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Time

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Basic OverviewEdit

Time is the study of how Patterns change over time, and how nothing ever truly forgets its past or is ignorant of its future.

Time is present in all things, marching toward its inevitable conclusion. ...right? Mages know that time is not only subjective, but can be manipulated, twisted and branched, and a Master of Time can create loops, causal paradoxes, and travel through time. A Time Mage never needs to worry about regretting an action, missing a split-second chance, dying from a random accident – he can simply take it all back and do it again.

Time magic can be horribly Paradoxical, creating situations which cannot exist. Time travel, in particular, is a death wish, as the chances that something will go wrong build up higher and higher the further back or forward you go from your proper place in time. Also, no matter how much the Mage speeds or slows time, he can only do one magical action each Combat Turn – in essence, he can only weave magic as quickly as reality can accept it.

Sphere LevelsEdit

Apprentice Time (Time Sense)
Certainly, the Mage becomes a perfect clock, but this Sphere goes deeper than that. They can see the fabric of time itself – knowing who is experiencing fast or slow time, detecting Time magic at work, and knowing when they are being watched through time. Mages with Time can detect alternate histories and paradoxical loops, and may be able to set the world right again. Along with other Spheres, the Mage can create effects using split-second timing and precision.
Initiate Time (Time Sight)
Although the past and future are nothing but possibilities, it's possible to scry through time itself to look at the most probable outcomes. The Mage can look into time, gaining a fuzzy, vague sense of what might happen at a future time. The future isn't always set – free will is a powerful influence, and some Mages think that the act of looking toward a future ensures that future will never happen, at least not exactly. A Mage at this level can also create temporal static, preventing others from using this power on him. His divinations are limited to times close to the present, and his current location. He might use Correspondence to scry on other locations, or use Life or Matter to determine what will happen to a particular object or person.
Disciple Time (Time Manipulation)
By contracting or dilating time, the Mage can alter the rate at which things seem to happen in comparison to the 'normal world'. A water faucet could become a torrential flow, bullets could slow to walking speeds or a running man could whiz by faster than a jet. But the running man will only perceive himself running at normal speed, and the bullet will hit with just as much force – only their place in time is changed. Mages at this point can cocoon themselves from time temporarily, performing numerous physical tasks in the space of a few seconds. With a little effort, the Mage can create loops in time and rewind time itself, although Paradox and Destiny tend to make it so that reality plays out again, the same way as before.
Adept Time (Time Determinism)
Instead of stretching or compressing time, the Mage can stop time in its tracks, or place something in a time loop to be released at a specified time. Magic and other patterns can be made to wait in place, creating 'hung' effects, or time bombs. The Mage can even freeze a target outside the time-stream, putting them in stasis until they can be dealt with. An effect can be set with a keyed pause – not releasing until a specific person arrives, or an item comes into the right position. With Entropy affecting fate, it is thus possible to put a princess to sleep until her true love arrives, or to create a room outside of time that only specified people can enter.
Master Time (Time Travel, Time Immunity)
The Master of Time is now freed of the boundaries of Time. A Mage can thrust himself or others forward or back in time, although this requires an anchor point in the present so the Mage doesn't become lost in the realms of infinite possibility. Time travel is hideously Paradoxical. Furthermore, things wait in the time-stream, perhaps sent there by past (or future) Mages, or simply predators which exist outside of time. Time is far from a simple line which the Mage travels on. A Mage can fire off magic into the past or the future, creating unusual effects to be sure. The Mage can also immunize himself from time – freezing the world in stasis as he wanders around, pulling people into his vision of time just long enough to interact with them then freezing them again. To an outsider, such effects would seem to happen instantaneously, and the Mage could accomplish epic feats between the clicks of the second hand.

Spans of TimeEdit

This table represents the span of time one can effect, based on successes rolled.

Successes Timespan
1 Within a year
2 Five years
3 20 Years
4 50 Yeras
5 100 Years
6+ 500 Years
10+ 1000 Years or more

Alternate Names Among the Traditions Edit

  • Akashic Brotherhood: The Wheel of Ages
  • Celestial Chorus: The Eternal Now
  • Cult of Ecstasy: The Illusion of Fixed Time, the Ecstatic Principle
  • Dreamspeakers: The Change of the Seasons
  • Euthanatos: Sat
  • Order of Hermes: Ars Temporis
  • Sons of Ether: Causality
  • Verbena: The Art of Turning
  • Virtual Adepts: Founding Force

Sample RotesEdit

Rank 1Edit

Time Sense
As described above, mages of Time have identified phenomena that exist in a special "sub-realm" of space-time. These time-phased phenomena cannot be seen by Sleepers; only mages who have studied the Sphere of Time can perceive these phenomena. If the mage is close to where a given phenomenon will appear (or has appeared?), she can discern temporal ripples and sense where in space the phenomenon will cross (has crossed?) into her own timeline. She can then seek it out if she desires. Some phenomena are so powerful that their foreshadowing ripples can be felt by mages across the globe.
Mages have identified hundreds of these time-based phenomena, from powerful Preceptors who appear every 12 years in the Andes Mountains, to the spectral Tower of Babel whose cycle has yet to be determined, to ghosts that wander down certain roads every night looking for the drivers who didn't give them a ride when they lived...
Internal Clock
Virtual Adepts cultivate amazingly accurate internal clocks in order to time events in VR and test the processing speeds of their computers. This Effect turns a mage into a human stopwatch; he always knows the current time and can clock events within fractions of a second. This internal clock runs according to the mage's perception of time. He can adjust it for temporal Effects that he causes; visiting Realms where time operates differently, or getting on the bad side of others' time-based Effects, however, can disorient the mage.

Rank 2Edit

Postcognition
The mage can extend her perceptions backward in time to witness what once occurred in her current location. While the mystick "rewinds" time in the location, she sees in her mind's eye what transpired there. The GM must relate to the player what the character sees.
The mage can shift the exact moment she currently watches; she might begin by viewing the events of one day ago, then shift to one hour ago, then 10 years ago, etc. Her total viewing time cannot exceed the duration rolled for the Effect.
Songs of Future Days
This precognitive Effect was developed by the Celestial Chorus. The mage begins singing to focus the magick and lets his mind wander down the pathways of future time. The words of his song begin to take on a will of their own, describing in epic format the events that may come to pass in future days.
Unlike postcognitive Effects, which concentrate on a location, precognitive Effects such this can center on almost anything: a location, a person, an organization, etc. The farther the mage delves into the future with precognitive magick, the more disjointed, sketchy and unreliable the information gleaned.
Ultimately, the GM must decide how accurate the mystick's vision is, based on the successes rolled. One to three would allow vague insights, while five or more would offer a clearer glimpse of the (possible) future.

Rank 3Edit

Accelerate Time
By dilating the moments of time, the mage can create fields of space-time where things seem to move faster, like a film played at high speed. Each success scored over two speeds up time by a factor of one - three successes double speed, four successes triple speed, and so on. Persons under the effects of time acceleration receive an extra action each turn for every factor of speed. Such fields cannot generally exceed two or three yards.
Slow Time
The opposite of Accelerate Time, each success above two slows time by a factor of one. For example, a person operating under a time-dilation Effect evoked by a mage who scored three successes would receive one action every second turn.

Rank 4Edit

Programmed Event
The mage stops time in a localized field and sets a time when it shall resume. Say she lifts a cup from the table and drops it. By freezing time around the cup for one scene, she causes the cup to hang in midair until the scene ends. At that time, the cup will fall and break. This is obviously vulgar. As with Accelerate Time, the field of stopped time cannot exceed a few yards. Furthermore, when events in physical reality are frozen for extended periods, Paradox forces usually erode the magick and prematurely free the events from stopped time. Also, if someone were to grab the cup, static reality would reassert itself and the magickal field would dissipate.

Rank 5Edit

Time Travel
The mage disappears from present reality and reappears in the same location at a future time of his choosing. The farther he wishes to travel, the more successes are required: one success means he jumps ahead to the next turn, while four successes take him completely out of the story.
The mage's arrival in the future will be felt through Time Sense by other mysticks of that time. The longer the time jump, the greater the time-phased phenomenon he becomes to those sensing his arrival. The mage may reappear to find several of his peers waiting for him, investigating the time phenomenon he caused by his time jump.
So far as is known, no mage has successfully traveled into the past and returned. We can assume that Paradox destroys the mage making such a trip, though perhaps the mage is simply lost and can never return to his original timeline. Then again, there are persistent rumors that time travel is indeed possible, and that a ruthless conspiracy across time suppresses the knowledge. Those who have attempted past-travel have never been heard from again...
Sidestep Time
In some senses, this Effect is the opposite of Programmed Event. The mage no longer determines time for other events; rather, she shifts herself completely out of time. The world suddenly halts all around her. She can still move and act among the frozen events around her, pushing or rearranging objects and people. Certain limits remain; she can turn a television to another channel, but the frozen image on the screen will not change, nor will cars operate, nor will powered machinery work. The mage can extend her temporary immunity to encompass other objects and people, but this limits the length of her stay out-of-time.
Each success scored allows the mage to remain in a timeless state for a longer duration. One success allows the mage to sidestep time for one turn; five successes last a week or more.

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