Wards and Protective Materials

From Guidebook

In a world so steeped in magic as ours, there are many ways those who exist in it can protect themselves. In that same vein, there are many threats and weaknesses to be found amongst those of a supernatural persuasion. Below is a list of a few central materials and methods, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.

Silver[edit | edit source]

The famous silver bullet. That which is pure repels the impure. Although science has long since proven that silver has anti-microbial properties, providing a neat explanation for why humans of the Old World thought it worked against monsters, this hasn't explained its effect on the supernatural. Two things can be true at once.

That said, it is not purity or impurity which does it and there is no moral force behind it. Like many things in the magic world, there is no known answer as to why silver has this effect and any theories and conclusions are pure conjecture.

Silver is a potent weapon against shifters; contact with the metal, pure or alloy, saps a shifters strength and stymies their famed preternatural healing.

For the Undying, silver is experienced as a discomfort if they are in close proximity to it. They begin losing their grip on their magic with little things going haywire, as the silver interferes with their abilities.

  • Silver gives a Shifter a -1d6 penalty to Strike.
  • When Shifters are physically hit with silver, it removes 2 Luck.
  • Silver gives an Undying a -1d6 penalty to Cinder.

Sky Iron[edit | edit source]

Meteorite or sky iron used to be considered to be the metal from which the gods themselves forged their weapons [1]. Perhaps there is some truth to this. The alloy of pure iron and nickel found in meteorites has a curious effect on those who practice blood magic.

Mere proximity to sky iron dampens a blood-magic users abilities, reducing them to a fraction of their power, creating unintended effects, or causing backlash, while physical contact can mute it altogether. This effect is felt by all who have magic in their body, from the tainted Cursed, eldritch powered bodies of the Undying, spectral Spirits, and even the poor Possessed, although they are given relief in that it is only noticeable when the Passenger is allowing them to use their blood magic. However, for the cursed, a sky iron talisman may be quite useful. Although it dampens their abilities, it can also dampen the effects of their Sorrows.

Half-bloods get it the worst, their very genetic material being suppressed by it. They can sense the presence of sky iron, the feeling manifesting like discomfort, dread, or even nausea. A half-blood must be within a few feet of Sky Iron to sense its presence and feel discomfort, but its effect extends beyond that. It seems to drain or muffle the effects of blood magic so long as a practitioner is within its area of effect.

  • Half-Bloods suffer a -1d6 penalty to their Cinder pool if touched by Sky Iron.
  • Cursed enjoy a -1d6 penalty to their Cinder pool if touched by Sky Iron.
  • Blood magic users—Half-bloods, Cursed, a Possessed's Passenger, Undying, and Spirits—can sense it in close proximity.
  • Even without a mechanical debuff, blood magic users do feel its effects as stated. Players can toy with this is flavour.

Salt[edit | edit source]

Salt the earth, line the threshold, and throw it over your shoulder to chase off the Devil [2]. Salt is multifarious, serving as both a ward and a lure. It is used to consecrate and conquer, it is a symbol of friendship and a bad omen. All of these things are true. In a more direct sense, salt provides protection against the unseen. With spirits, the salt interferes with the ectoplasmic structure that forms their incorporeal bodies. A blast of salt can harm them or prevent them from using their powers, while a line or circle creates an invisible wall that they cannot cross. They can be trapped within a circle of salt in all three dimensions.

As for the possessed, while it may not harm the entity, the connection between Passenger and vessel can be dampened or muted altogether should the vessel step within a circle of salt. Like silver, there is no moral weight to these effects. Purity and preservation are not relevant�it is simply how salt works.

  • Salt used on a Spirit bypasses DC, it always hits their Luck.
  • Salt lines prevent Spirits from crossing.
  • Salt gives a Possessed a -1d6 penalty to Cinder.

True Sunlight[edit | edit source]

The light and patterns of the sun have an interesting effect on magical enchantments, even enchantments connected to the sun and light magic. An 'enchantment' is defined as a long-term spell, on a person, place, or thing with the use of runes, or mind-affecting magic woven over a person. Most magic, especially intangible magic such as mind-affecting magic, fades on exposure to the sunrise. Hardier magic, such as enchantments using carved runes and sturdy materials will slowly wear down before breaking and fading entirely, so keep your magic items in a cool, dark place to prevent sun damage. For clarity, this does not mean that magic rituals or other things cannot be practiced during the day. True Sunlight (not UV or other components of light as defined by science) simply begins to break down magical bonds created by runes and the transition from night to day, the concept of a 'new beginning', helps dispel spells cast over the mind.

The second most pertinent effect of the sun is its effect on the Undying. In direct or indirect sunlight, they become sickly and weak as their eldritch magic struggles to keep them animated. Prolonged exposure will quickly destroy the bonds and thus destroy the Undying completely. After spending time in the sun, Undying must immediately ground themselves to refresh their magic. Spirits are weakened by sunlight, often causing them to become transparent, near to fading, if they do not retreat back to their main haunts or into the safety of a vessel until nightfall.

Those with the ability to manipulate light have the potential to produce true sunlight in order to dispel magic or weaken undead, but only after a great deal of study and practice.

  • Daylight always reduces an Undying's Strike pool to 4d6, regardless of the Undying having the Daywalker keyword.
  • When an Undying is exposed to True Sunlight, wielded by a magic user, their Strike pool is reduced to 4d6.
  • When an Undying is physically hit with True Sunlight, it removes 2 Luck.
  • If the Undying has the Daywalker keyword, they can resist True Sunlight with a contested roll. A contested roll must be matched with equal or more passes than the attack roll (i.e. a contested roll versus 7 passes must be 7 passes or more).

Aconite[edit | edit source]

All shifters are resistant to poisons except in the case of aconite. When ingested or injected aconite causes lethargy, dizziness, unconsciousness, and eventually death in high doses. A shifter dosed with aconite will not be able to shift into or out of their beast forms, remaining stuck in whatever form they were in when they were poisoned. The blocking of their shifting abilities also manifests in a full-body ache, as if they were suffering from a high fever.

Should a shifter's skin be touched by aconite, it will sap their strength, but it does not block them off from their shifting. On extended contact, aconite causes the fur of a shifter in their beast form to fall out, as if rubbed raw, while a shifter's bare skin will react by spidering black veins around the area of contact. Any exposure to aconite is painful, but it gets worse the longer the shifter is exposed. Touch alone cannot kill a shifter, but it weakens them considerably.

  • Aconite, on extended touch or when ingested, causes Shifters to become lethargic and dizzy, with the possibility of rendering them unconscious.
  • When touched by it, it causes spidery black veins on a Shifter's skin and is incredibly painful.
  • When ingested, aconite reduces a Shifters' Strike pool to 4d6.

The Moon and Its Phases[edit | edit source]

The moon in all its phases has long held an important place in the human consciousness and with good reason. Its inexorable pull not only creates tides in the ocean but in magic as well. Every full moon, currents of otherworldly energy swell, potent and wild in exultation.

The sight of the full moon calls to shifters in a deeply primal way, encouraging them to shed what suddenly feels like nothing but a facade and give in to the beast. Some see it as Artemis' hunting horn, the huntress calling them to join her wild hunt. Others fight and fear it, seeing it as a curse to be suppressed. Whichever way a shifter sees it, every single one is intimately familiar with the phases of the moon, feeling it in the fabric of their being.

For other magic beings and practitioners, they sense that their magic is more potent, spells becoming easier to cast with more impressive results.

All Cinder rolls done in threads set on the full moon explode on a 5 and a 6.

Faith[edit | edit source]

Faith, any kind of faith, is a rudimentary and primal force. It does not matter the religion or the symbol being held, should a being fully and unquestionably believe that an item grants them protection, they will find that it is true. Whether this manifests as a repellent or a shield or what looks like pure luck, the stories vary. The effects are not repeatable like ritual magic, but it comes from within, a separate kind of magic altogether.

Magic[edit | edit source]

Magic itself can counter magic, depending on what one does with it. There are multiple magics that can serve in a protective capacity, to wipe a slate clean or redirect an incoming flow. Magic for many is limited only by their imagination, although the rules of the metaphysical and the magic they are able to tap into does decide what they have at their fingertips. In some cases, magic is effective against certain types of beings, specifically spirits. A working theory is that magic and spirits are made of the same matter and therefore are able to interact directly with one another, allowing spirits to both hold magical objects and feel magic more directly than anything physical.

  • Cinder rolls for magical attacks and effects target a Spirit's Manifested DC.

Other Wards[edit | edit source]

There is no one answer as to why the various wards and charms found around the world work or have no effect on the supernatural. Theories range from faith to the unconscious use of rudimentary ritual magic. In any case, it is impossible to name all possible charms, wards, and or other superstitious practices. Those that implement the concepts and materials above are sure to work while others may be mere superstition.

Quick Summary[edit | edit source]

Shifter -1D6 penalty to Strike. Deducts 2 Luck on a physical hit.
Undying -1D6 penalty to Cinder
Sky Iron
Half-Blood -1D6 penalty to Cinder
Cursed -1D6 penalty to Cinder
Blood Magic Users Can feel the presence and suppressive effect of Sky Iron.
Possessed -1D6 penalty to Cinder
Spirit Bypasses their DC. They cannot cross salt lines.
True Sunlight
Undying On exposure reduces their Strike pool to 4D6. Deducts 2 Luck on a physical hit.
Shifters When ingested, reduces their Strike pool to 4D6
Magic (Cinder rolls)
Spirit Magic hits their Manifested DC.
Full Moon
Dice roll explosions happen on 6s and 5s.

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