Torque

RATIONALE: For an adventure/swashbuckling game, Changeling doesn’t give PCs much opportunity to raise a little Hell. Yes, some cantrips have a bit of combat potential (Fuddle, Ensnare, Oakenshield, Holly Strike and Quicksilver stand out) but there is room for a ‘Battle Art’ that provides a set of cantrips that can enable a Kithain hero to hold their own against a vampire or a werewolf.

The ancient Celts called this Riastarthae and the Vikings called it Berserkgang. It is the primal warp-spasm of the Fae, a refined version of which the chaotic frenzy of human barbarians is a shallow imitation. The Torque focuses the fury of war into the elegant but deadly dance of battle. It is particularly honed by House Scathach, although Sidhe of Houses Gwydion, Fiona, Liam, Beaumayne and Varich all seek to excel in it. Trolls have their own berserking variant, Eshu call it amok and the panikon is invoked by warlike Satyrs; the Sluagh have a particularly disturbing variant involving dislocating their joints to achieve extraordinary combat manoeuvres.

Attribute: Strength


● Stoking the Dragon’s Ire

Any changeling who can invoke the Dragon can learn to use the ‘Dragon’s Ire’ in combat. However, invoking the Dragon risks Bedlam and madness. This cantrip accesses the Dragon’s power in a more focused way, removing the risks of Bedlam.

System: Each success on the cantrip creates a ‘Dragon Dice’ that can be used in combat, just like the dice from invoking the Dragon. The cantrip does not produce dramatic side-effects of Bedlam but it cannot be used at the same time as invoking the Dragon. The Dragon Dice last for a number of rounds equal to the successes rolled.

  • Actor – grants the Dragon Dice to humans
  • Fae – grants the Dragon Dice to Fae (including the caster)
  • Nature – grants the Dragon Dice to an animal and natural force (eg a fire)
  • Prop – grants the Dragon Dice to a weapon
  • Scene – grants the Dragon Dice to a group of people in an area (but the Dice must be split between them)

Type: Chimerical


●● The Dragon’s Challenge

The caster can challenge an opponent to engage them in battle. The opponent must ignore other opponents to close with the caster and must use hand-to-hand tactics rather than spells or ranged weapons. The cantrip doesn’t force characters to attack who mean the caster no harm, but it means that if they do seek to harm the caster it must be through direct hand-to-hand combat; cast on a weapon it means this weapon can only be used in hand-to-hand combat with the caster, not on anyone else or to any other purpose.

System: The number of successes determines how difficult this cantrip is to resist with an opposed Willpower roll.

  • Actor – to challenge a human (normally needs Actor-5)
  • Fae – to challenge a Fae
  • Nature – to challenge an animal
  • Prop – to designate a weapon that must be used
  • Scene – to challenge a group of people in an area

If this cantrip is used in a way that prevents combat (eg by casting it on a character who cannot physically reach the caster), then the caster gains a point of Banality. Werewolves and vampires subjected to this spell may frenzy and werewolves gain a point of Rage.

Type: Chimerical


●●● The Dragon Feat (Ghaisge Dragan)

The caster can perform a spectacular physical feat. These feats (gaisci) were practised by the ancient Celtic warriors like Cuchulain but were learned from the Fae, whose cantrips let them perform amazing actions with weapons.

System: The exact feat depends on the Realm used, but there are many variations, some specific to certain Kith, and the Storyteller might encourage players to come up with their own. The most complex feats require Modifier Realms. Some example feats are shown below:

  • Actor – “The Shield Feat” lets the caster protect a mortal from harm, using his own weapon or body to deflect any attack that does damage back at the attacker; each success deflects one level of damage
  • Fae – “The Edge Feat” lets the caster inflict additional chimerical damage on a Fae target, one extra level of damage per success
  • Nature – “Thunder Feat” creates a thunderous boom that stuns and deafens a target for one round per success
  • Prop – “Lightning-Spear Feat” lets the caster throw any object as a deadly missile weapon, each success adding to the roll “to hit” or the damage (very effective for staking vampires)
  • Scene – “The Hero’s Salmon Leap” lets the caster attack at a distance, effectively teleporting to the target then back to his original position; a number of targets equal to the successes rolled can be attacked in one round

Kiths have their variant gaisci, like the ‘Leap Over a Blow’ Feat used by the Sluagh with Fae and a Prop Modifier: the Sluagh dislocates joints to squirm out of the way over a blow, adding the attacker’s successes to his own counter-strike, either “to hit” or as damage. Trolls use the ‘Breaking of the Sword’ feat using Prop with a Fae modifier, which destroys the opponent’s weapon (using the Chimera or Treasure rating for magical weapons as an opposed roll).

This cantrip is Chimerical when used against Fae enemies but Wyrd when used against mortals.

Type: Wyrd or Chimerical


●●●● The Fog of War (Fe-Fiada)

The caster can raise up an enchanted mist around him in battle, through which he can see perfectly but which confuses his enemies. From out of this mist the caster can strike with surprise, while his opponent lunges vainly at shadows.

System: The number of successes determines how the benefit/penalty the mist confers. The benefit can be applied to the caster’s attacks or the penalty deducted from his opponent’s dice pool, or some combination. This can be decided each round.

  • Actor – to raise the mist against a human (Wyrd)
  • Fae – to raise the mist against a Fae
  • Nature- – to raise the mist against an animal (Wyrd)
  • Prop – to raise the mist against a machine or mechanical detection (like someone using night goggles or telescopic sights) (Wyrd)
  • Scene – to raise the mist across a wide area

If this cantrip is used to avoid combat (eg by using it to sneak past a guard), then the caster gains a point of Banality. Vampires with Auspex might resist this effect.

Type: Wyrd or Chimerical


●●●●● The Warp-Spasm (Ríastrad)

The caster goes through a violent transformation into a war-form that is frightening to behold and dangerous in battle. Cuchulain’s warp-spasm is described like this:

“His shanks and his joints, every knuckle and angle and organ from head to foot, shook … His body made a furious twist inside his skin, so that his feet and shins switched to the rear and his heels and calves switched to the front… On his head the temple-sinews stretched to the nape of his neck… he sucked one eye so deep into his head … the other eye fell out along his cheek. His mouth weirdly distorted: his cheek peeled back from his jaws until the gullet appeared, his lungs and his liver flapped in his mouth and throat… The hair of his head twisted like the tange of a red thornbush stuck in a gap”

System: The number of successes determines the points that the caster can deduct from his Social Attributes and add to his Physical Attributes as well as the duration rounds:

  • Actor – convert Appearance into Strength, automatically ‘Calls on the Wyrd’
  • Fae – converts Charisma into Stamina attribute, each point of Stamina above 5 regenerates 1 health level per round but accrues a Bedlam point
  • Nature – converts Appearance into Dexterity, all wounds are aggravated
  • Prop – converts Manipulation into Stamina and allows soaking aggravated wounds
  • Scene – converts Charisma into Dexterity, each point of Dexterity above 5 gives an extra action each round but accrues a Bedlam point

Combined warp-spasms are possible using Modifier Realms. The warp-spasm is terrifying, triggering a check for Fox Frenzy in werewolves or Rötschreck in vampires. Humans must make a Willpower check to stand and fight; the difficulty is base 5 plus the number of successes on the cantrip.

Type: Wyrd


Torque Bunks

Shout your war-whoop
●● Flourish your weapon dramatically
●●● Formally challenge an opponent
●●●● Cut yourself with your weapon or chew your shield
●●●●● Etch dark runes onto a blade

Torque

Tales of New Camelot Jon_Rowe