Fading Suns and Flaming Heresies
Unlike psychic powers, theurgy rituals do not have paths; characters simply learn the individual rituals at their required levels and do not need to buy a lower level first.
Since theurgy is more restrictive in its use (requiring liturgy, gestures, prayer, etc..) and less flexible, it tends to have a bit more bang for its buck per level than psychic powers. It lasts longer also (average one span, but some are instant); see the power description for each ritual. Unlike psychics, theurgists may not extend the range and duration, or add more targets, by spending Wyrd points.
Rituals have one or more of the following three components used during the casting (not duration) of the rite:
• Liturgy (L): Words must be spoken. Some rites call for long orations, others for a simple prayer.
• Gestures (G): Symbols and signs must be traced in the air or on the object of the ritual. This could be a simple cross or a complex rune.
• Prayer (P): The priest must meditate for the rite. This can be a short moment of concentration or an hours-long trance.
A ritual can be performed without its components, but the theurgist suffers a -3 penalty to his goal roll. (Thus, an Eskatonic priest can still use liturgical or gestural theurgy when bound and gagged.)
Vestments can add to the goal roll of certain theurgy rites. Below are some vestments and the types of theurgy rites in which they are effective. When used in a rite in which it is effective, a vestment will add +1 to the goal roll. Extra vestments can be used for more bonuses; add +1 for every two additional vestments.
Official Church vestments, blessed and properly prepared, are made theurgically potent with the Sanctification or Consecration rites.
|Vestment||Type of Rite|
|Miter (Rank 4+)||Wisdom (Divine Revelation, Tongues of Babel)|
|Crosier (Rank 3+)||Command, Leadership (Devotional Liturgy, Exorcism)|
|Robes||Protection (Armor of the Pancreator)|
|Censor||Cleansing (Cleansing, Consecration)|
|Jumpgate Cross||Morale, Avert (Dispersing the Darkness, Fearsome Majesty)|
|Water||Healing (Laying on of Hands, Healing Hand of Saint Amalthea)|
|Rosary Beads||Concentration, Meditation (Righteous Assignation of Penance, Righteous Fervor)|
Some holy relics or vestments can hold Wyrd or allow the wielder to perform a rite she has not learned. Anything can be a relic, as long as it was involved in some faithful task in the past (consecrating it for its theurgic task). Some effects are:
• Wyrd Tabernacle: The relic may act as a Wyrd pool, storing Wyrd points. These points may be extracted and used each roll by the wielder with a Faith + Focus roll; the maximum which may be used is equal to the victory points. Once these points have been used, the Tabernacle must be recharged with Wyrd from a willing sacrificer (one point per point expended). This requires a ceremony and a Theurgy + Focus roll; the maximum that may be stored during that ceremony is equal to the victory points. Such tabernacles are created with the 8th level Eskatonic rite of Investiture.
• Saint’s Lore: The relic is invested with one or more theurgy rituals, usable by anyone wielding the relic. These relics are very rare, for the only known method of investing objects with ritual lore is by miracle; the object was invariably the former possession of a saint, whose deeds were so faithful and memorable that the object still remembers them and can repeat them. A Saint’s Lore relic can be combined with a Wyrd Tabernacle. The required amount of Wyrd points for the rite must still be spent by the wielder. As an example, a finger bone of Saint Rasmussen might have Avert Evil (Level Three) and Devotion (Level One).
• Article of Faith: This type of relic can aid the faithful in their ritual tasks. Like a vestment, this relic adds to a character’s goal roll when performing a ritual. It is specific to a certain ritual (such as rosary beads which aid Second Sight). To gain the bonus, the character must hold the article during performance of the rite. Such articles are created with the 8th level Sanctification rite.