Since the Shattering there has been magic in the world. Unfortunately most of it is extremely strong and tends to break the frail sanity of humans. This is ritual magic and is better left to the hands of NPCs.
It wasn’t always this way. There used to be humans who had psionic abilities and could do magic. The Shattering targetted them and they either died or ascended. In either case, most of them are no longer with us.
However, along with the return of our darker legends came a form of magic that humans could use relatively safely. Pehaps this is merely psionic powers adapting to the changed circumstances. Or maybe the increased magic available allowed a new type of magic.
(Note: much of this was inspired by a combination of RuneQuest shamans and mystics.)
This magic, which I call Mysticism, involves communing with spirits, inscreasing one’s own abilities, and converting one’s own life force into fairly small magic abilities.
What are Spirits?
Mystic scholars would probably say that spirits are creatures who live on a different plane of conciousness who are incomplete in that almost all of them lack souls. A telepath, if you could find one today, might say that they are irritating non-physical ktelepathic entities on the order of a Terran mouse. A philosopher might say that they are a part of nature; they are all around us and yet we cannot sense them.
A lot of words to talk about a creature that most of us cannot sense and that do not bother us. Or do they? Perhaps they communicate with us in our dreams. Maybe they feed on our life force somehow. Who knows?
After the Shattering, the first thing that Mystics were known to do was to communicate and control spirits. The Mystics claimed that yes, some rare spirits did feed on our life force. Some of these fed on our fears during dreams, some of them fed on us more directly causing sickness, and some of them fed from human (or rather sophant) worship. Most of them, however didn’t care about things on the physical plane.
Aside from spiritual pest control, Mystics have other abilities. They are those people who have studied for many long years to gain control of their souls, minds, and bodies — allowing them to do normal tasks at a superhuman level and sometimes to do tasks that seem impossible to a normal person.
When I think of this, I think of the original show Kung Fu, or perhaps Dragon Ball Z.
However, while there are warrior mystics, there are also those who study and master such abilities as the control over gravity and time (The Brotherhood of the Blue Star). And then there are the Order of the Void (AKA the Void Mages) who study Astrogation and Piloting and whose talents include Absolute Direction (they can feel the universe and know their place in it) and Skill Augmentation of Higher Mathematics.
The planet Ryzwozki of the system of the same name is the home of most of these mystic brotherhoods.
Becoming a Mystic
To become a mystic one must join path (Brotherhood, School, College, etc.) early in life, usually around 5 years old. After this it is believed that one is too old to learn everything required.
There is usually an initial test of End and Int such as obeying an order to stand and wait until needed, and if they haven’t been continually standing for a day, they are dismissed.
There are oaths taken at various times. The oaths include loyalty to the path, loyalty to the fellow members, obedience to rules and superiors, upholding the values and ideals of the path, putting the path before one’s personal goals, and to keep any of the path’s secret’s safe.
The two key skills of the mystics are Meditation and Mysticism. Meditation allows them to concentrate and open their whole mind to increase their effective Int/Edu. While they may not be more intelligent than a normal person, they can
focus their entire mind on a single issue. Mysticism allows them to use their special abilities and the level in this skill + Cha is the limit to the number of abilities they can know.
Magic Points and Magic
Powering magic requires using magic points. A mystic can get magic points from several sources that he may have available to him.
- His Life Force
A mystic has a pool of Magic Points (MP) equal to his Cha to power magic, temporarily lowering the pool by one point to use one MP. The Cha returns at a rate of one every six hours starting from when they last used magic.
- Stored Cha
A mystic may store Cha on the spirit plane. This requires losing a point of Cha permanently to gain one additional stored magic point. The mystic may use these points for magic the say way they would use their Cha, without lowering his personal magic pool. This temporarily lowers the stored Cha by one point for each point used. This pool of stored Cha returns at one point per two hours. If the mystic wishes, he can add half his stored Cha to his Cha for the purpose of Personals.
- From a Bound Spirit or Fetch
A mystic may have a spirit that is bound to him by force, loyalty, or a deal. The mystic may use the magic points from the spirit, but he may not use the last one (that would destroy the spirit. A Fetch is a “spirit twin” created by the mystic to be their avatar on the spirit plane; the fetch has other abilities, but it can give the mystic magic points like a normal spirit even unto its last point.
- Other Mystics
It is possible for a circle of mystics all concentrating on helping another mystic to give the target mystic 1 MP for each member of the circle. These points come from the individual Cha of each mystic in the circle and return normally.
It is possible, though difficult, for non-mystics to give a mystic some power. The group must be using meditation, praayer, or other way of concentrating to help the mystic. The mystic gets log10 (truncate) of the number of people concentrating to help him. They must be concentrating while he asks for their power.
Necromancy is powerful. Each sophant sacrificed gives 1d6 extra MP to be put temporarily ito the mystic’s stoted pool. If the sacrifice is willing, then they give 2d6 MP. If the sacrifice is another mystic, then there is another 1d6 MPs. Mediums sized animals give one point apiece.
Magic and Charisma
Charisma is not just something that effects how people feel about you, it is the force of life within you. People with high Cha are “bubbling over with life” and this can be felt by people around them. And magic is one use of the life force.
Each “path” or school of mysticism has its own talents and skills. For example The Brotherhood of the Blue Star focuses on gravity and their school is on an island of floating islands. The talents acquired tend to focus on gravity, earth, and senses.
To use magic, the mystic must will the magic to happen, and use both a verbal utterance and physical movement to cause this to happen. The utterance and movement are ways to allow the magic to move more easily from the spirit to the physical. If necessary, they can be bypassed at a cost of increasing the magic’s difficulty by 1 for each item bypassed.