Shadows of Fate
Onmyōdō, or “The Way of Yin and Yang” is the magic of Sekai. Based on philosophies of Five Elements and Yin and Yang, it is a way for humans to interact with the spirit world. It’s practitioners are known as Onmyōji.
The basis of Onmyodo comes from the five elements of nature – called the Godai – Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, and Void. These elements describe the connections between varous fundamental essences of existence. Each is representative of an outlook on life or a style of doing things, and not as much the classical elements themselves. Each element governs two schools of magic – called the “Arcana”. In these pairings, one arcanum represents the Yin of the element – the subtle, shadowy, and feminine – while the other represents the Yang – vibrant, bright, and masculine.
To become an Onmyoji, a character most make it a part of their High Concept aspect, and spend one refresh on the stunt “Onmyodo”. You then may choose an element .You gain access to casting spells from that element, and you can cast spells from other elements at the cost of 2 mental stress. This element is your “Governing Element” – and it should be so in your role playing as well. Finally, you may now purchase ranks in the Onmyodo arcanums, explained below.
The Arcane Ladder
For magic, it’s difficult to say what should constitute a “mediocre”, “fair”, or “legendary” spell. Hence, we have the arcane ladder, ranking the difficulty of spells according to the sort of effect they might produce. Simply add together the factors of the spell in each column to determine the difficulty for casting. The consensus of the group comes first. This is only a guideline.
This table is only for static targets, so Attack, Defend, and Recover will be addressed seperately. Generally, this table will be used for Overcome or Create an Advantage.
Divinations provide sensory perceptions or knowledge about sumthing under an arcanum’s domain. Commands involve pressing an existing being or phenomenon to do your will. Alterations change the essence of a target. Abjurations protect something within or from an arcanum’s domain. Destructions remove obstacles. Creations summon things that are not present, either by creating them or calling them from afar.
Complexity is a subjective matter. Creating a solid block of iron would be fairly simple. Creating a Katana would be complex. Changing a Hunger Kami to a Thirst Kami would be simple. Changing a Hunger Kami to a Rock Kami would be complex. Warding a room against all human beings would be simple, warding against all human beings from Kagoshima named Tetsuya would be complex. And so on.
Connection is a measure of the caster’s metaphysical distance from the target. Normally, the caster needs to at least be able to see a target in order to cast a spell. However, mages who master Sympathetic Magic (a stunt) can cast spells on targets they cannot see by holding a part of the target (a lock of hair, a branch of a tree) or personal item owned by the target. Casting by knowledge alone is more difficult, but not impossible. Of course, a failure could mean the spell targets someone or something entirely different.
|Practice||Targets||Size||Connection (* with stunt only)||Complexity||Duration|
|+0||Divination||self||cat||touch (same zone)||simple||scene|
|+1||Abjuration||1 target||human||sight (nearby zone)||session|
|+2||Destruction||room full||car||personal item*||story|
|+3||Command||building full||house||intimate knowledge*||moderate||permanent|
|+4||Alteration||town full||airplane||second-hand knowledge*|
Ofuda is a small charm that can be hung in a home (or an amulet called an Omamori which offers personal protection) that aids in warding an protection. Using one in an Abjuration reduces the difficulty by one.
Maho-Tsukai are Onmyoji who learned a secret art of Blood Magic – an art originally taught by Oni. Part of this technique involves permanently etching a tattoo on ones skin. The ink is made with liquefied taint itself – effectively permanently tainting the Onmyoji. Once this is done, however, the caster can empower their spells by using their own blood. It is said there are powerful Maho-Tuskai who can even us the blood of others to power foul rituals. To become a Maho-Tuskai, one must take an aspect declaring so. They then must spend 1 refresh to take the stunt Blood Magic. Additionally, they gain one rank of Taint.
|Onmyodo||Onmyoji aspect||Select an element. You are now an Onmyoji, and can cast spells from that element at no cost. You may cast spells from another element at the cost of 2 mental stress per casting.|
|Extra Element||Onmyodo stunt||You may select a second Governing Element. Casting spells from this element now only costs 1 mental stress.|
|Sympathetic Magic||1 rank in Space||You can cast spells at targets outside your line of sight based on possession of a part or trinket owned by them, or even just knowledge of the target.|
|Earthly Craftsmanship||1 rank in Matter||Can use Matter in place of Prime to create an artifact.|
|Brew Potion||1 rank in Life||Life spells can be brewed into a potion. If so, the “permanent” duration cost is reduced to +1|
|Temporal Magic||1 rank in Time||Can cast a spell with a time delay, such that it triggers at a particular time in the future.|
|Dreamweaving||1 rank in Mind||Reduce the difficulty of any spell on a sleeping target by 2.|
|Arcane Technician||1 rank in Force||Can use Force in place of Lore or Craft for rolls involving mechanics.|
|Counsel of the Spirits||1 rank in Spirit||Can use Spirit in place of Intuition to recover a mental consequence. Can be performed on yourself as well.|
|Ritual Magic||1 rank in Fate||Can reduce the difficulty of a spell by 2 by spending half a day preparing and executing a ritual.|
|Rebuke Death||1 rank in Death||Can use Death to recover from consequences involving physical injury or weakening effects.|
|Countermagic||1 rank in Prime||+2 to defense rolls against any magic or supernatural ability when using Prime.|
|Blood Magic||Maho-tsukai aspect||Take a mild or moderate physical consequence, representing your sacrifice of blood. Add +2 or +4, respectively, on your next Onmyodo skill roll.|
Below are some sample spells. These are not by any means meant to be comprehensive – just an idea. You are free to create your own spells with the guidelines above.
Earth represents our connection to this realm, to living things and the matter that surrounds them. Onmyoji with a connection to the earth tend toward stubbroness, traditional thinking, and a focus on the collective good. They are conservative in their views, resistant to change. They also tend to be the most physical of casters, mixing their own skills in athletics or martial arts into their rituals.
The stone, resolute, remains calm and unperturbed in rushing waters.
Matter has dominion over soil, water, metal, air, and other kinds of non-living substances. The alchemist’s arcanum.
Curse of Steel [Attack, physical] – The enemy’s weapon explodes in a shower of shrapnel.
Saintly Robes [Defend] – The Onmyoji’s clothing becomes as hard as iron.
Sense Weakness [Divination (0)] – find the weakest point in a structure in order to destroy it more easily.
Cruel Master’s Training Sword [Alteration (2)] – Make a piece of wood as strong as steel, and a much deadlier weapon.
Zone of Nature [Abjuration (6)] – Protect a temple so that no man-made materials may enter.
Heaven’s Craftsman [Creation (7)] – Create complex machinery out of nothing
Life magic has dominion over animals, plants, disease, evolution, and healing. The physician’s arcanum.
Wrath of Nature [Attack, physical] – snakes slither out from the shadows to attack the victim.
Scales of Steel [Defend] – The onmyoji develops thick scales to deflect attacks.
Touch of Heaven [Recovery, Physical] – a touch closes wounds and relieves pain.
Rapid Growth [Command (1)] – Brambles grow up to inhibit an enemy’s movement.
Plague [Alteration (3)] – A touched human being contracts a disease.
Aquatic Form [Alteration (4)] – Grow gills and webbed digits for swimming.
Mighty Serpent [Creation (10)] – Summon a celestial dragon.
Water is the element of endless, flowing change. Of things without form or substance. Take it once in your hand, and it is gone in an instant, but its power can raze cities or foster future life. Mentally, it is the acceptance of life’s constant changes, a oneness with the flow of things. Onmyoji of water are adaptable, rarely surprised by the vicissitudes of life, but frightfully powerful when roused to anger. They are rarely found in leadership positions, but take readily to working with others.
The leaf floats softly on rushing river waters as bough and branch snap.
Time magic has dominion over the past, present, and future, acelleration and decelleration. The oracle’s arcanum.
Flow of TIme [Attack, Physical] – accelerate the passage of time, tiring a foe.
Stop the Sands [Defend] – move an instant into the future to avoid an attack.
Kaerimiru (Look Back) [Divination (0)] – watch the last minute of activity over again.
Fleet of Foot [Alteration (2)] – Your body and mind move faster.
Rewind [command (5)] – everyone in your zone replays the last round of combat.
Scroll of Futures [Divination (7)] – see into the web of possible futures for the world.
Time Gate [Creation (8)] – Open a rift in time to walk through. Requires an object from the target time.
Space has dominion over scrying, teleportation, wards, and summoning. The Traveler’s arcanum.
Forced Teleportation [Attack, Physical} – shunt the target into another area, hurting him with the environment.
Zeno’s Paradox [Defend] – Projectiles appear to draw ever nearer to you, but never quite make it.
Scrying – [Divination (3)] – Open a window to a distant location known to you. Anything on the other side can see you just as easily, though.
Infinite Bag [Alteration (2)] – Make a container connect to a distant holding area for near-infinite storage.
The Essence of Nothingness [Destruction (7)] – an area the size of a house ceases to be. Everything inside is pushed out.
Portal [Creation (8)] – Open a rift in space to walk through. Requires an object from the location.
Fire governs the dynamic, the forceful. It is the sudden outburst that rends asunder and the pounding heat that drives men mad. It is passion, drive, desire, and firmness of intention. The Onmyoji of fire are readily known by the intensity of their gaze and the zeal in their words. They are born leaders, rarely content to do as others have done, charging headlong into the fires of hell without thought of peril.
Flames of men’s passions, burning for but a moment. Ah, but how brightly!
Mind magic has dominion over mind control, telepathy, mental prjoections, imagination, and hallucinations. The mind-reader’s arcanum.
Mind Control [Attack, Mental] –gain control of a subject.
Mind Reading [Attack, Mental] – read the contents of a subject’s mind.
Mental Bulwark [Defend] – block others from using mind control against you.
Surface Ripples [Divination (0)] – Get a sense of the “zeitgeist” around you.
Parallel Processing [Alteration (2)] – Perform multiple mental actions simultaneously.
Zone of Peace [Abjuration (6)] – bar hostile intentions inside of a given building.
Locus of Hate [Creation (7)] – Creates a cloud that instills feelings of hate.
Force magic has dominion over energy and forces – light, sound, electricity, radiation, fire, kinetic energy; gravity, conductivity. The physicist’s arcanum.
Shocking Tendrils [Attack, Physical] – Delivers a powerful electric shock.
Weight of the World [Defend] – Gravity around attackers triples, slowing their blows.
Spectral Conversion [Alteration (2)] – Convert heat energy into harmless light.
Invisibility [Abjuration (4)] – Cause light and sound to pass through you.
Gaze of Heaven [Divination (4)] – tap into a satellite feed to watch the movements of cell phones.
Fireball [Creation (5)] – create balls of flame to throw.
Reverse Gravity [Alteration (7)] The area inside an entire building has its gravitational field reversed.
Wind is the element of freedom, chance, chaos, and the unseen spirits that bring the ripple across still waters. An Onmyoji of wind shows independence and care-free thinking, prone to flights of fancy and moments of divine inspiration. Revolutionaries, poets, wanderers, and merrymakers find their paths lead towards the wind. Yet there is also a benevolence and patience to the breeze that blows even the heat of summer, cooling hotter heads and uplifting spirits.
Gentle summer breeze makes ripples across a pond, whispers things to come
Spirit magic has dominion over kami, demons, exorcism, and protection of the soul. The shaman’s arcanum.
Admonish Spirits [Attack, Physical] – speak a command that saps a spirit’s energy.
Ethereal Barrier [Defend] – project a magical field that blocks spirits from attacking.
See Spirits [Divination (0)] – gain the ability to see into the Spirit Realm.
Spirit Call [Creation (5)] – summon a spirit to assist you. Shifts may increase the rank of the spirit called.
Human Shikigami [Alteration (5)] – allow a kami to possess a willing or unconscious host.
Spirit Guide [Creation (8)] – create a portal connecting realms.
Fate magic has dominon over blessings, luck, destiny, curses, oaths, gambling, and probability. The soothsayer’s arcanum.
Evil Eye [Attack, Mental] – inflict a horrible curse on the target.
Turn of Bad Luck [Defend] – Attacker stumbles and misses.
Will of Heaven [Divination (0)] – sense the strength of others’ destinies.
Supernal Haze [Alteration (4)] – Supernatural effects in the area treat blanks as minuses.
Font of Fortune [Creation (5)] – create a pool of free rerolls for your allies.
Despair [Destruction (5)] – Suppress a target’s destiny for one scene.
Fortune’s Friend [Abjuration (6)] – ward self permanently against curses.
Destiny [Creation (8)] – Instill a blessing that makes you destined some particular great deed.
Void is the prepresentation of those things beyond our experience, the unknowable Other. It is the realm invisible, the Great Beyond. THose who wish to truly know the secrets of creation, to peer beyond this life and into the next, are drawn to the path of Void. Most onmyoji of the void are unfulfilled by normal, mundane life, and seek ever higher understanding through adventures or asceticism. A mage of the void is a scholar, an explorer, an inventor, one who has little time or patience for the trifling concerns of this world.
Only empty minds with empty hands and empty hearts can know true fullness
Death magic has dominion over ghosts, decay, weakness, and the stealing of souls. The necromancer’s arcanum.
Deathbane [Attack, Physical] – you pass your hand through a ghost, disrupting its connection to this world.
Shield of Decay [Defend] –an aura of death around you weakens others.
Ghost Sight [Divination (0)] – See ghosts who aren’t manifesting.
Eerie Visage [Alteration (2)] – You appear dead—no respiration, no pulse, no body temperature.
Circle of Protection [Abjuration (5)] – create a circle through which ghosts and other dead creatures may not pass.
Chains of Undeath [Creation (8)]- create a permanent undead minion.
Prime has dominion over magic itself: hallows, ley lines, counter-spells, enchantment, and artifacts. The archmage’s arcanum.
Arcane Feedback [Attack, (Varies)] – an enemy mage’s own magic turns against him.
Mana Barrier [Defend] – deflect incoming supernatural effects.
Detect Magic [Divination (0)] – See the remaining resonance of spells cast in the area.
Mage Armor [Abjuration (3)] – increases defenses against supernatural effects.
Altered Runes [Alteration (3)] – Slightly change the effect of an existing spell.
Artifact [Creation (8)] – Create an item with a permanent magical effect.