Tools of the Arts: Bonds of Sympathy and Resonance

When the player has a grasp on all the basic in’s and out’s of the workings of magick, balancing Size or STA vs. intended POT manifested in the dweomer, how fast High, Common and Low magick really are (or aren’t), the manner in which the different magickal trades interact, and so on, it is time for the PC practitioner of magick to begin exploring the various nooks and crannies of Magick. In this chapter are presented the major tools the practitioners of magick can play to make himself more effective and formidable. This chapter should give the players a more complete idea of what is possible and what should be expected in regards to magick and the way it acts and reacts, how it can be used.

While detailed and in-depth, this chapter is NOT considered definitive. There are always little things to be tacked on here and there over the course of time. This is just the first installment. The GM is encouraged to explore these ideas and see where they lead in his game, simply letting the players know and allowing them to explore them. The PC’s can always be trusted to take them to their ultimate logical conclusions, allowing the concepts to be better refined to maintain game balance.

Applying the Laws of Magick :

Bonds of Sympathy

As stated in the Introduction to this book, the Law of Vibration encompasses the two most powerful and basic tools of magick, called the Rule of Sympathy (or Similarity) and the. Rule of Resonance (sometimes referred to as Contagion).

The Rule of Sympathetic Vibration states that like produces like. What one dwells on is what one is giving energy to, and so one becomes a vibrational magnet for it. Good or bad, whether the person wants it or not, by dwelling on it one attracts it vibrationally. For the purposes. of magick, it states that a similar object, creature, or act can be the specific object, creature, or act envisioned by the caster by proxy during the casting of a magick, aiding the successful completion of that magick, especially in reaching the intended target when they are not within sight and lie outside of what is defined as “familiar through previous personal experience” for the caster.

Ties of Sympathy are generally more tenuous than Resonance in nature, so they must be built up in greater numbers to be of any real use for the purposes of magick in RoM, when compared to bonds of Resonance, which are usually much stronger. Ties of Sympathy are less effective than bonds of Resonance, but much easier to accumulate.

Ties of sympathy are taken together, summed up for a casting towards defining a single aspect of the target for a single purpose. If the caster is trying to build Sympathy with the target for Sorcery, he must come as close to the definition of that person or creature as possible, using samples of similar bodies such as hair, blood, or fingernail clippings from those of the same sex, race, and age group, especially from the same locale whence the target himself originates, and/or something to represent the living state of the target when a living proxy isn’t available and a statue or doll of the proper shape can be used. include dolls of cloth, woven straw, or statues sculpted of clay, carven wood, cast metal, etc. The trade/purpose of use of a domesticated animal, if such is the target, must be represented, regardless of whether it is being used for that purpose currently, or not.

Enchantment with ties of Sympathy must follow the same guidelines, colors are important, and samples of the same materials as those of which the object is made, preferably taken from a craftsman’s shop where the same sorts of items are made, even better if taken from a finished object of that type, with soil samples or sod from the region, town or village in which the object originated, but even better if the sample of the item’s material is taken from a shop in the same locale (village, town, or at least region/shire) where the original was made, or still better, from the exact shop in which the object was originally made.

The caster must make these ties of Sympathy as specific to the purpose of the magick, as well. If the blood is to be affected, blood will be needed for a tie of Sympathy to be set up. If the purpose is to cool something, gently blowing on the item or putting it on ice during casting adds a tie of Sympathy. Breath can simulate wind in creating waves in a small vessel of some liquid. Taking a talisman and attaching it as the representative of the target to something that swings or spins to emulate the movement or dizzying effect a magick is supposed to create is another means of establishing Sympathy specific to the purpose between a magick and its target.

Of course, if the caster can get willing subjects (unlikely) with suitable attributes from the right location, he can use them (in multiples, together if it takes him more than one to come up with a suitable number of parallel Sympathetic ties) as proxies through which to build the ties of Sympathy for the work. Sadly, there are some magicks that few are willing to stand proxy for, though, especially those commonly used for arcane attacks. The fear factor on the part of the surrogate involved is usually too great.

The aspects of the target of the magick represented by the ties of Sympathy must all be different when they are used to gather in POT for application to the magick – race, sex, hair color, eye color, trade, social class, family blood ties, place of origins, astrological correspondences to the target, etc. ALL aspects represented must be different when gathering many to compound POT in ties of Sympathy.

This can be something of a challenge.

Each tie of Sympathy strengthens the bond the caster seeks to create, and is considered to be essentially equal to any others in value.

For every [13 – (MGA att. mod.)] ties of Sympathy the practitioner accumulates, he has a bond strong enough to work with in casting. That tie is rated at a POT of one (1).

Each point of POT can be assigned to one of five tasks in the casting of a magick:

  1. to lower the casting DV;
  2. to eliminate any RNG restrictions;
  3. to lower the effective POT vs. the limit by CND he can cast without a P-RES check;
  4. to reduce the target’s M-RES (as applicable, not all magicks may be resisted);
  5. to raise the effective POT of the dweomer when it is loosed at the target (this does NOT change the POT used to cast the magick for purposes of determining the casting DV, merely adds to the effective POT felt by the target because he has been made more vulnerable to the magick by the bond created).

In the latter case of AoE magicks cast using these bonds, the POT of the bond may be used to EITHER increase the effective POT of the magick so that its AoE is larger than the original POT used to determine the casting DV (without affecting that casting DV itself) OR the AoE remains as planned and the POT of the magick’s effect is enhanced by the POT of the bond in that area.

Once compounded, however, they become talismans that may be used over and again as often as the practitioner likes against a given target. It is not unusual for a practitioner to accumulate a number of such talismans over the course of his career representing favorite subjects for his magicks. Voodoo dolls are Sympathetic talismans very similar in nature to these. The only real difference in them is that they are always created using an image, doll, statue, etc. as the basis, and that they always have at least one (1) immediate bond of Resonance to the target, as well. The practitioner can also make general talismans for use when he casts magicks on those who share similar traits, like race or species, on which certain details of Sympathy can be swapped out if the caster wants to get more specific and add more details to form a stronger bond.


Bonds of Resonance

The Rule of Resonant Vibration states that once any person, creature or thing comes into contact with any other person, creature or thing, especially physical contact, they forever share a vibration. Once together, always together, sharing a unique bond of Resonance. These bonds are not all the same strength, however. The strongest of them, called “immediate bonds”, are the most desirable for the purposes of casting magick.

Resonance is the principle on which the Spirit Skill of “Reading” objects, or rather reading their vibrations (psychometry), is based. Bonds of Resonance can be taken singly and applied to different aspects of a casting or their benefits added together and applied to the same aspect, or they can be split into groups and applied to several aspects, at the Wizard’s discretion.

Ties of Resonance are those things that have been in contact with the prospective subject or target of one of the practitioner’s magicks. These things carry the subject’s vibration, and thus help anchor and direct the magick. Ties of Resonance can vary in strength. Even those objects, creatures and beings that come into contact with the objects, creatures or beings with whom the subject has had immediate contact will pick up something of that subject’s vibration. Every time the vibration is passed on, though, it becomes more diluted, weaker, and harder to use for the purposes of magick. How close the subject is in Resonance to the tie the caster holds is sometimes referred to as its ‘generation’, because where members of the subject’s family are concerned, especially for the purposes of Sorcery, the generations in blood relation one is removed from the subject each count as a different degree in ties of Resonance. Most generational ties are also called ‘immediate’ because they generally consist of things or people that have been in long association with the subject and with which he is immediately concerned. These are used most commonly because they are the most potent.

The closeness required to qualify for the generations with which the mechanics of magick will be concerned are shown as follows.

First Generation (immediate)

A sample from the subject’s body : a lock of hair, nail parings, a tear or sample of blood, spittle, or other bodily fluid preserved in a vial or on a swatch of cloth, etc. a sample produced by the target’s own body.


Second Generation

A favorite personal article or piece of apparel : a hat, gloves, shoes or shirt, chemise,. or. “small clothes” or other article of clothing worn close to the skin, an accessory like a pipe, purse, or fan, wig, a Warrior’s armor, other item commonly and regularly used by the subject’s own hand or worn on the subject’s person, touching flesh like a ring, earrings, a necklace worn with a low-cut gown, bracelet, or pendant or holy symbol worn next to the skin, under the clothes for its meaning, not worn for show.

Tools or personal household. furnishings : those with which the subject has regular, almost daily, (physical) contact, i.e., the tools of a craftsman’ s trade, a lady’s or courtier’s cosmetics and the tools for applying them, a Warrior’s weapons, esp. a bed slept in every night, the pitcher and basin used to freshen up every morning, comb or brush used to dress hair daily, or something like a mirror used daily to check one’s appearance when dressing, but only if used. by the subject’s own hand, not that of a servant.

A bruise, bite-mark or scratch inflicted by the fist or nails of the subject directly, as these are generally inflicted with high emotion.

A favorite pet beast : one’s horse or other mount, perhaps a hound, a hawk, a cat, a budgie or any other similar doted upon pet kept close, either in the subject’s own chambers or with which the subject has had almost daily (physical) contact for a substantial length of time and cared for primarily by the subject’s own hand.

Any being with whom the subject his had some strong bond of emotion of long duration : This Resonance typifies relationships with wives/husbands, and also close personal servants, those who wait in the private chamber and especially those who wait on the master or mistress directly in helping to bathe, dress, care for personal belongings, who travel with them where ever they go and help carry out errands and business of a personal nature, such as a nurse who stayed on after a child is grown to serve as a personal maid, a lifelong childhood friend and close confidante, the sort to stick close by in times of trouble or grief, one who does not shy away from his touch or think it in appropriate; in enmity, those the subject does his best to avoid, going to such lengths as refusing to enter any building where he knows his nemesis to be, departing immediately any place where that enemy is admitted; friendship or hatred, the polarity of this bond makes no difference.

The subject’s place of birth;

The subject’s immediate family : parents, brothers or sisters, or children by blood (legitimate or not makes no difference).

Third Generation

A wound inflicted with a weapon known to have been wielded by the subject’s own hand;

A personal article or artifact: a piece of jewelry or any article of clothing commonly and regularly worn on top of the more personal sorts, that don’t generally come into contact with the flesh, valued more for the fact that it is a fine specimen and an expression of the subject-owner’s affluence or taste as an object rather than having any sentimental value;

A favorite pet beast: any beast kept in the household in whom the subject takes pride and may use for the hunt, as in a horse, hawk, or hound, but is valued more for the fact that it is a fine specimen and an expression of the subject-owner’s affluence or taste as an object, but is cared for by the hands of trusted servants who know its value;

Any object touched by the subject’s own hands on which he spent his own energy: the product of the labor of a craftsman’s own hands, a letter or note penned by the subject’s own hand, a kerchief or other accessory or piece of clothing embroidered by the subject’s own hand (regardless of who carries/owns it, the discarded peelings of an orange or core of an apple eaten by the subject, any scrap of paper or parchment crumpled up and thrown away or any loose thread snapped off and balled up and discarded by the subject’s own hand, or the like;

Personal household furnishings: the master’s or mistress’ chair where they take their ease of an evening, the desk and stool or chair where the master or mistress writes his correspondence (IF he writes his own) and takes care of ordering the household affairs, writing menus and shopping lists and directives to agents and factors, or the like, the tub in which the subject bathes (being only weekly on average, too infrequent an event in the period of the game to qualify for immediate resonance, as it would in the modem era);

Any being with whom the subject has had a close association of long duration: this can be a business or social relationship, esp. a business partner, a drinking buddy or other social playmate, or a political ally; these are generally relationships that won’t survive a whole lot of stress and strain, abuse, or insults, typical of the resonance between common domestic servants and their masters and mistress;’ when positive in nature they are comfortable, characterized by only limited intimacy or knowledge of feelings and details of personal life, and mild emotions casually expressed or easily dealt with, typical of those that might otherwise be called fair-weather friends; in enmity, the subject may alternately ignore or play at verbal repartee and fence with his enemy, pursuing that enmity when they meet, it might be described as cordial dislike, as it can be pursued while remaining civil, and allows for the enemy to be respected as a worthy adversary as long as it remains so; again, the polarity of feeling isn’t important;

The house in which the subject grew up : from infancy to apprenticeship or through the teen years, if all at the same house, but only if different from house in which born, which always has 1st generation resonance;

The subject’s family: grandparents, aunts. and uncles, brothers and sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces, or grandchildren;

Fourth Generation

Personal apparel: any article of clothing, esp. outer-wear like mantles, cloaks, pattens, or the like, or adornment worn on the subject’s person which he owns but doesn’t use commonly – perhaps only seasonally or in inclement weather, things worn only occasionally because they are old and worn, or because they are especially valuable and are only taken out and worn for display on holidays, or because they are of strictly limited use, such as riding, boots and/or hunting leathers for one who is wealthy enough to own a horse but doesn’t have or allow himself the time to do so very often;

Any location closely associated with the subject: any specific location or individual room (as opposed to the building in which the room lies) important to the subject, where he spends time in relaxation or contemplation, like a withdrawing room or study, or a solar or sitting room, where household business is conducted, the subject’s private chamber (bedroom), gentleman’s wardrobe or lady’s boudoir, where the subject’s personal effects are kept and he bathes and dresses, a particular corner of a garden, esp. if there is a place where the subject sits frequently or in times of stress, perhaps a family chapel, graveyard, or mausoleum (ala Hamlet). If a room, it must lie within the subject’s’ home or the building where he lives (if he doesn’t own the place), assuming this is a different house than the one in which he was born or grew up (as stipulated for 1st and 2nd generation Resonance); if a location like a garden spot, family chapel, graveyard, or mausoleum, it must lie on property owned by the subject or belonging in common to the community in which he dwells (local church), also the subject’s place of work, if separate from his house or place of residence, whether he owns the building or not, because this is where he spends a great deal of his personal energy and time;

A pet beast: those that belong to the subject but with whom he has only a passing personal familiarity, he may know the beast’s name and temperament if the latter is outstanding in some way, and even the high points of the beast’s lineage, if that is in some way noteworthy, but this is mostly secondhand knowledge received from the handlers and/or trainers, the beast is primarily part of a display of wealth and/or good ‘taste cared for by others for him;

Any being with whom the subject has bad a casual association of long duration: this encompasses the lesser household staff serving under the officers with whom the mistress or master of the house deals, esp. in regards to those who work in the stables and fields, the hinds of a religious house, or the local merchants and craftsman with, whom the subject prefers to regularly deal, the first with whom he checks for his food needs or his household goods, the chandler who makes his candles, the butcher who slaughters his animals and cuts his meat, perhaps even stores the carcasses for him, the tailor and shoemaker who make his clothes and shoes, the laundress who washes his clothes, the taverner and serving wenches at the tavern where he stops for an ale of an evening on his way home from work, and so on, people with whom he is likely to stop and trade a bit of gossip to pass the time while being waited on, who might make enquiries into personal health and the well-being of the family, or who would know whether or not doing so at all will be well-received;

Any thing or act done without any compensation or even request being made by the subject. only the knowledge that it would please the subject: things done for the subject out of a desire to do honor to him or express loyalty or affection, a piece from a craftsman given as a gift for which the subject is known to have a taste, a beating administered in the knowledge that it would please the subject;

The subject’s family : great grandparents, great uncles and aunts, immediate family of in-laws (as per 1st generation), 1st cousins, grand nephews and nieces, or great grandchildren;

Fifth Generation

Any location the subject visits frequently: a public marketplace; church (esp. if he is a pious church-goer or is a merchant who habitually seals deals there with a luck penny), town council hall or wardmote hall (courthouse, esp. if he is litigious), guild house or craft hall, public baths, friends’ houses (lst generation closeness), the immediate neighborhood (block of street) in which the subject resides if in a town (if in a village, that quadrant of the village), and so on;

A pet beast: those that belong to the subject but with whom he has only a passing familiarity, by either name or temperament, but rarely both, part of a display of wealth or good taste cared for by others for him, one of many rather than being singular among many in the subject’s mind;

Any being with whom the subject has had only a passing casual association of long duration: this encompasses any servants a subject employs but has no regular dealings with, people the subject may know to see them by name or temperament, trade or office, even social position, but not really well enough to approach casually without a specific topic to discuss amongst the usual pleasantries, generally encountered only in passing or for only short exchanges of conversation, and then only when they actually have business with one another, such as other peoples’ messengers or servants, encountered perhaps many times but only briefly to pass a message for another, to take or give back a cloak or mantle and/or hat when paying call elsewhere;

Any thing or act done by the subjects behest without any compensation:, a piece from a craftsman for which a desire was expressed which was then made up and given as a gift, a meal for the subject comprised of dishes he has mentioned wanted in the recent past, a beating administered due to the subject’s expressed desire, as a favor done for the subject’s honor because it obviously needed doing;

The subject’s family : ~ great-great grandparents, great-great uncles and aunts, family of in-laws (as per 2nd generation), 2nd cousins, great grand nephews and nieces, or great-great grandchildren;

Sixth Generation

Any location with whom the subject has a passing familiarity: the subject must have visited such sites on a number of occasions. and be reasonably familiar as to layout and functions of different areas, but is not necessarily comfortable while there or otherwise doesn’t feel particularly welcome or at home (though not due to any emotional bond he may have with the place or those who own it);

Any person or creature with whom the subject has had only a nodding acquaintance of long duration: these are people the subject knows by sight, but of whom he may also know either name or temperament, trade or office, or social position, but rarely by more than one or two of these, knowing WHO they are by sight but little else; any creature or beast with whom the subject shares a similar association; people to whom the subject would probably need some sort of introduction by a 3rd party common acquaintance before striking up a conversation and with whom the subject would have to have a specific subject for them to discuss, casual chatting being extremely awkward for both parties;

Any thing or act done at the subject’s behest for pay or any similar consideration that can be construed as pay: a piece commissioned from a craftsman, a beating administered on his orders for monetary or other compensation, including those in the subject’s employ who get paid regularly for all services rendered;

The subject’s family: great-great-great grandparents, great-great-great uncles and aunts, family of in-laws (as per 3rd generation), 3rd cousins, great-great grand nephews and nieces, or great-great-great grandchildren;

Seventh Generation

Any location with which the subject is only familiar in general : these are locations the, subject has been to a few times, but not enough to know well in layout or by function to really get along visiting there without asking directions to specific areas;

Any person or creature with whom the subject has only a passing familiarity : this includes anyone the subject has seen on a number of occasions, but of whom he really knows nothing at all, though he may have some theories based on their mode of dress and items carried;

Any creature or beast with whom the subject has a similar association

When a bond of Resonance is created by contact, it is evaluated by how well the first person knows the second with which it is created, and accumulates in steps. People are more on guard around strangers and those not known well, and so don’t pass on as much of their energy to them when they meet.

 For example, if a Wizard tries to use Bertrand the Clerk who has just shaken hands with Andrew Townsman to whom he has only a 5th generation Resonance, to take advantage of Andrew’s 2nd generation Resonance with Alderman Jones (to whom he is private secretary) to reach Jones as the target of one of his magicks, the bond of Resonance between the Bertrand and Alderman Jones will only be 7th generation. That is a pretty tenuous bond. Better to use Andrew, if possible, and more would be needed to establish a bond that can be used.

The practitioner must have the equivalent in Resonance to a 1st generation bond in order to have enough energy to use it for purposes of casting magick.

Body samples (lock of hair, nail parings, blood, spittle, etc., 1st generation, immediate bond) are worth (HRT OR CHM score of source) or (caster’s MGA) in POT, whichever is less. Objects must have been used by the owner no less than a year and a day to be imprinted with his vibration at all.

The value of objects increases one generation for every (subject’s HRT ÷ 4) years it has been in possession/use, after achieving 1st generation status continuing to gain POT until it reaches a maximum value equal to (subject’s HRT OR CHM) of which the caster may use up to (his own MGA).

The generation number of objects, creatures, or beings with bonds less than first generation represents the number of objects of that generation needed to add up to the equivalent of one (1) point of POT, 1st generation, i.e., it would take two 2nd generation ties to equal one 1st, or three 3rd generations, or four 4th’s, and so on. The fractions may be played with as the player wishes, so four 6th generation ties could be added to one 3rd generation tie to equal a 1st or two 4ths to a 2nd (4/6th’s = 2/3rd’s; 2/4th’s = 1/2).

The generations in Resonant bonds a practitioner has access to is limited to no greater than his (MGA att. mod.), PLUS (1 per 4 trade SL’s).

Otherwise, the Resonance is too faint for him to tap. The caster can discern the difference between generations of Resonance through the use of Divination.

No matter how many he gets together in a bundle for the casting, a practitioner with a +3 MGA att. mod. can never have the talent and sensitivity to be able to use a 4th generation bond of Resonance until he has progressed enough in his trade for it to hone his magickal senses by another point.

Those with negative values for MGA att. mod’s are limited to the use of 1st generation, immediate bonds of Resonance only, and the POT the character can tap is also reduced.

For example, for a Wizard to use a 1st generation bond carrying a POT of 5 who is handicapped by a -2 MGA att. mod., can only gain the benefit of 3 POT from that bond.

IF the caster has more than one bond to tap for the casting, he would do well to use only the least for the purpose of by-passing the RNG limitation. The actual POT score of each of the rest are of direct value in bringing the DV for the casting down, or the target’s M-RES (as applicable), or increasing the effective POT of the dweomer’s effect, and so on.

Where the caster is using a creature, being, object or substance that carries both Resonance and Sympathy, Resonance ties are evaluated first, and then Sympathy. Finding the two in one is highly valued because they do not always occur together.

IF a character uses a sample of something for a sympathetic tie that also has value as a bond of Resonance, it must be evaluated for both, for it counts towards both. The Sympathy and Resonance values of an item can be allotted, even separately, to whatever aspects of the magick the caster desires for which he is using it.

Both Resonant and Sympathetic ties can be used together in a single casting, however, only one can be applied at a time to any of the five aspects of the magick (as above), for any given casting.

The POT of a single bond, regardless of whether Sympathetic or Resonant, may NOT be divided to be allotted to different uses.

Any and all bonds of Sympathy and/or Resonance one intends to use to influence the casting of a given magick must be in hand for this purpose at the time of the casting for the whole CTM, incorporated into the casting. They do not affect the CTM, however.

Having a bond of Resonance to the original caster of a magick one is attempting to dispel adds (POT of bond) to the effective SL of the dispelling caster AND the effective POT of the dispelling to determine its effect on the target magick.