Though the Occult skill functions much like a General Skill, it is deeply connected to magic and thus is listed here in the Magic section. Occult is present, however, in some form or other, in all worlds.
Occult is the principle skill for those who wish to become proficient in more than one school of magic and those who wish to effectively use, and enchant, magical artifacts.
|Artifice= Skill Level + Attuned Trait|
|1||15 CP||Mastery Bonus 1||15|
|3||10 CP||Mastery Bonus 2||30|
|5||20 CP||Mastery Bonus 3||65|
|7||30 CP||Arcane Might –OR– Investiture||120|
|8||35 CP||Primal Essence –OR– Ritualist||155|
|9||40 CP||Arcane Might –OR– Investiture||195|
|10||45 CP||Primal Essence –OR– Magesmith||240|
|11||50 CP||Arcane Might –OR– Investiture||290|
|12||55 CP||Primal Essence –OR– Sorcerer||345|
*this is the total amount of cp spent on the skill at the corresponding level
This ability, derived by adding a character’s Attuned level to their level in Occult, allows characters to study magical artifacts so that they might discern their purpose. During any investigation on a magical item that has Artificing properties, the highest Artifice level among the participants enhances the effect of the investigation. The more ancient, alien, or complex the magical device, the harder it is to determine its properties. In order to use an artifact for the first time, an Occultist must call an investigation action upon it at least once. Specific levels of Artifice are often required to use the functions of magical items, once discovered.
Artifice also allows an occultist to draw Charges out of magical items or places of power, which is a process known as Channeling. In order to channel from an item, a character must hold it, close their eyes, and then take a slow three count: “Channeling 1, Channeling 2, Channeling 3,” after which they drain the item of a number of charges up to their Artifice level, which is the maximum any character can hold outside those awarded from rituals. If they are drawing Charges from a Place of Power, they gain this full allotment after they meet whatever other requirements the location has. Note that Places of Power are all unique, and these requirements will vary widely based on location, size, stability, age, and myriad other factors. Most places of power will have a physical manifestation of their nature, and it is this manifestation which must be interacted with in order to channel at the location. Typically, a character will only be able to Channel from a Place of Power a limited number of times per day, but each time they do, they get their maximum number of charges.
Charges drawn from locations and items will be Perfect, meaning they can be used with any arcane school. Regardless of the type or source, the number of Perfect charges a character may bear is equal to their Artifice level. Characters without Artifice may not hold Perfect charges at all.
At levels 1, 3, and 5, a character gains a permanent +1 bonus to their Mastery. As a reminder, a character’s total Mastery is equal to their highest spell school, plus their level in the Willful Trait, plus any bonuses from this skill.
A character with this ability has increased their understanding of fundamental magical forces such that they can branch out and learn a second School of Magic. They must find a tutor of that school who is also an Adept, and who is willing to teach them. Both student and teacher must spend an out-of-game action on instruction for the character to learn the new style of magic, and a character can learn only one style per downtime session.
This ability also allows a character to teach any of the magical schools they know, as per the above rules.
Like Adept, Wizards have an enhanced understanding of magical forces, but to a greater degree. Characters with this ability can learn a third School of Magic.
A character with this ability is so wise to the ways of magic that they may learn from any school, as long as someone can teach them. In addition, when struck by a hostile, packet-delivered magical effect, a Savant may call “Countermagic,” which negates the spell by expending one charge of their choice. Unlike Ward effects, Any charge a character bears can be used to counter a spell.
Once per day for each time this ability is chosen, a character may focus a combat spell’s power to such an extent that its force becomes almost impossible to resist. This ability may only be used with packet-delivered instant spells. This ability is activated by the caster saying “Arcane Might!” in a loud voice, followed by them speaking the spell verbal as normal. Spells cast in this way do not require a charge; the ability itself powers the casting. If the target is hit, the spell takes effect, in all probability. Arcane spells cannot be Dodged, they cannot be defended against with other combat maneuvers (though they may be evaded mundanely), nor can they be Warded or resisted by magical or feat-based means. The only way to stop an arcane effect, if hit, is for the victim to expend a use of Arcane Might (“Arcane Might: Resist!).
Arcane enhanced spells will ignore threshold, damage reduction, or other similar effects of all types, and they will affect categories of targets normally untargetable by the spell in question. Immunity to a type of magic does not apply, either: magic finds a way. Arcane spells which harm items may not be resisted by either the holder of the item or the item itself.
Alternately, Arcane Might may simply be activated on its own to resist any magic effect as a standard resist, including those cast with this ability. This must be called as “Arcane Might: Resist!”
This ability allows an occultist to enchant a single object with a portion of their power as a downtime action, or more auspiciously, during game. This item may be any solid, permanent, well-crafted object a character could wear, wield, or easily carry, and it MUST be a tagged item. Items that are already magical may not be enchanted with this ability, unless otherwise noted. The types of enchantments available are almost unlimited; note, however, that no investiture attempt is guaranteed to succeed, by any means. Note also that effects may be somewhat unpredictable in their result, and more powerful enchantments are proportionately more difficult to achieve. The higher a character’s Artifice, the more likely they are to succeed. Additionally, the description of the enchantment itself—and the process of its casting—will have a significant effect, as will the time and place of the enchantment and the type of item enchanted. Any items used in the Investiture ritual will be destroyed upon casting.
Investiture comes with a significant cost: while a character has such an item enchanted, the number of Perfect charges they may bear is reduced by 3. An occultist can revoke an investiture at any time by holding the item and concentrating upon it for 5 minutes, calling “Revocation” at the end of this period. If the item is lost or stolen, the character must spend a downtime action in order to slowly revoke its power. For each time this ability is chosen, the artificer may have an additional invested object active at one time, and these additional items cumulatively reduce their maker’s charge maximum by 3. Invested enchantments will last until deliberately Revoked or the item is Shattered or Destroyed. Enchantments on Broken items, although they will not function, will be restored in full upon the object’s repair.
Once per season (game year) for each time this ability is chosen, the occultist may manifest truly frightening magical potential; they are able to absorb the raw magical essence of the world around them as easily as breathing. After spending 1 minute in deep meditation, the caster then activates this ability by announcing “Primal Essence!” in as loud a voice as they can muster. At this point, the occultist’s Artifice increases by 6, and they Channel their full allotment of Perfect charges at this increased limit. Until the next sunset, the occultist may again gain that many charges at any time by simply meditating for 1 minute and calling the ability as above. Normal channeling may NOT be used when this effect is in place, nor may a character perform rituals of any kind. The effects of Primal Essence are dispelled if its user dies. While under the effects of this ability, any spell cast with the Arcane Might tagline is cast at double the caster’s Mastery.
An occultist with this ability has perfected their mastery of ritualcraft; they may choose three rituals that they know from any of their magical schools. These rituals, when performed, will hereafter grant two charges of their type instead of the usual one.
In addition, this ability grants a +3 bonus to Research for any Scholarship action which involves magical rituals.
A character with this ability has truly unlocked the secrets of creating lasting enchantments. By combining exotic materials with sources of eldritch power, and using expertly crafted items as the basis for their enchantments, a magesmith can create full-blown magical artifacts. Note that this kind of enchantment, unlike investitures, may only be attempted in game, and success is by no means guaranteed. All acts of Magesmithing must be done in the presence of a Marshal.
The success of this ability is modified by the occultist’s Artifice level, the items/sources of power/situation involved, as well as the outright roleplaying of the act of enchanting the item. As can be imagined, a great many of the secrets of this ability are left up to the player to find out in play.
On a final note, Magesmiths automatically get a +3 bonus to their Artifice when enchanting items they have crafted themselves.
This ability, which represents an occultist’s ultimate understanding of the fundamental principles that unify all magical schools, allows them to spend any charge they possess, regardless of source, as if it were a Perfect charge. In addition, Sorcerers themselves effectively generate an ambient Place of Power; once per day, they and anyone within 15’ of them may channel in their vicinity, if given explicit permission, receiving their normal allotment of perfect charges for doing so. Finally, Sorcerers may make a once-in-a-lifetime sacrifice, investing the bulk of their essence into an object of power at great personal cost. The actual effects of this sacrifice are FOIP or during downtime research.