- 1 Geomancy Concepts
- 2 Cycles
- 3 Sovereigns
- 4 Trophies
- Every character has a Territory of their own, which is represented by a sheet on the Geomantic tables.
- Qualities are game features that appear in Territories, and are represented by cards slotted below the sheet.
- Your Territory starts on the same table as other people from your Origin. This is called your Realm.
When a shaper enters the rift, their essence is threaded into the world by the geomantic engines. This creates their Territory, a pocket of stable reality adrift in the primordial fabric of the Outworld. It is a reflection of their desires, feelings, and what they hold dear: many of them are reminiscent in some way of what they know from the Homeworld, but ultimately you choose how this manifests.
As part of character creation, you may name and describe your Territory. This Territory, and its description, will appear as a placard on the Geomantic tables. Its name and description will only change if your character's Motives change, or if they adopt a soulforge.
Territories will always feature sentient human life, brought into being when the lands come together. They are mortal, and recognise the Territory's owner as their god - but otherwise have no memory of their recent creation. They live their lives as mortals do.
Petitioners can reach the Nexus, if they are accepted by a Host Apparition. Depending on what happens to your Territory, Petitioners will appear to thank, beg, plead with or harangue you during the event. These Petitioners are uniquely marked by a distinctive symbol on their forehead, or on one of their hands. You may interact with Petitioners as you please, but they cannot participate in Affronts, comprehend Geomancy, or use items; such things are the tools of the gods. They will leave when they feel their business is concluded, after thirty minutes at most.
Petitioners never have any mana or other resources to trade. They are there to bring the consequences of your choices to life.
Any important feature of the Outworld is called a Quality: this is a broad term to describe terrain features, human creations, exotic creatures and other things of note. Qualities are created as cards; when these cards are placed on a Territory's placard as part of Geomancy, that feature becomes real and appears in that part of the Outworld.
There are many different types of Territory, appearing across the shaping lists. Each type has its own effect on the Territory it is placed on. Common effects are:
- "+1 [colour] mana". This means that the Quality will contribute to the Territory's production of mana of that colour.
- "-1 [colour] mana". This means that the Quality will subtract from the Territory's production of mana of that colour. The lowest amount you can generate is none.
- "When this Quality is placed, remove a Quality that...". This means that when you place this Quality, another one will be removed from the same Territory that matches the conditions. If no Qualities on the same Territory match that condition, it has no effect.
- "[Chosen character] can collect [colour] mana from this Territory". This means that a person other than a Territory's owner will be able to claim mana from it. You may not place a quality which names a character not present at the current event.
You can create a Quality at the Shaping tables. They will hand you a card with space to write a description. This card may be kept for your own purposes, traded, or given away. You may write any description on it that is appropriate to the Quality's effects and your character's intent. Once a description has been written, it cannot be changed in any way.
Example: His Indomitable Veracitousness Glaive, the Windborn, wishes to create a Marvel Quality. This appears in the Shaping List for Gratification, which is one of Glaive’s Motives, so he can do so himself rather than get someone else to do so. He goes to the Shaping Desk, hands over the mana required (two Red mana, in this instance). He receives the card and decides on a description - in this instance, “A garden filled with beautiful golden fowl”. He writes this on the blank space of the card.
Each Territory can only hold one Quality of each type. If a new Quality of the same type is placed on or moved to the Territory, the old Quality is removed.
Example: Engineer Sprocket of the Endless Optimisation has a 'Creation' type Quality on her Territory that was placed there by her one-time ally in the Walkers. Its description is 'A conference chamber woven of living trees, in which all people of the land can gather.'. She thinks this sounds a bit trite, to be honest. She obtains a new 'Creation' Quality with the description 'An enormous fist of steel and basalt, thrusting up into the sky.'. She places the new Quality onto her Territory: the old one is removed. The aesthetics of the Combine are upheld!
Qualities which cannot be moved or removed
Every character starts with one Quality on their Territory, chosen at character creation. This Quality cannot be moved, or removed, or replaced. Some other Qualities have one or both of these restrictions, printed on the card. These function as normal qualities, except as specified. This has the following knock-on effects:
- If a Quality is placed on or moved to a Territory which already has a copy of that Quality which cannot be removed, the new Quality is removed instead of the old one.
- Qualities which cannot be removed do not generate Dissonance during Aftermath.
- Qualities which cannot be moved cannot be transferred to other Territories during Aftermath.
- Qualities which cannot be moved cannot be stolen using the Primal Soulforge, nor can they be distributed using the Blossoming or Shimmering Soulforges.
Positive and Negative Qualities
Some Qualities are marked as positive (+) or negative (-). Positive Qualities provide persistent beneficial effects, while negative Qualities impose persistent penalties. These Qualities are handled differently by Aftermath, and by some Tethers. Some Qualities are neither positive nor negative, and typically have no effect during Aftermath.
Some Grand Qualities allow you to move Qualities that have already been place. When this happens:
- Qualities of the same type which already exist in the target Territory will be replaced.
- Any effects that trigger when a Quality is placed will not re-trigger.
Qualities which have no ongoing effect, such as Rebirth, are temporary qualities. They will remain until the end of the event after they were placed, and then be removed.
The protean landscape of the Outworld is divided into five broad areas called Realms, each of which is represented by one of the Geomancy tables. Your Territory begins in the same Realm as everyone else from your Origin.
Majesty is used to determine a Realm's Sovereign. Majesty is generated like mana, and there are Qualities that help you increase your Majesty production. Majesty is represented by golden counters, which are placed on the Territory that creates it. Unlike mana, Majesty is not collected for use. Instead, it accumulates on your Territory over time.
Dissonance is a measure of the strain placed on the world by the competing influence of shapers, and is generated by some Qualities. Dissonance is represented by black counters, which are placed in a pool on the Realm's table. Dissonance must be 'bought off' by the Realm's Sovereign to receive their Geomantic Trophies. If it is left to accrue, it can have negative effects on the Realm's Petitioners.
- There are five Cycles each event, which occur at set times.
- In each Cycle, you can visit the Geomantic tables once. While there, you can do several actions such as:
- Collect mana from your Territory.
- Place one Quality.
- Place or remove an Aegis (if you are a Sovereign).
- Do not touch the Geomantic tables or anything on them.
There are five Cycles that run each event. These are:
- Friday 20:00 - 23:00
- Saturday 10:00 - 13:00
- Saturday 15:00 - 18:00
- Saturday 20:00 - 23:00
- Sunday 10:00 - 13:00
You will need to set aside a couple of minutes each Cycle to visit the Geomantic tables. You should create or trade for any Qualities you need before you do so.
Access to the Geomantic tables is done via queue, if busy - please do not jump or otherwise disrupt the queue, although we strongly encourage you use this time to gossip with the people either side of you.
You may move to observe the tables at any time, whether or not the Cycle is active. While observing the tables, you may speak quietly with people who are not currently taking their turn, but must not disrupt any Geomancy in progress.
You must not touch the Geomantic tables, or anything on them. If you are taking a move, you will instruct the Apparitions what to do and they will do it for you.
Before a Cycle, the Apparitions will place the mana and Majesty generated by each Territory onto its placard. They do this by adding together the bonuses and minuses provided by all of the Qualities upon it.
Example: The Crystal Crevasse is a Territory that finished the last Cycle with five Qualities on it -
- Wonder (+1 green mana)
- Miracle (+1 green mana)
- Force (+1 red mana)
- Palace (+1 Majesty)
- Disgrace (-1 Majesty)
Before the next Cycle, the Apparitions will place on the Territory: 0 blue mana (no Qualities), 2 green mana (Wonder + Miracle), 1 red mana (Force), and 0 Majesty (Palace - Disgrace).
When you arrive at the Geomantic tables, you can take one turn. In a turn, you can do all of the following:
- Collect mana
- Place one Quality
- Transfer Majesty
- Place or remove an Aegis (if you are a Sovereign)
- Have your Hex cards stamped (if you are Hexed)
- Shape Qualities (if you have a Quality which allows you to Shape during the Geomantic Turn)
Please arrive with an idea of what you want to do; you will not be allowed to confer at the table. If you deliberate for longer than 15 seconds during your turn, the Apparition running the tables will prompt you. If you deliberate for longer than 30 seconds, or take longer than 2 minutes in total, the Apparition will end your turn prematurely.
If you are still taking your turn when the Cycle finishes, you will be able to complete your current turn. If you have multiple turns, due to the presence of a Tutor or borrowed character cards, you will only be able to complete your current one.
Present your character card to the Apparition and ask to collect mana from your Territory; they will pick up the mana there and pass it to you. You may also have Qualities placed on other people's Territories that allow you to collect mana from them - if you would like to use those abilities, tell the Apparition which Territories you'd like to collect from.
Example: Warden Hand shows his character card to the Apparition and asks to collect his mana. The Apparitions check which Territory is his, then give him the two green mana and one red mana that was generated between cycles (see previous example).
You will receive a mana stipend at start of the event, based on your starting Quality. This is provided in a separate bag, which you can take away with you. Mana stipends cannot be transferred, stolen by others, or multiplied with the effects of Patronages or other Qualities. New players, or players who have missed events, will receive an increased stipend.
Place one Quality
You may place one Quality item card you have created anywhere you choose. Pass it to the Apparition and tell them where you want it placed; they will do so.
If a Quality of the same type as the one you're placing already exists on the Territory, it is removed and replaced by the new one.
If a Territory has an Aegis on it, you may only place Qualities on it if you own it.
Example: Warden Hand would like to add to the red mana generation of one of his friends. He's made his own Force, described as 'A scuttling horde of oversized geckos, saturated with mana and prone to exploding.' He hands it to the Apparition, telling them which Territory he'd like to place it on. Unfortunately, his friend has an Aegis on it, so Warden Hand cannot interfere - the Apparition tells him so. Warden Hand chooses a different Territory to host it, where it is placed.
If you choose, you may present your character card to the Apparition and ask to have any amount of Majesty transferred from your Territory and onto a Territory of your choice in the same Realm.
Example: Warden Hand has accumulated four Majesty tokens on his Territory - not enough to stake a claim for Sovereign, but enough to shift the balance of power. He tells the Apparition that he would like to transfer all of his Majesty tokens to his friend's Territory, which is in the same Realm. The Apparition moves the counters.
Place or remove one Aegis
If you are a Sovereign, you may present your character card to the Apparition, and ask to place or remove an Aegis. You may place an Aegis on any Territory that does not already have one on it, or remove any Aegis already on the board.
Have your Hexes stamped
If you have any Hexes, you can show your Hex card to the Apparition and they will stamp it. By spending four mana for each unstamped circle - after your free stamp is applied - you can sunder your hex prematurely.
If you have a Quality (such as a Dream Foundry or Beacon) which allows you to shape special Qualities, you may shape these Qualities as part of your Geomantic Turn. You may shape as many copies as you can afford of any Qualities available to you in this way.
- The character whose Territory has accrued the most Majesty in their Realm is named its Sovereign.
- Sovereigns can place or remove powerful geomantic defences called Aegises.
- Sovereigns collect Trophies on behalf of their Realm.
Choosing A Sovereign
At the end of each Cycle, Majesty is counted. The character whose has accumulated the most Majesty in their Realm is recognised by the Apparitions as its Sovereign. If this is different to the previous Sovereign, the Apparitions will announce this when the next Cycle begins.
If there is a tie, the Realm's existing Sovereign will be invited to choose which of the leading characters takes on the role. If they do not respond, or there is no existing Sovereign, this will be determined randomly.
How the rest of their Realm regards their Sovereign is likely to vary, based on their origin:
- The People's Combine recognises a Facilitator, who works to establish consensus amongst the brave crusaders of the Combine - both in rhetoric and in military affairs. Recently this role has had to be expanded to include identifying and purging the seditious Industrioclasts, who would seek to undermine this unity for their own nefarious ends.
- The Valtarian Kingdoms assert that their People's Regent (formerly: Grand High Imperatrix) is the beacon of absolute moral, and thus legal, authority. They hold court with their Monarchs and, through them, seek to bring peace and virtue upon all their rightful domain. Which is to say, the entire world.
- The Visions of Opportunity, notoriously self-serving, have acknowledged the need for a Core Contingency Control (formerly: Prime Executive) to try to reconcile their disparate interests. A successful Prime Executive will coordinate the Visions into a mutually beneficial strategy, then extract whatever price they can for it.
- The Walkers reside under the care of a Ranger. Where Wardens protect the lives of individual Walkers, and the Skalds attend to their philosophical health, the Ranger chooses as their vocation the safety and prosperity of the Walkers as a whole.
- The Penitent Order, for their part, are keen to have a new Mentor (formerly: Grandmaster). They're not entirely sure what a Grandmaster does, exactly - the Sublime Concord used to do that - but they always seemed to know what they were doing, and that kind of clarity is welcome right now.
Sovereigns have several powers:
The Sovereign's Aegis
Once per turn, a Sovereign can place an Aegis on a Territory of their choice. An Aegis is a special Quality that prevents anyone except the Territory's owner from placing new Qualities on it; it is a powerful defensive tool, and will be much sought after. Alternatively, they can remove an Aegis which has already been placed - whether or not it was theirs.
A Sovereign collects Trophies on behalf of their Realm; these are used to create powerful geomantic effects. A Realm has three opportunities to acquire a Trophy in each event; in each instance, if they are successful, the Realm's Sovereign will receive it.
Describing The Realm
Sovereigns may change the name of their Realm, or their own title, during their Turn. Sovereigns will be contacted at the end of the event to ask if they want to change the description of their Realm - the lands that stretch between its many Territories. They may submit description no longer than 200 words, which will appear online and on that Realm's Geomantic table. Particularly ambitious changes may not be entirely successful.
Voting On Nexus Trophies
During the fifth Cycle of each event, a Sovereign has the opportunity to vote on who receives the Nexus Trophies
- Each Realm can acquire two Trophy from geomancy.
- The other Trophies are competed for by the Realms.
- Trophies are used to create powerful geomantic weapons called Grand Qualities.
At the beginning of the third Cycle each event, two Trophies become available to each Realm. To claim the Trophies, the Realm's Sovereign must "buy off" the Realm's Dissonance pool at a rate of one mana (of any type) for each point of Dissonance acquired. They may do this as part of their turn at the tables. If they manage to buy off the pool completely, the Trophies are given to them.
If the Sovereign is unwilling or unable to buy off the Dissonance pool, the Trophies remain unclaimed. They may be claimed later, by buying off the pool - but if the third Cycle of the next event is reached without this happening, they are lost.
Each event, the five Realms will be invited to partake in an Affront tournament, in which each Realm faces each other Realm. A Realm's team must be comprised entirely of members of that Realm, although its constitution may change from one battle to the next. If a Realm cannot decide on who will participate in a given battle, they forfeit it.
The timings of battles for the first event are:
- Realm A vs Realm B: Saturday 10:00
- Realm C vs Realm D: Saturday 11:00
- Realm E vs Realm A: Saturday 12:00
- Realm B vs Realm C: Saturday 13:00
- Realm D vs Realm E: Saturday 15:00
- Realm A vs Realm C: Saturday 16:00
- Realm B vs Realm D: Saturday 17:00
- Realm C vs Realm E: Sunday 10:00
- Realm D vs Realm A: Sunday 11:00
- Realm E vs Realm B: Sunday 12:00
The Realms will be determined randomly at the beginning of the event, and the final schedule announced.
If you win a Realm v Realm Affront, it is possible to Hex your defeated opponents - although participants should be wary of the precedent they set by doing so.
If more than one Realm is tied for the most victories, they will receive two Trophies each. If one Realm has more victories than any other, they will receive five Trophies instead.
At the beginning of the fifth geomantic Cycle, each Sovereign will be invited to place a hidden vote on which Sovereign deserves additional Trophies. The Sovereign with the most votes at the end of the Cycle will be announced, and granted two Trophies. If two or more Sovereigns are matched for votes, neither of them will receive the Trophies. If the person with the most votes is not a Sovereign, nobody will receive the Trophies.
Combining a Trophy with mana at the Shaping tables will allow you to create Grand Qualities. These are superweapons and implements of titanic change, each of which has the potential to drastically shift the balance of control in the Outworld.
There are 21 different types of Grand Quality, one for each of the Advanced Shaping lists. It may also be possible to forge Grand Qualities through other means; any Quality which requires a Trophy for its creation is a Grand Quality. Besides this, and their colossal power, they follow the same rules as ordinary Qualities.