Nephilim FATE – Major Arcana

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

When a Nephilim took up residence in the then Amenhotep IVth in 1379BC, various competing traditions held the Nephilim together but they had no unifying vision of the Golden Path to Agartha. Amenhotep IVth left his Throne and Crown and went on a vision quest in the desert. He returned Akhenaton, the Living Spirit of the Sun’s Disc, the deliverer of the Way of Solar-Ka. Some say he attained Enlightenment and returned. Some say he was gifted visions from Nephilim from beyond.

The Nephilim, he knew, could not wander by themselves down the Golden Path. They needed a way forward. He gave the Nephilim different 22 Paths to Agartha, each embodied in an Pharoah from a time ancient by even Egypt’s standards. Bathed in the marvelous Solar-Ka Nexus of the Sun’s City, Akhet-Aton, the he inscribed the 22 paths on 22 tablets and imbued them with power. Nephilim came from all over the world to study at the Sun’s City at Akhenaton’s feet to learn the new paths and ways. The Nephilim grew in power. Soon they would all ascend to greatness and use humanity for cattle and slaves and rule the world as their own!

And then Akhenaten died and the Thebean Priests were mightily pissed off that some Nephilim jerk hijacked their entire religion. The Priests contracted out to the Black Star* to hunt down Nephilim, scatter them, burn the Sun’s City to the ground, and otherwise have tons of fun at Nephilim expense.

It’s been an awful long time since Akhenaton was around but the Major Arcana still endure. The Nephilim learned there’s nothing quite like being persecuted throughout all time to teach them to band together under common causes — and, oh look, common causes. And, more importantly, the Major Arcana give the Nephilim an anchor from one lifetime to the next. A thousand years pass and the world moves on but the Major Arcana stand.

When a Nephilim wakes from its Stasis, the first thing it does is look for signs of its Major Arcana drawn on sidewalks, hidden in graffiti, or hiding among billboards. On reading signs only it understands, it staggers around until it locates a gathering of its like kind who may give it food and shelter, access to Arcane Libraries, and a low-down of current events. The Major Arcana provide continuity for the Nephilim among a small community of like-minded creatures all bent on World Domination in the same fashion and under the same Aegis. Only 10,000 Nephilim worldwide may be awake at once under normal conditions and maybe three or four times that during a Great Awakening. These Nephilim sort themselves fairly evenly across 18 of the Major Arcana along the lines of common philosophy. A few hundred per Arcana operating world-wide at any time. The other Four Major Arcana — the Fool, the Hanged Man, Death, and the World — have special properties.

Secret Societies are a major part of a Nephilim’s existence. The following short summaries of the Major Arcana come from Ken Hite’s excellent Major Arcana sourcebook for Nephilim. Choosing a core philosophy is the final piece of Nephilim character generation.

* The Black Star will get their time, oh yes.

Nephilim FATE Magic – Non-Golem White Stone Formulae

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

The core Nephilim sourcebook doesn’t offer many White Stone non-Golem Formulae, as the practice of White Stone Alchemy is the practice of the sublimation of matter to the alchemist’s desires.  Since Alchemy is so malleable, these work as examples of what an experienced Alchemist can do.

The Sublimation of the Drinkable Gold

Element: Fire

Duration: Instant

The caster sprinkles the powder on a liquid which it immediately drinks.  It removes all boxes from mental and physical stress in return for smoke literally pouring from the caster’s ears, nose and mouth.  Others can drink the liquid, including Simalacra. Drinker must be conscious.

 

The Adamantic Sign of the Resurrection of the Rose

Element: Earth

Duration: until next Thursday

The caster pre-prepares a copper plate with alchemical symbols.  A charged plate can heal the wounds (clear all physical stress tracts) of any wound on any wounded person.  The wounded person does not need to be conscious.  Can dramatically bring people back from the very brink of death.

 

The Water of Life of the Sleepy Metal

Element: Earth

Duration: 1 Scene

The caster sprinkles the powder on the target’s clothes.  The clothing becomes impervious to all physical damage, although it does not protect against magickal damage.  Upon absorbing the glow, the clothing glows a dramatic silver because, hey, magick clothes.

 

The Ship of the Sacred Androgyny*

Element: Water

Duration: 1 Scene

The caster sprinkles the powder on a small statue and it transforms into a large, hollowed-out, metal structure that is, actually, a mobile Nephilim power-armor.  It acquires an Armor rating equal to shifts of success when mixing the powder, protects against drowning and asphyxiation, and, if the caster wishes, it can develop wheels and move over 100mph.   After the spell is completed, the Nephilim’s Simulacrum must rest for at least 10 hours.

 

The Sublimation of the Eye of Tar

Element: Air

Duration: until next Wednsday

Caster rubs its eyes with the powder and a third eye appears on its forehead.  The eye opens on the caster’s command and allows the caster to see through all matter as if it was glass up to 500m.

 

Mutations of the Hellhound

Element: Moon

Duration: until next Monday

The alchemist tosses a dose of the powder on a four-legged mammal, like a dog.  A second head sprouts from the shoulder.  This new head takes control of the animal and obeys the caster.  It looks about as terrible as one expects.  When the spell wears off, the new head dissolves away.

Animal stats are not germane to DFRPG.  For this spell, give the animal one great, two good, two fair and two average skills and set the stress tracks for the skills.  It should have the High Aspect “Hideous Two Headed Animal.”

 

The Purification of the Selene Water

Element: Moon

Duration: 1 Scene

The caster sprinkles the powder around itself.  Everything acts like it is under water — wood floats, stones sink, people suddenly must swim through thin air.  All people, objects and pets settles to their own density level.  The radius extends from the caster up to a 50m radius.  Great for birthdays!

* Originally this was one day. As the spell is written, it’s ridiculously overpowered. To try to rein it in a bit, I made the Nephilim Power Armor spell only good for 1 Scene. It should probably be adjusted downward further to have armor and speed == success shifts on originally preparing the powder.

Nephilim FATE Magic – Black Stone Alchemy Formulae

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Black Stone Alchemy.  Melanosis.  The decomposition of matter.  The Alchemist splits matter into simpler parts.

A big list of Black Stone Alchemical Formulae from Nephilim:

Name Element Duration Description
The Calcination of the Secret Fire Fire 1 hour Sets fire to any kind of inanimate matter but only the target.
The Fire Dissolver Fire Instant Cancels the effects of any Sorcerous or Alchemical fire.
The Double Igneous Man Fire 1 hour Creates a burning silhouette of any one person, acquiring their skills and stress boxes.  It obeys the caster.  Immune to physical danger but dissolves in water.
The Gas of the Egg’s Concoction Air 15 minutes Destroys breathable air 100m around a point chosen by the caster.  Victims must overcome Endurance contests against caster’s shifts of success on casting or else pass out.
The Darkening of the Seven Shaded Walls Air 15 minutes Creates thick smoke 30m radius around the caster and blocks sight.  Smoke dissolves naturally.
The Air Dissolver Air Instant Cancels Sorcerous or Alchemical Air Magic
The Freezing of the Living Stone Earth 15 minutes Caster must touch a target.  Target’s feet become has heavy as stone.  Target must overcome Endurance contests against caster’s shifts of success on casting to move.
The Freezing of the G Earth 15 minutes Caster reduces gravitational pull within a 5m radius around point of casting.  The weight is 1/10th of original.
The Reduction of the Egg of Azoth Earth 15 minutes Destroys any alien body in a living organism.  May cure a disease or a poisoning.  Must be mixed and drunk in a liquid.
The Earth Dissolver Earth Instant Cancels the effects of any Sorcerous or Alchemical Earth magic.
The Dissolving of the Double Salt Water Instant Allows the caster to dehydrate one person of the caster’s choice, giving that person a powerful thirst.  Target must either drink or overcome Endurance contest against ??? to avoid passing out.
The Double Reduction of Emerald Water Special Allows the caster to reduce the size of any living or non-living thing by half that already weighs 500kg.  The object must be one entire thing.  The reduction is maintained as long as the caster concentrates.
The Water Dissolver Water Instant Cancels the effect of any Sorcerous or Alchemical water spells.
The Splitting of the Red Moon Moon 15 minutes Allows the caster to drive the target mad.  Target must make a challenge of Conviction against caster’s shifts of success on casting to regain sanity.  May be used on animals.
The Transformation of the Black Claw Moon 15 minutes Casting the powder on someone’s arm causes it to grow into a monstrous paw with claws.  Acts as a Weapon: XXX for the duration.  Claw is obvious and will burst out of shirts during transformation.
The Tear of the Black Moon Moon Until next Monday Allows the caster to break the rational mind of the victim.  Her walls of intellectual association break down mixing pieces of past dreams with present thoughts.  She can resist the spell by rolling Conviction against a challenge of the caster’s shifts on casting, once per day, until succeeding.
The Moon Dissolver Moon Instant Cancels the effects of any Sorcerous or Alchemical moon spells.

Nephilim FATE Magic — Golems

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

It’s no good to be an Alchemist if you cannot make Golems.

Only Alchemists of the Second Circle (White Stone) can make Golems.  The Alchemy of Golems is no place for dabblers and tourists. It is crafting a form of life.  It is hard core.

Golems come in one of four forms: Simalcrons, Automatons, Constructs and Golems, from simplest to most complex.  At their most basic forms, these crude human-like creatures follow simple sentence commands and carry out orders of their creators like “clean this room” or “kill everyone who comes near me.”  Imaginative Alchemists can construct quite complex Automatons and Constructs far beyond lumbering hulks of clay.

Nephilim are, as a whole, a bit twitchy around Golem as they can see the similarities between their own Simulacra and the hand-made bodies and wonder if the distance between here and there is but a short hop.  Some of the most intense (read: crazy) Nephilim Alchemists have figured out how to fuze Summoning with Alchemy to stuff the souls of Angels into manufactured alchemical bodies to force their Summonings to obey them long beyond their contracts.  This is considered “varsity level magic.”  Or perhaps “horrifying sacrilege.”  Or just “bad.”

Alchemists claim all Golem-based magicks come from the Grimoire of Ibbur, or the Fecundation of the Soul.  The author and the date of the original is unknown, but modern Alchemists know the Hebrew translation was handed down from Rabbi Judah Loew of the Prague Golem.  One copy of the original Arabic and a few copies of crude Latin translations theoretically exist, but no one knows where; several copies of Loew’s Hebrew translation exist for enterprising souls who wish to create their own man of blood and rock.

Rumor has it the Grimoire of Ibbur contains far more than instructions for crafting Golems but the secrets are locked away behind ciphers and codes.  They say it has a map to the Philosopher’s Stone.  But no one knows, since no one has an original copy of the book.

To create a Golem:

– A character or group of characters must undertake a quest to lay hands on a copy of the translated Grimoire of Ibbur.

– Golems are surprisingly difficult to reverse engineer but, once a character has made one Golem, the character can use Scholarship at the same Complexity to begin making variations on a theme.  Ie, if the character has figured out how to make a basic Earth Golem of Iron, it’s not that far of a shot to figure out how to craft some sort of horrible Mechanized Spider Golem.

– Mastering Summoning and Alchemy to Summon an Angel into the body of a Golem is often too much for one Nephilim; two Nephilim working at it might work up something worth writing home about.  The Summoning is the same as the regular Summoning.  The Alchemist must also overcome the Summoning’s Conviction with Discipline to synthesize the Summoning into the body.  This will not make the Summoning happy, but what the hell.

– The Complexity for a Golem begins at 5.  The GM may increase the Complexity based on:

  • Modernity.  The Golem uses modern substances (steel, aluminum, plastics, carbon fiber) over ancient substances (earth, water).  
  • Complexity.  Mechanized Steampunk Spider Golems are far more difficult than Earth Golems.
  • Size.  Enormous Golems are more difficult to raise than teeny bird golems.
  • Autonomy.  The more intelligent the Golem, the more difficult to create.
  • Summoning an Intelligence requires the standard Summoning plus Discipline rolls over the Summoning’s Conviction to move it from the Pentagram into the prepared body.
– Complexity may be subdivided into multiple formulae and the Golem can be upgraded over time.  For example, the Alchemist can raise a dumb Earth Golem (Complexity: 5).  Then the Alchemist can later add an Alchemical Brain Gem to the Golem (Complexity: 4 Black Stone adaptation of another formulae) to upgrade its intelligence.  And of course, later, because it’s fun, the Golem can add guns, but the guns may be just guns.
The most advanced White Stone Alchemists sit around in coffee shops and talk about just what sort of Golems they could make with the Philosopher’s Stone.  Just think!  World spanning Golems?  Golems with Archangels?  Perhaps everliving perfect bodies for themselves…

Nephilim FATE Magic — Makin’ Alchemy Happen

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Character Stuff

Alchemy is special because it requires an Aspect. Only Alchemy requires an Aspect; the other modes of Magic need Stunts. The Alchemy Aspect represents the character’s Athanor and Alchemical Laboratory and Alchemical trappings. Unlike Sorcery (a funny hat) and Summoning (chalk), Alchemy requires gear and specialized, one-of-a-kind gear requires an Aspect.

Alchemy also isn’t cheap from a Stunt point of view.  One either is an Alchemist or isn’t.

First Circle Black Stone -3
Second Circle White Stone -4
Third Circle Philosopher’s Stone Infinity

No one has attained the Philosopher’s Stone.  But if someone does, they claim it’s the ticket to turning lead into gold, to crafting the Elixir of Life, to living forever within a Simulacrum without needing to Reincarnate ever again, to attaining Agartha on Earth.  And if anyone has attained it, they haven’t bothered to write it down or mention it to anyone else.  The Philosopher’s Stone is the unattainable.  For now.

Alchemists may inscribe a formulae on their souls (Stunt: -1, can be taken multiple times) to have formulae pass with them through Incarnations just like Sorcerers.

Making It Work

If the Alchemist has the Formula or knows the Formula…

If the Alchemist has the Formula for the mixture, he needs his Lore equal to or greater than the Complexity of the formula.  He can find helper tomes and use Aspects to help him get to the Complexity in the form of research.  If he can get his Lore to the Complexity of the formula, it indicates the Alchemist understands the mathematics, mixture, and steps involved in the concoction.

The Alchemist must roll his Discipline to synthesize the formula.  Much like controlling power in Sorcery, the Alchemist may split this into multiple rolls until he gets the number of successes equal to Complexity + Modifiers.  Each roll takes time (roughly an hour for white stone and a day for black stone) so if a cautious Alchemist has a Complexity: 6 formula and decides to make 6 Discipline rolls, it takes about six [hours|days] to synthesize the powder in the Athanor.   But the time can flux depending on dramatic necessity.

– If the Alchemist wrote the formula, he must roll shifts up to Discipline = Complexity.

– If the Alchemist found the formula in a book, the Complexity is +1 shift due to the formula likely being wrong.

– If the formula has the same Element as the Nephilim, the Nephilim receives a free (+1) shift to his Discipline rolls.

– The Nephilim may toss in Aspects, Foci, or other bonuses to make the Discipline rolls.

Once the Alchemist has synthesized the Alchemical formula, he now has a batch.  The number of castings of the formula from a successful synthesis is 1 + Total Successful Shifts.

If the Alchemist creates the formula…

Alchemy is new and a research magic.  An Alchemist can break free of the strictures of dusty old books and pentagrams and Enochian Angel names to create all new magic.  To create a new formula:

The Alchemist works out the Complexity of the formula (1-3 for Black Stone, 4-7 for White Stone, depending on the level of weirdness and set by the GM).  Then the Alchemist must make rolls with Scholarship to get shifts up to the Complexity of the spell.  This may take a while as this involves research, experimentation, and the frying off of eyebrows.

Once the Alchemist puzzles out the new formula, he can create it with Discipline as above without taking any penalty for transcription errors. He walks off with a number of castings equal to 1 + number of total successful shifts.

A Quick Note on Alchemy

That’s it. No stuffing Ka into an Athanor and sacrificing it every time the Nephilim wishes to synthesize a powder. No sticking a Stasis in an Athanor as a demented battery. Better than single-use powders. An ability to create new formula.

From a GMing standpoint, Alchemy requires all sorts of gear and glassware and space and materials along with the Athanor. In general, the GM should assume an enterprising Nephilim can tap into their Simulacrum, prod the curled up soul within until it coughs up the directions to Target, and lay hands on whatever they need. It just gets tricky when the neighbors call the FBI because the Nephilim’s garage smells eternally of sulfur and the neighbors are convinced he’s a Jihadi Terrorist. These Things Happen.

Next up, Golems. Because what good is Alchemy without Golems?

Nephilim FATE Magic — Alchemy

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Where Sorcery is the Nephilim bread and butter and Summoning is the Nephilim big stick, Alchemy is the particle physics of the Nephilim universe.

Alchemy is quantum weirdness and super string theory and math applied to the mystical realms.  It allows Nephilim to dig around in the superstructure of the universe beneath the ley lines of Ka and mess with the fundamentals.  In the right hands – or, more to the point, the wrong hands – Alchemy is powerful.

The roots of Alchemy starts, much like Summoning, in the Jewish communities of the Levant in the 1st century AD after the Coming of the Fool.  It slowly spread down into Alexandria and into the Arabian Peninsula.  Mostly developed in the burgeoning explosion of science in the new Muslim Caliphate centered in Iraq, the core research was laid down first by Geber the Arab (721-815) and later the Persian Avicenna (980-1036).  Alchemy spread back into Western Europe through Moorish Spain where it was pushed and pulled and manipulated into its current form.  Albert Magnus (1193-1280) codified it in his book Liber Mineralia.  Once Western European Nephilim laid hands on the core foundations of Alchemy, many disappeared into their laboratories convinced it was the key to unlocking the power of the Universe without needing to ascend to Agartha.  Infinite Godlike power in the here and now.

Where Summoning is about angels and demons and Enochian language and spirits and religious trappings, Alchemy is cold, clinical and mathematical.  Alchemists consider themselves the true scientists of the Nephilim underworld using tools and experiments and hypothesis to slowly build the science of Alchemy.  They have an alchemical liturgy not unlike higher mathematics to describe their work and turn alchemy into repeatable, reusable formulae.  Alchemists believe if they come up with the right mathematical formulae describing magic, power and substance, they can manipulate a universal spirit underlying all things – the Spiritus Mundi.

The center of the Alchemist’s world is the Athanor, a mystical oven used to burn down powders and forge substances used in Alchemical formulae.  The Athanor is a small, brick domed square tower, about five feet tall.  Inside the Athanor is a small egg-shaped glass vessel in a sandbath over a fire.  Whenever a Nephilim Alchemist reincarnates, he first finds a good place to work with decent ventilation, and then he builds a new Athanor.

In practice, Alchemical spells are pre-prepared powders the Nephilim carries around in vials in a pocket of a jacket or a bag.  Instead of needing to murmur the words of a Focus, as in Sorcery, or drawing a Pentagram to Summon a creature at the time of casting, the Alchemist uses “Just in Time” casting with powders to evoke prepared change.

Next… some basic rules for Alchemy and how Alchemy in FATE is radically simplified from Alchemy in BRP.

Nephilim FATE Magic — A Few More Summonings

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

This is it.  A few more to round out the Summoning category before moving on to Alchemy.

The Armor of Those Who Are Born of the Sowed Teeth
Circle: Seals
Element: Earth
Rupture: Disappearance
Duration: Until next Thursday
Skills: Conviction (+2), Intimidation (+3)
Description: The Summoning appears as a set of black armor. It feels like black leather but resists damage like black onyx. It fits precisely to the Summoner’s body. The Summoner can put the armor on and off. It resists damage as Armor:5. It defends both physical attacks and mental attacks.

The Powerful Pale Queen of Pain with Tears of Flame
Circle: Pentacles
Element: Moon
Rupture: Capture: the Queen sets the Crown of Thorns on the Nephilim’s Head
Duration: 24 hours
Skills: Conviction (+5), Intimidate (+5), Weapon: Crown of Thorns (+5)
Description: Invisible except for Ka-Vision, a beautiful woman appears dressed in a flowing white dress with reddened eyes dripping with blood. She wears a crown of thorns upon her head.

The Queen follows the Nephilim around for the duration of the Summoning until the Nephilim points out the victim. Then the Queen removes the Crown from her head and places it on the victim’s head. The victim must make a contested roll against the Queen’s weapon to avoid the Crown. If the victim resists, the Queen screams in frustration and disappears. If the Queen wins the contest, the Queen sighs in relief and disappears.

Instantly the victim goes mad as the Crown assaults his mind with paralyzing visions. The only way to remove the Crown is to make a mental check against the Crown to accept the Crown willingly. If the contest succeeds, the Crown disappears. Otherwise, the one doing the freeing now wears the Crown. Certain summonings, like the Prince of Salt Wisdom, can dismiss the Crown at will.

The Undine Ualama, Lord Principality of the Third Gate
Circle: Keys
Element: Water
Rupture: Unbelievably bad things
Duration: 1 request
Skills: Conviction (+7), Empathy (+7), Presence (+7), Rapport (+6), Lore (+7), Scholarship (+7)
Description: The summoning of Ualama, Lord Principality of the Third Gate requires the voluntary acquisition of the negative Aspect Ualama’s Geas. Ualama will decide the details of the Geas based on the Contract negotiations. Dismissing Ualama requires sacrificing 500lbs of pure treasure in a giant convocation of flame. And even then, Ualama will leave at a comfortable saunter.

Ualama appears as a nude wizened old man or woman with long hair and a body made of flowing liquids. Ualama speaks quietly, and all who are not the Summoner must make a mental contest roll against Ualama’s Presence to avoid being possessed by incredible sexual longings. Should bystanders succumb to these urges, all heterosexual couplings are fruitful.

The Summoner may make one request of Ualama. It has all knowledge of all Water Sorcery and Summonings, but does not teach or inscribe them on the souls of Nephilim. However, it can make the effect of one Water Sorcery spell permanent on the Summoner — and this is any Water spell up through Grand Secret.

Typically, Summoners ask Ualama to perform a favor in love or sexual attachment. Ualama can make a target fall in endless love with the Summoner. It can make a cowardly man brave or a brave man craven, no matter the man. If the Summoner wanted to ask Ualama to turn a great politician or political leader into a shaking coward, Ualama can do that. Ualama can also imbue a target with virtue far beyond the target’s original capacity. But this is all sort of a joke to Ualama, who finds all this relationship nonsense quite funny.

Many say Ualama is one of the few Nephilim who have ascended to Agartha and chosen to rule over mystical planes instead of becoming One with Enlightenment.

Nephilim FATE Magic — Example Summonings!

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

The Nephilim sourcebook has far too many summonings to convert and post to the blog.  If I did, the blog would be even worse than it is now.  It would be all Nephilim Summonings, all the time.  But here are a few…

Those Who Creep and Nibble
Circle: Seals
Element: Earth
Rupture: Befuddlement
Duration: Until Next Thursday
Skills: Conviction (+1), Intimidation (+1), Athletics (+5), Dodge (+2), Weapons (Teeth) (+2)
Description: These little house-cat sized imps with razor claws and enormous teeth can climb anywhere. They only attack inanimate matter. They can eat anything given enough time. While chowing down, the air is full of the sounds of mastication, gurgling, chewing, mashing, and general enthusiastic eating.

The Dark Governors of the Powers of Pestilence
Circle: Seals
Element: Water
Rupture: Capture – only the Summoner will incur the attack
Duration: 14 minutes
Skills: Conviction (+2), Presence (+2), Weapon (Gas) (+4)
Description: a gas cloud appears in the pentacle and dissipates into the atmosphere. Everyone in the radius of the gas except the Summoner smells the most horrible, foul odor imaginable. Those afflicted by the smell must survive an Endurance contest vs. the Gas Weapon of the Governors. Failing the contest, the victim is overcome with nausea, convulsions and vomiting. Victims may faint after being overcome. If the contract ruptures, only the Summoner is overcome with nausea.

The Minister of Peace, Clothed with Beryl
Circle: Pentacles
Element: Air
Rupture: Capture — the Summoner will be the only one targeted by the Summoning
Duration: 30 minutes
Skills: Conviction (+3), Presence (+3), Rapport (+3), Empathy (+4)
Description: The Minister is a fully sentient Summoning. He’s also fairly difficult to control once he appears. Nonetheless, the Minister of Peace is a translucent man with a sweet, rich, deep voice. When he speaks, no one can fight, either physically or verbally. He dismisses Sorcery, Summonings and Alchemical Formulae hanging in the air. His presence creates a feeling of love and friendship between all human beings and with nature in general. Once he establishes peace, he pronounces a 15 minute long sermon on the futility of hatred and disappears in a puff of smoke.

Sandolphon, Princess of the Ashim, Queen of the Wind Rose, Countess of the Cardinal Points
Circle: Pentacles
Element: Air
Rupture: The Nephilim takes boxes of Mental Stress and the Summoning leaves.
Duration: The time to execute one task.
Skills: Conviction (+6), Presence (+5), Rapport (+4), Scholarship (+7), Lore (+7)
Description: Sandolphon is a very beautiful winged woman with bluish hair and eyes. She wears a javelin, a sword, winged sandals, and a toga. Her presence is majestic and sensual.

Sandolphon can:

– Decipher any Air sorcery invocation and translate it for the caster into any language.

– Correct transcribed or otherwise partly ruined Summoning Rituals for other Summonings.

– Locate a Stasis, even if the owner is not Incarnate.

– Answer any question of human knowledge or history.

– Show the caster a one minute scene of anything happening anywhere at that time, but the Nephilim must stipulate the scene.

– Move objects through the air. She will move a human-sized object for free but she demands gifts of items of knowledge and wonder for greater weights.

Sandolphon will teach the caster “the Daughters of Lul of Faltenin,” the Summoning for her sword. It is a terrible instrument of destruction (Weapon: 6). She only teaches the Summoner the invocation of her sword if the Summoner is an Air Nephilim, has already concluded its pact with Sandolphon and agrees to never transcribe the Summoning for others.

The Summoner gains a +1 shift bonus to negotiating the Contract with Sandolphon if he offers her the gift of new written knowledge.

I’m not sure all my skills are working out great. They would need to be playtested a little. The rest seems to work, though.

Nephilim FATE Magic — Summoning Mechanics

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

How to Summon 101

1. Determine the Complexity of the Summoning.  This is the target Summoning’s Conviction.  If the Complexity is higher than the Summoner’s Lore, the Summoner must find ways to gain bonus shifts to equal to or overcome the Summoning’s Conviction.

  • If the Summoning’s Element is equal to the Summoner’s Element, the Summoner receives +1 shift to overcome Complexity.
  • If the Summoner is in a Plexus, the Summoner receives +1 shift to overcome Complexity.
  • If the Summoner is in a Nexus, the Summoner receives +2 shifts to overcome Complexity.
  • If the Summoner has a Focus, the Summoner may use the Focus to overcome Complexity.
  • If the Summoner has applicable Aspects, the Summoner may invoke the Aspects for proper shifts.

2. The Summoning arrives.  Social Combat begins.  Deceit, Intimidation and Rapport are typically used to attack; Empathy and Rapport to defend.  The player can throw other skills in for good measure during combat if they fit — Conviction and Discipline may get involved.  Presence modifies the stress track.

3. Rules for combat starts on page 197 of Dresden Files: Your Story.  This includes throwing in bribes, using Aspects, and giving gifts. The Summoner will exchange with the Summoned Attacks, Blocks and Maneuvers until one side or the other is Taken Out.

4. If the Summoned Creature is Taken Out, the Summoned Creature agrees to terms with the Summoned.  The creature carries out the contract.

5. If the Summoner is Taken Out, the Contract Ruptures.

Rupture

Should the Summoner fail the social contest with the Summoned, the Contract Ruptures and the Summoned has the upper hand.  Depending on the Conviction of the creature, the kind of Summoning, the level of failure against the Summoning, and the GM’s perchance for handing out pain, ruptures are from Gentlest to Harshest:

Disappearing: the creature returns to its plane of origin.

Immobility: the creature just sits there in the Pentacle during the entire duration of its Contract. It cannot be dismissed; it just sits there.

Flight: the creature escapes from the Pentacle and flies loose until its Contract expires.  It is fully visible to humans and Nephilim alike.

Befuddlement: the creature executes the Contract in the wrong way.

Attack: the creature turns its powers on the Summoner.  This begins Physical Combat between the Nephilim and the Summoned Creature.  Once the Nephilim defeats the creature, the Summoned returns to its home plane.

Capture: the creature turns its powers on the Summoner and begins Physical Combat as above.  Should the Summoned Creature Take Out the Summoner, the Summoned Creature will attempt to carry the Nephilim off to its home plane.

Possession: the creature turns its powers on the Summoner and begins Physical Combat as above.  Should the Summoned Creature Take Out the Summoner, the Summoned Creature will kick the Nephilim out of its Simulacrum and walk off with it.  The Nephilim must immediately find a new host body or return to its Stasis.  The Summoned Being in the Simulacrum may stay on the physical plane wreaking havoc until defeated.

Nephilim FATE Magic — Two Fisted Summoning

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Here’s a basic overview of how it works:

Summoning is different than Sorcery.  Sorcery is about reaching into the magical lines which wrap the world, exerting mental will, and forcing the magic to respond.  Either it works or the caster loses control and it flies everywhere.  Summoning is about having a conversation.

Drawing the Pentagram is the simple bit.  The Summoner references the right Pentagram in a dusty tome, finds the words, locates a good basement, and executes. If the strength of the Summoning Pentagram overcomes the will of the Summoned, the Summoned pops into the center of the Pentagram.  This almost always works if the Summoner is even passably good at this trick, has the right Stunts, and a half-way decent Lore.  Getting the Summoning to appear is a purely mechanical exercise.  A Summoner’s understanding contested against the Summoning’s willingness to show up.

And there stands a pissed off Summoning, trapped in a Pentagram, interrupted from whatever it was doing five seconds before, glaring at a Summoner and wondering if the Summoner is tasty on toast.  What happens next is a straight up social contest.  Talk fast, little Summoner, or else the thing standing there will reach for the ketchup.

Summoning moves into a haggle mode.  The Summoner can lie, can plead, can persuade, can use any social tools at its disposal.

The Summoner talks.

The Summoning listens.

Either the Summoning agrees to do what what Summoner wishes — one week, one day, one hour, one question, one task, whatever the Contract stipulates — or the Summoning ruptures.  The bigger the Summoning, the worst the Contract failure, the bigger the Rupture.  Ruptures are, as they say, bad.  How bad?  It depends on how big of a trick the Summoner was trying to pull.  Some Summoners quickly disappear, never to be seen again.

Should the Summoning agree to hang around and do something, sometimes for a price, the Summoner gets to walk off with said Summoning hanging around them invisibly and at their command.  Should Those who Creep and Nibble, a perfectly useful Assiah-plane, Seals-level, Earth-inclined Animal Summoning show up, and the Summoner cons them into sticking around and listening to him, the Summoner can order them to eat cars, couches, hats, deck chairs, holes in yachts, anything the Summoner wants consumed for a whole week.  Yay!

But fail to establish a Contract with the Procurators Whose Eyes are Basilisks or Ruby?  They like to force their Summoners to get on their knees and confess all their sins…

Stunt Refresh Cost

Summoning costs Refresh just like Sorcery.  Nephilim FATE has three levels of Summoning: Seals, Pentacles and Keys. These Stunts attach to the Lore skill.

First Circle Seals -2
Second Circle Pentacles -3
Third Circle Keys -5

Keys, the highest level, is very difficult to purchase in character generation. The rules reserve Master-level Summoning for NPCs, both good and bad. A character may purchase Seals and Pentacles in Character Generation.

Next up, flat out mechanics.