A Magic System: Essential Energies

Essential Energies

“Essence” is a complicated word in magical studies. It can mean “the type of esper associated with a certain emotion,” like the “essence of ambition” being choleric esper. It can also refer to the essence of a soul, which means any kind of esper that a human can naturally channel. Of course, since other souls can channel other sorts of esper, some use “essence” to refer to esper, which is pointlessly confusing since we’ve got enough definitions being bandied about and the word esper already exists. For purposes of this section of the text, “essence” is used to refer exclusively to a set of espers found in and spontaneously generated by the human soul (among others) which have certain elements in common with one another, especially the three lumen espers.

These five espers exist on a loose spectrum from light to dark (though all are invisible to the naked eye except when hyper concentrated): Agape, eros, philia, ether, and umbra. The first three are the lumen espers and are quite similar to one another, and it is actually a matter of some debate as to whether eros or philia are brighter than one another. Eros is defined by a softly fluctuating luminescence and mercurial nature, whereas philia is a steady light, dimmer than eros at its brightest and brighter than eros at its dimmest. Agape has the decency to be both steady and extremely bright.

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A Quick Thought On Moana

If the Ocean has spent ~15 years setting up Moana to restore the heart of Te Fiti, and if the primary obstacle to making that happen is Te Ka, a lava monster weak to water, why doesn’t the Ocean run interference on Te Ka the first time Moana encounters her? Like, do the exact same thing Maui did in the climax with the whale splashing and the cutting off of appendages with the fish hook, except the Ocean is too big to be meaningfully retaliated against and has an indefinite supply of water with which to keep Te Ka at bay.

Unrelated note, at some point WordPress started attaching the clock to my current time zone, which is why a few weeks back we stopped updating at noon for GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and started updating at noon for GMT (GLORIOUS MOUNTAIN TIME). I’m traveling this week, so expect to see the update schedule bounce around a little bit.

Remember How Much Wrath of the Righteous Sucked?

Wrath of the Righteous is an adventure path Paizo made back 2014 that I have just remembered exists because I needed an example of how incredibly aggravating Paizo’s plot-necessary NPCs often are, and that will always be my go-to example of that particular weakness in their writing. So long as I’ve got it on my mind, and in the interest of having an article to link to whenever anyone asks for details on why that particular encounter is so goddamn aggravating that even some of Paizo’s forum population revolted over it, let’s talk about how incredibly dissonant and frustrating Iomedae’s behavior is in Wrath of the Righteous.

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Red Dawn

Red Dawn is a Pathfinder adventure for characters of 9th-12th level that I read recently. In the interests of full disclosure, the reason I’ve read the adventure at all is because I’m acquainted with the guy who wrote it. That’s not the reason I’m writing about it, though. No, the reason I’m writing about it is, as it so often is, because a daily update schedule is turning out to be a lot more punishing than I was expecting and this is easy content. So let’s talk about the adventure.

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Some time back I made rules for a board game. The game is complete and playable, but poorly balanced. When I first wrote them a few years ago, I thought I could probably fix them up by tweaking exact numbers, especially for the cards in the deck. Looking over it now, it’s just more complicated than it should be. The theme is strong, but the mechanics are fundamentally broken. So I’m officially sticking a fork in the project, and posting what I have, still covered in forum markup because I don’t want to dedicate more time to making a failed project look pretty when a lot of my current stuff still needs to be ported to better formatting. I may take what I learned and attempt something similar, but this one has gone as far as it’s going.

It’s Not Unrealistic For Adventurers To Wear Armor In Town

Every now and again I end up writing a Reddit post that can pretty much be used as a blog post as-is. Today is one of those days. This particular post was written in response to someone asking what the best way to encourage PCs to wear normal clothes around town was. The question is wrong. There’s typically no need to encourage PCs to wear normal clothes around town to begin with.

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The Devourer

Summary: A genetor’s hidden enclave is host to a powerful bioweapon that can mimic creatures’ anatomy and behavior, even humans or xenos, with quite some fidelity. It’s extremely biologically adaptable, based on the space marine omophagea organ and polymorphine. A small piece of it has gotten loose and is now rapidly consuming biomass and mutating in secret, harvesting more knowledge of the facility and the outside world with each being it consumes.

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