Non-magical fortune telling - in each nation?


#1

Wintermark have a tradition of “Mystics”, who use dreams, the flight of birds and other signs to do divination and advise people. This doesn’t involve mana crystals, approved ritual magic or Liao, and the answers are not provided by PD.
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Mystic

With the “Journey Deck” playing cards out now, I was wondering if other Nations have traditions for this informal style of fortune-telling? Does anyone use cards or dice, signs in nature, dreams, or other ways IC to read fortunes? Are there other groups listed in actual Nation briefs which would do this?

*DISCLAIMER - passively accepting a reading could be unvirtuous. OBVIOUSLY I’m talking about using these readings to inspire citizens to virtuous action!


#2

I’ve not located a ‘fortune teller’ archetype in the Navarr brief, but I’ve always thought that someone who uses runes/cards/blood splatters/whatever to help guide people to their place in the Great Dance could be cool and really bring out that aspect of the cultural brief nicely.
But as to an ‘archetype’ that supports it: I don’t think it is there in the wiki.


#3

I play a “mystic”, although Fenkyr will not endevor to convince people that dreams or leaves can help somebody predict their future. Choosing to use real advise, history and stories to help those find a way through their skein.

Other nations may have similar positions or archetypes who are predominantly advisers, they may or may not seek to use magic as a primary means to do this.

If they do not, then maybe thats a place for some good RP so somebody can make that archetype.


#4

The only archetype across the nations that comes to mind for explicitly “uses non-magical divinations or otherwise reads omens” is the Winterfolk mystic.

But there’s nothing stopping people from other Nations using similar means - I could see:

  • A Navarr Guide using Journey/tarot cards to bring out the potential role of someone in the Dance based on what cards they draw
  • A League Mountebank asking people what they see in tea leaves or ink blots and using this to give them (potentially suspect) advice
  • An Urizen stargazer using the constellations to intuit ways someone can build or influence their Net of the Heavens
  • A Freeborn fortune-teller having a whole host of divinatory techniques to offer counsel or inspiration for coin
  • A Highborn priest (possibly using the dream-Dedicate power) trying to interpret someone’s dreams as ways they need to progress in Virtue
  • A Dawnish troubadour giving a subject half of a short story and asking them to complete it, and reading from their answers their path to glory
  • A Varushkan casting rune dice to divine the best use of magic to solve a problem in their vale
  • An Imperial Orc shaman asking a subject for details of what their ancestors tell them, or asking them which of a number of items of Worth they gravitate towards, to identify how they can work for the betterment of the nation
  • A Marcher Landskeeper throwing switches or hay and reading the patterns they land in, or seeing which way a pig runs when released, to determine whether to trust someone or not

Those are just off the top of my head, and might not be anything that happens in play - my recommendation would be to ask folk from those nations on the field and see what they come up with!


#5

I have had an idea to go around the camps as a barber surgeon. Offering trepanation and my services as a reverse phrenologist.


#6

Stargazer wouldn’t be my go to Urizeni archetype for fortune telling.

Stargazer’s are experimental mages operating at the cutting edge of magical research and investigation. Often investigating the nature of magic, the realms and their inhabitants.

The archetype you’re more likely to find this in is the Illuminate who work to put the Virtuous into pivotal nodes so that their virtue spreads to others.

But honestly Urizen really doesn’t have much of a non-Magical fortune-telling tradition.


#7

You’re quite right - my apologies. Urizen have so many magician archetypes I get lost in them - I’d forgotten that was even an archetype!

I agree though, Urizen doesn’t have any significant “mundane” fortune-telling - they’re possibly the least likely nation to engage in such things, given their propensity for actual magic. But I still think there is scope for a character to engage in such activity - it would just be a lot less fitting and likely require quite a bit more work to pull off.


#8

I know someone who no longer plays, but was intending doing fortune-telling in the League using a dark/black mirror, and/or tarot or similar.


#9

We actually only have two magician archetypes, Stargazers (mad research mages) and Magi (mad political mages). None of our other archetypes are magically dependant, although as Urizen most of us are magically inclined so a lot of are archetypes (like architect) are likely to pick up some magic.

I could see the Navarr engaging in Driromancy, fortune telling by way of dripping blood onto a plate and reading the shapes it forms…


#10

Good point - I suppose I do think of all of the Urizen archetypes as magic ones…

Driromancy does sound rather Navarr - there is a good section on blood magic on the wiki which talks about using blood in divinations, which could be ported over to non-magical divinations with little effort:

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Blood_magic#The_Method


#11

Well, Seers don’t have to be magicians but it’s stated they mostly are, so that’s at least .5 of a magician archetype :stuck_out_tongue:


#12

Defiantly tyromancy in the Marches, or maybe even Urizen as well as their main crop is often goats.


#13

GASPS
I thought I was pretty up on OC systems of divination, but I hadn’t heard of CHEESE-OMANCY! That’s brilliant.


#14

I don’t know why but this made me thin of the creepypasta/internet ritual “Three Kings”. You could probably do a variation of it as a creepy non-magical ritual if anyone feels like spooking themselves in a field at night.