Tales of New Camelot
RATIONALE: This Realm doesn’t know what it wants to be. Scene● covers a 5′ × 5′ area, roughly the space you’re standing in. How is that any different from not possessing the Scene Realm at all? Even Scene●●●●● only covers 50,000 sq. ft., roughly an acre or the size of a modest supermarket. Hardly a ‘kingdom’. But the whole idea of limiting Scene by fixed areas, marked out in feet and inches, feels very un-mystical and banal.
These rules instead define Scene with reference to the concepts of ownership and privacy. It is relatively easy to cast area effect cantrips in spaces that are clearly ‘yours’ but harder to cover large areas of public space. Areas that ‘belong’ to others are particularly difficulty to affect magically, but nobles can use Scene to cast spells over their entire territory.
|●||Seat||What you have clear right to call yours|
|●●||Court||Where you belong but share with others|
|●●●||Castle||What you share with others|
|●●●●||Domain||What you can contest with others|
|●●●●●||Frontier||Beyond the boundaries of your world|
The key concepts for resolving Scene are rulership, contested space and restricted space:
- Rulership describes an area you own legitimately, either because you have a title to it or you have paid for it (such as a hotel room). It’s easier to affect areas you rule alone (such as your own house).
- Shared Space is an area where different rulers claim authority. Public spaces are automatically like this (because everyone has a right to be there).
- Restricted space is an area where another ruler claims authority, making it difficult to enforce your will. Sometimes a private space might exist within a public space or a ruler’s domain, effectively shutting the ruler out and limiting their power
Seat: The area that you rule alone. If you have a Freehold, then the entire Holding is your Seat. If you own a house, then the house is your Seat, and if you rent a hotel room then the room is your Seat. A cab becomes your Seat when you hire it as does a table at a restaurant when you book it. In a shared space or restricted space your Seat may amount, literally, to where you sit or stand and what you can physically touch.
COMMENTARY: This functions like the old Scene● for ordinary people, but its powers are greatly enhanced if you have your own home (Freehold, Mansion, etc) or have taken the time to prepare by renting a room or using Gremayre to claim an area mystically. In these cases, your cantrips can effect anyone in your home, whether you can see them or not.
Court: An area that you rule but only conditionally. A shared freehold, college dorm or railway carriage would be your Court. Any area giving access to your Seat is a Court, such as the street outside your home, a bar in which you have a table or a road on which you drive your car. In a public shared space, your Court amounts to anywhere you can reach by taking no more than a couple of steps (say, a 10 ft radius). A noble can declare any building or open space within his territory to be his Court by rolling Appearance+Etiquette (difficulty 7, may be resisted).
COMMENTARY: For ordinary characters this is slightly more effective than the old Scene●● (covering 314 sq ft rather than 200 sq ft) but for homeowners it’s very versatile indeed, allowing you to fire cantrips at people (just) outside your Seat. It also allows characters to use cantrips over a large area if they are one of the rightful inhabitants (thus effecting anyone on your bus, in the same bar, in your frat house or on the same seating stand as you at a venue). With Scene●● the changeling could enter stand in the street and affect everyone within about 10’ but would not be able to affect things any further than range of touch in a restricted space (like someone else’s home).
Castle: An area that isn’t ruled by you or by anyone else. In open spaces your Castle is anywhere in sight. In public buildings it includes all the public rooms and corridors in the building whether they are in sight or not. Similarly, in a built up or overgrown area your Castle includes all the pathways, open spaces and thoroughfares in the neighbourhood (an area up to the size of about an acre or a city block). For a noble, the Castle includes all non-private spaces in his territory, however big that happens to be. In a restricted space (like someone else’s home where you are not welcome) your Castle extends to a 10 ft radius.
COMMENTARY: Your magical reach grows dramatically with this level. If you’re in ‘enemy territory’ or someone else’s home turf, this is as effective as Scene●● so this is the level of Scene that burglars, raiders and spies are going to need. In public spaces or public buildings, cantrips can now effect anyone on the site, unless they find a private space to shut themselves away in (like get invited into someone’s home or use Gremayre to create a mystical home space). Nobles an have a dramatic reach with this level of Scene, using Weaver Ward to imprison, Geas to summon or Holly Strike to slay anyone in their territory who isn’t in a restricted space. With Scene●●● a Kithain could affect a small park, street or office block and everyone in it, except for people in private rooms, in their own homes or guests in someone else’s home. To affect those restricted spaces within the area, Scene●●●● is needed.
Domain: An area that is the same size as your Castle, but including restricted spaces within that area. This would include everywhere in a building, built-up area or overgrown space up to an area the size of an acre or a city block (or a wing of a large building). For a noble, the Domain includes his entire territory, however big that happens to be. In restricted territory (such as another noble’s lands where you are the outsider), this still works like Scene●●●, affecting all open or public spaces.
COMMENTARY: With Scene at this level there’s no escaping a noble’s reach; you just need to leave the noble’s territory as quickly as possible. Raiders with Scene at this level can be very effective because their cantrips can cover large areas and strike down residents out in public places.
Frontier: An area to which you are geographically connected, be it over any distance. This Scene includes the entire length of a road, river or railway line, an entire estate or forest, anywhere on a mountain or within a desert. In restricted territory, this still works as Scene●●●●, giving you power over an area in which you are the outsider, intruder or uninvited guest.
This is very effective for nobles wanting to strike down someone who has left their territory. With Scene●●●●● the caster could put a cantrip on anyone on the Jubilee Line of the London Underground or traveling down the Old Kent Road. This Scene can also affect anyone travelling the length of a particular Trod so long as Fae●●●● is used as a Modifier. Raiders with this level of Scene can use their cantrips on anyone inside a territory so long as they are in that territory too.
- Soothsay●●● Tattletale is another way of using cantrips at a distance without the Scene Realm, although only level 1 or 2 Soothsay cantrips can be used with 4 or 5 successes.
- Inviting a guest into your home makes the area a ‘shared space’ for the incomer; other rituals of hospitality can make a room or table into a Seat for your guest. Turning a guest away makes an area a ‘contested space’ for the interloper. A roll using Appearance+Etiquette (difficulty 7) can make a newcomer welcome or unwelcome in this way but a noble could resist this.
- There are rituals to deny territory to someone by claiming it yourself, marking an area out as ‘your own’. Most Fae can do this by rolling Intelligence+Gremayre; success turns the area into a contested space and 3+ successes turns it into your own Seat. The effect normally lasts for a Scene, but Arts like Naming can redefine the ownership of a place more permanently.
- Fae trying to avoid the range of Scene●●●●● will try to find a significant barrier to its reach. Ancient earthworks or boundaries (like Offa’s Dyke), major rivers (like the Thames) or a geographical feature like a cave or a cliff will serve in natural settings; roadworks, street parties and police cordons might block off urban areas: changelings might roll Intelligence+Lore or use Abilities like Survival or Streetwise at the Storyteller’s discretion.
- The Art of Nightmare can remove ownership of a place from its rightful holder for the duration of a Phobia cantrip and similar effects are possible with the Contempt cantrips.