Magic

Introduction to Magic

The occult arts are alive and well at the start of the 20th century, and Europe is an epicentre of activity in those arts. Indeed, there are probably more practitioners now than ever, and they organise and commune in shared appreciation of their arts. Nonetheless, they remain part of the 'Mystery', the great informal masquerade that blankets the truth from wider society, a lesson that has been ingrained in occultists over centuries.

In 1912, most practitioners of the occult arts belong to one of three traditions.

  • Alchemy. The art of drawing magic out of the natural world and shaping it into concrete forms.
  • Evocation. The act of communing with spirits and supernatural entities, and forming pacts to use their power for one's own.
  • Hematurgy. The art of channelling one's own life essence into supernatural effects within their own body.

At the start of the game, a player may decide that their Operator will be an occultist; if they do so, they choose one of the three traditions above. Each has its own unique flavour and manifests in different ways, and they all have their own effects and areas of specialty, but they all follow a similar basic structure, outlined below.
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How Magic Works

Whilst the three Disciplines have their own specialisations and flairs, the fundamental rules are the same. The following section discusses Occult Ratings and Channelling.

  • Occult Rating is a representation of how powerful you are in the occult arts. It is a numerical value from 1 to 10.
  • Channelling is magic's core mechanic and is how you turn Occult Levels into tangible power.

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Occult Rating

Occult Rating (OR) is a standard measure of the arcane strength of an occultist. It is a trait that every occultist possesses, with a number from 1 to 10 (although some exceptionally powerful entities are higher than 10), eg. Occult Rating 1, Occult Rating 5. All Occultists start at Occult Rating 1.

What is Occult Rating used for? It directly determines how powerful you are. The higher your OR, the more power you can channel in the Channelling section, below.

OR works in the same way for all occultists. What is different, however, is how Occultists improve their Occult Rating. Each of the three disciplines improve their Occult Rating in different ways, reflecting the unique motivations of their disciplines.

  • Alchemists draw their power from ingredients, and from understanding those resources. The most resource-driven and scholastic of the disciplines, Alchemists improve their OR by finding rare ingredients and studying them.
  • Evokers draw their power by the spirits with which they commune. Based on careful negotiation and understanding others, Evokers improve their OR by finding and working with increasingly powerful spirits.
  • Hematurges draw their power by understanding the potency of their own life essence. Based on comprehending their own limits and deliberately pushing them through meditation or exertion, Hematurges improve their OR by overcoming great spiritual and physical challenges. They can also gain power through Linking to others.

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Channelling

Channelling is the core mechanic that makes magic work in the game. The way it works is as follows.

Magical effects are diverse, varied and in many ways, impossible to list in full. Many occultists instead try and categorise magical effects into one of five spheres based on what the spell affects and how it travels to the affected target.

  • Physical Magic: This sphere deals with magic being used directly, physically, on an object or another person. This usually requires a direct line of effect between you and the target- ie you usually have to see them or touch them. For example, a magical blast of fire would be Physical Magic, as would touching a wooden door to repair it. Using Physical Magic is almost always an action or a move.
  • Corpus Magic: This sphere deals with magic being used to create physical effects on your own body, instead of being projected outwards. Corpus Magic is usually channelled to augment or heal your own body. Using magic to increase your strength is a classic example. Corpus Magic is usually a passive effect that stems from channelling, but sometimes requires an action.
  • Mentalism: This sphere deals with magic that affects the minds of others, either directly (ie requires line of sight and effect) or indirectly (doesn't require line of sight or effect). For example, a telepathic message or a spell to inflict fear on others would be mentalism. Mentalism can be passive or require an action.
  • Spiritualism: This sphere deals with magic that has intangible effects on a location or person and can be direct or indirect. For example, a remote viewing spell would be spiritualism. Cursing someone with bad luck would also be spiritualism. Spiritualism can require an action or be passive.
  • Negation: This sphere deals with countering and cancelling magic. It allows you to defend yourself from magic, but also oppose or weaken magic elsewhere. For example, a spell to tear open magic wards around a churchyard would be negation, but opposing a rival caster trying to scry you would also be negation. Negation is usually passive, especially when used to oppose incoming spells, but can be an action when actively trying to destroy existing magic effects.

Each sphere counts as a Skill Focus in the Occultism skill, and when you use an action to activate a spell in that Focus, you test that Focus to cast it.

But how does magic work? You 'Channel' PP to the spheres. Each occultist has a pool of Power Points (PP), which is equal to their Occult Rating. So an Occult Rating of 3 gives the occultist 3 Power Points. You then allocate ('Channel') those PP across the five Spheres as you like. Each PP improves the potency of any spells cast in that Sphere by 1. So for example, a damaging Physical Magic spell will add PP to the total damage it outputs. The more PP, the more powerful the spell. You can only activate magic in a Sphere with at least one PP in it.

Channelling is a specific act performed by the occultist in-character, too, and the nature of the act changes based on the discipline.

  • Alchemists cannot channel PP at all without drinking a catalyst first. Catalysts allow them to channel their PP, and grants them access to their powers for a number of hours based on the quality of the catalyst, but at least 1 hour.
  • Evokers require an active pact with a spirit to channel PP. The pattern is based on that spirit, and so long as they have access to that spirit, they have access to that pattern of channelled PP. If an Evoker activates a different spirit, then they use the pattern of channelled PP associated with that spirit instead. Only one spirit can be active at once.
  • Hematurges always have access to their PP.

The pattern of PP you channel isn't permanent, though, and you can change where you channel your PP. Each occult discipline has its own rules as to when it can change its channel pattern.

  • Alchemists can reset their channelling by drinking another catalyst (which is usually a single action), which lets them freely change their PP patterns. This allows alchemists immense flexibility, but once they run out of catalysts, this flexibility drops dramatically.
  • Evokers can swap between their equipped spirits as a free action, although only once per round, and cannot swap to disabled spirits. Changing the actual pattern of a spirit is possible but requires a lengthy renegotiation on behalf of the Evoker, which can take hours. Thus, an Evoker has a good degree of flexibility between their spirits, but in a predictable way: they can't improvise on the fly.
  • Hematurges can rechannel their PP by meditating for a minute per PP. This is a simple, straightforward way of doing it, and whilst it doesn't allow for quick flexibility, it is pretty reliable and always accessible.

What each Sphere can explicitly do depends on the occult discipline. But generally each sphere, regardless of discipline, will have the following:

  • Physical Magic will always have some kind of offensive ability.
  • Corpus Magic will always have an augmentation ability that improves your scores and tests.
  • Mentalism will always have some kind of mental resistance ability.
  • Spiritualism will always have some kind of ability to sense enemy abilities.
  • Negation will always have some kind of ability to protect yourself from enemy magic.

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Surging

There will be times where you will need more power than basic channeling can provide, when situations are desperate and pushing your powers to the limit is the only answer. This is called Surging, and provides mighty benefits- but comes with a heavy cost.

At any time, even during another's turn, you can select a Sphere to Surge. You can surge as many Spheres as you want at once, but can only surge each Sphere once at the same time. Surging grants you the following bonuses: until the end of your turn (or your next turn if done when not on your turn), you count the PP channelled to that sphere as being doubled. When that effect ends, you reduce the PP channelled into that sphere by one. This PP is lost until you perform an occult maintenance action during your Private Turn.
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Rituals

Rituals are advanced, complicated uses of an Occult Discipline. Each Discipline has its own list of Rituals, although this list is exhaustive and the character may make their own with GM's permission. Rituals all have the following:

  • They require you to spend a Private Turn Action to use.
  • They have special prerequisites, such as materials or certain actions or skill levels.
  • They require more than one Test.

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Familiars

Familiars are agents of an Occultist, often fantastical in nature, that serve the Occultist and their desires. Familiars are sometimes characters in their own right and sometimes mindless extensions of the Occultist's will. Familiars are highly useful, and more than that act like a status symbol to many Occultists. Each Discipline has its own type of Familiar, with rules on how to acquire them below.
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Alchemy

As Above, So Below.
Key Score: Intelligence
Alchemy is the art of understanding the magic within the natural (and unnatural) world. There is a little bit of magic in everything, and sometimes a lot of magic in a few things. Plants, animals, even places can have a magic to them. Alchemists become the masters of sensing this magic. The natural world, however, is full of potential but not much active energy. It is the role and duty of the alchemists to transform this latent energy into an active form, one that can have effects on the world.

That right there is the key ethos of the Alchemist: they *transform* things. They transform ingredients into power, then use that power to transform themselves and the world around them. To be an Alchemist is to see everything as being in a temporary form, one that can be… Harnessed. One that can be improved. For Alchemists, their art is a sacred march towards inevitable progress, one affecting not just themselves but the entire world.

Alchemy is often nicknamed the Science of the Occult, because they are focused on understanding things, and also because Alchemy is highly prescriptive and straightforward. Alchemists know that if you mix an exact set of ingredients in the exact same way, you'll get the exact same result every time. To this end, Alchemists are prone to record keeping, experimentation and testing hypotheses, very much like the mundane scientists developing new marvels in their laboratories. Because of this, Alchemists ought to be detail-oriented and intelligent, the better to create their wonderful elixirs.

Out of all of the Disciplines, the Alchemists are the ones who are most materialistic. They tend to be heavily focused around changing the outside world and themselves. Alchemists are also the most talented at creating and empowering items to make them powerful.

The key instrument of the Alchemist is the Catalyst. This is a special liquid, often held in a capsule, that when taken, infuses the Alchemist's body with power. How that power forms depends on the preparations the Alchemist takes when making the Catalyst as well as the ingredients. One of the ingredients is, invariably, a drop of blood from the Alchemist themselves. This means that a Catalyst is bound to the Alchemist, and will only work when taken by the creator.

An Alchemist grows in power by expanding their knowledge. The more access to rare ingredients, parts and places, the more opportunities the Alchemist has to study them. It is only by understanding the ingredient that the Alchemist can draw out its power, and only by that can the Alchemist expand their repertoire of ability.
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How Alchemists Channel

Alchemists Channel their Power Points by consuming a Catalyst. The Alchemist decides how their PP is channelled when they take the Catalyst, not when they make it; this is an OOC conceit, and allows the Alchemist to assume that they had prepared the Catalyst just so for this situation.

An Alchemist must devote one of their Private Actions each turn to maintaining their Alchemy. This provides the Alchemist with a number of Catalysts equal to their Occult Rating. Catalysts lose their energy quickly, and so an Alchemist may not carry over any leftover Catalysts from the precious Private Turn.

Catalysts, when taken, allow the Alchemist to channel their PP; they cannot use their powers until they take one. A Catalyst provides an Alchemist with power for a number of hours equal to the Alchemist's Occult Rating.

The Alchemist can rechannel their PP by taking another Catalyst.
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How Alchemists Grow

Alchemists grow by gaining access to rare ingredients or access to special places of nature. Rare ingredients or locations will have an Alchemy Value. Once they have acquired or reached such a place, they may make a Test as part of their Private Turn to understand the ingredient or location. This requires the Alchemist to make an Alchemy or Academics (Alchemy) test. Should the Alchemist pass the Test, then their OR increases by one. However, they take a number of Disadvantages to the test equal to the Alchemy Value of their subject of study.

Alchemists must study ingredients or locations in order of Alchemy Value. For example, an Alchemist with an Occult Rating of 1 can only study an ingredient or location with an Alchemy Value of 2. They may keep rarer ingredients, but the Alchemist is not quite ready to understand them yet.

An Alchemist's OR can only grow by one per Private Turn. Furthermore, if the Alchemist is studying a location, then they must spend a significant portion of their time at that location. This may be offscreen, but it might hinder the logistics of the team.
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Alchemists and the Spheres

The following section is an exploration of how Alchemists operate in each Sphere.

Alchemists are focused on transformation and refinement. They can reinforce existing things, and change things into other things. They excel at improving the world around them. However, their focus is heavily physical and intangible magic is a weakness for the Alchemist.
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Alchemic Physical Magic

By channelling into Physical Magic, Alchemists can alter the physical characteristics of the world around them. Most of these require the Alchemist to touch an object with bare skin, usually a hand. This manifests in the following abilities:

False Transmutation (1 PP)
Alchemists can, by spending an Action, enact a 'False Transmutation' on an object that they can touch. By touching an object, they can temporarily shape its nature. They can change its shape (such as making it longer or shorter) or change its temperature, even force a state change depending on the object. They can do this in whichever way they think is sensible, but there are some limitations.

  • An Alchemist must be touching the object in question. They can transmute parts of an object- so for example, if an Alchemist is touching a wall, they can transmute part of the wall 20 metres away. But there must be continuity between the object and the affected point, they must be the same material, and must be within 10*OR metres of you.
  • You may alter the atomic structure of an object, changing, say, iron into silver, or silver into gold, but you can only alter an object based on its periodic group (metal to metal, gas to gas etc), and you can only shift them one square on the standard periodic table per PP, with diagonals counting as 1.
  • Compounds may be separated into their base elements. You may also refine an item (iron into steel) or combine elements into a common compound.
  • You may not transmute inorganic into organic, or organic into inorganic.
  • If the target is a living target, they may evade you as normal. This means a physical evasion (dodging) or a magical one (negation)
  • You can only affect 10*PP kilograms at once.
  • You can only change temperature at a rate of 5 degrees celsius per PP.
  • The False Transmutation begins undoing itself after 1*PP rounds.

Reinforcement (1 PP)
Alchemists can spend an Action to temporarily reinforce an object. Reinforcement is explicitly about making an object better at doing something it can already do, and making it more resistant to breaking. Like False Transmutations, Reinforcement relies on you touching an object. Reinforcement is not about changing an object's shape, but simply charging it with energy that reinforces its nature. Effects and limitations are below.

  • Reinforcement makes items more durable. They take 1 less damage per PP.
  • Weapons improve their damage by 1 point per 2 PP.
  • Armour improves its AP by 1 on all levels per 2 PP.
  • Weapons and Armour gain a Tier 1 Quality every 2 PP, a Tier 2 Quality every 4 PP and a Tier 3 Quality every 5 PP.
  • Other items count as one Artistry level higher per 2 PP.
  • Reinforcements begin undoing themselves after 2*PP rounds.
  • An object can only benefit from one type of Reinforcement at the same time, and if it has more than one type of Reinforcement, it benefits from the one used with the highest OR.

Repair Object (1 PP) (Passive)
Alchemists can use their Alchemic power to repair damaged objects. For every 1 PP you have in Physical Magic, you gain an Advantage on any and all tests to repair a vehicle or object. Furthermore, the action takes less time by one order of magnitude- hours becomes minutes, minutes become Actions.

Alchemic Slam (1 PP)
An Alchemist Slam is the name given to when an Alchemist uses a false transmutation to strike an enemy. For example, making a wall turn into a fist to punch a target. It is an action, and counts an attack that rolls off Melee or Intelligence; it counts as a melee attack and can be parried. It deals Damage equal to the Alchemist's Intelligence. It has no Qualities, but has the following effects and limitations:

  • The Slam works off the same rules as a False Transmutation: so an Alchemist can target something at a distance, but only if there is continuity between the object the Alchemist is touching and the affected point, and they must be the same material, and they must be within 10*PP metres of you.
  • The Slam gains Qualities based on the material. Generally speaking, stone, brick and other very hard substances gain Concussive or Knockdown; metal or other brittle or jagged substances gain Tearing or Cracking; pliable or organic materials like vine, wood or plastic gain Flexible. There are others besides.
  • The Slam can count as any kind of melee weapon, but only ever one type.
  • The Slam gains 1 damage per 2 PP.
  • The Slam additionally gains an extra Tier 1 Quality per 2 PP, a Tier 2 Quality every 4 PP and a Tier 3 Quality every 5 PP.
  • Slams do not create any effects on the changed terrain.

Alchemic Bolt (1 PP)
An Alchemist Bolt is the standard name to an Alchemist creating a long range magic attack by channelling energy through the air or transmuting the air into something explosive. It is an action, and counts as an attack that rolls off Ballistic or Intelligence. It deals Damage equal to the Alchemist's Intelligence. It has a range of PP*20m and travels through the air like a ranged, ballistic attack and can be dodged accordingly. It has no Qualities, but has the following effects and limitations:

  • The Bolt can gain Qualities based on atmospheric effects in the air through which it travels. Highly incendiary gases might force the Bolt to gain the Blast Quality or the Flaming Quality; toxic gases might make the attack gain the Tiring Quality, for example.
  • The Bolt can count as any kind of ranged weapon, but only ever one type.
  • The Bolt gains 1 damage per 2 PP.
  • The Bolt additionally gains an extra Tier 1 Quality per 2 PP, a Tier 2 Quality per 4 PP and a Tier 3 Quality per 5 PP.
  • Bolts do not create any effects on the changed atmosphere.

Alchemic Stitching (2 PP) (Passive)
Alchemic Stitching is when one focuses their Alchemic powers on healing injuries. For every 2 PP you have in Physical Magic, you gain an Advantage on any and all Medicine tests to heal injuries, blunt trauma and physical harm.

Alchemic Flaying (3 PP)
Alchemic Flaying is the term given to the grisly act of trying to harmfully transmute someone's body offensively. It is an unarmed Melee attack that rolls off Melee. It deals damage equal to your Intelligence, and ignores Toughness. It always has the Tearing and Tiring (IB) Qualities.

  • The Flaying gains 1 damage per 2 PP.
  • The Flaying additionally gains an extra Tier 1 Quality per 2 PP, a Tier 2 Quality per 4 PP and a Tier 3 Quality per 5 PP.

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Alchemic Corpus Magic

By channelling into Corpus Magic, Alchemists can alter the physical characteristics of their bodies. This manifests in the following abilities:

Alchemic Augmentation (1 PP) (Passive)
For each point of PP put into Corpus Magic, the Alchemist gains 1 rank of Unnatural Score. The Alchemist may spread these Scores out as they like, and may only change them when they rechannel their PP. If they Surge a PP, then all values are doubled as well.

Alter Appearance (1 PP)
The Alchemist can alter their own appearance, making themselves taller, shorter, or changing their facial features, voice or body features. This has the following effects and limitations:

  • The changes last for PP Minutes.
  • This can give an Alchemist traits based on appearance, such as Unspeakably Ugly.
  • Mass must be conserved.
  • When it comes to changing height, you can alter your height by 10cm per PP.
  • If attempting to mimic someone specifically, then you test Corpus Magic or Disguise against individuals trying to scrutinise you, with advantages based on how well you know the subject's body, plus 1 per 3 PP.

Unnatural Biology (2 PP)
The Alchemist can grant themselves physical changes that are inhuman or unnatural. They may select a number of changes equal to 1 per 2 PP. This has the following effects and limitations:

  • The change lasts for PP Minutes.
  • This can give an Alchemist a trait based on limbs, such as Multiple Arms or Legs, at a rank of 1 per 2 PP.
  • This can give an Alchemist a Natural Weapon, or the Toxic quality.
  • This can grow wings or some other kind of flying ability, but because the Alchemist's human body is not meant for flight, this only grants the Hover trait, with a rank of 1 per 2 PP. If the Alchemist has 4 PP or more in Unnatural Biology, they gain the Flight trait instead, with a rank of 1 per 4 PP.
  • This can grant a Sensory quality, such as Dark Sight or Sonar Sense.
  • This can grant the Alchemist the Aquatic or Amphibious Quality, with a rank equal to 1 per 2 PP.

Evolved Consumption (2 PP) (Passive)
The Alchemist can consume food and drink just by touching it; they do not need to resort to the basic human eating process. This is, of course, disgusting to witness and has no taste, but it's painless, and allows the Alchemist better control over filtering out toxins and impurities. For every 2 PP invested into Corpus Magic, you gain an Advantage on resisting toxins, poisons, drugs or other such things when you consume food through Evolved Consumption.
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Alchemic Mentalism

By channelling into Mentalism, Alchemists can protect their minds and affect others. Mentalism is something of a weakness for Alchemists, as it moves away from their physical focus.

Scramble Thought Patterns (1 PP)
The Alchemist can scramble another's thought patterns by touching them and using low-level alchemy to cause mental havoc. This is an action against a touched target, and is a Mentalism test opposed by their Willpower/Fortitude/Resist Mentalism. On a success, the target becomes confused and forgetful for a number of rounds equal to your PP.

Alter Emotion (2 PP) (Passive)
The Alchemist can change another's emotions by performing low-level alchemy affecting their heart, neurotransmitters and thoughts. They have to be touching the target to do so, but for every 2 PP channelled into Mentalism, the Alchemist gains an Advantage to affect the target's emotions, which includes removing fear, panic, enraging or other emotional states.

Filter Invasive Thoughts (2 PP) (Passive)
The Alchemist can perform rapid low-level alchemy on their own mind to shield it from unnatural intrusion. For every 2 PP in Mentalism, you gain an Advantage to resist Mentalist attacks and intrusions.
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Alchemic Spiritualism

By channelling into Spiritualism, an Alchemist can improve their mystic senses. Like Mentalism, the physical focus of Alchemy makes spiritualism a weak spot for Alchemy.

Sense Alchemy (1 PP) (Passive)
Alchemists can sense alchemy when it is used, at a range equal to PP kilometres.

Alchemic Tremor Sense (1 PP)
Alchemists can touch a surface and focus their senses to detect anything else touching that surface, within 20*PP metres of the touched location.
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Alchemic Negation

Alchemists can channel Negation in order to protect themselves from magic and counter-spell other casters. Alchemists are especially skilled at blocking spiritualist magic.

Grounding (1 PP) (Passive)
Alchemists can resist unwanted magic by connecting themselves to the earth, creating a conduit that channels the harmful magical energy into the earth. For every PP channelled into Negation, Alchemists gain Advantage to resist Spiritualism, as well as Physical Magic that doesn't deal damage. Direct-damage attacks must be avoided through evasion as normal.

Cancel Alchemy (1 PP) (Passive)
Alchemists can oppose other Alchemists attempting to influence objects around them. If an opposed Alchemist is trying to alter an object that you are also eligible to alter (or would be very easily, ie. Being next to a wall that you could touch in a second), then you can oppose their test with a Physical Magic test. This counts as an evasion test, so takes away your chance to dodge or parry.

Dismiss Local Spells (2 PP)
Alchemists can locate permament enchantments on a location and counter them with a Negation test, with an Advantage per 2 PP. The Alchemist must be touching something with line of alchemic effect to the area, and no more than PP*10 metres away. This will dismiss weaker enchantments. More powerful enchantments will only be suppressed for PP minutes. Each time the Alchemist attempts this spell on the same enchantment within the same Private Turn, they take a stacking Disadvantage.
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Alchemic Rituals

The following is a list of common Alchemic Rituals. These Rituals are not exhaustive and many Alchemists make their own Rituals. Rituals require Private Turns to use, and often require tests and resources as well.

Opus of the Hollow Servant

Tests: Physical Magic, Corpus Magic, Spiritualism
Prerequisites: Alchemy Level 2
Ingredients: 30+ kilograms of a solid material, usually clay, iron or stone, and a power source

The Opus of the Hollow Servant is a ritual by which an Alchemist creates a simple Alchemic familiar, known as an Automaton. Automata are unthinking creatures, animated by alchemy and unswervingly loyal to the Alchemist. Automata are programmable, and thus can be relied on to do exactly as they're told. They're also expendable. In essence, they have all of the benefits of an understudy and none of the downsides!

The first step to making an Automaton is to gather the materials. The material should be something that can be worked into a hard, strong material- materials that humans use to build things out of is a good fit, although material that used to be alive, like wood, is shunned as it can contaminate the results. You need at least 30 kilograms of that material to act as the body of the Automaton. Then, you must construct a hermetic circle, wide enough to include the entire body of the Automaton within it, with alchemic formulas inscribed within to animate objects and bind them to your will.

How you design the Automaton is up to you, but generally the Automaton has a shape mimicking an animal or basic humanoid structure. Designing hinges or anatomy is not necessary as the magic will allow the Automaton to bend regardless. Generally speaking, the more material you have available, the larger and more sophisticated you can make the Automaton. All Automata start with the basic characteristics, which assumes 30 kilograms of clay:

  • Scores of 20 in every field. Wounds are calculated as normal.
  • The Machine and Size 3 traits.
  • No skills or talents.
  • No ability to use magic, but they can always assist their master's rituals and magic tests.

Making an Automaton out of iron or other such substance will improve the Strength and Toughness to 30, whilst making it out of stone or something similar will improve the Strength and Toughness to 40 but reduce the Agility to 10. You may then customise your Automaton in the following ways:

  • For every extra 10kg of material, you can increase one of the following scores (Strength, Toughness, Agility) by 5, to a maximum of 60.
  • For every extra 20kg of material, you can give it a rank in: multiple arms, multiple legs, or a Natural Weapon.
  • By adding gemstones to the Automaton, you can improve its Perception and Fellowship by 5 depending on the rarity and quality of the gemstone.
  • By adding at least 100g of gold, silver, ivory or some other precious object to the Automaton, you can improve its Fellowship by 5 per material.

At this point, you must set a number of DoS for the Automaton; this will determine its quality and how long it takes to make. 5 is the minimum, and for every 5 extra DoS you may add one of the following:

  • A lifelike human appearance, down to feeling human to touch.
  • A simulacra of a human personality, which is not to be mistaken for the ability to learn unaided.
  • A number of skill focuses equal to the Alchemist's Intelligence Bonus. If the focus is a skill the Alchemist does not possess, that uses up two focuses instead.
  • A magical focus allowing you to see through the Automaton's eyes and always count it as something you are touching for the purpose of alchemy
  • A stand-in for one of the 'extra material' effects.

Alchemists often have shorthand names for the template their Automaton fulfills. A list of these names is below:

  • Golem. An automaton designed for combat, often big, blunt and intimidating. High strength and toughness, combat skills and endurance.
  • Robot. A utility automaton, especially designed for assisting in skills and magic. High intelligence and perception, utility skills.
  • Galatea. An automaton designed to blend into social situations as a spy, negotiator or stand-in for the alchemist. High perception and fellowship, social skills.

Finally you need a power source. The simplest source is one of your Catalysts, but if this is the case, then any Private Turn in which your Automaton is used, you must sacrifice a catalyst to power it. Other power sources are available, such as alchemic batteries or infused crystals.

You must then test Physical Magic. You only may test this once for each Private Action you put towards the Ritual. Count all of your DoS together; if they equal or surpass the target then you have made the body. If you have not reached the target, then mark down how many DoS you hit. You may spend another Private Action at a later time to continue where you left off, with those DoS accumulated.

Once that is successful, you must then pass a Corpus Magic test to bind the Automaton to your will; once that is complete, you then perform a Spiritualism test to awaken within the Automaton a pale simulacrum of awareness, just enough so that it can execute your will and remember its programming. Should you fail either test, you must start both tests again. If you fail either test by 4 Degrees of Failure or more, then it damages the Automaton, and you must redo the Physical Magic test with 5 DoS left on the clock.

Should all tests finally be complete, then the Automaton is ready to be programmed. It is assumed that it will be programmed to perform its tasks with reasonable efficiency, but it may be given a number of high-priority tasks: specific tasks it has extra-advanced programming on. When performing this programming it acts smarter and gains an Advantage to the test. It can have a number of these high-priority tasks equal to its Intelligence Bonus.
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