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Casting Cantrips

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Cantrips, in essence, are the Changeling creating a link with the Dreaming to tap into the raw power of Glamour and shape and mold it to his own desiring. Arts are the methods used to shape this raw power. And if the Art defines the nature of the magic, the Realm describes its focus of effect. Below we'll spell out just how the Changelings on Dark Forces go about casting these spells.

Choose an Art Edit

Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). There can only ever be one Art used at a time when casting a cantrip, and one level of said Art at a time. We do encourage creativity with the Arts, so let the GM know just what it is you're attempting with this casting. There are two basic types of Arts, Chimerical and Wyrd, the former being the kind that can be cast without notice or able to be passed off as coincidence (like perceptual effects or cantrips cast only within the Dreaming), and the latter being the kind that has solid, obvious, hard to miss effects (like leaping ten stories straight up). Some Arts will always be one or the other (and suggestions are on the pages for each Art), but sometimes a casting may not fall into the expected category. Consult a GM if there's confusion. Please note, both Chimerical and Wyrd effects can be used on any target.

Choose a Realm Edit

Step two is to decide just what you're targeting with this art. Be it Man or Machine or Fluffy Little Bunny, there's a Realm for that. Here is the time to think about whether or not a modifier Realm would be appropriate. For instance, Scene or Time could be applied (to affect more than one target or to create a time delay, respectively), but to do so the player must spend a point of Glamour and add one to the difficulty for the roll. The other option is secondary Realms. If you have more than one Realm that can apply to a roll, you can declare a primary and secondary realm (or several secondary). For each secondary Realm that can truly be applied (don't stretch it, folks. I'm watching you), the difficult lowers by one without spending a Glamour.

You still only roll the primary Realm, even if the modifier or secondary is higher.

Determine Dice Pool Edit

Your dice pool for any given cantrip is the attribute associated with the Art in use added to the character's score of the primary Realm being used. You always roll your entire score of the Realm, not just the level that you're currently using.

Determine Difficulty Edit

Alright, here we go, kids. Basically, the Mists are all around you, the force of human disbelief is a powerful thing and you have to punch right through it to cast your magic. It does not like this. The thicker the Mists, the harder it is.

  • Difficulty = Target/Ambient Banality or User Banality (whichever is higher) + 4

You can spend Glamour to lower the difficulty (one for one), but the difficulty can never go below 4, and never above 10 for any reason (even after Bunks; see below). Remember to keep in mind that if you use Glamour to lower the difficulty or to use a modifier realm.

+scan is a great place to note how low your Glamour currently is. It's also good for noting your current count of temporary Banality points.

Bunks Edit

You may use a Bunk (some kind of related action - gesticulating, dancing, wrapping a wound, etc.) to further lower a cantrip's difficulty. Bunks have a rating between one and five, determined at the time of the cantrip's casting. Each Bunk requires a number of actions, listed below:

  • Rank 1 - Can be included with the Cantrip's Casting.
  • Rank 2 - One additional action.
  • Rank 3 - Two additional actions.
  • Rank 4 - Three additional actions.
  • Rank 5 - Four or more additional actions.

Obviously, it is very difficult to do these quickly; Bunks above Rank 2 almost always require multiple turns to be used effectively. A character may essentially flurry (as described in the Combat Primer) a number of Bunk-related actions in one turn, but would take a dice penalty to their cantrip casting is if the cantrip were the final action of that flurry (ie. taking a -5 dice penalty for a 3-action flurry to use a Rank 3 Bunk and cast a cantrip in the same round).

The Bunk performed should always be appropriate to the nature of the cantrip being cast. While dancing a jig might be appropriate to a cantrip intended to cause the Changeling to fly high up into the air, drawing a portrait might be more appropriate if the Changeling attempts to use Soothsay to learn specific information about a person. Keep time in mind with these; attempting to draw a portrait in one round is a rather improbable feat.

To Wyrd or not to Wyrd Edit

Changeling cantrips only work in the Dreaming, on other Changelings, and on those Enchanted. To circumvent this small hurdle, a Changeling may utilize what is known as the Wyrd in one of two ways.

  1. Empower one cantrip with the Wyrd by spending a point of Glamour; the effects of that cantrip become 'real' for its normal duration.
  2. Call upon the Wyrd for a scene by spending one point of Glamour and Willpower and then rolling Willpower at a difficulty of the Changeling's Glamour; only one success is needed. This is not an action in itself.

Calling upon the Wyrd has the following effects:

  • All chimerical weapons and companions become real and do real damage.
  • All cantrips currently affecting the Changeling and cast over the course of the scene become real.
  • A Changeling who has called upon the Wyrd immediately swaps to their fae mein, and takes real damage from all weapons, cantrips and creatures (chimerical or no). This includes cold iron.

Banality Backlash Edit

In the event a Changeling botches a cantrip, the following occurs...

Chimerical or non-Wyrd botching
1 Extra temporary banality point
A single cantrip empowered by the Wyrd botches
1 Extra temporary banality point + 1 per dot of the current Art rank in use (so, if you're using Wayfare 2, that's a total of 3 if you botch. If you use Wayfare 4, that's a total of 5 for a botched roll)
Botching after Calling upon the Wyrd
1 Extra temporary banality point + 2 per dot of the current Art rank in use (So, botching that Wayfare 2 roll gives you 5 points for botching. Wayfare 4 botched brings 9.) Yes, this means you may end up with permanent banality if you botch a high enough Art in front of mundanes.

Temporary Banality stays with you until you have a chance to work out each and every point. If you don't, they keep adding until you reach ten. On your tenth, the pool is cleared and you add one to your permanent score. Permanent banality must be worked off with a quest. (See Banality.)

To work off a point of temporary banality, the character must spend their Permanent Banality score in nights sleeping in a freehold (or the Dreaming, but beware this option due to ghoulies). These don't necessarily have to be nights of restful, peaceful, beautiful sleep, but they do have to consist of eight solid hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Countering Cantrips Edit

There are two ways for a Changeling to counter an incoming cantrip.

Invoking Banality
Your own banality can act like a shield for an unwanted Art effect. This does give the Changeling one temporary banality point. Roll your permanent banality score against a difficulty of the caster's permanent Glamour score, each of your successes knocks of one of the caster's successes. The target does not have to be aware of the incoming cantrip to resist in this fashion, but he does have to be the target.
If your character possesses an appropriate Lore, he may be able to counter a cantrip being cast. He must be aware that there is a cantrip being cast, however, to resist in this fashion, but he does not have to be the target. Roll Wits + Lore against the caster's Glamour, if you obtain the same number of successes (or more) as the caster did on his cantrip roll, you successfully counter the spell. Partial successes do nothing. The counterweaver must have the Realms up to the level used in the caster's cantrip in order to counter. If the Realm isn't obvious, GMs can all for a Perception + Sensitivity roll at a difficulty of 6 to determine the Realms in use. The difficulty is 8 to determine the Art.

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