Game news:Folk Magic

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Folk Magic 1.0
NOTE: This system is open for all Spheres. It is being beta tested, so to speak. So if things need changing per Staff, then it will be changed. By purchasing this merit you agree that it can be changed at any time to suit game balance needs.
Witch - Witch (2006 Complete Album)
Folk Magic. What is it exactly? It has roots from Europe and the Far East, the tundras of Russia and into the plains of Africa. Every culture has a form of Folk Magic that locals use to usually bless a home, crops and families with good fortune. To ward off evil spirits, ghosts, devils, demons and wicked fair folk.
The flip side of this is the malicious magic used to curse. To rob a neighbor of their good fortune who may or may not even be a practicing Folk Magician. The legend of the evil witch is not unknown in any culture.
So does this mean they are or were all Thaumaturgists?
No. Not necessarily. Folk Magic is an incredibly low-key form of magic that is beneath that of even Thaumaturgic Practices. The power of Folk Magic comes from belief. So long as one believes in magic, believes in the Supernatural, believes in curses and blessings from the Evil Eye to the Power of Prayer. It works. Even if someone just studies the Occult objectively as a pseudo-scientific study opens the doors for the mind to be willing to accept things that may exist outside their own reality. It is the way magic works and it is the name of the game in the World of Darkness.
Because of that anyone can learn the three basic tenants of Folk Magic, regardless of what they are.
A Vampire can easily learn this style of magic as easy as a Thaumaturge, Sin-Eater, Werewolf, Mage or Immortal can. The three basic tenants or specializations are:
Braucherei - Also known as "white magic", beneficial and used to bless hearth and home. To bring good fortune upon the homestead and assist in healing and childbirth.
Hexerei - The "black magic" of hexes, curses. Used maliciously in the home of another to curse and bring ill fortune upon a house and it's residents.
Repelling - Also known as 'Pelling'. This is a practice that is used to disenchant any charm or bane cast using white or black magic. This is not the sole property of a Folk Magician. 'Pellers' were often slang for Witch Hunters back during the Inquisition period in Colonial America. Specialized hunters that knew what marks to look for in a home and banish it, heedless of it's benefits or curses. The term 'peller' to this day is considered offensive in many pagan communities.
Common Titles: Witch, Midwife, Braucher or most commonly simply 'Practitioner'.
Mechanics: Each Style is purchased as a sequential Merit similar to Resources. It reflects a practitioners level of skill as is common in many nWoD Systems. Folk Magic itself is not a Path of magic that is familiar in Thaumaturgy. It is based on flavor and it's practice uses symbolism and crafted objects for the magic or curse to take effect. It is ritualized and isn't something that can be cast 'on the fly'. It takes preparation and time, study and concentration. Once the sigil is painted or the hand made item is imbued, it can be set on the property. Inside or out it makes no difference so long as it is touching the home or spot to be blessed or hexed, the magic will begin to take it's effect. Allowing a practitioner to imbue these small trinkets and sell them, bring them to a home or leave them unaware in the way of hexes. Even removing the offending item and throwing it away, burning it does not alleviate the curse or effects. That is the power of Repelling to dispell the power.
Prerequisites:: Occult 1 with a Specialty in Folk Magic. Note: Repelling only requires Occult 1+
Note:: Occult 1 is necessary for Levels 1-2; Occult 2 for level 3; Occult 3 for level 4; Occult 4 for Level 5.
Roll: By Style Type
Cost: 1 Willpower
Duration: Varies
Roll Results:
Dramatic Failure: The inverse of the original intention is performed. The Practitioner is unaware until it is too late.
Failure: Nothing happens. The Practitioner is unaware of this.
Success: The Ritual is successful. It lingers in the area or on the object for a full week (7 Days)
Exceptional Success: The Ritual is highly potent and the duration lasts for two full weeks (14 Days)
Area of Effect: Typically these are things that are used in a home or business. From as small as a closet to as large as an average grocery store. Making it a 'hide and go seek' game on finding where this trinket or thing may be if someone wishes to investigate causes. Which could mean a rather large area. Folk Magic is outside the realm of affecting, say, an entire city block. 1 building is not out of the question but a skyscraper might be (not that we have those here in Fallcoast). As for a rough estimate of acreage, possibly up to dots/level worth of acres. It is the ST's call, however. As these are meant to push more story with a few mechanical effects.
Detection: If the PC has a reason to think something is not right in their home? They may roll Wits+Occult to detect that SOMETHING may be off using Folk Magic. This may be done by any PC that has Occult skill at 2+ or has any dots in Braucherei, Hexerei or Repelling. Mages, meanwhile, can tell something is in the area with their universal Unseen Senses. If they use Mage Sight and Scrutinize the area, they will notice on 3 or more successes a very weak form of Low Magic hangs in the area.
+NOTE If you are utilizing something on your home, a business, the home of an enemy, etc. There must be a +note set by staff. Submit a job titled "Folk Magic" so it can be set appropriately with a start date and expiration date. Folk Magic can be set as a note on your PC that they perform a certain ritual every week. Make sure that the note describes the piece of craft used that could be found in the area that was made by your PC. It doesn't need to be perfect but it should make some sense and cannot be smaller than the average human hand.
Suggested Craft: Just suggestions on how your character performs the magic. This is their signature and this is where you can let your creative freedom run wild. No two Practitioners are completely alike. A friend may borrow a 'recipe' from another but it would essentially do the same thing if the ritual were the same. Perhaps by dumb luck they got a better roll that they somehow feel that way is 'better' then tell their friends who also practice, etc. It is the infusion of the Practitioner's will that is the most important. The pieces and parts used to give it a physical presence in the world is inconsequential in the long run. A vessel for the magick and nothing more.
Note: It should be said again, Folk Magic can be practiced by anyone, regardless of sphere so long as they meet the requirements. As with any Skill, Specialties are allowed and are able to be stacked as per FC HRs. Occult.Blessings can be stacked with Occult.Braucherei and Occult.Soothing Home. ICly their craft could be called anything they wish! Like Santeria, Hoodoo, Obeah, something with a real world system of belief that will give your story more flavor.
Braucherei
The good magic. The white magic. The magic meant to sooth and heal. Bless a home with calm and happiness in times when the world was far harsher than it is today. When hospitals were not available or the local sawbones certainly meant death. Where the home was central and family was absolute. Braucherei has been called many things throughout the years and varies from country to country, even county to county and state to state.

Practitioners often use brightly colored sigils, symbols of prosperity and healing. Beneficial herbs to hang that are known to ward off evil. Using a variety of alchemical agents to create potions that are then dripped around the home. Typically at doorways and windows. The use of Braucherei involves blessing a home with these symbols, the magic pushes through them. So long as they remain, it is said, the magic will stay strong.

Suggested Modifiers:

+1 Practitioner has Morality 7+
+1 Practitioner is using this on their own Family
-1 Practitioner has Morality 5 or less.
-1 Practitioner is using this for another Family

Suggested Craft: Brightly painted symbols or sigils, geometric patterns, plush dolls, knitting, baked goods, incense, clean and vibrant oils, little arts and crafts projects 'God Bless This Mess', etc.

Suggested Ritual Components: Rosemary, mint, sage, cotton, corn husks, down feathers, yarn, glitter, salt, thyme, baby hair, white candles, light/clean incense, polished brass, copper, gold

Pool: Resolve + Occult
Action: Extended. 1 Roll = 5 Minutes. Requires 5+Ritual Level Successes.

• - Brownie Blessing

Similar to the 1-Dot Changeling Merit 'Brownies Boon' but it allows all mundane rolls done within the home to only take 1/2 the amount of time. From making cleaning a breeze, to knitting quick or works of art done in significantly less time than usual. This only works for mundane rolls. This does not work for cutting down times for making magical items of any kind. This is meant for story, flavor and a little assistance.


•• - Bless This House

A softly spoken prayer to the Lord. A magical symbol drawn out of family tradition. This simple ritual can mean so much to a household or place of business. A very common practice that can be as simple as hanging a cross or even a dream catcher up. So long as they are hand made, of course. If successful, mundane research, Crafts (Does not include Relic Making, Fetish Making, Token Making, etc), Medicine, Empathy, Expression, Persuasion and Occult rolls gain 9again.


••• - Soothing Home

Some homes just really feel like a home. Warm and inviting with a sense of calmness. It is Grandma's house in every fable and story. A place of comfort and sanctuary. Resolve+Composure rolls gain a +1 for an area of calm in the home to residents and guests. This calm is meant to sooth anger and is applicable to things like resisting frenzy or mundane attempts of creating fear. This does not apply to resisting supernatural powers that create fear or hostility, as they are a much more powerful form of magic than what this can help with.


•••• - Bedside Manner

The secret of midwives and holistic healers. With the assistance of their folk magic, those under their care that remain in the home or area so warded benefit as if they had the Fast Healer merit. This stacks with if the injured has the Fast Healing merit already or any Supernatural ability to heal rapidly. This does not discount or increase the ability to heal from using things like Vitae or Essence that can push supernatural healing. This is strictly for being in the care of healers without utilizing your own resources.


••••• - Ward Against Evil

A property is warded from those that have their souls sullied or corrupted. A Resolve+Composure-3 roll is made to enter the home by a creature Morality 5 or less, unless given permission by resident. Failure means the intruder pays 1 Willpower to enter and will suffer -1 to all rolls from burning sensation, making it hard to concentrate like the 'evil' person is being burned for their sins. They may leave the threshold of the property and the effects disappear.
Hexerei
The bad magic. The black magic. The magic meant to hex and curse. More than that it allows a witch to hide or gain an edge over those that has done her wrong. This is the magick of revenge and to keep away those that would try and harm a witch from fulfilling whatever oath or promise she made. The magick is often toxic and foul, the antithesis of everything Braucherei stands for. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as Santeria or even Voodoo by those unenlightened to the true paths, even by witches that use this form of dark magick.

Practitioners often use dark symbolism in their work. Blood and bone, thorns and rusted nails. Every witch has her own unique brand in how to focus their will. Some forgo symbols for arcane mixtures of poisons and fungus mixed with bile and urine to hurl at a home of those who have done her wrong. While some are minor inconveniences, others can be downright horrible to need to deal with. Especially on a weekly basis.

Suggested Modifiers:

+1 Practitioner has Morality 5 or less
+1 Practitioner is using this on the home or Family of one who has slighted them.
-1 Practitioner has Morality 7 or more.
-1 Practitioner is using this on their own blood Family

Suggested Craft: Dark symbolism steeped in the occult, little bags of broken and bloody teeth, small jars filled with animal embryos, arcane looking wooden symbols crafted from vines

Suggested Ritual Components: Blood, broken teeth, animal fur, oil, body fluids, bones, certain spices, chilis, rusty nails, iron, steel, silver

Pool: Manipulation + Occult
Action: Extended. 1 Roll = 5 Minutes. Requires 5+Ritual Level Successes.

• - Infestation

Bugs are creepy to most people and they carry things like diseases. Some can just be downright annoying. Those days when there seemed to be a lot of flies in the house with the windows open. A sudden infestation of cockroaches for no real reason. Perhaps it was the work of a Folk Witch. This rituals allows a witch to summon vermin and insects into a home. Ruining food and damaging items. The witch has no power over them and cannot control them, just lure them to a location. Those within the home lose 10again on rolls involving concentration. Usually Extended rolls like meditation, crafting and could cause for social penalties as well depending upon the ST. Going into someone's house that is infested with cockroaches isn't a good impression, after all.


•• - The Black Altar

Every good witch needs an altar! Built within a home, it provides 9again to mundane Research, Crafts (Does not include Relic Making, Fetish Making, Token Making, etc), Occult, Larceny, Stealth, Persuasion, Subterfuge rolls within the area of the Black Altar. It doesn't need to be an actual altar, it is more a place of power where the Practitioner is strongest. Giving them an edge over those they are lured into their dens. The beneficial circumstances of this outside their home is not lost on a witch who could craft something to leave in a court room for a trial, or upon a bank to get a loan easier.. but then again so does everyone else unless they Repell the effects.


••• - Hidden Hut

If cast within the witches' home it provides effects similar to the Occultation Merit. Making the home difficult to really find and easy to overlook or forget where it was exactly. Borrowing from folklore of having a witch hut in the woods hard to find. Providing a -2 to rolls to remember or locate the residence based on memory. Naturally this does not affect the Practitioner in question but that doesn't include her friends and family.


•••• - Witch Mark

One of the penultimate marks of a true witch. This gives her spite real power. Tangible results over the course of time that still look like covert occurances. A Witch Mark will curse a home to suffer bouts of bad luck. People become ill. Small items go missing. Strange noises at night. Food rots rapidly. Game wise, those who are within the home tend to become ill easier and each day suffer 1B (Which heals in 15 minutes, per standard Bashing Damage. Signifying victims wake up with scratches, bruises and headaches.) and they do not regain a Willpower Point from sleeping equivalent to half of the time cursed, rounded down which reflects horrific nightmares that plague them. Further things happening with poltergeist-like activity is up to ST discretion. A Witch Mark very well could waken dormant Spirits or Ghosts, even Demons. Usually with the witch being none the wiser for it.


••••• - Devil's Circle

The witch can mark an area of protection from those damn Do-Gooders that may try to come into her territory. That or further curse the home of another to further flush them from the area. A Resolve+Composure-3 roll is made to enter marked area against people Morality 5+. Which means that, yes, even the Witch can be affected, at this level of Hexerei it is expected the witch is not a very morally strong person. At all. Failure means the intruder pays 1 Willpower to enter and will suffer -1 to all rolls from disorientation and hallucinations.
Repelling • to •••••
Repelling, often known as 'pelling' and it's practitioners sometimes referred to as 'Pellers' is not exclusive to any one branch of Folk Magic. In fact, those who do not even practice Folk Magic can know Repelling.
Repelling it the act of disenchanting an area or thing blessed or cursed by Folk Magic. Your average Peller could be every bit an enemy witch as they could be a devout priest. People who know a bit of the occult to know what to look for and often times find signs, wrongly of 'devil magic'. Using items like crosses and holy water to rid a house of 'evil' without knowing exactly where it is stemming from. Those who are well versed in Folk Magic though know this as a Counter Magic.
For Practitioners, this Counter Magic is almost essential to know a little of it. Just in case your foe decides to target you with a curse... or baked goods that make people happy to be in your dark den of doom. Ugh.
For Thaumaturgists who encounter Folk Magic they may use Countermagic as an Instant action to dispell whatever hangs in the area.
For Mages who encounter Folk Magic, they may Counterspell it as normal using Life (for Braucherei) or Death (for Hexerei) or Prime (for Both).


Suggested Modifiers:

+1 Repeller has an item of religious significance to them.
+1 Repeller uses chants or prayers to cleanse an area.
-1 Repeller cannot locate the source of the Folk Magic.
-1 Repeller is being forced to undo their own magick.

Suggested Craft: None.

Suggested Ritual Components: Prayer, religious items, holy water or the inverse of these things to banish 'good magick'.

Pool: Wits + Occult + Repelling
Action: Extended. 1 Roll = 1 Minute / Requires 5+Ritual Level Successes.
Roll Results:
Dramatic Failure: Good job, you made it worse. +1 Week added to length of time. Repeller is unaware of this change and it could seem like things 'go back to normal' only for things to start up again the next day.
Failure: Nothing happens. The Repeller is unaware of this.
Success: The repelling is successful and the magic is immediately broken. All effects cease immediately.
Exceptional Success: The repelling is extraordinarily good and it makes the area unable to be struck by the same Folk Magic for a full week (7 Days).