By Phos (email@example.com)
Becoming a Wordsmith
There are some people who are different; they have a different connection to Anima than other humans. Many are found, and are named Wordsmiths. When they enter puberty (usually), they start to undergo changes that transform them Wordsmiths. They become ill for a few days, having vivid hallucinations and dreams, running a high fever and so on. At the end of about a week, they wake up suddenly, completely healthy and with a rudimentary knowledge of how to use the Nomen. They are generally found by another Wordsmith by this time, as a Wordsmith undergoing his Becoming is like a massive psychic shout; it can be heard for miles around.
All Wordsmiths can use Nomen. They live much longer than ordinary humans, barring accidents, heal at about three times faster than ordinary mortals, but can quite easily be killed all the same. They generally live to be at least two or three hundred. They have some sort of sense regarding the supernatural; they can feel it if it is nearby, but cannot tell what it is or where it's coming from.
This is the energy that powers all living creatures. The difference between Wordsmiths and mortals is that at some point or another, humans naturally stop taking Anima from others around them and die. Anima flows freely between humans and other creatures alike, but not from Wordsmiths; they take, but do not give out very much at all. This keeps them alive for longer, gives them powerful healing abilities and so on. However, it does also mean that Wordsmiths cannot have children. They also cannot be embraced by vampires. The upside of this is that Wordsmiths tend to be more robust, healthy individuals than most. Wordsmiths have permanent Anima and temporary Anima. Temporary Anima may simply be taken from humans by touching them and pulling it out. Most humans have 10 Anima. If a human is drained of all Anima, they die. Only three points may be safely taken from a healthy human; they begin to take wounds after that. Permanent Anima may be increased only by taking all of another Wordsmith's permanent Anima, or by experience. Temporary Anima recharges itself at a rate of one point per two days.
This is an ancient form of static magic, which relies on the manipulation of Words of Power to change the fabric of reality. Nomen was born in the time before recorded history, in and around Egypt, by the ancient forerunners of the Cult Of Isis. The people of the time believed that if you knew something's name, then you had control over that person. And so this magic was born. It was adopted and changed by the Mummies as one of their most powerful Hekau paths, and many others found it useful. Nomen, although a form of Awakened magic, does not incur Paradox effects. This is because it does not tear the fabric of reality, as does magic; it merely stretches it for a little while.
The Nature Of Nomen
Nomen is divided into two sections: the Verbs and the Names. Each Verb allows something different to be done to a target, and each Name encompasses everything that falls within that category, such as Natura, which affects animals, plants etc. To differentiate between targets, a Wordsmith must be thinking of the target when he casts the Words. Only one target may be affected at a time with Nomen, unless specified in a Spell (see later for details) Spells are tried effects which combine words and/or nouns to produce a completely regulated end result. With the Verbs and Names, almost anything can be done.
The exact things that can be done with a Verb are limited to how high your score in that Verb is. A thing cannot be created, for example, if you have only Creo 2 and the Object is Natura 3, and so on.
This allows creation of objects and creatures. It can only be used to create creatures up to the limit of the Wordsmith's Verbal levels, only with certain Names; Natura, Res, Spiritus (up to level three), and Psyche (up to level four). There is no reason for this; it's just the way things are. Some of the most powerful Wordsmiths are rumored to be able to create almost anything.
This allows objects to be changed (into others). Note that without another qualifying Name, the object will be randomly changed into something else, for good or ill. Not recommended.
This is the Verb of control. This only works on a target if the Wordsmith has a higher level of Rego than the Name. If the target wishes, he may roll against this. Certain factors, like Blood Bonds, can raise or lower the difficulty as determined by the ST.
This Verb harms a target, or inflicts damage upon an inanimate object. Up to five levels of damage may be inflicted, depending upon the Wordsmith's level in this Verb. The level of damage is unaffected by the number of successes; if a Wordsmith with a Perdo rating of five rolls one success, he may inflict up to five levels of injury. However, gaining five successes at ten automatically inflicts five levels of aggravated injury, no matter what the Wordsmith's level of ability.
This Verb allows healing or repairs to be made to someone or something. Up to five levels of damage may be healed, depending upon the level of Curo.
This allows the Wordsmith to ascertain details about the target. The higher the number of successes, the more he gets to know.
It should be noted that even though each level in a Name allows a different thing to be affected, the higher the Wordsmith has in a particular Name, the more adept he will also be at affecting the lower levels, e.g. a Wordsmith with Natura 5 is better at manipulating things than a Wordsmith with level 3, and STs should take this into account.
This allows humans to be affected by the Words.
Note: Humans have personal names, and these must also be known for the magic to have any effects.
Natural creatures and effects.
|*||Raw organic materials, mixed gases, mixed liquids and compounds|
|****||Natural phenomena, (e.g., weather, earth tremors)|
|*****||Elements (Periodic or the Four traditional Elements)|
This only affects objects.
|*||Personal objects. Covers non-mechanical objects that are not tools (e.g., paintings etc). Books, magazines, packs of cards etc are covered by this level.|
|**||Simple tools. Hammers and so on. Anything that has a use but does not have any working parts comes under this Name (e.g., swords, penknives, clubs).|
|***||Simple machines. (e.g., guns, locks, etc.).|
|****||Complex machines (e.g., computers, telephones, TVs, etc.).|
This only affects places.
|**||Small house or flat|
|****||Gardens and open (but contained) spaces e.g. fields.|
|*****||Cities (or similar large areas).|
This Name affects spirits, wraiths and demons.
|*||Ephemera, and low powered spirits.|
|**||Drones, Gafflings, etc.|
|***||Wraiths, Jagglings, etc.|
|****||Spectres, Totem Incarna|
|*****||Powerful Umbrood, Powerful Incarna and Malfeans|
This affects supernaturals.
|*||Kindred. This encompasses all Wordsmiths, Hedge magicians and psychics.|
|**||Brothers. Non-technomancer Traditions, Neonates, Cubs, Rank 1 and 2 Garou, Non-ragabash Fianna.|
|***||Unbelievers. Touched Void Engineers, Technomancer traditions, Ancillae, and Rank 3 Garou.|
|****||Distant Enemy. Nephandi, Fomori, Elder Vampires, Rank 4 Garou.|
|*****||Ancient Foes. Technocracy, Untouched Void Engineers, Methuselahs, Antediluvians, Rank 5 or better Garou.|
This is the Name of all things relating to memory or emotional state.
|*||Specific Memory. Single memory, and cannot be used to affect all memories of a person or thing.|
|**||Specific Feeling. This is an emotion about a specific person or thing.|
|***||Ideas. This covers ideas. Also covers dreams.|
|****||General Memories and Feelings. All thoughts and feelings associated with a single object or person.|
|*****||The Whole Psyche. Any part of the mind can be affected.|
To Cast, all the Wordsmith has to do is to roll his level in the Verb with his level of the Name, normally against a difficulty of [10 minus their Verb level]. If he wants to change something into something else, he must also know the Name of what he wants to transform the target into. Only one Verb and one Name can be used together (except in Spells; see below). If a Nomen is being used against an unwilling target, he can make a resistance roll, against a difficulty of 9, using his Willpower. For Verbs like Muto, the duration is determined by the number of successes, one hour per success.
Example: Jan wants to change her book into a dog. She has Muto 3, Natura 4 and Res 2. The dog is covered by Natura 3, and the book is covered by Res 2. She rolls Muto + Natura, seven dice, against a difficulty of 7, and spends 4 Anima. She rolls 3 successes, meaning that the book has been transformed into the dog, for three hours.
Note that it is impossible to transform something into something else which is a great deal bigger or smaller, so the book could not have been transformed into a city, had Jan had Locus 5. Plus, over large areas, the effects of a Casting, however many successes are achieved, will be diluted, so if a Wordsmith has achieved even 10 or more successes on a Perdo roll for a whole city, all the residents might feel would be something akin to mild backache, although the more easily wounded, like the old and infirm, would be more affected.
These are essentially "frozen" Castings. They are prepared in advance, and can be activated whenever the user wishes, at anytime after casting has taken place. Spells are combinations of Verb(s) and Name(s). A Spell may be used a number of times equal to Casting successes, unless there is a destroyed ingredient.
Names and Verbs: Res 1, Celestis 1, Muto 3
The Anima which keeps Wordsmiths alive over the centuries can also be their downfall; it has strange effects upon the human mind when in constant contact. This Spell allows the Wordsmith to make his body into a statue, so that he can hibernate for an indefinite period of time; he will wake when he feels the need.
Names and Verbs: Locus 3, Spiritus 3, Muto 5, Creo 3
This allows the Wordsmith to enter the Shadowlands. The Spell creates a stretch of road that the user can walk upon to get into the Shadowlands. The ingredients are the blood of a human, and a broken compass. The blood must be poured on the compass and then laid upon the ground. This Spell may only be cast on a road, on a moonless night. The Wordsmith may re-enter the Skinlands at any time.
Names and Verbs: Natura 3, Creo 4
This allows creation of a familiar, a companion for the Wordsmith. They are able to telepathically converse with their owners, and have 3 levels in Verbs and 4 in Name, but aside from this increased intelligence and abilities, they are normal for their species. Familiars generally have no aura to anyone that can see them.
Curse of Hatred
Names and Verbs: Homo 5, Psyche 3, Muto 5
This is really nasty. It changes a target's dreams so that they all become hideous nightmares. Eventually, it drives most targets insane and or suicidal. A crushed pearl must be left on the doorstep of the intended victim, for a day and a night. It can be resisted with a Willpower roll. It can be totally prevented by the following spell or anything similar.
Names and Verbs: Psyche 3, Rego 3
This prevents the above curse and any other associated dreaming effects from taking hold on a Wordsmith. The Wordsmith's dreams seem slippery to anyone trying to enter. The only ingredient is a line of salt surrounding the Wordsmith, or covering all entrances and exits, which cannot be crossed before th night is out, or the spell will lose its potency.
Sense the Supernaturals
Names and Verbs: Certo 5, Celestis 5
All Wordsmiths have a rudimentary sense of supernatural creatures, but they are unable to tell what they are, where they are and how powerful they are. This Spell tells the Wordsmith all of the above information. Sunglasses are the only ingredient, and must be worn to use the Spell.
Names and Verbs: Natura 1, Celestis 1, Muto 2
This allows the user to transform himself into a cloud of mist. The only ingredient is an apple with a bite taken out of it (No one knows why, so just don't ask, all right?)
The Cult Of Isis
The Cult has existed for thousands of years, almost unchanged in that time. They fight vampires alongside the Mummies, and help scourge the minions of Apophis from the earth. It was the Cult which invented the original version of Nomen.
The Cult has little formal organization now, but is mainly divided along the lines of age and experience. Horus also gives promotions every now and then. The basic aims of the Cult are to further the cause of Horus and the Shemsu-heru, whilst harming that of Apophis. Not all Wordsmiths are members; most are not, in fact. The majority go through life without ever becoming involved.
Virtues: 9 (at least one dot must be put into each)
Anima: 3 Willpower: As per V:tM
Humanity: As per V:tM
|Trait||Freebie cost||Experience cost|
|Verbs||5||Level x 5|
|Names||2||Level x 2*|
|Anima||4||Level x 4|
*Can also be learned out of a book or whatever.
These traits may not be purchased higher than five with freebies without Storyteller approval. All other traits cost the same as in Vampire: The Masquerade.
Opinions of Others
Kindred: Yeesh. Some are OK. Most are a right pain. Thank God it takes them so long to get to any level of power.
Garou: A bit boring. Still, we can always use Muto on them. Heheheh.
"Annoying bastards. It scared the crap out of me to be changed into a donkey for half a day."
Mages: Our cousins. Doesn't mean we have to like them. Especially Technomancers.
"Interesting. Could be worth further study."