The Mystic Origin is the most complex Origin available in the Here There Be Monsters
setting, offering the most diversity but requiring the most attention to detail
and complexity. Though broad guidelines on how magic works in general are given,
each different sort of Mystic has its own "mini system" defining how a particular
form of magic works, and what restrictions apply. A player desiring a more straightforward
play experience might be better served selecting a different Origin.
Characters that can cast spells, create magic items, or that have an ability to
manipulate magical forces should choose the Mystic Origin, which unlocks the Mystic
Special Resource Pool for free.
The term Magical Arts generally refers to any activity that involves willfully tapping
into or calling upon extradimensional entities or forces to alter the static reality
of this existence. It is often difficult, usually time consuming, and sometimes
costly to the user. However, there have always been those willing to take the risks
and push the limitations of the practice in return for power. There are and have
been many very different styles and beliefs on how best to achieve mastery of magic,
but at root they are permutations of this basic concept.
Magic is typically broken down into three broad categories that vary in effect and
- Channeling: the ability to tap into and draw extradimensional power into
this reality through oneself and direct this energy to a chosen end. It is the most
personally draining type of magic, and requires the most skill. Hermetic Wizards
and Occultists are the most common forms of Channelers in the Here There Be Monsters
- Summoning: the practice of calling forth and attempting to force an extradimensional
creature into a pact or binding. It requires the least personal skill, but is by
far the most dangerous form of magic. A Bound entity is completely under
the control of the Summoner and must obey the Summoner's will until it is able to
break free of control. A Pacted entity was too powerful for the Summoner
to completely overcome, but the Summoner was able to force the entity into an agreement
whereby it must obey the Summoner within the confines of the pact, but is of free
will in all other matters. Summoners are considered to be Sorcerers in the Here
There Be Monsters setting.
- Crafting: the enchanting of fetishes, charms, and talismans is the least
dangerous type of magic that also has the side benefit that non-mystical people
can employ the results. Fetishes are items that have a minor extradimensional
entity bound (usually against it's will) to them, which provides the power to operate
the device. Charms are items with a finite amount of power invested in them.
Talismans are rare items that have an open tap to extradimensional power,
making them practically eternal unless destroyed.
Different traditions of Magical Arts have different mechanisms of working magic,
and differ in the restrictions that apply to them. Individual systems of magic are
detailed specifically in separate documents.
Lore Options are provided as an optional
add on to a campaign allowing characters with an unlocked Mystic Pool and one or
more of the Mystic Lore Skills additional Mystical effects.
The following are common Archetypes among those of a Mystic Origin.
- Magi: learn or find some kind of leverage that they may use to move the external
forces of magic to acheive various ends, much as a person might use a lever or a
pully to move a stone so as to build a house. Some learn the underlying Laws of
Magic and use their understanding of them to acheive their ends. Others create items
that aid them in their endeavors directly or indirectly, and others learn of otherworldly
forces that can be bent or bargained with to accomplish their desires...perhaps.
Magi are men and women of intellect, personality, and towering ego; their magic
is an acquired one, and does not run in families as a gift or proclivity. Nothing
is given to Magi, everything they have or know is earned, taken, or fought for.
- Warding: all Magi can potentially draw
mystical Circles and Wards as a side effect of their mystical mastery, but some
Magi pursue the ability as an ends unto itself, learning the fundamentals of several
Lores to enable themselves to make their Wards more efficacious. Due to the powerful
protective aspects of Warding, some Magi are able to make a living erecting Wards
around important buildings for hire. Hunters in particular find Wards and thus Magi
who are skilled in their use very advantageous.
- Artificium: Some traditions of magic make heavy or even exclusive use of
physical objects, ranging from the creation of enchanted items, to comestibles such
as potions that convey temporary magical effects, or the use of objects to focus
and channel pure magic.
- Alchemist: instead of spells or similar
casted / activated abilities some characters know Recipes that enable them to brew
or create Alchemical compounds and substances (potions, elixirs, salves, powders,
etc) without actually being able to cast a corresponding spell or activate a magical
effect at will. Creation of Alchemical substances can be a little bit time consuming,
but given sufficient lead time and raw materials an industrious Alchemist can churn
out quite an array of goodies. Alchemical substances never cost character points
to create; they do cost money and or materials and time to make. Alchemical items
are classified as Charms.
- Hermeticism: so-called "white magic" or magia, Hermeticism typically interacts
with mystical forces through abstractions, proxies, and intermediaries. More difficult
than sorcery, it is also safer and less prone to corruption. Even though sub styles
differ, Hermetic traditions are compatible with each other and practitioners can
easily develop abilities across the gamut of them.
- Wizard: Wizardry, also known as Ars Magicka,
is a magical tradition that uses items as props and precise ceremonial rotes to
aid in the safe use of deliberate and exactly defined magic.
Wizards have always been secretive, and as a rule honor the Accords (though exceptions
- Mysterians: Mysteria, also known as
Ars Mysteria, is an older Hermetic tradition more focused on pragmatic magic that
concentrates on mastering the nuances of individual spells. While one versed in
"the Mysteries" may not be as flexible or erudite as a Wizard, they can be incredibly
potent within their narrow expertise.
- Spellbinders: Spellbinding, also known
as Ars Mercuria, claims to be the original Hermetic tradition, and is closer to
the raw chaotic extradimensional energies of magic than other forms of Hermeticism.
Riskier than Wizardry or Mysteria by a wide margin, Spellbinders are more likely
to be Sanctioned than other Hermetics if they do not carefuly employ self-discipline
and stick to Spells they have carefully bound to themselves and avoid the temptation
to channel the pure unfiltered magic at their command.
- Sorcery: sometimes refered to collectively as goetia or goety, sorcery encompasses
a variety of disciplines that focus on directly manipulating dangerous forces of
magic, evoking otherworldly entities, creating magical servitors in the form of
magical constructs, and other overtly Supernatural effects. While splashy and epic,
Sorcery is often dangerous and unreliable, and often is referred to as "black magic"
by some. Due to this Sorcery is generally not recommended for Hunters; indeed
many Sorcerers have a large Bounty on their heads due to having violated the Secrecy
Accords on numerous occasions with their very obvious magic or for trucking in dark
magics (Daemonologists and Necromantists for instance). Even well meaning Sorcerers
often go astray one way or another given enough time, even if only in violating
the Secrecy Accords with their relatively obvious and difficult to control magic.
However, a motivated player might be able to talk a GM into some Sorcery based concepts.
- Daemonologists: Sorcerers that
deal directly with daemonic or malefic extradimensional entities, summoning them
for various purposes.
- Elementalists: sorcerers that summon
and bind extradimensional entities affiliated with elemental forces.
- Necromantists: Sorcerers that manipulate
ethereal forces and extradimensional forces affiliated with them. Animating dead
flesh, summoning and controlling malevolent ethereal manifestations, and commanding
undead creatures are their stock and trade.
- Invokers: Sorcerers that call upon the
names of various extradimensional entities ("invoking" them), commanding them to
intercede or lend their power according to ancient bindings or accords.
- Pragmatists: some Magi practice a combination of Artificium, Hermeticism,
and / or Sorcery as suits them or seems practical. Though generally an individualistic
pursuit, various groups have practiced a formalized or recognized hodgepodge of
concepts, such as Chinese Sorcerers (Elementalism & Alchemy), Witches & Warlocks
(Daemonology, Hermeticism, Alchemy, and sometimes Invocation), and Black Wizards
(Hermeticism and Necromantism, perhaps Daemonology). Some Pragmatists manage to
keep their dabbling in Sorcery a secret but the known use of any kind of Sorcery,
no matter how minor, results in a Magi being marked a Sorcerer. More positively,
it is somewhat common for Hermetics to study Alchemy, or to master the Mysteries
of specific Spells.
- Occultist: practitioners of this ancient
tradition tap magical forces differently than Magi. Occultism is less learned than
understood, focuses on magic not as a force to be manipulated to accomplish any
ends but rather from the perspective of various things that can be done using it,
and most Occultists are born with an innate understanding and proclivity for one
or two specific types of Occult abilities and it does appear to run in family lines.
- Spiritualist: some traditions of magic focus on talking to and manipulating
the spirits such as Voodoo, Santeria, or even just so-called "Spirit Mediums". There
are a number of ways to model such abilities in the HERO System from Spirit Contacts
to a SFX for Telekinesis, to elaborate Powers. A player should consult with the
GM to work out the specific details for a character using this kind of magic.