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Former Satanist Shows Everyday Occultism

Instead, they may serve to set up further adventures for the PCs, leaving them with the uneasy sense that strange events driven by bizarre, eldritch motivations are hidden in the world all around them.

For example, while the PCs are on the trail of a murderous demon cult, misinformation might lead them to a secret society involved in unusual initiation rites.

Sometimes the best way to involve the PCs in a campaign is to ask them what they want. At the beginning of your occult campaign, ask each player to come up with a personal mystery for his or her character, such as having witnessed an unusual phenomenon or having experienced an inexplicable event as a teenager.

A PC may have brief flashbacks to her childhood of visits by men in blood-red robes and disturbing animal masks, for example.

It may center on a certain location, like a place seen in recurring dreams or the ghost-haunted gardens of some overgrown manor.

It could have to do with a mysterious object, such as a locket that throbs painfully in the hands of a psychometrist or an ancient tome containing twisting, backwards writing in which a new word is scribbled each day.

Some hooks may play major roles in the campaign, while others turn out to be minor anecdotes. When running an occult game, consider replacing some of the NPCs who broker information with spirits, daemons, otherworldly entities, and mortals who traffic in the occult, such as a medium who channels spirits from a ramshackle wooden hut at the edge of a misty bog.

Occult adventures emphasize the search for obscure, hidden knowledge beyond the ken of mortal minds. Such information is the province of spirits and lost souls who wander those rarely trod paths.

Some buildings may have mysterious symbols hidden in their architecture, or were designed to attract or channel occult power. For instance, adventurers who disturb the cairn of a powerful sorcerer might soon discover that the occult nature of the structure itself kept his soul in check.

And, of course, GMs should design interconnected webs of intrigue that subtly display these patterns, daring PCs to pull the loose threads of reality and unravel all that they know, exposing the terrible secrets that lie beneath.

In a campaign steeped in occult lore and practice, spirits and demons might be the major quest-givers, regular allies, foils, or adversaries, and their machinations pull the PCs in multiple directions.

They might all seem virtuous, or may all seem reprehensible, but they all want something, and they are willing to use the PCs as pawns to achieve it.

An uncooperative angel may give the characters information only grudgingly, whereas a devil who wants something might be more forthcoming.

The quest for knowledge features prominently in occult adventures. Calamity strikes when mortals rush blindly in, throwing open the doors to powers that they do not yet comprehend.

As the characters begin to perceive the occult world that surrounds them, consider the dreadful fates and terrible sacrifices that they might face as they immerse themselves ever deeper into the occult.

In the depths of the occult underworld, initiates barter for the true names of demon princes, exchange rare formulae for the creation of artificial life, and broker in corpses that conceal terrible secrets.

Such mystical bargains are rarely fair trades of power, and hermetic orders and cults manipulate these exchanges to devalue the knowledge traded away and inflate the value of the knowledge earned.

The behavior of occult denizens often falls into unusual patterns. As discussed above, these patterns often manifest in architecture, but they also show up as odd coincidences that have significance for occult investigators, such as corpses discovered in symbolic patterns.

Occult creatures themselves are beings of eccentric habits, and PCs may exploit their patterns of behavior to expose or confront them, perhaps discovering the celestial alignments that must happen in order for some diabolical plan to finally come to fruition.

But occult knowledge could give investigating player characters unusual opportunities to learn more about their foes. Perhaps divinations or phrenological readings reveal multiple weaknesses characters could exploit, though not all of them are real, and some may even empower the antagonist.

Ultimately, the only way to find out may be to encounter the antagonist directly, but putting the acquired knowledge to the test may be a more dangerous affair than the PCs initially realized.

When death is final and unknown, it is as mysterious to living beings as it is terrifying. Characters accustomed to communicating with spirits, however, know that death is not the end.

In fact, characters skilled in the occult might willingly wander the Ethereal Plane to quest, converse, and mingle among the bodiless spirits that reside there.

In these games, characters usually have a pretty good idea of what fate awaits them, and what the final reward—or punishment—will be for their actions in life.

In occult adventures where characters can leave their bodies, travel in dreams, and project their forms onto the Astral Plane, the death of the physical body could come to hold less significance.

Therefore, present the characters with fates worse than death. This might amount to a torturous "living" death, such as the eternal enslavement and torture of the soul or a debilitating madness that gradually renders a psychic creature mindless and insane.

Setting the scene is important in occult adventures, which rely upon creating an eerie atmosphere of tension, dread, and wonder in the presence of the supernatural.

GMs can use props and tools to create a physical atmosphere around their players that draws them in to the emotional realm of the adventure.

A room illuminated by flickering candles suggests darkened seance chambers or occult rituals, and a prepared library of sounds and voices brings settings and characters to life.

If the characters are occult initiates or psychics, or they consult a fortune-teller or a medium, consider using cards, crystals, talismans, talking boards, and other such items as props in those scenes.

Challenge yourself to give the players goose bumps a few times over the course of your campaign. The following campaign themes combine the elements of occult adventures in different ways, and are meant to serve as packages to help GMs open the door of the occult in their campaign worlds.

The Unseen Realms and Strange Rules and Peculiar Patterns elements introduce an occult underworld that operates beneath the veneer of everyday life.

Members of the occult underworld masquerade as the ordinary folk who occupy every stratum of society. In adventures that use this theme, an air of paranoia and dread looms as the characters investigate dark mysteries.

No one is safe. No one can be trusted. Not every secret society holds a dark agenda, however, and indeed some secret orders exist to oppose the machinations of evil cults.

In time, the characters in an occult adventure might join such an order, or the party itself may come to be recognized as its own faction amongst the occult underworld.

Another way to impress the theme of a ubiquitous occult underworld upon the characters is to hit them close to home.

Choose an important NPC dear to one of the characters to be a member of a secret society or a cult that the characters oppose. Consider the scenes in which your NPC has appeared and create an ulterior motive for the character within those scenes that advances the agenda of the secret society or cult to which the NPC belongs.

Occult elements such as Mysteries within Mysteries, The Price and Power of Knowledge, and Fates Worse Than Death can combine to create a powerful overriding campaign theme highlighting the struggle for dominance between the worlds of the living and the dead.

The veils between the worlds are worn thin. Haunts, ghosts, and lost souls are commonplace, though they are not the true antagonists; in such campaigns, the real villains are often powerful outsiders with legions of minions who specialize in the harvesting of souls for a profitable black market in the nether realms.

Spirits who seek rest are a common occurrence, and PCs are tasked with discovering the means to help the dead move on one way or another, either through completing tasks a soul left incomplete in life, or by laying the spirit to rest permanently through force of might.

Stakes are high in such games, and death is never the end. GMs who explore the Power and Price of Knowledge and Unseen Realms elements will eventually reveal the presence of parallel realities to this Material Plane.

Rather than venturing outward to distant lands, your occult adventurers might turn their focus inward to the strange realms of thoughts, dreams, spirits, and the soul.

When planning adventures along this theme, think about ways the characters can probe the realities before their eyes on a deeper level.

For instance, as they investigate mysteries, you may want to occasionally provide ways for them to explore the Transitive Planes, and even the Outer Planes, to discover clues.

A mindscape is typically a surreal puzzle environment where the characters accomplish their tasks by navigating the mindscape and deceiving or satisfying the controlling mind, overcoming its defenses, unlocking its doors, and learning the secrets buried deep within.

GMs should be prepared to adjudicate scenes where the characters project themselves into nonphysical realms. Adventures along this theme might find the characters entering the twisted mindscape of an insane or possessed victim, or they might enter the mindscape of an enemy to steal hidden knowledge or implant subconscious suggestions.

The Mysteries within Mysteries and Unseen Realms elements emphasize the feeling of otherworldly awe that the occult inspires by showing how the everyday world reacts to eerie phenomena.

In occult adventures, ordinary people tend to fear unknown circumstances over which they have little control. Rumor and superstition only exacerbate their distress, and a frightened populace can swiftly resort to extreme measures, including holy inquisitions and witch hunts, in order to regain some assurance of security, no matter how short-lived it be.

As a result of societal paranoia, the occult might be a forbidden art for the characters, and one that they must keep secret. Adventures might involve finding and communicating with other occult initiates by signals, tokens, or a specialized cant, while the adventurers bravely fight a shadow war on behalf of a world that shuns them.

As another take on this theme, the common crowd could develop a worshipful fascination toward people or entities skilled in the occult arts, consulting them for knowledge of the future or employing their psychic talents to quickly learn what ordinary folk cannot normally see or know.

On the other hand, twisted individuals who wield occult power often attract lackeys and slaves willing to serve the dark arts, and the ranks of wicked cults teem with dangerous, unscrupulous predators enraptured by their charismatic cult leaders.

GMs who wish to fully immerse PCs in an exclusively occult campaign will likely incorporate most or all of the occult elements, and brew multiple, overlapping themes to propel their campaigns toward darker realms.

Without changing any game mechanics, arcane and divine classes can share in a game in which the characters are exceptional beings who dare to use powers beyond mortal ken.

NPCs with supernatural powers should be rare, or should conceal themselves from the world at large. Large and powerful churches may exist, exerting significant economic and political power, but only a few individuals ever perform miracles, and even these persons of extraordinary faith may fall out of favor with church doctrine.

Perhaps in such campaigns there are no true gods, or their status as divine entities cannot be proven. It may be that the so-called gods are actually various spirits and other inscrutable forces that occupy the space between dimensions.

The Outer Planes and the gods who dwell there may be just a shared manifestation of the collective consciousness, which appears to exist only because people believe that it does.

Rumors of the corpses of strange creatures appearing for sale in the city are confirmed with the display of a brace of dead imps in a local market.

Where are they from, and why are they here? The characters overhear the rush of fear and excitement when the corpses of two imps appear for sale in a local bazaar.

It is soon revealed that the source of the corpses is a local ragpicker with some knowledge of the occult, who discovered the imps discarded behind an old lodge building of a defunct fraternal society.

Soon, another pair is discovered, and more pairs follow on its heels. What could be causing their appearance, and who is killing them two at a time?

The imps are actually the messengers of a powerful devil once in league with the defunct secret society. A sorcerer recently took up residence in the old lodge, and the imps began appearing with tempting offerings from their diabolical master.

The sorcerer slew the daily emissaries and disposed of their bodies. Does the ragpicker know more than he is willing to admit?

What dark secrets does the lodge hold that the devil may seek for himself? Someone, or something, is harvesting the souls of the deceased before they can reach their ultimate reward.

The seance circles began with good intentions, but one of them is unwittingly the pawn of a night hag, unknowingly concealing her dread ambitions.

The guild is now murdering innocent victims so that she can bind their souls to her heartstone. Perhaps she had captured the spirit of a powerful, corrupt entity that now threatens the city with darker strife after gaining its freedom.

The PCs have brought peace to the community for a time, but at what price, and what deadly machinations await?

The PCs are called on to investigate the murders and find the corpses brutally smashed and savagely disfigured in ways hardly possible for mortal man.

Locals suspect a dimwitted strongman from a traveling freak show, but the true culprit is a deadly clay golem once built for protection.

The secret society responsible for the original purge is planning another. They decided it would be truly poetic if the same protector that stopped the previous purge became the spark for the new one.

After sending it out to commit murders of authorities and build anger against the slums, the young aristocrat plans to betray the golem and come out of that betrayal as the hero who stopped the murders, as he leads a second retributive purge of the slums.

Will the PCs come to the rescue of those who cannot protect themselves? When a wise and benevolent ruler mysteriously falls unconscious and begins to waste away, turmoil erupts throughout the land as various factions vie for power.

If the PCs perish while on this journey, their bodies suffer the same fate as the ruler. The ruler has no desire to return to the sorrows of life on the Material Plane, and opposes the PCs at every turn.

The procession visits the ethereal versions of three places significant to the ruler in life. If the characters travel to the Dimension of Dreams, these places are idealized memories rather than ethereal haunts.

Regardless of the reality the PCs visit, the ruler resists them. And as the characters explore, they find the processions of other rulers heading toward Heaven or Hell.

Are these events all somehow connected? Farther from this place, in a hidden hillside glen, is a smaller circle of stones—one for every generation—with human bones buried below, the remains of offerings.

The PCs stop at the village during the course of their adventures. The villagers abandon their homes and gather around the menhir, chanting words in a forgotten language.

The chosen monarchs are within the circle, seemingly unharmed. A psychic ghost or aberrant horror bound to the menhir manifests every generation to feed on the offerings provided by the villagers.

When the being feeds, the menhir glows with a soft golden radiance, and the land for miles around becomes rich and fertile for a whole generation.

If the PCs stake out the menhir during the night of the sacrifice, they have a chance to fight the creature, and if they rescue the sacrifices, the creature comes after them.

Creatures of psychic power are attracted to a ley line passing through the menhir. Following the ley line leads to other villages with their own menhirs; those that were denied their sacrifices are now surrounded by dry and desolate land where nothing lives.

Ley lines lead from these menhirs as well, on and on throughout the world. Generation after generation, the beings bound to these menhirs feed and grow more powerful.

How can the PCs release the common folk from these mysterious horrors? After concluding a previous adventure, the PCs celebrate a job well done.

During their revelry, they meet a woman who is excited for their success and invites them to her villa. She offers comfortable beds, fine foods and drinks, and the run of her abode.

She tells them they are welcome to stay as long as they like, if they help her with a simple task. The woman is actually the consciousness of an ancient being imprisoned within an immersive mindscape.

It long ago stopped trying to escape its mental prison, and now all it wants is some companionship. The consciousness creates whatever the characters desire, weaving a compelling tapestry of experience at first indistinguishable from the material world.

Eventually, the characters figure out that wealth, fame, and fortune are falling into their laps just a little too easily and realize they must find a way out of the mindscape.

The PCs might decide to destroy the mindscape—perhaps by traveling to the Dimension of Dreams, and possibly even freeing the ancient consciousness in the process.

Other trapped creatures might exist inside the mindscape, and freeing them might provide the characters with future contacts or adversaries.

Following a series of disasters or a virulent plague, the desperate populace places its faith in a fanatical faction of an otherwise reputable church.

With great resources now at their disposal, the zealots promise to undo the curse by appeasing the gods through punishment of evildoers and heretics.

The PCs enter the scene when the witch hunters attempt to arrest them or their allies, or when family members and close associates are captured by the order.

Outwardly, the leader of the order, the Truthseeker, appears to be its most rational and penitent member. In truth, this person is a psychic tyrant who uses his abilities to read minds and expose enemies of the order.

In short time, the splinter faction becomes a powerful cult as the Truthseeker trains the witch hunters to read minds and tell the future.

The PCs might simply rescue their allies from the order, or they might expose the Truthseeker. How many cities and towns has it infiltrated, and how readily does it swell its numbers?

Did the cultists cause the tragic events that led to their rise to power? Even if the PCs stop the Truthseeker, is another cult member ready to take up the mantle?

The PCs are tasked with looking into a series of disappearances in a major city. During their investigation, they accidentally come across evidence that implicates a local noble.

The PCs are unaware that their suspect is the owner of a soul portrait. As the PCs delve into the background of the accused, they learn that despite her youthful appearance, she is well into her seventies.

Further research reveals that a series of her acquaintances, competitors, and family members disappeared in the years following her thirtieth birthday.

The accused noble is defended by a legion of mercenaries who are too powerful for the PCs to assault directly. The soul portrait prevents divinations that would reveal her true nature, projecting the image of her innocent younger self.

While the PCs are sure she is the cause of the disappearances and other crimes, the noble deflects any blame by means of her sizable wealth and perceived charitable nature.

When the PCs truly become a threat to her, the noble attacks those closest to them using various forms of harassment and torture.

The PCs have to contend with a foe empowered by the mistaken belief that she can suffer no consequences from her actions.

When the accused is defeated, her image moves to the background of the soul portrait , and the PCs are left with the unsavory task of deciding what to do with the artifact.

Less scrupulous PCs may decide to take it for themselves, commissioning an artist to add their likenesses to the canvas, having learned of the powers bequeathed by the portrait.

When it comes to occult adventures, locations themselves can be living things, serving as active participants in paranormal stories. Loci spirits form when excess psychic energy becomes saturated with powerful positive emotional resonances.

Loci spirits typically arise in places with connections to previous miracles, benevolent guardian spirits, or good-aligned deities. Loci spirits infuse a specific area; their psychic energy heightens the positive emotions experienced there to create a feeling of peace and protection.

A loci spirit also manifests a unique ceremonial power linked specifically to the emotional energy that birthed the spirit. Except in rare circumstances, a given area can house at most one loci spirit.

The emanating feelings of peace and protective warmth make a loci spirit obvious to those within its area. A loci spirit is always LG, NG, or CG in alignment and has the aura of a good outsider for the purposes of detect good and similar magic.

A loci spirit generates at least one of the three following permanent effects within the area it inhabits.

Spell resistance does not apply to this effect. Every undead creature entering the area of a loci spirit takes a —1 penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws.

In addition to the permanent effect, each loci spirit has a ceremonial effect that another creature can activate by performing a specific ceremonial activity.

When the celebrant successfully completes the ceremony, the loci spirit immediately manifests its effect. A creature can benefit from only one boon from a loci spirit at a time.

Each loci spirit has a number of hit points equal to twice its CR, which it uses to resist corruption. If a loci spirit is reduced to 0 hit points, it becomes corrupted; thereafter, it acts as a haunt of the same CR and loses any loci spirit permanent effects.

Once a loci spirit has been corrupted, its effects instead manifest as mind-affecting fear effects. These new effects should have a similar power level to that of the ceremonial effect the loci spirit previously manifested.

A corrupted loci spirit has the aura of an evil outsider for the purposes of detect evil and similar effects. The haunt has the same number of hit points as the loci spirit originally did; these are separate from its loci spirit hit points, which remain at 0 until the loci spirit is purified.

Corrupted loci spirits can be neutralized or destroyed in the same fashion as haunts. If a character manages to restore the full hit points of the uncorrupted loci spirit, the character has purged the corruption entirely, and the loci spirit returns to its former benevolence.

This could potentially occur over the course of multiple encounters with the corrupted spirit. Until then, the haunt continues to reset.

Any weaknesses the loci spirit has, such as being susceptible to corruption or hard to heal, are listed here. These are the skill checks that must be performed in order for the loci spirit to manifest its ceremonial effect.

This entry details the ceremonial effect of the loci spirit, and includes a description of how the loci spirit manifests.

Step 1—Determine Base CR: Step 2—Determine Actual CR: Step 5—Determine Ceremony DC: Normally, the ceremonial effect is harmless and thus applies only if a creature voluntarily wishes to resist or negate the effect.

A corrupted loci spirit manifests a mind-affecting fear effect with the same spell level as its unique effect. Benevolent Priest CR 5.

Effect When the celebrant performs the appropriate offering of twigs and berries, the loci spirit manifests as a ghostly, rotund man in clerical garb bearing trays of food, which he offers to the celebrant and its allies, as the create food and water spell.

Corruption Effect create food and water becomes contagion DC Ghostly Warriors CR 5. Corruption Effect align weapon becomes shatter DC CG energized singular loci spirit ft.

Corruption Effect Heroism becomes scare DC While haunts can be complex antagonists, they are versatile tools that are well suited to portray the drama and atmosphere of occult games.

This section presents new haunt rules and clarifications on previous rules. While haunts are typically damaged only by applied positive energy, holy water is another potential weapon against them.

A flask 1 pint of holy water that successfully hits a haunt as a splash weapon deals 2d4 points of damage to the haunt on a direct hit, and deals 1 point of damage to haunts within 5 feet of the splash radius.

Some haunts are tied to special objects or creatures. Such haunts take normal damage from positive energy, and follow the normal reset rules for haunts of their type.

Bound haunts possess items when created, and gain mobility at the cost of having their tragic fates tied to physical objects that are more easily destroyed.

These haunts spontaneously manifest at scenes of great terror, as the psychic residue of tragic events seeps into items tied to the events.

Once bound to an item, an item-bound haunt uses all of the normal rules for haunts, with the radius of its effects centered on the haunted object.

Malevolent spirits may similarly haunt creatures rather than items, following the subjects wherever they go and causing strange occurrences and poltergeist-like activity around the subject in revenge for a perceived trespass or involvement in the tragic events that created the haunt.

Individuals possessed by such haunts must always take a standard action to retrieve stored items, unless it would normally take longer. In addition, any item the host drops lands 10 feet away in a random direction.

Chained haunts can be destroyed only by bringing final rest to their connected entities. For example, a series of chained haunts could be spread across the site of a ruined mansion: Some PCs may wish to establish communication with haunts that have been neutralized reduced to 0 hit points but not yet destroyed.

Likewise, GMs may elect for rejuvenating undead such as ghosts and poltergeists to assume one of these states during rejuvenation periods.

While still potentially frightening or even malevolent, these haunts can potentially communicate by using a code such as one rap for "yes" and two for "no" in response to called out words, numbers, and letters.

In either case, such spirits are often unreliable, always cryptic, and never able to convey knowledge beyond what they knew in life.

Some characters attempting to communicate with haunts carry flat, lettered boards known as talking boards, cone-shaped spirit trumpets, or writing planchettes—small, wheeled boards that write with chalk or charcoal pencils.

While these are mundane items with no inherent magic of their own, in the hands of those with properly established rapports, these tools increase the efficiency of messages received from haunts, doubling the rate of communication from two signals raps, letters, etc.

Haunts created using spells with non-instantaneous durations can also create problems. To resolve this matter, consider creating haunts with durations as persistent haunts.

The most common haunts are rapping spirits: Characters can attempt communication with these intelligent spirits by working out codes the spirits can use to convey cryptic messages, or by using tools like spirit planchettes to increase the efficiency of communication with the spirit.

Notice Perception DC 10 to hear faint knocking on the walls, floor, and furniture. Effect A chorus of agitated raps and blows rings out from nearby hard surfaces limited to those capable of being physically manipulated by mage hand as unquiet spirits convey their unrest to the living.

All who hear the supernatural knocks are affected by a cause fear effect Will DC 11 negates. Destruction Depending on its alignment, a rapping spirit typically asks for its mortal remains to be laid to rest or for the PCs to seek revenge for its death.

Fulfilling the request dismisses the haunt. Some haunts influence the thoughts and actions of those in the mortal realms to communicate their anger, desires, or goals, which can lead to instances of direct-voice channeling and automatic writing.

While the demanding dead are sometimes malevolent, more often there is a method to their requests, which could potentially reveal shocking secrets or the key to putting them to rest forever.

Notice Perception DC 15 to hear faint mutterings and feel a cool breeze. Effect This haunt seeks to influence the actions of the living, targeting a victim with a suggestion effect or a heightened command save DC 14 for either.

Destruction A demanding dead typically asks for rest for its mortal remains or the resolution of desires unfulfilled in life.

Overwhelming, unresolved guilt—or horrific death by thousands of tiny teeth—can lead to the manifestation of ghostly vermin swarms.

The haunted area often displays signs of ancient rodent infestation. Notice Perception DC 15 to hear scratching in walls.

Effect This free-roaming haunt wanders the vacant halls of old manors and dank dungeons. When the haunt is triggered, the skeletal remains of spectral rats burst forth from every crack and crevice of the room, scurrying over the area and voraciously consuming trespassers, as the summon swarm spell.

Destruction A character must ritually kill a common cat in the area. Although haunted weapons often still bear holy marks from the original owners or relics like bones from a revered saint, these are never sufficient to contain the malevolence that dwells within the weapon.

LE persistent item-bound haunt haunted object affecting up to a ft. Notice Perception DC 25 to hear distant cackling when touching the weapon.

Effect Whenever the wielder of the haunted weapon threatens a critical hit with the weapon, the area immediately resonates with a cacophonous cackling.

All creatures within a foot radius centered on the weapon suffer the effects of a song of discord spell Will DC 17 negates for the next 8 rounds.

NE possessing persistent spiteful haunt ft. Notice Perception DC 20 to feel a malignant presence and hear faint mutterings.

When it first possesses a host creature, the insidious presence may offer enticing boons for several months using its shadow conjuration effect such as summoning allies to assist the host.

An insidious presence that has slain a number of different hosts equal to its CR undergoes a startling transformation.

This powerful entity has CR of 12, learns to utilize greater shadow conjuration DC 22 where applicable , has a caster level of 14, has a radius of 60 feet when not possessing a creature, and has 54 hit points.

Destruction An insidious presence can be destroyed only if an innocent creature willingly accepts it into its body and then intentionally sacrifices its life to destroy the haunt forever.

Researchers into the occult theorize that all the worlds of the Material Plane and the planes beyond are alive. While the exact measure of life and consciousness the universe exhibits is debated, attempts to quantify this cosmic biology point toward the phenomenon of ley lines as proof.

Ley lines are conduits of magical energy that traverse all known corners of creation, serving the same function as the veins and arteries of living creatures.

These conduits, connecting geographical and cosmological features both great and small, grant knowledge and power to those who tap into them.

A ley line carries raw magical energy along with psychic impressions and other ambient energy its absorbs from its surroundings.

This causes ley lines to seed magical effects, subconscious thoughts, and other supernatural phenomena along their paths, and sometimes creates unusual supernatural effects.

Psychic impressions carried down ley lines can impact the cultural and psychological growth of peoples living along the path of a ley line.

Such alignments can cause two civilizations separated by thousands of miles—or even separated by planar boundaries—to evolve along similar developmental paths.

Towns built on opposite ends of a ley line may have identical or sometimes mirrored street plans and similar histories. Artists living near a ley line may unconsciously convey their ideas to other artists on other planes, creating instances of parallel design.

When a ley line penetrates planes, it can carry influences from one plane into another, making ley lines partially responsible for the appearance of tieflings and aasimars in bloodlines that had no prior history of contact with outsiders.

This effect is also responsible for some of the propagation of sorcerous power, psychic powers, and other unusual magical phenomena such as haunts and loci spirits.

Like the arteries of a circulatory system, ley lines come in many different sizes. The larger a ley line, the more capacity it has to carry magical energy.

The size of a given ley line can change over time, however, and may vary at different points along its length. The size of a ley line generally impacts the strength and kinds of power that can be drawn from it by spellcasters.

Ley lines have an effective caster level ranging from 1 to 20 that represents the overall strength of the ley line and determines the power of effects associated with it.

Finding a ley line requires the use of a skill or spell that can detect the magical energy a ley line radiates. The color of a ley line is representative of its overall power level.

Ley lines with a caster level of 1 are a dark violet color, while ley lines with a caster level of 20 are deep red.

Ley lines with caster levels between 1 and 20 range across the color spectrum as appropriate starting with violet and continuing to blue, green, yellow, orange, and finally red.

Divination magic such as contact other plane , divination , and commune can help narrow down the location of a ley line.

Additionally, legend lore can help reveal information about a known ley line. Occult skill unlocks such as dowsing can also help detect the presence of ley lines over long distances, which can be quite useful in locating an accessible portion of a ley line.

For example, in areas of wild magic, an extant ley line may manifest as a shimmering river of rainbow-hued light constantly shifting through the color spectrum, while locations with a powerful presence of negative energy might cause a ley line to appear as a tendril of darkness that bleeds an ephemeral black smoke tinged with red light.

Ley lines do not generally move from location to location. While the exact paths they take may drift over the course of millennia or eons, these changes are largely unnoticed by all but the longest-lived races.

Civilizations that discover ley lines sometimes mark the locations in which their power is most easily accessible by erecting monuments such as menhir circles or obelisks.

These sites are typically used to perform rituals or other functions that tap into the latent power of a ley line to enhance spellcasting. A powerful wizard might build his tower atop a particularly strong ley line, a druidic sect might construct a menhir circle nearest to where a ley line touches the ground, or an ancient dragon might build its mountaintop lair as close to a ley line in the sky as possible.

Accurate maps and charts depicting the paths and intersections of ley lines are reliable for centuries or more and can reveal nodes of power across worlds and planes.

While a ley line can range from hundreds to thousands of miles long or more, most portions of a ley line are only faintly visible to powerful magic, and their power is inaccessible.

However, spellcasters can tap into rare sites where the power of ley lines is concentrated, or where ley lines cross, to increase their power.

These sites can be of any size, ranging from a tiny cave under a great mountain to an entire mountain range. Planar energy, psychic impressions, and other collected powers bleed out into the land and influence the development of local life.

A creature capable of casting spells or using spell-like abilities can attempt to tap into an accessible segment of a ley line within feet.

Depending on the nature of the ley line convergence, this bonus may apply only to certain spells and spell-like abilities.

For instance, a ley line convergence atop a great volcano might apply its bonus only to spells and spell-like abilities with the fire descriptor.

Hags or other creatures with the coven ability benefit from the bonus of ley line attunement so long as at least one member of the coven is attuned to the ley line and all coven members are within 10 feet of an attuned creature.

Some ley lines also grant creatures attuned to them special abilities such as bonus spells, spell-like abilities, or other supernatural effects.

Once a creature is attuned to a ley line, the bond is permanent unless dispelled. When an attuned creature is more than feet from the ley line, it gains no benefit from the attunement, but the benefits return when it is once again in proximity.

Ley lines can become damaged over the course of time, whether by extreme magical forces or other monumental events.

Damage in this manner can cause a supernatural bruise that bleeds out into the location surrounding a ley line. Harming or destroying ley lines is difficult, given their monumental size and power.

Even the weakest of ley lines are impervious to most physical and magical attacks, though great forces can exert influence over them. Doing so immediately deals 2d6 points of damage per caster level of the ley line no saving throw to the caster.

Additionally, all creatures attuned to the ley line and able to benefit from attunement take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per caster level of the ley line when it is destroyed.

These abilities cannot be recovered by mortal magic, not even via miracle or wish. The primary difference between a mindscape and a dream is one of intent; a creature often deliberately and precisely constructs a mindscape, while a dreamer typically does not.

A mindscape can come into existence as a result of creatures engaging in a psychic duel, as well as through certain spells, magic items, rituals, and other occult phenomena.

In theory, a mindscape can take on any form or appearance—and can possess any conceivable trait—in much the same way the various planes do.

Two types of mindscape exist: Binary mindscapes occur during psychic duels, when a creature with psychic powers draws another into a mental battle.

Only two participants can occupy a binary mindscape. Immersive mindscapes are far more tangible and realistic.

While in an immersive mindscape, the mind gets no information about what the body sees, hears, smells, or touches.

Thus, if the body takes damage from an attack in the real world, the mind remains unaware of it. A binary mindscape, however, allows a creature to monitor its own condition in the real world.

A mental mask allows a creature to hide its true identity, masking its true features from its enemies.

A binary mindscape is typically only a minimalist backdrop for a psychic battle—a ghostly image, like a stark memory, lacking detail and verisimilitude.

It might manifest as a flat surface surrounded by fog or a featureless plain of grass on a cloudy day. Sometimes, a binary mindscape mimics a real-world locale the creator knows well, but even then, the details at the edges of vision are usually fuzzy and indistinct, and features that invoke lesser senses, such as smell and taste, are lacking.

As explained in the Psychic Duels section, a binary mindscape is created when two psychic creatures enter a mental confrontation.

Only creatures able to cast the instigate psychic duel spell can begin a psychic duel. Once a connection is established, the binary mindscape is created.

Once within the mindscape, a creature can expend psychic energy to create mental hazards called manifestations to damage the other combatant or to reshape the mental landscape.

Because the mindscape becomes a shared mental space after its creation, neither participant in the battle truly controls it, and they both have an equal ability to alter the environment once their minds are connected.

A binary mindscape is overt, finite, and harmful see Mindscape Traits below. Its other traits such as gravity, time, and magic are normal, with the exception of the special actions and limitations on spellcasting described in the Psychic Duels section.

An immersive mindscape is a less common, but far more powerful, variety of mindscape. When created, it seems every bit as palpable and vivid as the real world.

A being within an immersive mindscape can see the land, feel the breeze, hear the falling rain, smell the sea, and even experience hunger and thirst.

An immersive mindscape can be sculpted in much more detail than a binary mindscape, and its traits vary. The creator dictates the traits of an immersive mindscape, and visitors are subject to whatever strictures the host is able to place upon the mindscape.

Each mindscape has a set of specific traits that dictate its appearance and behavior, just as the planes do.

These traits supersede the normal planar traits of the Astral Plane. Often these traits mimic those of the Material Plane, for that is what the beings within a mindscape typically find most familiar and comfortable.

Weapons and armor, even magical ones, function inside the mindscape. Every mindscape is considered sentient, but instead of changing according to its own will, it responds to the will of those inside it.

Typically, the creature that created the mindscape controls its traits. Depending on her level of expertise, the creator can alter one or more of the traits of the mindscape to suit her purposes.

Overt mindscapes are obvious to anyone drawn into them. The main enemy is a demonic woman, not tied to any specific location or timing, leaving a constant sense of impending danger… and the opportunity for you to jump out of your seat at any given moment!

Quests can be approached in a different order from one player to another, providing a unique and different gameplay experience each time.

The game utilizes environmental tools, such as detailed visuals, perfectly timed audio, and a Gothic setting to convey and promote fear and panic in the player.

Prepare to Panic The main enemy is a demonic woman, not tied to any specific location or timing, leaving a constant sense of impending danger… and the opportunity for you to jump out of your seat at any given moment!

Eerie Atmosphere The game utilizes environmental tools, such as detailed visuals, perfectly timed audio, and a Gothic setting to convey and promote fear and panic in the player.

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Destruction A character must ritually kill a common cat in the area. Although haunted weapons often still bear holy marks from the original owners or relics like bones from a revered saint, these are never sufficient to contain the malevolence that dwells within the weapon.

LE persistent item-bound haunt haunted object affecting up to a ft. Notice Perception DC 25 to hear distant cackling when touching the weapon. Effect Whenever the wielder of the haunted weapon threatens a critical hit with the weapon, the area immediately resonates with a cacophonous cackling.

All creatures within a foot radius centered on the weapon suffer the effects of a song of discord spell Will DC 17 negates for the next 8 rounds.

NE possessing persistent spiteful haunt ft. Notice Perception DC 20 to feel a malignant presence and hear faint mutterings.

When it first possesses a host creature, the insidious presence may offer enticing boons for several months using its shadow conjuration effect such as summoning allies to assist the host.

An insidious presence that has slain a number of different hosts equal to its CR undergoes a startling transformation.

This powerful entity has CR of 12, learns to utilize greater shadow conjuration DC 22 where applicable , has a caster level of 14, has a radius of 60 feet when not possessing a creature, and has 54 hit points.

Destruction An insidious presence can be destroyed only if an innocent creature willingly accepts it into its body and then intentionally sacrifices its life to destroy the haunt forever.

Researchers into the occult theorize that all the worlds of the Material Plane and the planes beyond are alive.

While the exact measure of life and consciousness the universe exhibits is debated, attempts to quantify this cosmic biology point toward the phenomenon of ley lines as proof.

Ley lines are conduits of magical energy that traverse all known corners of creation, serving the same function as the veins and arteries of living creatures.

These conduits, connecting geographical and cosmological features both great and small, grant knowledge and power to those who tap into them.

A ley line carries raw magical energy along with psychic impressions and other ambient energy its absorbs from its surroundings.

This causes ley lines to seed magical effects, subconscious thoughts, and other supernatural phenomena along their paths, and sometimes creates unusual supernatural effects.

Psychic impressions carried down ley lines can impact the cultural and psychological growth of peoples living along the path of a ley line.

Such alignments can cause two civilizations separated by thousands of miles—or even separated by planar boundaries—to evolve along similar developmental paths.

Towns built on opposite ends of a ley line may have identical or sometimes mirrored street plans and similar histories. Artists living near a ley line may unconsciously convey their ideas to other artists on other planes, creating instances of parallel design.

When a ley line penetrates planes, it can carry influences from one plane into another, making ley lines partially responsible for the appearance of tieflings and aasimars in bloodlines that had no prior history of contact with outsiders.

This effect is also responsible for some of the propagation of sorcerous power, psychic powers, and other unusual magical phenomena such as haunts and loci spirits.

Like the arteries of a circulatory system, ley lines come in many different sizes. The larger a ley line, the more capacity it has to carry magical energy.

The size of a given ley line can change over time, however, and may vary at different points along its length. The size of a ley line generally impacts the strength and kinds of power that can be drawn from it by spellcasters.

Ley lines have an effective caster level ranging from 1 to 20 that represents the overall strength of the ley line and determines the power of effects associated with it.

Finding a ley line requires the use of a skill or spell that can detect the magical energy a ley line radiates. The color of a ley line is representative of its overall power level.

Ley lines with a caster level of 1 are a dark violet color, while ley lines with a caster level of 20 are deep red. Ley lines with caster levels between 1 and 20 range across the color spectrum as appropriate starting with violet and continuing to blue, green, yellow, orange, and finally red.

Divination magic such as contact other plane , divination , and commune can help narrow down the location of a ley line.

Additionally, legend lore can help reveal information about a known ley line. Occult skill unlocks such as dowsing can also help detect the presence of ley lines over long distances, which can be quite useful in locating an accessible portion of a ley line.

For example, in areas of wild magic, an extant ley line may manifest as a shimmering river of rainbow-hued light constantly shifting through the color spectrum, while locations with a powerful presence of negative energy might cause a ley line to appear as a tendril of darkness that bleeds an ephemeral black smoke tinged with red light.

Ley lines do not generally move from location to location. While the exact paths they take may drift over the course of millennia or eons, these changes are largely unnoticed by all but the longest-lived races.

Civilizations that discover ley lines sometimes mark the locations in which their power is most easily accessible by erecting monuments such as menhir circles or obelisks.

These sites are typically used to perform rituals or other functions that tap into the latent power of a ley line to enhance spellcasting.

A powerful wizard might build his tower atop a particularly strong ley line, a druidic sect might construct a menhir circle nearest to where a ley line touches the ground, or an ancient dragon might build its mountaintop lair as close to a ley line in the sky as possible.

Accurate maps and charts depicting the paths and intersections of ley lines are reliable for centuries or more and can reveal nodes of power across worlds and planes.

While a ley line can range from hundreds to thousands of miles long or more, most portions of a ley line are only faintly visible to powerful magic, and their power is inaccessible.

However, spellcasters can tap into rare sites where the power of ley lines is concentrated, or where ley lines cross, to increase their power.

These sites can be of any size, ranging from a tiny cave under a great mountain to an entire mountain range. Planar energy, psychic impressions, and other collected powers bleed out into the land and influence the development of local life.

A creature capable of casting spells or using spell-like abilities can attempt to tap into an accessible segment of a ley line within feet.

Depending on the nature of the ley line convergence, this bonus may apply only to certain spells and spell-like abilities.

For instance, a ley line convergence atop a great volcano might apply its bonus only to spells and spell-like abilities with the fire descriptor.

Hags or other creatures with the coven ability benefit from the bonus of ley line attunement so long as at least one member of the coven is attuned to the ley line and all coven members are within 10 feet of an attuned creature.

Some ley lines also grant creatures attuned to them special abilities such as bonus spells, spell-like abilities, or other supernatural effects.

Once a creature is attuned to a ley line, the bond is permanent unless dispelled. When an attuned creature is more than feet from the ley line, it gains no benefit from the attunement, but the benefits return when it is once again in proximity.

Ley lines can become damaged over the course of time, whether by extreme magical forces or other monumental events. Damage in this manner can cause a supernatural bruise that bleeds out into the location surrounding a ley line.

Harming or destroying ley lines is difficult, given their monumental size and power. Even the weakest of ley lines are impervious to most physical and magical attacks, though great forces can exert influence over them.

Doing so immediately deals 2d6 points of damage per caster level of the ley line no saving throw to the caster. Additionally, all creatures attuned to the ley line and able to benefit from attunement take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per caster level of the ley line when it is destroyed.

These abilities cannot be recovered by mortal magic, not even via miracle or wish. The primary difference between a mindscape and a dream is one of intent; a creature often deliberately and precisely constructs a mindscape, while a dreamer typically does not.

A mindscape can come into existence as a result of creatures engaging in a psychic duel, as well as through certain spells, magic items, rituals, and other occult phenomena.

In theory, a mindscape can take on any form or appearance—and can possess any conceivable trait—in much the same way the various planes do.

Two types of mindscape exist: Binary mindscapes occur during psychic duels, when a creature with psychic powers draws another into a mental battle.

Only two participants can occupy a binary mindscape. Immersive mindscapes are far more tangible and realistic. While in an immersive mindscape, the mind gets no information about what the body sees, hears, smells, or touches.

Thus, if the body takes damage from an attack in the real world, the mind remains unaware of it. A binary mindscape, however, allows a creature to monitor its own condition in the real world.

A mental mask allows a creature to hide its true identity, masking its true features from its enemies. A binary mindscape is typically only a minimalist backdrop for a psychic battle—a ghostly image, like a stark memory, lacking detail and verisimilitude.

It might manifest as a flat surface surrounded by fog or a featureless plain of grass on a cloudy day. Sometimes, a binary mindscape mimics a real-world locale the creator knows well, but even then, the details at the edges of vision are usually fuzzy and indistinct, and features that invoke lesser senses, such as smell and taste, are lacking.

As explained in the Psychic Duels section, a binary mindscape is created when two psychic creatures enter a mental confrontation. Only creatures able to cast the instigate psychic duel spell can begin a psychic duel.

Once a connection is established, the binary mindscape is created. Once within the mindscape, a creature can expend psychic energy to create mental hazards called manifestations to damage the other combatant or to reshape the mental landscape.

Because the mindscape becomes a shared mental space after its creation, neither participant in the battle truly controls it, and they both have an equal ability to alter the environment once their minds are connected.

A binary mindscape is overt, finite, and harmful see Mindscape Traits below. Its other traits such as gravity, time, and magic are normal, with the exception of the special actions and limitations on spellcasting described in the Psychic Duels section.

An immersive mindscape is a less common, but far more powerful, variety of mindscape. When created, it seems every bit as palpable and vivid as the real world.

A being within an immersive mindscape can see the land, feel the breeze, hear the falling rain, smell the sea, and even experience hunger and thirst.

An immersive mindscape can be sculpted in much more detail than a binary mindscape, and its traits vary.

The creator dictates the traits of an immersive mindscape, and visitors are subject to whatever strictures the host is able to place upon the mindscape.

Each mindscape has a set of specific traits that dictate its appearance and behavior, just as the planes do. These traits supersede the normal planar traits of the Astral Plane.

Often these traits mimic those of the Material Plane, for that is what the beings within a mindscape typically find most familiar and comfortable.

Weapons and armor, even magical ones, function inside the mindscape. Every mindscape is considered sentient, but instead of changing according to its own will, it responds to the will of those inside it.

Typically, the creature that created the mindscape controls its traits. Depending on her level of expertise, the creator can alter one or more of the traits of the mindscape to suit her purposes.

Overt mindscapes are obvious to anyone drawn into them. When a creature knows it is in a mindscape, it can exit more easily using the mindscape door spell , but this knowledge makes the immersive mindscape no less real to it.

It can still be affected by the mindscape, and can still take damage or gain conditions from a harmful mindscape see Feedback below. Binary mindscapes are always overt.

The veiled immersive mindscape is the most insidious type. Psychic mindscape traps and spells often include a seamless transition from the real world to the mindscape in order to maintain the veil.

For example, a chest trapped with a veiled immersive mindscape might trigger a visual and tactile continuation of the current situation, making the thief believe she still kneels before the container in the chamber where she found it.

If the effect is done well and is powerful enough, the thief might live out several hours, days, or weeks of her life trapped in her own mind, while her body remains slumped before the chest, slowly dying from lack of food and water.

When the mindscape is manifested, the creator decides on the shape and size of the mental locale. Each of the following categories is possible.

A finite mindscape has clearly discernible boundaries and limits to its space. Either there is no way to move beyond those boundaries, or there is simply nothingness beyond them.

A finite mindscape might be a cavity within an endless expanse of stone, or it could be the interior of a cottage with nothing beyond the doors and windows but blackness and oblivion.

Binary mindscapes are always finite. A mindscape of this shape and size stretches on forever, or at least those within it perceive it as such for all practical purposes.

This might result in an endless void in three dimensions, perfectly flat ground that stretches as far as the eye can see, or an endless ocean.

Individual objects within the mindscape might be defined by their limits, such as a building sitting in the middle of an endless plain, or a series of floating chunks of rock within the void.

A mindscape exhibiting this physical trait might seem to go on forever, but its spatial relations actually fold back upon themselves, no matter which direction creatures within it travel.

Such a mindscape might consist of an staircase that is somehow a loop, a winding tunnel that appears straight but starts and ends in the same place, or a tesseract where exiting on one side of the cube always returns the traveler to the opposite side.

A self-contained medieval keep, for example, might allow travelers to exit the front gate only to find themselves reentering by the rear portal. A creator with exceptional psychic power might be able to create a mindscape that is harmless for her but harmful for all other inhabitants, but most mindscapes affect everyone in the same way.

Injuries and conditions inflicted upon individuals visiting a harmful mindscape are real. Any psychic attacks harm the body by convincing the brain that the damage is real.

Binary mindscapes are always harmful. A creature that dies in a harmless mindscape wakes up none the worse for wear. The creator or controller of a mindscape determines whether gravity exists in that mindscape, and if it does, how strongly it exerts its pull.

Gravity functions however each individual wishes it, relative to that individual. Thus, if one creature stands on the floor of a parlor, while another envisions the ceiling of that same room as being "down" and stands upon that surface, each would experience gravity differently and see the other as "overhead" and "upside down.

Controlling time within a mindscape is difficult. In most cases, time flows at a one-for-one ratio with the passage of time in the real world.

Only a powerful psychic individual can alter the flow of time in a mindscape. In certain cases, the creator of a mindscape might wish to cause time to slow down, forcing those within the mindscape to spend more real-world time engaged in activities within the mindscape.

When this happens, 1 round within the mindscape takes 2 or more real-world rounds to complete. In this instance, 2 or more rounds of activity within the mindscape could be completed while only 1 round passes in the real world.

A controller could thus spend a great deal of time contemplating a complex mental puzzle, then emerge from the mindscape to rejoin her allies having lost no true time at all.

This might be intentional or unintentional. A mildly aligned mindscape results in very subtle effects that might or might not be noticed by its inhabitants.

In such cases, the evidence might manifest as an orderly garden for a lawful creature or a serene bit of countryside with ideal weather for a good-aligned being.

A mindscape influenced by a strong alignment almost always exhibits noticeable characteristics. The atmosphere alone might cause discomfort for or even damage beings of a diametrically opposed alignment.

A creator who wishes to create a strongly aligned mindscape might find it difficult to keep victims from noticing these features. The creeping alignment influence can give a clue to those trapped within that all is not as it seems.

In an immersive mindscape where magic behaves normally, characters and creatures can use spells, spell-like abilities, and magic items as they normally would.

Spells are consumed and charges or consumables are spent. Damage dealt by magic is real, and the real-world body suffers accordingly if the mindscape is harmful.

However, any magic that requires physical manipulation such as drinking a potion might not behave in the expected manner the character could "drink" the potion and discover that nothing happens.

When a creature emerges from a mindscape, any magic it used while within has been consumed. Magic might not work at all within a mindscape.

The effort to summon and manipulate the energies required to set off the magic can be blocked, prevented from reaching through the psychic barrier of the creature or thing that created the mindscape.

Whatever results occur within the mindscape, creatures emerge without having expended any magic. The sole exception is that psychic spells specifically designed to manipulate a mindscape work even in mindscapes with dead magic, and are expended normally.

Magic might behave very differently within a mindscape—use the rules for the enhanced, impeded, limited, or wild planar magic traits. The planes of the Great Beyond encompass all of existence, from the simple and sublime wonders of the material world to the impossibilities of heavens, hells, and everything in between.

Arcane tradition conceptualizes this multiverse of planes as a series of nesting spheres, with each layer and the spaces between representing different vistas of reality.

At the center of it all, suspended within the silvery seas of the Astral Plane, lies the Inner Sphere of the Elemental and Material Planes.

The Elemental Planes are the raw building blocks of the multiverse, while the planes aligned with positive and negative energy govern the forces of life and death, creation and destruction.

The invisible mists and eddies of the Ethereal Plane connect and interpenetrate the worlds of the Inner Sphere, just as the Astral Plane connects these worlds in turn to the infinite realms of the Outer Sphere, the domains of gods and the final destination for the souls of the multiverse.

The esoteric tradition, sometimes referred to as the "ancient wisdom," acknowledges the many planes, demiplanes, and corners of the Inner and Outer Spheres, but tends to focus more on the Inner Sphere than the realms of the deities.

Scholars of occultism believe that their investigations reveal a hidden truth behind the multiverse, and that mastering the implications of this secret can give an adept power over not just her mortal life, but also her life after death.

She can then enter a cycle of reincarnation that allows, over successive cycles of existence and reflection, the complete mastery of body, mind, and soul, opening up new vistas of consciousness and immortality.

Consequently, the adept does not concern herself with the courts of petitioners enjoying their final reward or laboring eternally under fiendish masters, nor with the raw building blocks of the material world such as air, earth, fire, and water.

Her final personal journey into a more evolved existence is loftier than the base elements, and more self-determined than the proscribed fate of the pious petitioner.

The orthodox view of the planes sees two opposing forces underlying existence in the multiverse: Each of these primal forces commands a vast plane of its own at the core of the Inner Sphere.

The Positive Energy Plane is the source of life, and the Negative Energy Plane is the source of death; each exists as antithesis to the other. The great secret of occultism holds that rather than positive and negative energy being conflicting forces, they are in fact two halves of a single whole.

Their polarity is not a sign of opposition, but rather two integral aspects of a single dualistic cycle. The positive aspect of this duality is the Cosmic Fire, the breath of life that grants vital force to living creatures.

The Negative Energy Plane is the intake of that same breath, a return to dust, the recycling of component parts to pave the way for that which comes next.

Delving deeper into the ancient wisdom reveals even more enticing secrets regarding the nature of existence. Among the oldest creatures in the Great Beyond are the enigmatic outsiders known as aeons, who are said to be the caretakers of reality and the original architects and crafters of the multiverse itself.

Befitting the esoteric view of the planes, these primordial beings always manifest a powerful dichotomy sustained in equilibrium: The aeons believe they are bound in a supreme oneness with the multiverse known as the "monad," or the "condition of all," the transcendental undersoul of all living creatures.

A human and a pleroma aeon are both emanations of the cosmic flame—the aeon is simply much closer to the source and believes itself to be in communication with it, whereas the monadic soul of a human is esoterically distant from the Fire, being focused primarily on the mortal affairs of the base Material Plane.

Imagine a blazing sphere of brilliant energy blocked by a thick screen. This sphere represents the Cosmic Fire. Now imagine multitudes of tiny holes in the screen, each allowing some of the light to shine through.

From the exoteric viewpoint of the uninitiated, each pinpoint of light appears distinct and unique. The esoteric perspective looks behind the screen and understands that all of the individual lights are but rays from a single source.

The greater an adept understands her place in this scheme, the more power she holds over her eternal destiny. The short summaries below offer an occult viewpoint on the realms generally referred to as the Esoteric Planes.

Many prominent planes in the orthodox scheme, such as the Shadow Plane and Elemental Planes, do not feature prominently in the cosmology of the adept concerned with multiversal truths and the journey of the mortal soul.

Occultism freely acknowledges the existence of these planes, but does not dwell on them, an approach likewise observed here.

The Positive Energy Plane is the source of all life, the Cosmic Fire at the heart of the multiverse that gives birth to mortal souls.

The plane has no surface and exists as an emanation of life-giving energy radiating from an incandescent interior that resembles the molten heart of an active star.

Ironically for a plane associated with life, the Positive Energy Plane can be extremely deadly to mortal visitors, as its ambient energies are so powerful that a mortal shell cannot absorb them without bursting.

Here, upon vast shimmering fields, phoenix-feathered creatures known as the jyoti tend to orchards of glowing, anemone-like trees as tall as mountains, sprouting immature souls like glossy, liquid fruit.

The xenophobic jyoti dwell in complex cities of crystal specially designed to reflect the weird luminescence of the Cosmic Fire.

Jyoti seldom venture from these structures, focusing all of their energies on their sacred charge of tending and defending the nascent souls of the multiverse.

At the center of each jyoti city is an imposing gate to a star in the cosmos of the Material Plane. New souls pass through these gates and ride waves of light to find incarnation in mortal vessels.

If the jyoti dedicate themselves to the protection of incubating immature souls, the other primary inhabitants of the Positive Energy Plane, the manasaputras, dedicate their existence to assisting the spiritual development of mortals.

These "sons of mind" are the powerful psychic incarnations of mortals who have endured scores of mortal reincarnations, with each step becoming more attuned to the universal undersoul.

The greatest and most powerful of the manasaputras—the glory-clad solar kumaras—dwell within the heart of the Cosmic Fire, and claim to be in communication with it.

Lesser manasaputras like agnishvattas, barhisads, and manus spread through the Inner Sphere to initiate mortal adepts in the occult nature of the multiverse, so that they too might step once again into the light that birthed them.

For reasons unknown even to the eldest natives, divine beings cannot enter the Positive Energy Plane. Refugees from the vengeance of the gods or those hoping to hide important relics from certain divinities sometimes venture to the Positive Energy Plane to negotiate with the jyoti, who over the centuries have amassed an astounding trove of world-shattering artifacts, illegitimate half-mortal bastards, heretics, and other dangers.

The orthodox view of the Inner Sphere casts the Negative Energy Plane as the jealous rival of its positive-energy twin, an empty infinite void of entropic darkness antithetical to creation, fit only to consume and destroy.

Negative energy is itself a dark opposite of life-giving positive energy, yet while it is most often a source or tool of destruction, it is also the animating force of the undead.

Perfection is not a fixed state. It is always growing and changing. To say that there is one "natural" state—for instance, utter oblivion—that constitutes perfection is as impossible as imposing a limit on the infinite.

Occultists believe that this destruction allows for and drives change. Nonetheless, negative energy sustains the undead, who throng to the sterile and desolate gulfs of nothingness that compose the overwhelming expanse of this dark and terrifying realm.

This inner blackness connects via portals to the black holes scattered about the cosmos of the Material Plane.

Records of astral voyages to the Material Plane side of these portals relate tales of the accretion disks of black holes swarming with incorporeal undead trapped within the event horizon.

Within the plane, where the concentration of negative energy reaches an absolute, it begins to manifest a crystalline material that grows into beautiful and deadly structures of absolute entropy.

When these crystals form strange angles, the plane gives birth to a sceaduinar. These vile creatures hate life and unlife alike, and exist only to sow entropy and destruction.

While negative energy is less of a concern, the sceaduinar themselves represent a significant threat to visitors.

The ancient wisdom suggests that the jyoti hate the sceaduinar for their knowledge of the role destruction plays in the creation of souls, and the jyoti fear the exposure of that information.

Theirs is a quest to eradicate all life in the cosmos, to cloak the stars of the Material Plane in darkness, and to quench the Cosmic Fire, no matter the consequences.

The Material Plane is the realm of physical sensation and incarnate existence. Souls manifest here in the shell of a physical body, a union so complete that most living creatures do not spend much time contemplating the difference between the gross physical form and the higher monadic soul that guides its movements and destiny.

The final destination of a soul is not yet determined during its mortal life, making the Material Plane a magnet for the attentions of gods and outsiders eager to rally mortals to their banners in the afterlife, either willingly or by force.

A planar crossroads, the Material Plane is coexistent with the Ethereal and Shadow Planes and coterminous with all of the realms of the Inner Sphere.

Just as little-known forces bind a physical body to its astral and ethereal counterparts, the whole of the universe is bound together by a series of ley lines—spiritual conduits that interpenetrate the many planes of the multiverse.

Ley lines are prevalent on the Material Plane, and wise adepts of the occult arts, canny students of the arcane, and even village witches learn to recognize and manipulate these forces to their own ends.

The Ethereal Plane is the seat of emotional forces, the mist-shrouded home of haunts and horrors, and the ever-present doorway between the worlds of the Inner Sphere.

The Ethereal Plane coexists with these planes, interpenetrating them and generally mimicking their contours and vistas, albeit with greatly reduced visibility thanks to drifting fog and the slow rise and fall of fading sheets of light like the somber interior of a thunderstorm.

From within the Ethereal Plane, these neighboring worlds appear hazy and indistinct, as if viewed through frosted glass.

Since the Ethereal Plane is generally invisible from the other planes of the Inner Sphere, creatures under the effects of spells like ethereal jaunt and etherealness cannot be seen by creatures who are not themselves ethereal.

Riddlord The Consequence 1. Praey for the Gods 1. Dragon Roller Coaster VR The End Times Reign of the Elements Genesis Alpha One PC Building Simulator Resident Evil 7 biohazard Of course, being a Cryptic Comet game there are a lot of subtle details and complex mechanics to delve into.

For example, many of the items, spells, psychic talents and heroic action cards that you acquire will allow you to try and change the Tarot cards in your favor.

You can bump the values up or down, draw new cards to your hand or the trick table or even add points directly to you tricks taken point value.

Inventory - Your inventory is simple and laid out on a pad directly in front of you. There are five different categories for storing inventory items.

The main four correspond to the Tarot suits and the fifth is Major Arcana, which is a type of trump card that also can initiate powerful one time effects when played.

Each item in the game has an encumbrance value. You can have up to your attribute number of encumbrance points in each category.

For example, if your Swords attribute was 5, then you could have up to 5 encumbrance points worth of items cards in your inventory.

You can spend these tokens to increase your attributes and gain special edges and abilities. Every character starts the game with a profession card that enables this but additional specialized skill cards can be bought as well.

Off the beaten path nooks and crannies will often yield important clue cards that will give you a significant upper hand when confronting the final mission challenge.

These challenges decide whether you win or lose the game so finding clues can be an effective strategy in bringing off a win when the odds look grim.

Clue cards are placed in your personnel folder for viewing. This sometimes depends on whether you have a sufficient attribute in one of the Tarot categories.

An option to communicate will appear on the encounter dialogue that enables you to pass a challenge to activate the quest. A quest card will be created and place in your personnel folder with instructions on how to proceed.

Finishing quests can provide powerful rewards that will help you navigate the dangers and horrors of the levels below the mansion.

The Occult Chronicles is a strategy game of adventure and exploration. Games usually take just a few hours to complete and dying a horrible death is all part of the experience.

You will quickly get a feel for how far you can push your luck and often you will still push it too far because you think that snake eyes will never happen to you.

All that matters is that you complete your mission and make it out alive…. The Occult Chronicles will be available this spring for a special late Beta buy in offer.

The game will be content complete and very few bugs should remain.

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1 comments

  1. Es ist schade, dass ich mich jetzt nicht aussprechen kann - ist erzwungen, wegzugehen. Ich werde befreit werden - unbedingt werde ich die Meinung aussprechen.

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