is very difficult to maintain control of a living creature, as the creature can simply stop moving. A Wits roll is necessary for very fine telekinetic movements such as threading a needle.
- Members of the Akashic Brotherhood use telekinetic powers to give themselves extraordinary leaping abilities when performing Do. It's said that some Verbena do indeed craft telekinetic Talismans shaped like brooms, but this may just be stereotyping.
- Depending on the size of the object being controlled, Forces3 may be required.
- Call Lightning
- If a thunderstorm (or other electrical discharge) is nearby, a mystick can route lightning out of the sky to strike any visible target in the vicinity. victim can soak damage normally. Living beings may also be stunned as described above in Discharge Static.
- Embracing the Earth Mother
- The Dreamspeakers believe that they can stir the Earth Mother into brief moments of fitful wakefulness. By sounding their drums deep and loud, they can call Gaia to embrace a chosen target. The Effect causes gravity to focus around the chosen area or target.
- Each success on the Effect roll allows the mage to create a gravitational field one "g" strong (a "g" being a force of gravity equal to Earth's normal pull). So, with four successes, the mage could create a field of gravity four g's strong (in which a 100-pound boy would weigh 400 pounds). Five successes enable five g's, six enable six g's, etc.
- As a general rule, a character can barely remain standing under a g-force equal to his Strength, and can still breathe under g-forces up to twice his Stamina. At higher g-forces, objects begin to collapse under the strain of their own weight. A subject caught in a gravity field higher than her Strength must roll Strength; the difficulty is the caster's successes + 3. If she fails, the subject suffers one Health Level of damage; if the subject wins, she can crawl a few feet per success to try and escape the field.
- Other groups, notably the Cultists of Ecstasy and Euthanatos, use similar Effects.
- Tempest in a Teapot
- The stormwives of the Verbena use this magick to harness the pull of the moon and the flow of the tides and brew a tempest, using a small copper kettle inscribed with runes and a length of cord as their foci. Multiple witches may act in concert, dancing around a larger cauldron. The Verbena of England claim that the storm which wrecked the Spanish Armada was their doing. Existing storms may be called and controlled with Forces4, but with this level, the witch weaves the tempest out of the energy of the moon herself.