Tethers are rituals that enhance the relationship between two characters with metaphysical significance, providing a variety of benefits. Each Motive allows you to enhance a different kind of relationship in this way. You must have that Motive (chosen at character creation) in order to create and use the Tether Hook that allows the ritual to take place.
Tethers are always between two characters: the forger, who creates the Tether, and the subject, who it is with. You may only be the forger of one Tether of each type available to you. However, you may be the subject of any number of Tethers.
Example: Volunteer Failsafe of the VCS Necessary Losses has two Motives: Loyalty and Challenge. She has forged a Tether of Kinship (Loyalty) with her favourite crewmate, Volunteer Gauge, and a Tether of Rivalry (Challenge) with that arrogant poser, Liberator Piston of the LCS Inevitable Triumph. She could also be the subject of any number of Tethers of any types, but cannot forge any more Tethers until one of her existing ones ends.
To forge a Tether, you must first create a Tether Hook at the Shaping Table, or trade with someone who has one. Tether Hooks are on the shaping lists of their relevant Motives, and are very cheap to create. If the intended subject of your Tether is not at the event, you may not forge a Tether with them. Otherwise, ensure that they are in the Nexus and get the attention of an Apparition. They will call the attention of the room for you.
You should then make a bold public declaration. You must state the subject, the kind of Tether you intend to forge with them, and why. This may be as ceremonial and elaborate or short and to-the-point as you wish.
The Apparition will call on the subject to reply, which they must do if present. They may do so in any manner they please. Many Tethers require the consent of their subject to be created; if this is the case and the subject does not indicate their consent at this point, the forging fails with no further effect. You may re-use the Tether Hook with a different Tether forging attempt, assuming you recover your confidence.
Otherwise, both the forger and the subject should go to the Shaping Table within the next thirty minutes. The Tether Hook will be taken away, the Tether will be registered, and both players will be provided with a Tether Card that details their new abilities.
Tethers remain indefinitely, unless they are sundered (broken). Some Tethers can only be sundered by the forger, or by the subject; check your Tether Card to confirm whether you are able to sunder it. To sunder a Tether when the other party is at the event, wait until they are present in the Nexus. Get the attention of an Apparition. They will call the attention of the room for you. You should then make a bold public declaration.
You must state the nature of your Tether with the other person, and your reasons for sundering it. As with forging Tethers, it is up to you how impassioned or curt you wish to be when doing so. The other person must then reply, acknowledging your intent and expressing their own thoughts if they wish. Both people should then hand their Tether cards to the Nexus Apparition.
To sunder a Tether when the other party is not at the event, make the public declaration as previously. Then, go to the Shaping Table immediately. The sundering will be registered, and your Tether Card will be removed from you. The other party will be informed of your actions as soon as possible after the event.
Roleplay and Tethers
Tethers are designed to encourage emotional depth, get characters involved with each other, and provide you will cool thematic powers. They shouldn't feel like a limitation or an obligation in any way. When using Tethers in play:
- Sound out as many candidates for each Tether as you can, and see which ones you get the right chemistry with.
- Use the Tether to 'boost' a suitable relationship that you have developed with another character.
- Don't me limited by your Tether slots - just because you already have a Rivalry Tether, doesn't mean you have to stop looking for commonplace rivals! Don't let your lack of Devotion stop you from seeking true love!
Types of Tether
An Enmity is a declaration of ongoing hatred, outrage or hostility. It strengthens your resolve, and allows your realm to benefit from the catharsis of prosecuting an ongoing personal war. You may forge a single Enmity if you have Supremacy as a Motive.
- Forging an Enmity does not require the subject’s assent.
- Both the forger and the subject become Enemies toward one another.
- An Enmity can only be sundered by the forger.
Nemesis: You gain the ability to Stunt and then call 'YOU: GET SOME!' without spending Morale, as long as you target your Enemy.
Antipathy: Whenever you KO your Enemy, you may call YEAH! to immediately restore your Morale to maximum.
Catharsis: When you place a negative Quality on your Enemy’s Territory, or remove a positive Quality from it, you may show your Tether card to reduce your realm’s Dissonance by 2.
A Kinship is an affirmation that a special bond exists between allies. It helps you work together on shared projects, and provides you with a chance to survive together against overwhelming odds. You may forge a single Kinship if you have Loyalty as a Motive.
- Forging a kinship requires the subject’s assent.
- Both the forger and the subject become Comrades toward one another.
- A Kinship can be sundered by either the forger or the subject.
In It Together: You may place Qualities on your Comrade's Territory as though it were your own.
To The End: If you are part of an Affront and your Comrade is Hexed, you may call "You'll have to go through me!" and show your Tether card. If you do, the Hex is redirected to affect you instead.
Back To Back: Agree on a phrase with your Comrade. Once per event, while in physical contact with your Comrade, you may state that phrase. This initiates Back To Back. While in Back To Back:
- Both of you may replace any “YOU:...” calls you make with the equivalent “YOU LOT:...” calls.
- You may also ignore your Comrade's "YOU LOT:..." calls, by calling "PING!".
These effects end if either of you break physical contact, or move from the spot, or get KO'd.
You may only ever initiate one Back To Back each event, but you can also participate in any called by your Comrade(s).
An Obsession is a rich, all-consuming fascination with another person. It enhances your creative potential, but can easily become toxic. You may forge a single Obsession if you have Gratification as a Motive.
- Forging an Obsession does not require the subject’s assent.
- The forger becomes the subject’s Seeker. The subject becomes the forger’s Muse.
- An Obsession can only be sundered by the subject.
Inspiration: When the Obsession is created, the Seeker is informed of their Muse’s Motive(s). They may choose one, and gain access to that Motive’s shaping list for as long as the Tether remains.
Adulation: Every time the Seeker places a Quality on their Muse’s Territory, they may show their Tether card. If they do, they are granted two mana of a colour their choice.
Unremitting: If the Muse's Territory has an Aegis on it, the Seeker may show their Tether card in order to place a Quality on it as though it did not have an Aegis.
Sacrosanct: The Seeker may not make any damage calls against their Muse.
Heartbreak: When the Muse sunders this Tether, five points of Dissonance are added to their Realm. The Seeker may not forge another Tether with them until the end of the event.
A Partnership is an expression of deep and dedicated affection. It enriches the creativity of its participants, and allows them to summon devastating wrath if the other is killed. You may forge a single Partnership if you have Devotion as a Motive.
- Forging a Partnership requires the subject’s assent.
- Both the forger and the subject become Partners toward one another.
- A Partnership can be sundered by either the forger or the subject.
Unity: When the Partnership is created, each member of the Tether is informed of the other’s Motive(s). Each may choose one of their Partner's Motives, and gain access to that Motive’s shaping list for as long as the Tether remains.
Serenity: When you are in the presence of your Partner, your character can choose whether or not to experience any roleplaying effects your character is under.
Bereavement: If your Partner dies then, any time before the end of the same event, you may choose to make a public declaration of wrath upon someone you blame for their death. If you do, report to the Shaping Desk. All the Qualities in your Territory will be converted or transferred exactly as though the subject of your wrath had just triggered your Aftermath. However, your Starting Quality is kept, your Territory is not destroyed, and you do not die.
A Patronage is a boon that underscores a strong working relationship. It allows you to provide someone with additional resources, and to transfer assets to them. You may forge a single Patronage if you have Influence as a Motive.
- Forging a Patronage requires the subject’s assent.
- The forger becomes the subject’s Patron. The subject becomes the forger’s Champion.
- A Patronage can be sundered by either the forger or the subject.
Synergy: The Champion may show their Tether card to collect mana from their Patron's Territory. If they do, double the amount of mana provided.
Management: During their turn in Geomancy, the Patron may show their Tether card. If they do, they may move one Quality from their Territory to that of their Champion.
Leverage: During their turn in Geomancy, the Patron may show their Tether card. If they do, they may collect any kind of mana from their Champion's Territory, or transfer any amount of Majesty from the Champion's Territory to theirs.
A Rivalry is an outspoken and passionate competition between people, whether they be allies or foes. It strengthens the resolve of its contenders, and provides a rush of energy if they see their adversaries defeated. You may forge a single Rivalry if you have Challenge as a motive.
- Forging a Rivalry does not require the subject’s assent.
- Both the forger and the subject become Rivals toward one another.
- A Rivalry can only be sundered by the forger.
Ante: If your Rival is participating in the same Affront as you, regardless of team, your maximum Morale is increased by one for the duration of that Affront. If you have multiple Rivals present, this bonus stacks.
Competition: If you have more Majesty at the end of the event than any of your Rivals, this will be announced after the event. For the duration of the subsequent event, your maximum Morale is increased by one.
Triumph: Whenever you witness a Rival of yours becoming KO’d, you may call YEAH! to immediately restore one point of Morale.
A Tutelage allows you to provide another shaper with your accrued ideas and experience. It greatly expands their creative potential, and allows you to exert some control over what kind of trouble they get into. You may forge a single Tutelage if you have Knowledge as a motive.
- Forging a Tutelage requires the subject’s assent.
- The forger becomes the subject’s Tutor. The subject becomes the forger’s Student.
- A Tutelage can be sundered by either the forger or the subject.
Illumination: When the Tutelage is created, the Student is informed of their Tutor's Motive(s). They gain access to those Motives’ shaping lists for as long as the Tether remains.
Discipline: The Tutor may veto any Tether that the Student makes, or that is made with them. To do this, they must voice their objection when the Tether is declared, and show their Tether card; this will cause the new Tether to fail, and another attempt to make the same Tether cannot be made for the rest of the event. This has no effect on Tethers that already exist.
Collaboration: The Tutor may accompany their Student to the Geomancy tables and show their Tether card. If they do, the Tutor receives no turn at the Geomantic tables - but the Student may take two turns, and the Tutor may confer with them freely. This means that they can place two Qualities, and get their Hex card stamped twice. If they are a Sovereign, they may also place or remove an Aegis twice.
Wisdom: The Student may elect to allow their Tutor to see any Advanced Shaping Lists they currently have access to.