Pact Dice: The Practices – Wbow Version

Conjure Schools

Conflict

War Magic

A predominant focus on combat magic, dueling, and, if there’s any utility to be had, controlling the battlefield.  As a culture/group, war mages tend to focus on duels, with a mind to using them to gather power.  Often have ridiculous or elaborate contests, and some families effectively obligate their children to prove themselves or participate in contests like these as part of long-running commitments or as a consequence of borrowing against the future.

Deals

Summoning

Gathers an assortment of minions to summon and deploy, often from a variety of types of Other.  Brings them to the field, often for limited times, or puts them to work undertaking certain tasks.  Oftentimes the deals that make an Other available to summon are limited use; three summons ever, for example, or they only appear for a duration.

Material

Elementalism

The practice of those who deal with the forces of nature, from calling down lightning to creating fire at their fingertips. Conjure spirits of certain elements.  Spirits are otherworldly and do not fit easily into the material world, and thus need vessels to be crafted and to operate from.  While they become weak points of a sort, both strategically and as a target that can be sundered or stolen away on the battlefield, the vessels often offer minor benefits to those who bear them.

Immaterial

Necromancy

Primarily focusing on ghosts, also called echoes, Necromancers can take the ‘echo’ of a dead individual and bring it to bear, influencing the world.  They straddle a place between present and memory, life and death, and leverage this position to see and manipulate things others wouldn’t be able to.

Divine

Evangelism

Despite conventional wisdom, the Evangelists do not deal with Angels, exactly, but rather with the forces and powers that relate to angels; only the most powerful tap into the choirs themselves.  Where angels position themselves at the doorway of creation, the Evangelist reaches through and by means of the things and powers that angels put into motion.  They typically bring forth angelic constructs and cherubim that are powerful but mindless, and they stand resistant or protected from these things by operating by very strict rules and beliefs. With the lesser cherubim, akin to demonic imps, even the smallest impure thought is a chink by which the being will irrevocably alter the practitioner.

Prices Schools

Conflict

Harbinger

Chosen of a higher power/powerful other, who bears their strength & serves to clear the way, metaphorically. Tends to come with transformations, changes, costs in other forms, far more direct, and doesn't necessarily have (or rarely has) a direct line to the power.  Practice includes ambient effects on surroundings & altered consequences to their actions (ie. fights happen around them), balancing act to restrain this or release it without too much casualties.  Harbingers are rarely inducted willingly, but rather forced to become a harbinger by intervention of powerful other, by family, or by accident.

Deals

Host

Summons one or more Others who then occupy the practitioner or a part of the practitioner.  May come with mutations or powers, or access to natural abilities and senses.  May cause damage or miniscule long-term changes to the practitioner, chance of being taken over.  Often involves choice of either a weak ‘rider’ or a variety of ‘riders’ held in careful balance.

Material

Blood

Sacrifice, one’s own blood being shed to empower effects, and especially the maturation of tools, such as knives that grow more dangerous for every life they shed, kapalas that store spilled blood & keep it fresh for use at another time.  Easy to customize & choose a path, very dangerous, but it’s a path littered with spilled blood of oneself and others, and the cost is often in the risk of taking lives while meeting the necessary points to avoid the karma backlash.

Immaterial

Heartless

Heartless give up their body.  The inverse of the Host, they work to make themselves the possessing force.  They are the liches, the hags, the parasite forces, and more, often losing the ability to practice over time or over generations as they leave their human origins further and further behind.

Divine

Cultist

Cultists tempt fate, toying with forces others wouldn’t and taking the lion’s share of the risk onto themselves.  Some overlap with other ‘price’ categories, but they give up a degree of control and by virtue of the scale, lack of information or the inherent risk of dealing with the things they deal with, the Cultist also gains a very loud voice and a nuclear option.  These are the guys who turn into giant snakes, talk to forgotten gods & lose themselves in the process, or who tamper with nameless things that might just be demons.

Tools Schools

Conflict

Goblins

Goblin magic is, well, offensive, and not simply in the ‘aggressive’ sense of the word.  The most powerful goblin magic aims simply to hamper the enemy more than it does the practitioner.  Earning the respect of goblin enables them to be claimed as followers or as prizes, with conquered goblins becoming tools or (more frequently) weapons the practitioner can collect and use.

Deals

Sympath

Sympathetic magic involves dealing with commonalities, links, and connections.  Sympathetic mages can abuse connections or create ‘like’ things that are linked to a target.  Subversive and subtle, their more powerful practices involve setting things in motion by way of a created object and then leaving the thing alone, hampering the enemy and distracting them from discovering access to the tool while the curse, hazard, or effect takes hold.

Material

Collector

Collectors either don’t practice or practice less than the traditional practitioner.  Their primary focus is in collecting things of a particular type; such as strictly keys,things relating to water, or say, ghosts.  The greater the unification of the collection, the greater the collector, with larger & more coherent collections opening up the ability of each item in the collection; their abilities as a ‘practitioner’ tend to involve being a toolbox, with items for various purposes.  Their focus is often in establishing deals or conquering Others to establish a steady supply of new items.

Immaterial

Luck

A roll of the dice, a flip of a card.  Luck mages tend to combine using things like fortune telling cards, dice, or coin flips to predict their way forward or make an action auspicious (or not).  This combines with the use of some form of battery – a signet ring or tattoo, or any kind of container.  Luck can be drawn from this to grant them fortune on a particular action, or luck from a beneficial action can be stored in it.  This tends to require activity and risk taking, which often plays into personality.

Divine

Chosen

The Chosen maintain a connection to a greater power, and through that connection and their devotion to the power’s interests, they receive gifts, often items.  These gifts grow stronger as the Chosen carries out the power’s will and overcomes tribulation.  The practice involves knowing the words to invoke the power, drawing out the powers in the gifts, and outside of confrontations, setting up rituals that enable them to invite trials, wherein the power sets tasks, quests, and even transports them to other places for challenges, with gifts and power waiting at the end.

Realms Schools

Conflict

Scourge

Scourges tamper with bogeymen, with the slasher killers and the monsters under the bed, the powers and entities that were lost or discarded and tossed in a ditch.  Aggressive and vicious, their strictly offensive powers tend to be one-shot, requiring conditions to be lined up while proving devastating if they are.  They summon things and especially alter the world around them to create these conditions, but the created spaces and the things they summon operate by strict rules that they do not always outline clearly.  Scourges and ruin go hand in hand.

Deals

Nomad/City

Nomads and City Mages interact with spaces, in a very literal way.  Virtually every one will be on a first name basis with the places they reside, creating and invoking abstractions of a house, city, settlement, or a patch of wilderness.  With deals made and powers granted or borrowed, they excel in moving from place to place, invoking the environment to hamper enemies or help allies, and accessing places others couldn’t.  In terminology, Nomads roam, while City Mages have one place they call home.

Material

Technomancer

Technomancers use computers and other forms of technology to lay out the strict and carefully constructed systems of practice they employ.  Most effective in urban and modern areas, they can use computers to reprogram reality and surveil things they shouldn’t otherwise be able to, or they use practice to gain access and do things with computers that should be impossible.  They rely heavily on the tools and systems they use to write and enact code; uncommon even as recently as the turn of the millennium, they’ve seen a surge after the introduction of smart phones.

Immaterial

Astrology

With some overlap with technomancers, astrologists are arguably the technomancers of yesteryear.  Relying on careful placement of rituals and signs over large areas, they form great diagrams and tap them for power, and they set up rituals on strict clocks, time bombs set to go off in three full moons.  Very capable of scaling up their work by adding to the time restraints or the spaces involved, they remain fragile if that work is disrupted.

Divine

Draiodhe

Working with spirits of nature, primarily (though not always), Draiodhe or druids communicate with old powers.  They pray to small things at the outset, establish relationships, and seek to claim the general, walking a path, for example, from mouse to rodent to the prey animal spirit.  Favor is gained through the small things, through protection, oaths, revenge against trespassers and more, and can translate to a say with powerful things, which greater druids can invoke with a word.

Interaction Schools

Conflict

Oni

Ties to an era when spirits attempted to establish their own province and domain separate from humanity, and even went to war with humanity, sending forth brutes and assassins.  Oni magic is subtle and deceptive, aimed at infiltration, distraction, hampering and creating openings.  Oni Magic stands in contrast to many practices in that it is actually more effective if not used in a way that spirits are made familiar with over time.  Oni magic is typically learned as a series of ‘tricks’ taught by hard to access Others, with added benefits if the use of the trick surprises the spirits (that is, is unexpected or creative, and/or hasn’t been used in a long time), rekindling old memories and passions, or if it is dramatic and interesting.

Deals

Faerie

Glamour, deception, beguilement.  Faeries and their workings are well known enough, weak against direct confrontation and effective in subtler courses.  By and large, the peril in Faerie Magic is in dealing with those who teach and provide it, and in the fact that it is so hard to interpret, with few certainties, measurements or clear explanations.  For those who delve deep and escape the ire of the Faerie themselves (not calling them fairies is especially important), Glamour can be obtained; the quantities capable of rewriting reality if it is believed.

Material

Enchanting

Enchantment is the ability to place qualities, powers, and Others within concrete objects, to (to far lesser extent and power) utilize Others to curse or hamper individuals by having them ‘enchant’ the person as a curse, and woe betide the enemy of an enchanter who falls into a trap and uses a cursed item.  The creation of these tools can be time consuming, but the effects can be customized to serve specific purposes.

Immaterial

Finder/Chaos Mage

Finders work with lost and forgotten things, unpinned from the realms of the physical and even of the spirit.  They tend to interact with the abyss in some form, but only in a tertiary sense – where the Abyss is where things settle when they fall through the cracks in the world, the Finder explores the spaces between realms, and the unformed void that lies beyond them.  In practice, they stray from and explore places beyond the defined paths and spaces, and interact with desperate, nameless, and forgotten things.  They mingle subtle transmutations, (especially of the abstract) with a collection of tricks and favors taken from nameless things that bear steep and unpredictable results.  Monkey paws and granted footholds.

Divine

Shamanism

“Seven gods live in a grain of rice.”  Spirits infuse everything, representing the material, immaterial and abstract forces that play into a given thing being what it is.  Shamans communicate with these spirits and powers to invoke effects. 

Lore Schools

Conflict

Heroics

Heroic practices tap into history, legend, and the strengths of individuals to bring out the best in that person or point in time.  While most historical figures of extraordinary strength are already earmarked and reserved by families and powers the world over, lesser figures can be tapped as summons, familiars, and shared memories.  In general practice, approach combat with the assistance of some very skilled help, and approach problems with the assistance of great minds.

Deals

Binding

If connections are like threads, tying people to one another, then binders tie people up with threads.  They manipulate threads and follow them to sources.  Very strong at finding people, turning them elsewhere, etc.  At high puissance, can outright control others.  Binders lean heavily on the ‘make a contract with an Other, use that Other’. 

Material

Alchemy

Produces draughts and potions, among other (generally temporary/consumable) items.  Alchemists have incredible versatility, with the ability to create life (homonculi), alter it, heal, destroy even things that cannot typically be destroyed, and otherwise do things at the extreme reach of other schools and practices.  The catch is that alchemy, which delves deeper into the search for answers than nearly any other practice, oft sets a high bar for the pre-existing researches already done and for materials used.

Immaterial

Augury

Augury is the art of reading the future and knowing the unknowable.  Powerful in their own right, Augurs tend to place a nail in a future event or scene; by seeing the future, they make it more likely to happen, and the universe will contrive to make it possible.  With this in mind, they must move very carefully; resisting or working against a future very often creates a backlash.  An individual seen in a future may find they tend to scrape by and survive despite the odds, but being reckless with their life may see fate conspire against them once the event has passed.  Working with this future and such can change the context to the event.  Many augurs will choose vaguer means and be selective in how they announce or use it, to give that event more or less power. 

Divine

Priesthood

Priests, in simple terms, build up favor with a higher power and spend it, often with prayers that have one of a select and small number of possible outcomes.  Excess and unspent power tends to well up, find avenues into the world, or result in godly servants or spaces.

Protection Schools

Conflict

Ogre

Alternately known as giant magic, dance magic, or drum magic, Ogre magic is inspired by the Ogre Magi; it is, in an abstract sense, practice as martial art.  The exact output of the practice depends on the source that is tapped, and can be something like elementalism, binding, lesser summons or the like.  The magi links the result to action and to consequence, with, for example, a sword swing eliciting a linked practice, or a storm of confusion swelling around them and growing more intense as they take more damage.  In a game sense, combos, patterns, and successive hits matter.  

Deals

Sealing

Sealing magic uses ofuda or the like, but can do what they do with simple words and orders spoken as short rituals.  The emphasis is on imposing restrictions that activate effects when broken.  With greater puissance, the restriction is mandated (ie. can’t move from the spot) for a short time, with the affected party gaining the ability to break it at a cost later.  Sealers are a middle ground between Wardens and Binders, but frequently play out their power as a defensive, chess-like game of frustrating and stymying opponents. 

Material

Wards

Wardens are often among the most respected practitioners, typically handling the most fundamental of the management of the practitioner-to-mundane divide.  Their practice involves overt and subtle practices to maintain metaphysical walls.  They create totems and wards using materials and imbue them with spirits.  The most effective wards are almost like computers, with complex operations, contingencies and constructions.

Immaterial

Chronomancy

Chronomancers manipulate time, with weak chronomancers manipulating only the perception of it, while stronger chronomancers manipulate real time at an incredible cost.  The costs are tied not to the distance moved in time, but to the gravity of the events in question.  Their ability to set near-inviolable effects in motion, to undo damage and to skip events enables them to dodge or undo catastrophic damage.

Divine

Law

Practitioners who deal with law work with karma, balance, and the greater, more fundamental architecture of practice in general.  They gain exceptional power over those with low karma, their power is dependent on their own karma, and they can impose barriers, restrictions, and conditions that manipulate or alter an individual’s karma.  Law mages work with a soft hand as they work with the spirits, but where the spirits a shaman deals with might be, metaphorically, spirits of a single color or type, Law Mages work with the blurred sum total of spirits as a whole (and as a greater power).

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