Mind is the study of Patterns of thought, of the invisible flow of ideas. To a Mage with Mind, memory and perception are literally tangible things, which can be altered and controlled.
Mind is a favored Sphere of many – the temptation of mind control, playing with emotions and perceptions causes many Mages to study this Sphere. You're a real psychic – reading minds, giving suggestions, and even causing damage through mental screams. A Master of Mind doesn't need to fear the eyes of humans – they'll see only what he wants them to see, do only what he wants them to do.
Mind cannot move objects – that's the realm of Forces. Mind can do damage by overloading a target's brain, but the damage is always Bashing. Mind can accelerate the human mind, but there is a limit, and there is always the cost of Paradox. Mind is fairly limited, since by definition, it cannot affect anything other than the minds of living creatures.
- Apprentice Mind (Sense Thoughts and Emotions, Empower Self)
- The Mage has become attuned to the patterns of thought around him. With a look, a Mage can get a gut feeling or empathic hunch about a subject's mood, or can tell if an object has a powerful emotional Resonance attached to it. The Mage can't read the specifics of these emotions yet, just good vibes and bad vibes. But he can pick out the knife used for a bloody murder among a row of identical knives. Furthermore, the Mage has learned to categorize his own thoughts, accelerating his mental capacity and defending his thoughts from sensing and mental intrusion. Many Mages will cast a Mind Effect at the beginning of each night just to prevent others from reading their mind.
- Initiate Mind (Read Surface Thoughts, Mental Impulse)
- The Mage still cannot invade the minds of others, but just reading what thoughts are on the surface is useful enough. The Mage can get brief glimpses of memories associated with objects, and get a brief insight into the emotions of others – still unable to get specific, complete thoughts, but able to get an insight into what they're thinking. A Mage can also send forceful emotional impressions to another mind – making a person happy, sad, hungry, or tired. By making a mental ‘scream', the Mage can also cause Bashing damage to a target. As of yet, the Mage cannot read minds or detailed thoughts, nor can he create those thoughts himself. At this level, the Mage cannot override his subject's will. He can make someone feel a wave of hunger, anger, or depression, but that doesn't mean they'll stop doing what they're doing. They still have full conscious control of themselves.
- Disciple Mind (Mental Link, Dreamwalk)
- The Mage's powerful mind can now form direct links to other minds, engaging in telepathic communication, experiencing the senses of others, controlling her own dreams and finding the true meanings behind concepts, symbols, and ideas. He can read ideas directly from the minds of others, and transmit his own, creating illusions, false thoughts and psychic assaults. With time, the Mage can also dig down to his subject's subconscious and memories. A Mage can also bypass language now – making himself intuitively understood by all who hear him, and translating writing and speech with ease. The Mage has also gained control over his mind as he sleeps – allowing him to leave his dream, enter other dreams, and influence the mysterious Dream Realms. As a side bonus, the Mage can always fall asleep or wake fully immediately when wished.
- Adept Mind (Control Conscious Mind, Astral Projection)
- The Mage's consciousness is no longer limited by his body. He can send his consciousness out, potentially to any distance with the aid of Correspondence. Furthermore, he can invade the minds of others, dragging out secrets, possessing their body or thrashing their psyche into an unconscious state. He can alter memories, erase experiences, or implant suggestions. Unless the victim also uses Mind magic, their only defense is their Willpower. A Mage at this stage can also defend the minds of others, shielding them against invasion as if they were using Mind level 1 or 2. The Mage can now project his mind into the Astral Umbra, spending brief trips there beyond dreams in the plane of pure thought. Since this form of Umbral travel does require the body to risk being in the Umbra, it is becoming preferred by many Mages. This is the first level where a Mage can truly override a person's mind, forcing them to do his bidding (rather than suggesting it).
- Master Mind (Control Subconscious, Untether, Forge Psyche)
- The Master of Mind can do anything with thought. He can create emotions and impulses independent of intelligence. With control over a target's subconscious, the Mage can rewrite their personality entirely. The Mage can also separate her own mind from her body entirely – moving into someone else's body, or spending long periods in the Astral Umbra as disembodied thought. The Mage can create minds for people or objects, creating intelligent computers or rocks, and destroy the minds of others, making them brainless computing machines or lifeless corpses.
Alternate Names Among the TraditionsEdit
- Akashic Brotherhood: Mushin, Santana
- Celestial Chorus: The Divine Intellect
- Cult of Ecstasy: Illusion of the Self
- Dreamspeakers: The Dream of the Inner Self
- Euthanatos: Manas
- Order of Hermes: Ars Mentis
- Sons of Ether: Noetic Science
- Verbena: The Art of Sight
- Virtual Adepts: The Place of Dreams
- Each success scored with this Virtual Adept-christened Effect enables a mage to perform one additional task. The Adepts see this as setting up parallel processing in their minds. Any normal (non-magickal) task may be so programmed; thus a mage who rolled two successes might speak on the telephone to a comrade, program a computer and memorize a recording in the background. The real limit is the mage's physical ability to perform all of the tasks his mind is capable of processing.
- Unfortunately, mages (other than the Oracles of Mind) have been unable to channel their wills through more than one thought avenue at once. Thus, the mage cannot simultaneously evoke multiple magickal Effects, nor can he spend Willpower on more than one task at a time.
- All mages who possess Rank One Mind are capable of scanning their surroundings for sentience. Akashic Brothers, however, have perfected the Effect to a fine art. These mages enter a Zen-like trance state wherein their own thoughts are subdued and their minds become open to the impressions of other minds. Such a mage senses the general location of any minds near her, as well as other details such as the gender of the detected creature, i.e. male/female/neuter (some plants and spirits actually register to Mind magick), the type of creature (human, rat, redwood) and sometimes the general behavior of the creature (running, hiding, eating, etc.). Some Do masters have been known to blind themselves purposefully, forcing them to rely on the No-Mind effect. Such mages believe that this state is a step toward Ascension and should be cultivated.
- The mage may sense others' emotions and nearby psychic resonance left by strong emotions and events. This appears differently to various mages; some see auras as washes of colors around highly-charged objects and people, while others vicariously experience the emotion itself. This can be very disturbing, and most Disciples of Mind learn to build a strong mental shield to protect themselves from negative emotions.
- Particularly intense emotions are plain as day and twice as bright. Mages need no roll to sense them, though GMs should require a Willpower roll to avoid the worst effects of an emotional kick. Subtler emotions must be searched for; the more successes the mystick scores on the Effect roll, the more the mage understands the feelings and their origins. With one success, the mage senses anger; two successes, and she senses anger mixed with fear; three successes, and she senses anger spawned from anguish over loss mixed with fear, and so on.
- One of the first exercises taught to a Disciple of Mind is the ability to shield her own mind. This protects her from both mental invasion and her own psychic sensitivity. Without such shields, many mentally gifted mages can go mad, confusing their own thoughts with the thoughts that filter into their heads.
- A shield also stops the light surface thoughts and emotions which most humans broadcast. An Akashic Brotherhood monastery is truly a place of serene self-contemplation, a much-needed refuge for young mages who have Awakened the powers of their minds but have not yet learned how to train them.
- A Hermetic Mind 3 variant, Aegis, expands this shield to protect other minds. Each success over the second allows the mage to shield one additional comrade for the spell's duration.
- Psychic Impression
- A mage may impress her emotions into an object, infusing it with Resonance for various magickal uses. A bullet infused with hatred for one's enemies, for example, will fire no better than a normal one nor do any form of aggravated damage. It would hurt more psychically than a regular bullet would, assuming it hit its intended target.
- Likewise, if a mage places additional magicks on an item, Resonance will aid the spell, so long as the intent works with the psychic impressions. For example, a targeting spell used with a hate-filled bullet could be much easier depending on the strength of the psychic impressions.
- The more genuine thought and emotion a mage focuses into an object, the greater its Resonance; a false emotion won't have the same effect. if the mage really doesn't care, the only Resonance she may infuse into an object is "disinterest."
- Subliminal Impulse
- The mage can broadcast a single image or word into a subject's subconscious. The more successes rolled, the more powerful the suggestion. Subtle impulses will work their way into the conscious; more powerful impulses blaze straight into the subject's conscious mind. The subject's response depends upon both her Willpower and the compatibility of the impulse with her normal feelings and behavior.
- Powerful impulses can cause dramatic changes in behavior or trigger spontaneous reactions. For example, a mage may cause a waiter to drop a plate by impelling to the waiter's subconscious mind the word "HOT" as the man picks up the plate. Truly powerful impulses can even cause psychotic or self-destructive acts. Such subliminal suggestions may linger in the subject's subconscious depending on the number of successes rolled; brief actions may require only one or two successes, while long-term changes may require five successes or more.
- The mage establishes a communication link between his own mind and a number of minds equal to the number of successes he scores. Surface thoughts automatically flow across the link from everyone involved, creating a collage of images and languages. Those unaccustomed to telepathic communication invariably send more information than they had intended to share. Indeed, linking several untrained minds creates a tremendous volume of psychic "noise," as though untrained in telepathy do not know how to blank their minds to avoid constantly "talking" across the link.
- Graphic Transmission
- Virtual Adepts approach the power of illusion in their customary fashion - through computer technology. To create an illusion in a subject's mind, the mage executes a graphics routine on his computer and transmits it directly into the subject's consciousness. Whatever images he creates on his computer display are seen, heard and smelled by the subject as if they were real, because they exist in her mind.
- The number of successes on the magick roll limits the complexity of the desired illusion. An illusion of complete darkness would require two successes, while a fully-detailed person who walks and talks would require four or five successes. The GM may grant victims of this Effect a Perception roll to distinguish between reality and illusion (for Virtual Adept illusions, this means noticing that certain visions look digitized or made up of very fine pixels). Someone who knows an illusion for what it is remains free to ignore it. She may still act on reflex, however, even though she knows better; were someone to "throw" an illusionary ball at her head, she would still duck, if only on impulse.
- Probe Thoughts
- The mage may attempt to invade the thoughts of another, after choosing the types of thoughts she wishes to scan: memories, surface thoughts, emotional ties, subconscious desires, sensory impulses, etc.
- If the sorcerer successfully evokes this Effect, the subject may suddenly find himself a passive observer to his own thought processes, no longer in control of which thoughts sift through his conscious mind, experiencing the memories or emotions that the mage summons.
- If the mage simply scans surface thoughts, the subject will feel only a vague intrusion; most Sleepers will immediately dismiss this sensation. The subject will retain control of his thoughts; in this case the mage is the passive observer. The mage can maintain the scan for a number of minutes equal to the number of successes. She cannot probe the same subject again until he sleeps.
- While the subject must be present for the mage to work the Effect (unless the mage also uses Correspondence), he can travel anywhere once the mage has successfully established the probe. The mage might establish a mental link allowing her to see whatever her subject sees. The subject can then go around a corner, out of sight or even be transported away with other magick, and the mage's sensory link will remain for the Effect's duration.
- The Possession Effect, commonly used by Dreamspeakers and Euthanatos, operates like Probe Thoughts, in that the mage invades the mind of another. This invasion is much more dramatic than that of Probe Thoughts, however, and the victim instinctively attempts to eject the mage's psyche. If the sorcerer fails to possess the target, she cannot try against until the victim sleeps.
- If the mage takes control, she now commands the subject's body and thoughts with such total control that the subject's thought-patterns and mind are subsumed by those of the mage. The mages does not have to command the subject's arm to lift; she merely "causes" the subject to think "lift arm," and the subject will lift his own arm. The subject is oblivious to the fact that he is being controlled. From the subject's perspective, each thought is his own.
- Alternately, the mage may elect to control only part of the subject's capacities, such as emotions or motor control (if the mage only controls the motor responses, movements will be robotic). If the subject is only partially controlled, he will realize the mage is present and is controlling him.
- During the period of control, the mage's own mental faculties are consumed with the efforts of maintaining control and thinking for the subject. She will often let the subject behave normally, stepping in to redirect his thought-patterns as desired. Once control is established, the subject can go anywhere and the link will be maintained.
- While the mage still has control, she may elect to utilize the Manipulate Memory Effect to delete the subject's memory of the moment when the mage fought for and took control. If she wins, he'll believe that his thoughts and deeds over the past several hours were his own. Many victims begin to wonder if they have gone insane.
- Manipulate Memory
- This Effect is another invasive mental power similar to Possession. The mage must successfully invade and overpower his subject just as with Possession. If he succeeds, he may manipulate the subject's memories, blocking existing ones from surfacing (though the actual memories cannot be wiped away) and creating new memories by feeding images into the subject's mind. The more successes rolled, the freer the mage is to manipulate his victim's memory.
- The process is reversible. Another mage can undo the manipulations performed on a subject (although she must score more successes than the original mage).
- A true astral traveler can elect to separate his mind from his body. Unlike the Stepping Sideways Effect (see Spirit), which allows the mystick to pass into the Umbra in a spirit body, Untether completely separates mind and body. The mage becomes an embodiment of mental essence, commonly called an astral form.
- The mage's consciousness can travel into the Epiphamies (the highest reaches of the High Umbra) or through physical reality at speeds greater than 500mph. Without the sensory organs of his physical body, the mage's perceptions are limited to magickal sensory Effects. He can still sense other minds near his own, however, and can utilize their perceptions if he possesses appropriate magick (so to speak). He could take control of minds nearby or influence and communicate with them using any other powers he has mastered.
- The mage's sentience is formless, massless and virtually impervious to harm. He can manifest in a ghostly gray form for one turn by spending a point of Willpower. Other astral travelers, or astral beings such as ghosts, can directly interact with him. During astral actions, the mage's Mental and Social Attributes replace his Physical Attributes. In astral form, Wits serves as Dexterity, Manipulation serves as Strength, and Intelligence serves as Stamina.
- If two astral beings engage in direct conflict, both usually try to cut their opponent's silver cord - a thin filament that stretches through the astral Realm, connecting a living being's astral form with his physical body. In astral combat, damage is inflicted upon Willpower instead of the target's Health Levels. When a combatant goes to zero Willpower, the silver cord snaps. Beings that have no physical shells (such as ghosts or the ba spirits of dead mummies) do not have silver cords and are simply disrupted when they reach zero Willpower.
- When a mage's silver cord is severed, the astral traveler is believed to be completely drawn into the Epiphamies, where the most rarefied thoughts spiral off into space. Those who have survived such trips report a journey mixed with emotional extremes, mental lucidity bordering on enlightenment and total confusion. It is believed that the mages of the Oracles of Mind venture into these distant astral frontiers often, but lesser mages find the experience too disorienting to describe.
- A mage becomes completely unaware of his physical body once he leaves it to journey astrally. However, Masters of Mind know enough about the link between the physical body and astral presence to be able to reconnect their silver cords to other bodies. This is especially important if the mage's physical body is destroyed or dies. The mage's astral presence is unaffected by the body's physical death (though some Masters of Mind who wished to achieve immortality by this means reported to their corporeal Disciples that they were being hounded by certain spirits that came from the Realms beyond Death). However, without the link to the physical Realm, the mage begins to slip away. He must reconnect his cord to another body. If an empty magickal vessel is not available, the mage may attempt to control the mind of another sentient and thereby house his own intellect in the body, essentially becoming a split personality within that body's original mind.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence)
- Virtual Adept Masters use this Effect to grant their computers sentience and personalities. This sentience does not physically reside in the machine but in the programming, for an AI (as they call them) can be transferred into the Digital Web and even transferred into a living body (though the latter requires the Sphere of Life to create the link).
- AIs are strange and unpredictable entities; like children, they tend to grow from childlike naivete to adolescent rebelliousness, with a few interesting stages in between. More than one Virtual Adept has had his laptop become amorously inclined, and when the AI involved has the ability to jack in and crack in to Iteration X's computers and hijack a HITmark for its own uses, fatal attraction can take on a whole new meaning.
- Despite the risks, many Virtual Adepts still create AIs, as these creations provide a basis for the most powerful computers. A few Virtual Adepts even claim to be AIs, though they might simply be Marauders instead.