Coincidental Effects

This advanced option is best left to highly experienced troupes. The cards might be used either by the Storyteller or the players to create opportunities for coincidental magic Effects. Using a card drawn by the Storyteller or handed to the player at the beginning of the session, the character could take the card's meaning or imagery and utilize that element as a template for a more coincidental casting. Literally, it would be as though the mage "cast about," fishing for ideas on how to make magic less obvious by setting up a scenario in which magic appears coincidental because it fits in with the image on the card. This option is a little harder to

2. Cross: The Mage — The mage might be his own worst enemy, or someone else may be preventing his spiritual progress. This obstacle must be overcome.

3. Base: Eight of Pattern — The reason for the mage's quest. He may feel inadequate or incapable of progress, and is fighting against that.

4. Immediate future: Nine of Questing — The mage must be alert and anticipate the challenges he will face.

5. Short-term past: Queen of Primordialism, reversed — This can mean a past influence motivating the crossing card and leading to the future. She may be the cause of the opposition, or may represent the mage's own inner perversity and fear of committing himself to the quest.

6. Long-term future: King of Questing — An encounter with authority is indicated. Some sort of ruler or leader is an obstacle to be overcome.

7. Personal fears: The Devil, reversed — There are two levels here. Personal fears involve not recognizing the time for action, being trapped by indecision. On another level, the mage fears the forces arrayed against him, probably the Nephandi.

8. Outside Influences: Justice — Friends or society may demand that the mage act appropriately and make the correct decisions, and that he justify those choices. They may judge what the mage does. In another sense, they are possible helpers; the card suggests that an Akashic Brother may become an ally.

9. Ideals and Goals: The Emperor, reversed — The mage hopes to somehow accomplish the quest without assuming responsibilities he feels he isn't ready for. He may be required to overcome someone in authority, perhaps removing him from his throne, to gain in wisdom.

10. End Result: The Fool, reversed — The end result is a loss of the mage's innocence and carefree spirit as a price for growing in wisdom. To gain some dreams, you must sacrifice others.

The reading indicates some direct confl ict with the Nephand i. Their influence taints someone in authority over the mage. The mage's Construct or Convention may disagree with his actions, and may even sabotage what he's trying to do. In the end, he must have the courage to unseat the authority standing in his way — possibly a teacher or mentor, someone he has trusted in the past — and in so doing, gain wisdom, but lose his innocence.

achieve than the others since it requires cooperation between the players and the Storyteller to create the opportunity depicted by the card. Storytellers should feel free to disallow such Effects or rule them to be vulgar if the player goes too far.

Example:

• Fleeing from agents of the Technocracy through the streets of New Orleans, Kathryn, a young Verbena, is running out of options. Sleepers are everywhere, and she can't stop to draw blood or use any sort of effective magic against her pursuers without dozens of un-Awakened witnesses. Still, she must do something. She asks the Storyteller if there anything's happening nearby that might help her. Wendy draws a card, the Six of Primordialism. It so happens that this particular card might indeed be useful. Wendy announces that up ahead, in the park at Bayou St. John, Kathryn can see a large voodoo rite in progress. Thankfully, Kathryn rushes forward, grabs a skull filled with blood and begins to sway to the music. The agents rush toward her. She flings the blood in their eyes and employs the Sphere of Life to cause them to go blind for a short time.

Because she used the cover of throwing blood in their eyes under circumstances where the Sleepers expect a few odd occurrences, the crowd has an explanation of why the agents are blinded — if they even notice what happened in the midst of the wild ritual. Did the spirits do it, or was there just something really nasty in the blood? In any case, Kathryn gets to treat the blood-blinding as coincidental magic (rather than a vulgar "I wave my hand, and they go blind" Effect), and makes good her escape.

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