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Mystics are otherwise normal people who are able to bend extradimensional forces to their wills to work what some would call "magic". A very diverse origin, there are many different traditions and disciplines of mystics in the modern era, each with its own history, cultural heritage, approaches, and esoterism.

By default, the Here There Be Monsters setting assumes that mystics are relatively rare. However, many mystical traditions have various ways of expanding one's own lifespan by decades or even centuries. Therefore while each generation may only produce a small number of new mystics, the most successful or luckiest will live on for quite some time and thus pad out the total numbers a bit.

Mystical Traditions

The most common traditions of mystics in the Here There Be Monsters setting are summarized below. Many receive detailed mechanical coverage in their own linked to sections.

  • Alchemists: mystics who typically produce powders, potions, poultices and the like, by precisely following very particular recipes. Some also make dangerous Alchemical weapons, or experiment on themselves with powerful mutagens.
  • Artificers: mystics able to channel and trap magic in material form; producing useful and / or mighty magical items. Modern artificers tend to place their enchantments upon objects that blend in, but legacy items that have survived from olden times still exist and some traditionalists still continue to prefer making magical rings, staves, wands, and other tropes.
  • Eldritch: some humans are simply born with one or more mystical Gifts, which allow them to intuitively work magic in specific ways. Tending towards individualism or familial alliances, these innately gifted individuals typically stand apart from more learned forms of mysticism.
  • Mysterians: mystics who practice Ars Mysteria, an early Hermetic art that focuses exclusively on mastering very specific rote effects, prefering safety and reliablity over flexibility.
  • Spellbinders: mystics who practice Ars Mercuria, a more flexible but less reliable and more dangerous form of Hermetic magic bordering on sorcery.
  • Wizards: mystic pragmatists emerging from the Middle Ages, adapting elements of older Hermetic traditions as well as those of artificers and various other disciplines, into a "whatever works" hybrid that somewhat arrogantly came to be called Ars Magicka. In the modern era it is the most dominant and common form of organized mystical practice in the western world, with various Houses, Lodges, Orders, and Societies practicing subtly different but compatible flavors. Such groups are somewhat factionalized, territorial, political, and competitive, but generally willing to ally together when it serves their purposes.
  • Elementalists: not a specific style, but a catch-all for various mystical practices involved with the primal, elemental forces and concerns.
  • Necromancers: mystics able to manipulate the forces of life and death, as well as create and manipulate undead entities. Necromancy is also forbidden by the Accords, but is much more commonly practiced than Demonology. Notably, some seemingly respectable Hermetics have been discovered to have secretly dabbled in this art, typically in pursuit of eternal life or perhaps to bring back a loved one.
  • Demonologists: mystics able to interact with dangerous extradimensional entities, many of which are inimical to corporeal life. Demonology is forbidden by the Accords of Secrecy and Abeyance; those who practice this black art in the modern era must do so either in secret or in ungoverned places. An extremely dangerous discipline, many would-be demonologists suffer a sordid end due to mishap or terminal mistake...but those who survive tend to be quite formidable.

In the modern age and in the western world the dominant Hermetic disciplines of Wizardry, Spellbinding, Mysteria, and Alchemy generally co-align...particularly when it comes to Accords related maneuvering. In the rest of the world, practitioners of various elementalist, and darker arts tend to follow their own paths...with a few notable exceptions.

In addition to these larger groups of mystics, there are many smaller and even secret esoteric arts, crafts, and lores to be found in the well as some long lived practitioners who practice older mystical traditions that have since faded into obscurity, otherwise lost to the mists of time. Players and GM's are encouraged to define alternate traditions of magic, using the provided traditions as examples.

There are also mystics who are pragmatists, with an esoteric practice that is a combination of elements borrowed from established traditions or independently re-discovered. Though generally an individualistic pursuit, various groups have practiced a formalized or recognized hodgepodge of concepts, such as Chinese sorcerers (Elementalism & Alchemy), some so-called witches (Daemonology, Mysteria, Alchemy), and black wizards (Wizardry and Daemonology).

Common Mystic Mechanics

There are many disciplines of Mystics, each with their own style of magic and flair. However, despite these differences there are also some things they have in common.

Mystic Vocations

There is a specific Vocation for each of the different Mystic variations, representing proficiency within that discipline. Characters should take the relevant Vocation for their style of magic, at a step appropriate to the character's level of mastery. An apprentice would take the Vocation at a d4, a journeyman at a d6, a master at a d8, and a grand master at a d10. In addition to the typical uses of Vocations, Mystics can generally include their Vocation die in dice pools when taking actions or reactions using their mystical abilities. For instance, a character with the Wizard Vocation at a d10 step can include that d10 when forming a dice pool to do wizardly stuff.

Beyond that, each Vocation offers a set of Exploits that emphasize or support notions that are important to the various disciplines. Exploits are a very limited resource and must be used sparingly but they are commensurately powerful and distinctive.

For instance, the Alchemist Vocation provides a pivotal Exploit allowing the creation of Alchemical Assets, while the Spellbinder Vocation provides an Exploit allowing a character to channel raw magic to attempt just about anything at the cost of heightened risk, and the Wizard Vocation offers some sagaciousness as well as an option to gain some extra potency when casting ritual spells.

Refer to the detailed write ups of the various kinds of Mystics for details on the different Mystic Vocations.

Mystic Ability Set

Regardless of their speciality, all Mystics have a Mystic Ability Set, in which various Ability traits and the Supernatural Aura Limit that are contained. While individuals may have slightly different Ability traits and / or may have Ability traits at different steps, the most common basic Mystic Ability Set is provided below.


Senses: d6
Stamina: d6
Warding: d6
Willpower: d6

Limit: Supernatural Aura: You have a supernatural aura that is detectable by those with special senses. Gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes a Complication for you.

The Ability traits taken in a Mystic Ability Set represent intrinsic capabilities developed due to exposure to mystical powers, rather than overt or actively cast spells or similar. For instance, Stamina and Willpower represent the impressive vitality many Mystics exhibit, while Warding represents an innate resistance to supernatural attacks.

Mystic Senses

Regardless of which tradition they practice, if the Senses trait is included in their Mystic Ability Set, it is understood to grant supernatural awareness, i.e. the ability to detect supernatural emanations, auras, and so forth. However, all Mystic Ability Sets include the non-optional Supernatural Aura Limit, which represents the fact that Mystics are marked in ways that are detectable by others who also have supernatural awareness.

Internal Arts

A Mystic can take additional Ability traits in their Mystic Ability Set. Innate Ability traits and passive Abilities that are primarily used for reactions fit the thematic niche best, however.

Another option is for a Mystic to take a SFX keyed to an Aptitude or an Innate Ability trait in their Mystic Ability Set. For instance, a Mystic might take the Clairsentience SFX, allowing them to use their Senses trait at range. Or they might learn to focus their sheer willpower into an offensive option by taking something like the Aether Shock SFX.

SFX: Clairsentience: You may use the Senses trait at range, using the Extended Range table; applying this SFX may make a character's Senses qualify as either a Psychic or Mystical Ability trait depedending upon the justification for that character's abilities.
SFX: Aether Shock: When you form a dice pool for an attack action and would add the Unarmed trait you may instead add double your Psyche trait to the dice pool. If you succeed, you may apply the effect die to cause either Body or Ego Stress to the target as a painful mystical shock.

The Source of Magic

By default, in the Here There Be Monsters setting all overt magic is the result of channeling or manipulating extradimensional energies, and thus all mystical traditions are ultimately just different ways for a mystic to interact with extradimensional forces...whether knowingly or not.

It is dangerous for mortal minds to fully comprehend the true nature of reality and thus many individual practitioners and even entire traditions instead understand their magic in some esoteric or metaphorical way. But the most enlightened mystics, through either talent or rigorous discipline, are able to see beyond the veil of mystery and perceive the cosmos as it actually least on occasion. Such mystics have the potential to surpass human artifice, rituals, and trappings to work sublime and terrible magics untethered by the limitations of their traditions.

Individual GM's can decide whether to incorporate this conceptualization or not in their campaigns, and if so to what degree or in what direction they wish to take it.