Art: Enchantment, Naming
Ruling Planet: Venus
This charm can be used either to replicate existing shapes or craft new ones, according to the skills the caster has in that field, either for tools or furnishings or decoration, or decorative renderings of useful items. Recreating the shape of any object already at hand, making a copy of it out of the materials at hand (the density or hardness of the material subject to the limitations of the caster’s LoA with this skill) is easiest. The caster must place a hand on the materials and the object at the loosing of the dweomer to make an exact replica. The size of the replica matters not, it can be produced in whatever size or scale the caster wishes, provided he has sufficient materials to work with.
Recreating the shape of an object with which the caster is familiar through previous personal experience, especially when it is a tool used in the pursuit of a trade for which he is trained and skilled, presents no challenge, only the density or hardness of the material shaped matters.
Creating an object that is wholly new, beyond the caster’s scope of experience, even from a drawing or pattern supplied by one who has the necessary skills to create such a pattern for the caster to follow, requires a (CRD + MGA) check on d100 after the dweomer has been determined to have been successfully cast, vs. a DV to be evaluated by the GM based on the complexity of the shape. The DV for the caster to successfully create the object in question will be the same as that required for any mundane Craftsman to make that same object, as described in the GM’s Notes of the Craftsman trade description.
If it is embellished in any way, the DV for that design is added to that base DV, as discussed in the GM’s Notes of the Artisan trade description.
Without such a pattern or plan drawn up by one who is skilled in such things, the caster must either be skilled as a craftsman able to make the sorts of object(s) desired (and an Artisan as well, if the results are to be decorative in shape or embellished in any sort of decorative manner).
On his own, without his own experience of the item’s shape to aid him or an original to copy or a plan or design to follow, nor the skill to shape the item desired by mundane skill, the caster is restricted to only the most rudimentary forms (GM’s discretion).
Once the shape has been rendered by the dweomer, it passes away, its work completed. After the shape has been executed, the only limitation on its permanence lies in the ability of the material to retain it. So long as the caster confines himself in general to the types of materials commonly worked by mundane craftsmen, such as bone, ivory, wood, stone, glass, etc., which are well able to retain the shape they are given when wrought, the shape remains permanently until wrought over again either by hand or another shaping charm, or through normal wear and tear.
Shaping only works on dead, inanimate matter, shaping softer materials like ice and snow, soft woods, bone, ivory and amber (GM’s discretion), and/or soft minerals such as sedimentary stone such as limestones, shale, talc, gypsum and soapstone (GM’s discretion).
Any material shaped that cannot support itself must collapse into a formless heap once the Shaping passes away, especially loose aggregates like sand, pebbles or soil, sawdust, autumn leaves, or anything of a similar nature, UNLESS it is first “Bound” together into a single object (“Common Binding”).
The Size of the object(s) created are only limited by the amount of the material the caster has at hand to Shape, unless the Shaping is bundled with a Conjuration of Augmentation to provide more material to fulfill his needs (GM’s discretion).
The “Common Shaping” skill provides the practitioner with a bridge to the “Noble Shaping” charm to follow, giving him the means and background to research it and develop a treatise on it and learn it by virtue of his own studies and practice.
This charm cannot be resisted.
Druids & Witches
The incarnation of this magick wielded by practitioners of the Druid and Witch trades can also be used to “Shape” living plants, after the fashion of a topiary, as well as grasses and underbrush. This is commonly bundled with a “Quickening Charm” to make a pleasing shape when the plant reaches its full growth.
Those practitioners who are members of the Druid (any) or Witch trades and aligned with Water by birth may also “Shape Fog, –Steam or –Mist”, or “Shape Water” outright, but shaped water cannot endure for any appreciable length of time unless the water is first “Bound” before it is “Shaped”, or for which the “Shaping” is bundled in the casting with the “Binding”, in the same manner that any other aggregate substance which normally would not be able to retain the results of a “Shaping”.
Fog, mist and steam can be shaped without a Binding, but they can have no physical substance, only be used by means of the Shaping to create images that, once physically disturbed by contact with some creature being or object more substantial than they, immediately dissipate and are lost.
In these cases the Shape lasts for either the DUR of the “Binding” or that of the “Shaping”, whichever expires first.
Those practitioners aligned with Fire may also “Shape Fire”, however the fire so “Shaped” may not be separated from the fuel which feeds it. Alternately, the caster may Shape burning cinders and coals along with the fire or instead of the fire, provided they have first been “Bound”, the mass being considered as one object. The burning fuel so shaped continues to burn only so long as it can sustain the flames, normally, after which time they must collapse into ashes.
For those practitioners aligned with the element of Earth by birth, the “Charm of Shaping” also includes the “Shape Earth” aspect. Earth, insofar as it is an aggregate of soil, stones, pebbles, rotting vegetation and debris, can be shaped into objects as previously discussed, but only after being “Bound” so it does not collapse again as soon as the force behind the “Shaping” dissipates. The “Shape Earth” aspect has a much broader scope of effect than shaping individual objects, however, consisting also of the “Earthmover” and“Excavate”aspects which can be used interchangeably and in tandem to create a number of effects for use in re-Shaping the local topography, to make (post)holes, niches, recesses, pits, shafts, wells, ventilation shafts, ditching, hills or “tors”, etc. (as needed or desired), as follows.
“Earth Mover” aspect can take the form of the “Raise Tor”, “– Mound”, “– Hill” or “Rampart” charms.
The “Raise Tor”,“– Mound” or “– Hill” raises a mound or tor, a hill of some shape, so long as it fits in the AoE, as if the ground were being locally inflated. The tor or hill raised might be used as the motte supporting the keep for a motte-and-bailey castle, the fortifications being raised out of wood were time of the essence.
The dweomer may raise one mound or hill at a time, or up to POT of them might be raised by a single casting if they all fit within the AoE, but together they may total no more than (POT) feet in height. The actual shape of the tor might be a crescent, an oval, a lozenge like a football when viewed from above, it need not necessarily be a true circle, although the caster is free to choose that shape.
The Mound or Tor aspect may also be used to raise the earth to cover a structure such as a cairn, cyst or passage tomb, the depth of the earth to cover the structure dictating how large the caster must raise the mound.
The “Rampart” aspect is an adaptation of the “Mound” aspect, raising an earthwork defensive ridge up to the same (POT) feet in height and as wide as the AoE chosen by the caster. The purpose of the Rampart is to provide cover, but also to grant the defender the high ground and by its steep sides eliminate the chance of a charge breaching a living line of defense. The crest of the earthen Rampart may be as narrow as a single foot or as wide as (POT) feet, the sides sloping down to the surrounding ground at an angle somewhere between 30° and 45° (player’s discretion). Despite the use of an AoE to define part of the Rampart’s characteristics, it is not in and of itself limited to an AoE. It is a linear defense, like a Wall, and may run in a line following the course of the caster’s choosing for up to RNG, the crest remaining consistent at the height chosen by the caster above and parallel to the topographical elevations as the countryside on which it was raised undulates. The Rampart so created can run right up to any barrier the dweomer meets, natural or manmade, and continue on the other side of it, without disturbing it.
The “Pit Charm”, “Tunnel” and “Bore” are all applications of the “Excavation” aspect, as are the “Ditching” and “Moat” charms.
The “Pit Charm” brings into being a gaping pit in the ground totaling up to [(MGA att. mod.) + (POT)] feet in combined length and width (if rectangular) or the same distance in diameter (if more circular), and up to the same measure in depth. The shape of the perimeter of the pit is actually at the caster’s discretion, whatever he desires, BUT it must be no more than roughly the same area (GM’s discretion).
Regardless of whether it is aimed at taking down a single individual or a group, the caster must specify the point of foe on which the Pit is to be centered when it appears. Unless the caster has communicated this to his fellows beforehand, they stand at risk of running afoul of it. IF the GM has the player of the practitioner mark this point on the tactical display, he must watch to ensure that the PC’s do not “metagame” the situation – using their knowledge of events that their characters do not have in keeping those characters from running into what would be for them an unknown potential danger.
Cast under the feet of a foe that is relatively stationary, or at least not moving back and forth over an area greater than the Pit the caster is creating under his feet,
The Pit always achieves Surprise. The entire surface encompassed by the opening of the Pit falls in simultaneously. The only way to avoid falling in a Pit is not to be there when it is loosed and manifests.
If used to trip up or trap a moving opponent(s) in a combat or tactical situation, the caster must gauge their rate of movement to plot the location of the pit so it coincides with their location upon the loosing of the charm. This is represented by a roll “to hit”.
The DV for this roll is equal to the target’s speed in mph.
The amount by which the opening of the pit is greater than the Size of the target (height for humanoids, largest dimension in body for creatures or beasts) is subtracted from the DV.
Again, the Pit always affects victims with Surprise.
IF the roll “to hit” fails, the GM must determine how many feet the Pit was off and in what direction relative to the position of the target. Using the Fields of Approach and a d10, on a roll of:
1-2: the Pit opened too far in Front
3 and 4: too far to the Front Right Flank or Front Left Flank, respectively
5 and 6: too far to the Right Side or Left Side, respectively
7 and 8: too far to the Right Rear Flank or Left rear Flank, respectively
9-10: the Pit opened up too far to the Rear
The GM can determine how far in feet beyond the edge of the target’s Zone in the Field of Approach indicated the closest edge of the Pit is to the target by rolling a d5 for every 5 mph of the target’s speed, ADDING one for every point by which the target’s (modified) STA is greater or less than the caster’s own.
It is important that the specifics of the Pit’s configuration, size and location be recorded on the tactical display whether its use is successful or not, in case it causes complications at a later point in the tactical contest or conflict. A Pit charm is a permanent aleration of the topography. Once successfully cast, it cannot be dispelled.
A practitioner may use the reverse aspect of the Pit Charm, however, to restore earth back to the places from which it has been dug or excavated, especially when it was dug out by mundane means, where the pile of excavated earth is relatively close by (in sight of the pit, ditch, etc. to be refilled).
IF a Pit is opened in the path of a moving target, regardless of whether it is because of a miss with a roll “to hit” or simply laid in his path to inconvenience him or as a defense, and the Surprise is overcome, the victim(s) is allowed an AGL check to leap clear, IF that lies within his abilities relative to his position and the size and location of the opening of the Pit relative to the path he is traveling.
The DV for this roll is the speed in mph the foe is traveling, PLUS the number of feet by which the nearest edge of the Pit is closer than his own (modified STA) in feet (as applicable).
Victim(s) falling into a Pit suffer a blow with a POT determined according to the rules for falling found in the GM’s Toolbox, normally, and adding the speed he was moving in mph’s at the time he fell to that damage.
IF the opening of a Pit is smaller than the target’s Size he is allowed an AGL to catch himself on the opening, but still takes a blow of (mph) POT if he had been moving from the impact with the ground when the bottom dropped out from under him.
The sides of a Pit are presumed to be and remain as smooth and featureless as the the material in which it was created (soil, clays, bedrock, etc.) can maintain it. The DV to climb out of a Pit should be equal the the POT of the Pit plus a modifier based on the material in which it was conjured. The weaker the material, the more likely it is to give way under the weight of a Climbing character (GM’s discretion).
A “Tunnel” charm functions in exactly the same manner as the “Pit Charm”, the only difference being that Pits are generally dug down into the ground parallel to the pull of gravity and Tunnels are generally perpendicular to the pull of gravity and tend to run for greater distances. Each Tunnel may total up to [(HRT att. mod.) + (POT)] yards in combined height and width (if rectangular) or the same distance in diameter (if more circular), and may run up to same distance in length. It also includes the effects of a “Tamp” magick (q.v.) of equal POT so that the surfaces of the tunnel are relatively smooth and hard.
IF bundled with a “Compound Earth” charm, the walls of the tunnel can be fused into smooth rock making it far more stable, which may be desirable when disturbances in the earth are anticipated.
This aspect of the “Shape Earth” can be used to remove a mass of earth so as to create a pocket as large as the AoE required by the caster, replete with pillars and vaults to support it, if the space be large enough to require it. For additional stability of such a structure, the caster might bundle either a “Compound Earth” to fuse and stiffen the surfaces or the strengthening aspect of an “Augment Earth” charm to grant the pillars and vaulting the strength to better support it.
An additional Shaping might be bundled with the “Tunnel Charm” to provide finishing touches like vaulting or pilasters. The “Shape Earth” can be used to make statuary, smooth a wall or make a smooth surface on a boulder, be used to produce carvings, whether incised words or bas relief sculpture, make a doorway in a wall, or a window, a recess, etc. If sufficient materials are present, such as an enormous boulder or a cliff face, the Shaping might be used to create an entire building, although due to the POT required to create anything so large, it might be necessary to do so one piece at a time.
“Bore” is an aspect of “Shaping” for making relatively small diameter holes through the heart of a log to make a pipe, for instance, through stone or even metal objects so they might be strung on a leather thong, or through the earth to provide a course through which water might run, or to create ventilation shafts when underground, especially when one has been suddenly buried. The material Bored is subject to the form of the Shaping used (Common, Noble or Sovereign)
The “Ditching” aspect works exactly as the “Rampart” does, but in reverse, creating a wide “V”-shaped depression commonly placed immediately adjacent and parallel to a Rampart to further impair any plan to charge the defenses. When laid so that water can flow into them, the Ditch is called a “Moat” and will be wrought with straight sides, the cross-section having a “U”-shaped appearance.
The earth and stone so removed by an “Excavation” will simply be scattered through the subsurface of the locale, redistributed evenly over so large an area in such a manner that it will not change the topography of the vicinity in the slightest. Alternately, the caster may specify that the earthen material removed by the dweomer go somewhere else in specific, to be named before the casting is completed. In this way, the removed matter may be used to fill some ditch or hole lying within sight.
All the uses of the “Earth Shaping”, the “charms” of which it is composed, are about manipulating the land and may only be cast upon the earth itself, upon soil from sandy to clay in quality and everything in between. They may shift the positions of smaller stones or rocks and even some smaller “boulders” (GM’s discretion), but nothing that appears substantial in the topography of the area affected. The earth will flow around these “bones of the earth” like water. A “Tor” or “Mound” might be raised to cover a great outcropping of rock, however.
In all these cases, Pits, Ditching, Ramparts and the like all included, the caster may work with the earth alone and leave the plant life undisturbed, including all trees shrubbery and other greens, all left in place, in situ, if he prefers. In this case, the contours and elevations of the earth alone is changed by the dweomer where the specific changes wrought by the dweomer take effect, and the greenery, trees, bushes, and the like will rise or fall with it, remaining in position;
OR all significant plant life above the level of groundcover will be moved, gathered together along whatever part of the edge of the change(s) wrought with the dweomer was closest when the dweomer was cast;
OR the features created with the dweomer may look as if workmen just finished the job, no sod or even topsoil upon them, all raw, bare earth. In this last case, all trees and lesser plant life and foliage are completely cleared from the features created, all gathered and relocated to whatever part of the edge of the feature from which it was removed was closest when the dweomer was cast.
Thus, the “Ditch” or “Moat” and “Rampart” magicks can be bundled, the material removed for the moat being used to raise the Rampart, regardless of whether they are adjoining, so long as both lie within RNG (sight).
“Earth Shapings” may only be used upon natural ground surfaces consisting primarily of dirt/soil, not upon any vertical and/or solid man-made surface, such as dressed stone or an upper interior level of a building. Buildings themselves will be treated in the same manner as a boulder insofar as the effects of the dweomer will flow about it without disturbing it. In the cases of bricked or cobblestone roads and patios and the like, where the earth lies directly beneath, the dweomer will be able to manifest beneath the stones, though in doing so it will destroy a portion of the road or flooring.
The denser constituents of the earth may be considered plastic in regards to the workings of this magick, even when the AoE to be affected is primarily or wholly constituted of exposed bedrock, as might be found in the mountains of rocky desert wastes. In these cases, the earth so magicked rearranges itself throughout the immediate vicinity so as to absorb or provide whatever volume of matter the caster wishes to add or displace, whether the create a ditch or hole or raise a tor or rampart.
The changes wrought with this charm are permanent in nature and cannot be resisted or Dispelled.