The Act of Hubris
INITIATE OF LIFE (●)
Inscribe Foliage (Life ●/Covert/Signifying) The caster ensures that the mold, lichen, weeds, or other sessile life on a target surface will grow in a pattern of the caster’s design.
Tactile Empathy (Life ●/Sensory/Knowing) This spell pinpoints and describes what a scrutinized subject can feel by touch, whether the weight of a holstered gun or the pain of an unhealed wound. Each success identifies a distinct sensation of the target’s, starting with the most intense or unusual.
Vital Signs (Life ●/Sensory/Unveiling) A mage with this spell always knows whether something they perceive with their senses is alive, and whether it’s healthy, hurt, or dying.
APPRENTICE OF LIFE (●●)
Copy Biometrics (Life ●●/Covert/Ruling, Veiling) Resisted by Composure, this spell causes the subtle traces of the caster’s body (or that of a second target) to duplicate those of the subject. While the spell is sustained, its beneficiary leaves fingerprints, blood samples, or nail clippings behind as though they were the subject. Traces of the beneficiary remain changed after the spell ends, but the spell must overcome the resistance of a prior target anew in order to duplicate their leavings again.
Eschew Sleep (Life ●●, Mind ●●/Covert/Perfecting, Ruling) While sustained, this spell frees its target from the need to sleep and boosts resistance against any soporific influences. The beneficiary still needs rest and sustenance to recuperate from fatigue, but never need lose consciousness while recharging. Since recovering Willpower requires actual sleep, overuse of this spell can prove psychically if not physically or mentally taxing.
Ghoul Stink (Death ●●, Life ●●/Covert/Veiling) This spell causes a living subject to give off the subtle telltale signs of having drank a vampire’s Vitae and become her ghoul. This spell replicates all of ghouldom’s outward changes to a mortal’s body, though a vampire examining the subject through mystical means can see through the ruse by successfully contesting the spell’s Tenacity.
Go for the Gold (Life ●●/Covert/Perfecting) This spell enhances agility and endurance, boosting the subject’s athletic feats. This spell also enhances Defense against attacks the subject’s got room to dodge.
Increasing Strength Exercise (Life ●●/Covert/Perfecting) This spell enhances the subject’s physical strength, allowing them to shove, hurl, lift, or otherwise exert raw muscle power at the peak of their capacity. Results are limited by the subject’s base physical properties, such that a child so enchanted won’t be able to lift as much as a grown adult would.
Knockout Blow (Forces ●●●, Life ●●/Covert/Perfecting, Weaving) Usually cast as a minor action immediately prior to a physical attack, this spell ensures that the target is cleanly and safely incapacitated by the blows of the caster or another target. Bashing damage attacks are boosted, but never cause damage to wrap around to lethal or produce lasting health complications even in particularly fragile or infirm targets. If the subject’s Defense against the boosted attack is weak enough that this spell’s Potency is applied directly, an important target’s Stamina roll to remain standing in the face of bashing damage is hindered on a normal consequence and flatly denied on a severe consequence.
Mend Wounds (Life ●●/Vulgar/Perfecting) This spell downgrades lethal or aggravated wounds caused by violent trauma. It can mitigate stabbings, gunshots, or car wrecks, but not incineration or necrosis.
Sicken (Life ●●/Covert/Perfecting, Ruling) This spell marshals an infectious disease in the subject’s body and protects it against the subject’s immune system. Success against the target’s Stamina ensure that the target will come down with some local disease within a day or so, and a severe consequence ensures a severe and long-lived case.
Twenty-Something (Time ●●, Life ●●/Covert/Veiling, Perfecting) This spell grants its target the appearance and physical resilience of a young adult, boosting resistance against sickness, fatigue, and mundane bashing damage. Not only do they have the boundless energy of a teen, but they will never appear more than 25 years old – even under magical scrutiny. The vain mage is no more physically powerful than before, but can easily pull all-nighters, stay healthy on takeout, and revise the definition of drinking “too much”.
Toughen Up (Life ●●/Covert/Perfecting) This spell fortifies its subject’s body. It boosts Defense rolls against bashing damage or other harm the body can naturally weather, and boosts Stamina rolls made to resist sickness, debility, or magical attacks on health and bodily integrity.
Parasympathetic Pacification (Life ●●/Covert/Ruling) This spell activates the instinctual and chemical cues needed to calm and relax a living creature. It can disperse swarming hornets, quiet guard dogs, or boost attempts to allay the suspicions and hostilities of a human being. This magic won’t stop a starving predator from attacking or a cornered person from fighting back.
DISCIPLE OF LIFE (●●●)
Injury-Absorbing Discipline (Life ●●●/Vulgar/Perfecting, Weaving) This spell renders the caster’s body almost fluid, flesh and bone moving around within the body to minimize injury and hasten healing. The caster can use this spell as armor against physical attack, and also apply its Potency to existing wounds on the health track. This spell can only heal or armor against lethal or aggravated damage caused by gross bodily injury or deformity – burns, bruises, poison, and the like are beyond the reach of rearranging one’s flesh.
Marionette (Life ●●●, Prime ●●●/Vulgar/Perfecting, Weaving) This spell sculpts one of its caster’s Mana points into a humanoid construct mentally puppeteered by the caster. The being isn’t mistakable for human but does enjoy a Perfected version of its caster’s own vitality, so it can launch attacks, hinder the actions of others, operate machines, or otherwise act physically on the caster’s behalf. Versions of this rote incorporating the Veiling Practices of Prime and other Arcana can generate convincing facsimiles of humans or other creatures.
Nearsightedness (Life ●●●/Covert/Fraying) Resisted by Composure, this spell prevents a living creature’s eyes from focusing properly, hindering or completely precluding attempts to read, recognize details, or take aim at anything beyond immediate reach.
Primal Panoply (Life ●●●/Vulgar/Perfecting, Weaving) This spell draws the caster’s inner self outward, reconfiguring their bodies into weapons of war. The precise character of the transformation varies from caster to caster and is persistent in appearance (though it may change over time in the same way as a character’s Vice might). The transformation confers a set of natural weapons with a +3 or +5 Edge depending on how strongly it interferes with the normal use of one’s limbs, and boosts attacks made with those weapons. It also typically affects movement boosting rolls made to move in a way particular to that form – climbing, running, jumping, burrowing, etc.
Thorns of Arcadia (lesser) (Life ●●●, Fate ●●/Vulgar/Perfecting, Ruling, Weaving) Thorns sprout from the mage’s flesh, a fine down of raking spines from the pores and larger jabbing protrusions from their upper limbs and extremities. The keratinous material is anchored in bone, turning the caster into a living weapon. The thorns do lethal damage, guided to where it’ll have most effect – every swipe and lunge tears away strips of things the target would rather remain untorn.
Wake Foliage (Life ●●●/Vulgar/Perfecting, Weaving) This spell animates and controls plant life, allowing it to attack, obstruct, or seize things on the caster’s behalf. Large, sturdy plants like trees can strike for lethal damage, while softer vegetation might deal bashing damage or only be able to seize and entangle. Perfecting fortifies the plant life against harm and tearing, so while thin creepers of ivy can’t meaningfully harm a human adult they can still strongly hinder movements.
Writhing Blood Chains Technique (Life ●●●/Vulgar/Weaving) This spell extrudes the subject’s blood from their body and sculpts it into an array of razor-sharp limbs. The chains deal lethal damage with a +5 Edge and move on their own to boost both attack and defense in conventional melee combat; once the spell ends, the subject’s blood flows back into their veins, leaving them unharmed. Unwilling targets resist with Stamina + Gnosis. Chains conjured from others can be kept under the mage’s control and even used to attack their own host. An advanced version of this rote using Life ●●●● and the appropriate damage factor lets a caster use the spell itself as a weapon, inflicting Resistant lethal damage on the target in the process of drawing the chains forth.
ADEPT OF LIFE (●●●●)
Life Tap (Life ●●●●/Vulgar/Unraveling) Resisted by Stamina and cast with at least two damage factors, this spell drains the vital energy of its subject, inflicting Resistant damage and healing the caster or a second target.
Photosynthesis (Life ●●●●/Covert/Perfecting, Patterning) This spell allows its beneficiary to derive nutrition and energy from sunlight exposure, and near-flawlessly recycles the chemicals and nutrients involved. The caster still needs water, but otherwise does not need food so long as they spend the better part of each day in direct sunlight. Unless the caster arranges to extend the spell through their sleep, they’ll still need to eat a sparse meal after a number of days equal to their Stamina. This magic tinges the skin green and alters the digestive and circulatory systems in subtle ways, so medical scrutiny of the subject threatens Disbelief.
MASTER OF LIFE (●●●●●)
Form of the Dragon (Life ●●●●●/Vulgar/Making) The caster or another target transforms into a winged, reptilian monster. This spell’s size factors determine the size of the resulting creature; with three or more, the creature is effectively immune to the attacks of human-scale assailants and can topple buildings or flatten land formations. The dragon can spit seemingly limitless amounts of caustic venom, inflicting lethal damage at range and potentially using the autofire action to dissolve entire rooms. Beyond boosting attack and defense, the dragon form flies and breathes under water. Users of this spell intent on making efficient Shaping attacks often learn a separate Making rote that grants the user a dragon’s breath.
Form of the Germ (Life ●●●●●/Vulgar/Patterning, Unmaking) This spell shrinks and subdivides the target, turning them into a colony of microbes. Life magic ensures that the caster retains their own mind, is immune to antibiotics and other hazards, can drift through the world at a human’s walking pace, and can perceive the world as if through human senses. As a germ, the caster’s too small to interact with characters on the human scale, magically or otherwise, but can scrutinize them through Mage Sight or hide on or in their bodies. If they’ve taken the form of a natural microbe, the caster can subject any living thing they infiltrate to the appropriate disease as if by natural exposure. If the caster includes another creature as a target while casting this spell and achieves a severe consequence against that creature’s Stamina, they can disappear into the creature’s body as an incapacitating and potentially damaging infection. The germ is expelled and forced back into original form as soon as the victim of such an attack struggles free or resists ongoing damage completely.