Matter is the study of non-changing Patterns, unlike the changes of Life or the dynamism of Forces. Matter is a very patient Sphere – after all, your subjects aren’t going to be going anywhere.
All non-living Patterns that have a form fall into the domain of Matter. Along with Forces and Life, these three Spheres form and shape the physical world. Matter can be created or destroyed, and its physical properties drastically altered. At advanced levels, a Mage could even create magical and impossible materials, giving rise to applications never before dreamed.
Matter cannot affect anything other than non-living, static Patterns – anything else is the realm of another Sphere. It cannot create or destroy Matter, merely change its shape and form (creating something from nothing requires Prime). A Mage is still limited by their own capabilities and mental capacity – they can’t will a working computer to appear in one second unless they understand how a computer works in the first place, and are able to orchestrate the construction with enough speed to get it done in one second. For these reasons, a Matter Mage often works well with Time, Entropy, or Mind.
- Apprentice Matter (Matter Perceptions)
- That’s silly – we can all see matter, right? But a Mage learns to see not only the object, but the nature of the object. By scrutinizing a Pattern, a Mage can tell you what it’s made of, whether it’s a composite, if it’s damaged, if there’s anything hidden inside, and how it might be made to interact with other objects. Used with Entropy or Forces, this Sphere can also be valuable for breaking objects. Of course, they can’t yet directly influence the Pattern of the objects they observe, but they can better understand and appreciate the fundamental nature of physical things.
- Initiate Matter (Basic Transmutation)
- To a Mage, turning lead into gold isn’t all that complicated, just a minor alteration of the Matter Pattern. A Mage of this level can briefly change one element to another similar element, without changing its weight, shape, temperature or physical state. Only simple and inert forms of Matter can be made at this level – nothing magical, nothing radioactive. A Mage might get through a door by turning the lock to clay, or strengthen a shield by changing it to titanium. Such changes are very temporary, and generally on a very small scale, but they can be extremely useful.
- Disciple Matter (Alter Form)
- The Mage can now play with the form of an object as well as its composition. He can make sculptures without tools, repair fractured objects or force other objects to fall apart. He can create mixtures, and tear those mixtures apart at a whim. With Forces, he could make objects suddenly take on new shapes, perhaps to the surprise and misfortune of those around him! With Prime, he could create a small amount of a substance out of nothing at all.
- Adept Matter (Complex Transformation)
- The Mage can now create Patterns using elements from other Patterns, and with intricate parts (as long as he has the mundane knowledge to do so). At this level, the Mage could cause a pile of junk to form a usable radio, or pull a clock out of a 2x4. With Forces, he can transform forces themselves into objects, turning a lightning bolt into a pillar of silver, and with Life he can alter the structure of living things, turning a canary into a golden clockwork songbird. Prime energy still creates something from nothing – but at this level, a Mage can literally pull a gun from nowhere.
- Master Matter (Alter Properties)
- The Master can now influence Matter Patterns directly and with precision. He can create entirely new matter, with whatever physical properties he desires, or cause normal matter to have a different boiling point, specific gravity, or transparency. He can create objects with properties independent of any physical laws, and in every way impossible. With a little Forces, radioactive or magnetic elements are now within his grasp, as are Patterns which change spontaneously to stimulus. At this level, the Master could potentially conjure a nuclear bomb out of nothingness. Not a person to be trifled with.
Alternate Names Among the TraditionsEdit
- Akashic Brotherhood: External Alchemy
- Celestial Chorus: The World of Forms
- Cult of Ecstasy: Illusion of Physicality
- Dreamspeakers: The Heart of the Rock
- Euthanatos: Pakriti
- Order of Hermes: Ars Materiae
- Sons of Ether: Etheric Chemistry and Engineering
- Verbena: The Art of Crafting
- Virtual Adepts: Building Blocks
- Fragments of Dream
- Dreamspeakers view all matter as fragments of the Earth Mother's dreams. By tapping such dreams, they can expand their perception of Matter. The mage extends her senses beyond physical reality into Pattern. She no longer sees matter in the same way, e.g., instead of a brick wall, she sees its Pattern in her mind's eye.
- This allows the mage to perceive things that would be unseen in physical reality; she could sense the contents of a room beyond a wall, or detect objects or structures that might otherwise be hidden, such as the false bottom of a suitcase. Really dense or complex Patterns (bank vaults, bramble thickets, etc.) may require several successes to penetrate.
- The only limit to this Effect is that the mage can only sense the Patterns of Matter (unless she is a Disciple of other Pattern magicks).
- Analyze Substance
- Now a mage begins to identify the Patterns of different substances. He can detect the exact composition of any substance and determine aspects such as the object's age or weight by examining the Pattern. The mage could distinguish diamonds from cubic zirconiums, detect poison in wine or tell an antique chair from a modern imitation by studying the chair's Pattern to see signs of aging.
- Straw into Gold
- The spellweavers of the Verbena use this Effect to turn substances of little value into those of great value, the most classic of which are spinning straw into gold and teardrops into diamonds.
- Most such Effects are vulgar, but there are less showy applications. One, used by the Order of Hermes, is the Seeds of Gold, an alchemical process borrowed from the fabled Children of Knowledge. The mage sows the ground with specially prepared "seeds," and when the ground is dug up, gold is discovered (and easily explained away as coincidence). Likewise, a mage can raise the butterfat content of milk or improve the quality of wine without raising any eyebrows.
- Alter State
- By adding Forces3 or Prime2 to Matter to change an object's boiling or freezing point, the mage can alter the state of matter between solid, liquid and gaseous.
- With Matter 5, she doesn't change the temperature of the matter, merely its form. Water may be frozen into ice at room temperature, but the ice remains at room temperature. It doesn't freeze because it becomes colder; it freezes because the mage altered the temperature at which the water will freeze.
- Such alteration depends on the successes rolled; GMs should just use common knowledge to decide what is possible at various levels of success. One success would cause water to freeze at room temperature, while five successes could turn gases in the air into solids, encapsulating other objects or people. The alteration lasts only for the Effect's duration, after which it returns to normal.
- Destroy Structures
- The mage uses her knowledge of Matter Patterns to break down structures by shredding their Patterns. The Effect resembles Sculpture, but the mage simply breaks down a Pattern as quickly as possible. She can shred steel doors, cause wooden tables to fall apart or make concrete crumble. She may even disperse pools of gas or liquid as long as there is an open area into which the pool can dilute; an oil fire burning on top of a river could be extinguished by causing the oil to disperse into the water.
- Cultists of Ecstasy who practice the Sphere of Matter are usually fine artists who use magick to create new mediums of art. Those who understand the third rank of Matter can use nearly anything as a medium for artistic interpretation.
- These mages become sculptors extraordinaire, reshaping houses, fire hydrants, cars, doors, furniture, etc. A mage need only mentally re-sculpt the image of the matter and then modify its Pattern so that the object assumes the desired shape. A larger object requires more successes to manipulate, and the mage can change only the shape of the item, not its properties.
- The mage can only affect one type of material with each Effect. The more successes she rolls, the larger or more intricate the structure she can reshape.
- The stuff of spy thrillers and Japanese animation; both the Sons of Ether and Iteration X regularly transform one machine into another radically different one. A '57 Chevy could have knives sprout from the hubcaps or Gatling guns pop out from under the hood, a motorcycle could become a jet-ski, a tank could be changed into a powered armor suit, or a combine harvester could be transmogrified into a turbo-charged scythe chariot with silver blades to take on a back of werewolves.
- Some transformations are more vulgar than others. Pressing a button to squirt an oil slick onto the road behind the car is within the realm of possibility, but have a Honda Civic produce helicopter blades and go flying through the air is not. Likewise, knowing how to transform a device and knowing how to operate it are two separate things - a mage who knows how to drive a Honda Civic might not know how to pilot a helicopter.
- Alter Weight
- This Effect allows a Son of Ether to alter an object's density, changing its weight but not its size. He could, for example, reduce the density of the iron in a crowbar, making it lighter but not changing its shape or size. For every success on the magickal Effect roll, the mage can adjust the density of the object but one factor. With two successes, he could double or halve an object's density; four successes enable him to quadruple or quarter an object's weight, and so on with more successes. Objects with a substantially reduced density tend to become brittle and fragile; some even collapse.
- Matter Pattern Disassociation
- The unwieldy name for this Effect undoubtedly came from the labs of the Sons of Ether. By modifying the Patterns of two pieces of matter so that the two items become insubstantial with respect to one another, a mage can keep those items from interacting in any way. Doors might slide through their hinges and fall, water may cascade through a pipe, a truck wheel-rim could drop through the rubber tire and grind on the pavement, etc. The affected items are in no way changed except with regard to each other.
- The more successes the mage scores, the more mass he can affect. He may simultaneously affect several similar items, such as all four wheels and all four tires on a truck at once, so long as they're formed of the same material.
- Tapping the Signal
- Virtual Adepts use Mastery of Matter to turn any substance into a conductor capable of transmitting computer signals. They can send computer signals through brick walls or along the pavement of an interstate highway. They sometimes use this Effect to eavesdrop by tapping into computer communications on "isolated" lines by forming a conductive path to the private line through any matter in between, be it walls, insulators, etc.
- It's rumored that the Virtual Adepts have fine enough control of this Effect to turn the ground itself into a network of computer lines. The mage need only plug his computer into the ground itself to create a channel into the ground that taps into the nearest pre-established line. Whether such a network exists or whether such tales come only from on-line bragging remains to be seen.