Okay this is part two of a bumper post - if you haven’t read the one with the kitten on it, you should go and do that now, and also shouting “TIME IN” has possibly just confused you.
This post talks about ritual magic, and then sketches out some “Future Attractions” and ends in a digression about Saturday Morning Cartoons and fur hats.
I’ll maybe talk about this in more detail later, but we’ve tidied up some of the concepts around ritual magic. There’s now very clearly a delineation between formulaic ritual and spontaneous magic. We haven’t changed anything about how rituals in Imperial Lore work, so much as just tidied them up and moved them all into one place. You can check the rules out here (profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … aic_ritual).
One idea we’ve tried to get across is that you never perform a ritual that is in Imperial lore “spontaneously”- you just perform it. If you have mastery, you perform it more easily and more efficiently. But the spell doesn’t change just because none of you have mastered it. If it’s in imperial lore, it’s like every single PC “knows” it well enough to cast. If you want to tweak the spell, even if you just want to create a different roleplaying effect, you need to sort it out as a spontaneous magical effect and …
… well spontaneous magic has had some very significant changes.
You should blame the Wanderer. CURSE YOU WANDERER!
To create a spontaneous magic effect you will need to create an arcane projection. Its a lot like a ritual text, but it’s valid only at the event you create it. The main perk from my point of view is that we’ll put all the information on it. The perk from your point of view is that, if we can manage to find an artist to do us some nice h’occult designs, it’ll be a pleasant little IC item that you can pass round your mates. Or steal from each other. If you have the projection, your coven can create the spontaneous magical effect whenever they want for that event. Bosh.
Making one of these arcane projections is not a free process, nor is it usually instantaneous. It costs a mana crystal and it takes time - time during which you can do other stuff while you ponder the magical question besetting you. It will involve talking to the senior ref, and telling him exactly what you are trying to achieve. It’s all explained in some detail on the spontaneous magic page (profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … eous_magic) along with a few other twiddles (sometimes a divination spell will uncover a spontaneous magic effect you can create without needing to spend mana or time, invariably related to whatever plot, asset or location you were examining - that’s up to the plot writers though).
It’s important to note that an arcane projection only lasts for one event. We’re doing this quite intentionally - we intend to review every arcane projection we hand out between events and make sure that all three Legs of the Milkstool of Ultimate Ritual Power (well, me, GJ and the Boss) are all in agreement on a given ritual. The “tides of magic and the power of the stars and wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff” might mean that IC it was possible to do an effect at the Summer event at magnitude 20 that we later decide was overcosted, or undercosted, or technically should only have worked on delicious, delicious dodo birds (who you can read about here if you are so inclined. (profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … Dodo_Birds).
One thing to bear in mind is that formulaic magic is always going to be “better” than weird novelty spontaneous magic in terms of how easily it is performed, how expensive it is in terms of crystal mana, and how you can manipulate it (with spontaneous magic you can’t do things like spending orichalcum in place of mana or to reduce magnitude, for example, and your ability to add extra targets might be quite limited). Spontaneous magic is “better” than crusty old formulaic rituals when it comes to versatility and … well I can’t find a better synonym for “spontaneity” so I’m going to go with that.
===Provost, Dean, Texts===
We’ve given the provost and the dean the ability to get one (1) spontaneous arcane project for free each downtime, which will be waiting for them at the event.
We’ve removed the ability to e-mail and ask for projections from everyone else.
We’ve also changed things so that while the Dean and the Provost (and any future Collegiate Rulers) can only make a formulaic ritual out of an existing arcane project.
Basically, they have to have IC at least glanced over the effect they want to cement before they can get their serv … peers to make a ritual text out of it.
With regard to ritual texts, we’ve made them a little bit more useful. Kind of. As part of our work firming up the difference between formulaic and spontaneous, a ritual text can always be used as an arcane projection for the ritual it contains. However if a member of your coven has mastered a ritual that is not in Imperial lore, and contributes to it’s casting, you all cast it as if it were formulaic at the costed total rather than 50% extra. Which is quite a nice bonus I think.
===THE STARS ARE … WELL YOU KNOW THE DRILL===
The boss talks in more detail about why we’ve made these changes on the wiki updates page (profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … eous_Magic) and I’m hoping to expand on them a little here and there.
We expect the new system to take a little getting used to, but I think that after a short adjustment it will make the game better. By all means send queries to the usual addresses, but I’d like to ask you to be patient. We’re only at the start of the Winter Roundup and we have a chunk of additional work still to do.
One specific section we are still working on relates to sending messages and items to Eternals. We’ve not nailed down precisely how we want to handle that but it’s a job that’s earmarked “must be done before next event” so I will let you know as soon as I know what we are doing. The good news is that I an 78% certain the formulaic rituals that send stuff to eternals like boring old Ephisis’Scales and the non-stop-roller-coaster-excitement that is Missive for Sadogua will continue to work fine. Which is a relief, I’m sure you’ll agree.
===Reading the Iron Brew Granules===
Do you get Iron Brew granules I wonder? Horrible thought. What’s next then?
First off, we need to repair all the tech we broke - and I don’t just mean all the links. We need to finish off the spell pages, and fix all the items whose powers are now irrelevant then fix all the rituals whose effects just broke. Once we’ve done that, we need to finish work on the Eternals and Realms pages, and at least sketch out the “what’s hot and what’s not” for each realm of magic so your characters can construct reasonable spontaneous magic effects.
Looking into the next month, we have some changes to a few military keywords; we need to sort out the Daggers category which we seem to have forgotten to do tonight; we need to actually write down all the naval campaign rules we agreed in frigid Glasgow; we need to finalise a few economic tweaks related to resources and we need to continue smoothing and tidying wiki content if we possibly can.
Oh I forgot - we also did some work on a few setting-related pages. Landskeepers (profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Hakima) got a few cosmetic changes, and
we made a whole page just for Corsairs (profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-
wiki/Corsair). If you and your friends were gored or trampled to death recently, you might want to look over this new content and see if it gives you any ideas.
These pages are always fun to knock together, and I’d dearly like to get a few more up and running before the next event. I’ve been looking thoughtfully at Volhov and Cabalists for some time now, for example.
Oh and if you fancy a fun project, why not read our new gateway-drug tutorial in making a simple fur hat here (profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-
wiki/How_to_make_a_fur_hat). I understand costume making is one of the least addictive activities you can undertake, and easy to give up once started.
Right then that’s done. Don’t forget you can chat about these changes or indeed anything to do with Empire at our forums (forums.profounddecisions.co.uk/) but I am now quite knackered and all that remains for me to do before I sleep for a week is to grab a broom shank and shout “WHISPERED SECRETS OF A SHATTERED AGE, I SUMMON YOU …!”
PS I ruthlessly stole this picture which I assume may be the property of Hasbro but I think Saturday morning cartoons become public common property after … fuck … nearly 30 years or something I’m sure I read it somewhere. Also I have spent three days trying to find cool ways to find new ways of saying “By my power and the power of the six realms spring, earth, fire, whiskey, tofu and surprise I command you BE HEALED!!!” so hopefully the courts will go easy on me.