The Magic of Concepts

Through training or talent, you are tangibly aware of certain fundamental concepts. They bleed off people like a bad smell. They cling to objects and places. They hangs from the world like string, just begging you to pull on it.

Love, Pity, Fury, and Sadness are simple emotional concepts, but you are aware of much more sophisticated ones. The stressful edge of 'Just about getting by' is an emotion. The diligent weariness of 'Practicing every day' is also. So is the bleak anger of 'Not being good enough' or the fragile adrenaline of 'Holding your breath so they don't hear you'.

Your magic allows you to trap and embody concepts in relics, then turn them to your own ends. You are only just beginning to understand what makes these concepts important, and are sure there is a lot more to it than you know.

Creating Relics

Your magic works by creating small relics that focus your power in a specific way.

It costs a base 2AP to create a base relic. When doing this you state

  1. The base Formula you are using,
  2. The intended target,
  3. Any specifics,

Once finished, you need only hold the relic activate or deactivate it, and inflict its effect on the target. As long as the relic is intact, it will continue to function, even over great distances. If you lose the relic, it cannot be altered until you get it back. If the relic is destroyed, the effect ends immediately.


The appearance of a relic entirely suits the style of the caster. Some of the formulae below suggest a form for the relic but that isn't necessary. Like zen archery, its all about how you do it. Some of your kind scribe scrolls of power. Others craft their power into weapons, others still into jewelery. You construct something very carefully following the intuitive formula you have studied.


While crafting a relic, you attune it to a specific target. This target is usually an individual, though it isn't impossible to target a group, or a specific place. More general targets make for a less effective relic, and its not easy to tell how effective a relic is until it has been made and activated. Additional relics of a similar type can be used to reinforce a relic spread too thin.

One more warning...

A person targeted by a relic instinctively knows that something is up, and that the effect is not natural. This is not necessarily a bad feeling. It could be quite euphoric, or similar to deja vu. It depends on the nature and specifics of the formula used.

Learning Formulas

Each formula allows you to create one type of relic. At game start you will have a short list of common formulas that you could learn, but there are more out there, and you can also attempt to create your own.

To learn a new formula, you need one of the following:

  • Someone to teach it to you.
  • A detailed written guide.
  • To be targetted by a relic using the formula.

With any of these resources, you may turnsheet for 2AP to study and learn the new formula.

Creating New Formulas

To create your own formula requires 3-4AP, depending on how powerful the effect is. To tweak a specific formula for a more specialised effect, it will cost 1-2 AP, you don't get XP for the tweak, but you still do for creating the new relic. For all formula's you must have a similar formula to base it on. Please talk over ideas for new Formulas with your GM.

Creating More Powerful Relics

Regardless of your skills, a base relic will only ever have a minor effect.

It is not possible to make a formula which is simply a more powerful version of one you know.

You understand that a strong power source is needed to boost their relics, and cause a more significant effect. At game start, you don't know how to recognized these power sources, nor how to incorporate them if you could. With a little training however…

Beginning Players

Beginning players are Apprentices. They start knowing 1 Formula from the starter list. They may then choose one of the following:

  • An extra starting Formula
  • A completed relic using a formula you know (tied to anyone you know).

Beginning players should also note the appearance their relics usually take.

Depending on how you acquired your magic, you may have other starting benefits. These will be communicated to you individually.


Training your magic works along similar lines to skill training by gaining XP. To become an Expert, you will need 5XP. You automatically gain 1XP For any of the following actions:

  • Creating a relic
  • Learning a new formula
  • Creating a new formula
  • Training (costs 2AP for 1XP)

Please turnsheet clearly when an action should grant you an XP, and when you think you have leveled up, so that we can keep track.

Starting Formula


The traditional strawman-in-a-field is the most universal use of concept magic, but only one use of this formula. The target of this relic will find its presence innately intimidating. Unless they know what to look for they won't be able to put their finger on why, and might mistake their fear of the relic for the fear of its bearer, or the holy temple it has been placed in.

Certainly, facing your enemies wearing one of these will give you an edge over them.

Patcin Charm

Everybody needs somebody to love, and everyone loves a Patcin charm! This relic is crafted with a particular person in mind, and once complete will be innately attractive to them.

Note that it is the relic that is attractive, though the target wont be immediately aware of that. Hung above your door, it would encourage the person to pay you a visit. Worn on your person, and the target may mistake the attraction for you. If the relic were part of a gift, then its appreciation is assured.

Hero Pin

The concept of a hero is universal, and deep rooted in the human heart. This formula creates a relic imbued with the concept of 'the hero'. The effect will be subtle and may be erratic, but the target will begin to embody that concept as long as he wears this relic. In some situations, this change of attitude could give the target an edge. In others, it might act against them.

The precise concept imbued varies with the crafter, depending on what they consider to be a hero. Some may conceive a warrior who knows no fear, while others hold more worth to a master fieldsman, prepared to work himself to the bone for his crop. With this formula, the crafter can only imbue the relic with what they considers to be a hero, defined when the formula is first used.

Periapt of Sedation

This relic is commonly used to aide the sick. While constructing this relic, the crafter focuses on a simple emotional concept such as 'fury', 'anxiety', or 'pain'. Once complete, the relic acts as a net for that emotion, subduing it in the target. While there is no physical effect, a mind freed from pain heals faster. Like a crutch for an injured limb, a Periapt can give an injured mind chance to heal.

Before the relic will take effect, it needs to be touched to the target.

Curl of Pain

Traditionally a doll, traditionally activated with pins. This relic can be used to torture somebody with phantom pains. As with all relics, the person will be aware that the source of their suffering is supernatural, though that doesn't give them much of a clue where or what to look for.

For starting characters, this relic may be used to inflict a sudden burst of pain on someone from a great distance. You don't need to see the person, but it may be necessary if there is a crucial moment they need to be distracted at. Used effectively this will cause the target a minor penalty once per turn.

game1/magic_starter_concept.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/20 11:28 by gm_rob