The Unblinking Eye
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Grace is an attribute unique to Theurgic characters, replacing the Destiny attribute that Heroic characters get. It is an attribute that measures how touched the character has been by the holy revelations that allow access to Theurgic powers. It also marks the character as a figure of awe and some fear for peasants. Theurges are certainly holy, but trouble seems to follow those who are chosen by the Pancreator, he does not let his lights shy away from the darkness.
While Grace isn’t directly rolled to invoke Theurgic rituals, its importance to a Theurge character cannot be understated. It determines the pool of Wyrd points from which the Theurge can draw to make her powers more effective. It replaces the easy to beat resistances that non-psychics have against psychic powers, providing a powerful defense that requires advanced training to crack. It also caps the level of rituals that a character can know, as the most involved and powerful rituals are beyond the reach of those without sufficient Grace.
Along with holy power comes distance from the common people. Stigma touch the flesh of Theurges, though unlike the blasphemous and alien stigma of psychic powers, Grace bestows religious stigma upon the character. Grace is only granted to strongly pious characters, but opens up the danger of Hubris, of using the Pancreator’s gift wrongly out of pride and selfishness.
The various aspects of the Grace attribute summarized here are detailed more below. It is important to note that Grace is never Invoked, Taxed, or Consumed like Destiny. Indeed, the character has given up her normal Destiny, placing faith in her end in the Pancreator’s capable hands.
As Grace increases, the Theurge gets a larger and larger pool of points he can draw on called Wyrd points. They can be best thought of as raw spiritual energy, which is stored not so much in the actual body of the theurge, but more in her spirit. This power is a real energy source that can manifest physically when manipulated by some of the more esoteric psychic powers. Perhaps shockingly, this Wyrd is the exact same power that Psychics use, and can be transferred between psychics and theurges without difficulty. This has lead to a lot of debate and in the church, some of those debates were fierce enough to lead to excommunications, or the creation of new sects like the Eskatonic Order.
Wyrd is required for the use of nearly any Theurgic ritual. In addition, it can be spent for the following means. Unlike Psychics, Theurges cannot alter the range, duration, or number of targets in their rituals with Wyrd expenditure. Humble priests are happy with the way the Pancreator intended their ritual to be performed. Some rituals do leave room for extra wyrd to improve or alter the ritual in some way, and these rituals indicate such in their description.
- Boosting Ritual Rolls: A maximum of 1 Wyrd can be spent to boost a theurgic ritual roll. Spending Wyrd in this way adds 3 dice to the roll.
- Boosting Normal Rolls: Wyrd points can boost a character’s general ability, is quickly consumed when doing so. Each point of Wyrd adds 2 dice, and only 1 point of Wyrd may be spent per roll. Doing this excessively can increase Hubris!
- Striking Evil: When attacking a demon, warlock, or other truly evil creature, Wyrd may be spent to make the blow more potent. The cost is high, but the potential great. 3 Wyrd points are spent, and the priest may add her Grace to the dicepool.
- Shield of the Pancreator: The amount of physical punishment that a martyr can endure is legendary. When a character with Grace has been reduced to a dying state, she may use Wyrd instead of Health points to survive. This doesn’t help her remain up and in combat, only preserves her life until help can hopefully arrive.
Regaining Wyrd: Wyrd is regained naturally by the Theurge, with rest and prayer. It will come back with no effort on the theurge’s part over the course of the day, and a lot more is regained while sleeping. Daily prayer can also bring Wyrd back more quickly. Finally, attending mass and taking communion with the Pancreator restores spiritual energy.
- If no effort is made to regain Wyrd quickly it comes back at the rate of 1 point every 3 hours.
- Daily Prayer (Composure + Theology) restores 1 point of Wyrd per success on the roll. However, 30 minutes must be alotted for each point of Wyrd regained. 4 successes on a roll when the Theurge only has 1 hour to pray will result in only 2 points regained.
- A priest can pray only once per day to regain wyrd under normal circumstances.
- Sleeping for at least 6 hours returns 6 points of Wyrd.
- Holy Communion in a sanctified church or cathedral restores 2 points of Wyrd.
Wyrd Pool: The chart below shows how increasing Grace increases the total amount of Wyrd the character can hold at one time.
A Theurge’s understanding of the more powerful rituals is limited by her Grace. The chart below shows what level of Grace is required for a particular level of ritual.
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Every theurge is marked by a Stigma of some kind. The stigma manifests as a potent symbol of faith and being touched by the Pancreator. It is always religious in some way, usually related to one of the saints, but not always. Some examples follow below.
- Lash Marks on the arms and back – Sympathy with the beating of the Prophet at the hands of diaspora era nobles.
- All clothing worn eventually stains read – Sympathy with Mantius, the 4th disciple, also known as the Soldier.
- Unnaturally long beard which grows back quickly if cut – Sympathy with Horace, the 6th disciple, known as the Learned Man. Rarely found on women.
- Occasionally speaks in tongues – Sympathy with Hombor, the 7th disciple, also known as The Begger.
- Tears run down the cheeks at odd times – Sympathy with Amalthea, the 3rd disciple, also known as the Healer.
- Sleepwalking – Sympathy with Paulnus, the 1st disciple, also known as the Traveler.