Knights of Elora Mechanics

Introduction

The purpose of this page is to outline specific alternative mechanics found during the Knights of Elora plot, as well as any events that may involve Elora-specific NPCs or effects.

Ethereal Charge

For the magics of Elora to work, they must draw their potential energy from some source. Most often, this source is from the human body, stored as a form of potential energy known to thaumaturges as ethereal charge. Without this ethereal charge, no form of Elorean technology would work.

Ethereal charge capacity exists in nearly all sapient creatures, and in a large variety of sentient creatures. Natural springs of ethereal charge also exist around the world in certain locations where the fabric between the ether and reality is weaker.

Obtaining Ethereal Charge

The baseline human being has enough capacity for four units of ethereal charge, which will naturally regenerate at a rate of 1 charge point/day. Anomalous entities may have larger or smaller charge capacities - this is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Items that can store charge, including wands, staves, crystal capacitors, and other such items, must have their charge restored by drawing it from an ethereal spring, either using a wand itself or having an automated process do so for the user. These springs will fill up such devices until they are run dry - they can no longer be used for the duration of the event should they run dry, as the arcane fabric has sustained serious damage and needs time to repair itself.

Using Ethereal Charge

Ethereal charge is primarily used for two things in Elora:

  • Operating Elorean artifacts and relics;
  • Casting invocations.

The former only requires that ethereal charge be present - the amount of charge that is drained from the user is so miniscule that the natural body regeneration process can compensate for the loss, barring specific operation.

The latter, however, requires large bursts of focused ethereal energy to create the required invocation, and thus, will wear down a user's charge points until they hit zero.

Invocations and artifacts cannot be used if the user does not have sufficient charge points.

Artifacts and Relics

The domain of Elora relies primarily on magically manufactured items for its tools.

Artifacts

Artifacts are the common items that are easy to manufacture. They often consist of weapons, tools, and tomes, that are often found on the average Elorean citizen and in the majority of the Knight cohorts.

Tools

Elorean tools either gather or focus ethereal charge, or expend ethereal charge to perform unique events. Further details can be found here.

Weapons

Elorean weapons rely rarely on "traditional" explosive firing mechanisms, instead using ethereal charge to propel energy at a focused and fast rate at the intended target. As long as the user possesses some ethereal charge, weapons can be used infinitely. More details on the various Elorean weapon types can be found here.

Tomes

Tomes are cheaper and more expendable versions of wand focus cores - while cores can be used infinitely, tomes are designed for limited usage before the magic that powers them eventually runs dry, rendering the tome useless. Tomes exist for the common invocations, and are rarer to find for uncommon or forbidden/Eldritch invocations.

Relics

Relics are unique or extremely rare artifacts, and are held in regard for their uniqueness and extreme power that they provide to the user. Relics will always be named, and provide extensive bonuses that are outlined on a case-by-case basis.

Invocations

Invocations are the magical spells of Elora, bound into physical form by careful preparation rituals. Invocations represent years of continued arcane research to create a specific effect and codify it into a usable system of tomes or cores.

Invocation Categories

Invocations are generally classified by how much energy is required to successfully cast them, in addition to the complexity of the operation. These classifications are known as:

  • Low level classifications are simple to use invocations, that require very little energy, little complexity in operation, and are the least likely to fail;
  • Medium level classifications require more energy, are more complex than the low-level invocations, and carry some chance of failure;
  • High level classifications require substantial amounts of energy, are incessantly complex, and carry the greatest chance of catastrophic failure. However, they are the most powerful of the invocation groups.

Invocations are further subdivided into the following categories:

  • Lesser invocations are dimmed-down versions of the base invocation, with a lesser effect, but also reduced complexity and energy usage;
  • Standard invocations are the baseline invocations;
  • Greater invocations are tweaked invocations that require more power and have a higher complexity, but with a greater effect.

Known invocations can be found here.

Paradox

As powerful as invocations are, they are not without risk. Due to the human body channeling such vast amounts of energy, there are complications that can arise when the flow of energy for casting an invocation is interrupted, or the invocation is not properly set up. These side-effects are collectively known as paradoxical effects.

Paradox Effects

Inferior Paradox

Inferior paradox is a common side-effect of miscalculated invocations, and is quite common among apprentice thralls and thaumaturge understudies. Not considered incredibly dangerous in its own right, inferior paradox is considered a learning tool, to show junior thaumaturges the dangers in unrestricted channeling of power. However, if not promptly treated, or in extreme situations, inferior paradox may build up in a person, giving ways to more severe effects.

Paradox Roll Name of Effect Effect Description
1-10 Strange Whispers Strange whispers are heard in the user's thoughts, not entirely their own.
11-20 Ethereal Fill The excess energy instead refills a person's ethereal charge capacity. Ethereal charge is returned to full.
21-30 Unnatural Vitality The excess energy accelerates natural processes - wounds heal faster, muscles move faster, etc. +1 Str/Agi/Perc, and the user can regenerate 1 PHealth per turn, for the rest of the event.
31-40 Blurred Vision The user's vision is temporarily blurred. -1 to visual perception for one turn. Paradox counter reduced by 1.
41-49 Foresight The user has a limited ability of clairvoyance, and can perceive events ahead of time for a short period. Special effects as noted by GM. Paradox counter reduced by 1.
50 Paradox There has been a grave mistake, and much more interference than expected has occurred, causing large degrees of paradox to build up. User must roll for effects from Paradox table.

Standard Paradox

Standard paradox is what occurs when the built-up ethereal energy begins to damage the user. Under regular circumstances, such excess energy is bled off before it can fester long enough to do damage. However, when left to accumulate for long enough, this energy begins to backlash and cause injury to the user in an attempt to escape and restore the balance.

Paradox Roll Name of Effect Effect Description
1 Paradox Purge The excess energy bleeds off, without causing undue harm to the user. All paradox counts are reset.
2-10 Sudden Headache A piercing headache afflicts the user. They are unable to do anything for one turn.
11-20 Lesser Sapping The user incurs a penalty of -1 Str/Agi for the duration of the event.
21-30 Disturbing Whispers The user hears extremely disturbing thoughts in their mind, of events that have happened, or that have yet to transpire. User must roll MDef against 1d6 mental damage.
31-40 Ethereal Pox The energy within the user begins to form pockmarks on the body of the user, in an attempt to escape. User's PHealth is divided by 2 for the duration of one day. Paradox counter reduced by 1.
41-49 Temporal Dilation The user's mind is so riddled with energy that they cannot accurately perceive time around them. The user takes a -4 Agi/Perc penalty for the duration of the event. Paradox counter reduced by 1.
50 Rift Opening The user has accumulated so much energy that a rift has opened near them in an attempt to bleed off such vast amounts of unrestrained energy. User must roll for effects from Superior Paradox table.

Superior Paradox

Superior Paradox occurs when the built-up energies within a person can no longer contain itself, and forcibly tears open a hole in the arcane fabric in an attempt to restore balance. This results in a large rift being formed, with various severe effects that may occur due to the natural balance of ethereal energy being disturbed.

The following are potential effects:

Rift Roll Name of Effect Effect Description
1-10 Dispersal The Rift immediately disperses itself without further effect.
11-20 Soul Sanitize All paradox points are eliminated, at the cost of 1d4 MHealth damage. The Rift dissipates.
21-30 Forbidden Knowledge The user takes 1d3 MHealth damage, and is now able to use Eldritch invocations permanently. The Rift dissipates.
31-40 Eldritch Marked The user is marked by an odd pox, which is sought out by Guardians. This user takes double the damage from Eldritch Guardians. The Rift dissipates.
41-50 Greater Sapping The user incurs a penalty of -3 Str/Agi for the duration of the event. The Rift dissipates.
51-60 Wisp Formation The Rift spawns 1d3 Wisps onto the scene. The Rift dissipates.
61-70 Wasp Formation The Rift spawns 1d3 Wasps onto the scene. The Rift dissipates.
71-80 Guardian Formation The Rift spawns 1d3 Guardians onto the scene. The Rift dissipates.
81-90 Overwhelming Feedback All users within eyesight of the Rift take PHealth damage equivalent to half of their remaining ethereal charge. The Rift disperses.
91-99 Supercritical Explosion The rift implodes on itself, creating a d10+2 blast. All entities must roll PDef against the strength of the blast. The Rift disperses.
100 The Grand Warp The power and knowledge of the eldritch arts is too overwhelming for the affected user. Their mind and body is warped until it resembles that of an eldritch guardian. The rift is then re-rolled for a new effect. NPCs only - PCs may roll a different effect.

Combating Paradox

Paradox is an insidious mechanism that affects all Elorean thaumaturges equally - many generations of research have been dedicated to nullifying its effects, all to no avail.

The simplest, and more surefire way, to reduce the amount of paradox in a user, is for that user to rest for a while and avoid all invocations. With time, the amount of paradox will eventually fade away.

Other methods, which are faster, but incredibly dangerous to the soul and to the body, have also been devised for the elimination of paradox from a user.

Paradox Mechanics

A user's paradox chart is simply their academics stat, multiplied by two. Half of this resultant number is the chart for inferior paradox, and the second half is for standard paradox.

Paradox may be earned by failing to hit DCs when casting invocations, interacting with certain (usually Eldritch) entities, certain invocations, and by certain actions.

Paradox may be reduced by not activating invocations for a while, certain cleansing methods (which may be dangerous for the mind or the body), and certain paradoxical effects.

If no paradox effects or gains have been made, the user's paradox chart will go down, one point of paradox per day.

Paradox effects are rolled when a user has any negatives in an invocation roll. Paradox effects depend on if the user is within the first half of their chart (inferior paradox), within the second half (standard paradox), or if their chart is full (superior paradox).

Certain exceptions include:

  • Failing high-level invocation DCs will instantly form a rift, regardless of the caster's paradox level;
  • It is possible (though statistically unlikely) to cast invocations without rolling any FUDGE negatives, thus preventing or alleviating paradox occurrences.

Mounts

Mounts are animals or devices that a user may ride on to gain benefits in defense, speed, and offensive capabilities.

Most users arrive into scenes/combat on a mount, which means that there are two entities to target - the user, and the mount itself. Certain mounts (primarily vehicles) may fully protect the user until the mount itself is destroyed.

While mounted, the user's stats are replaced with the mount's applicable stats, particularly in the areas of PDef, Agi, Melee, and Ranged combat. Certain mounts allow for special abilities - these are covered in the mount's stat sheet.

Destroying a mount doesn't necessarily kill the user - the user is dismounted, and will continue to fight or flee on foot.

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