[Mage: the Awakening 101] Arcana Basics – Forces

Introduction:

The Forces Arcana is usually the first thing that comes to mind whenever the average person is told to think of mages.  Hurling lightning bolts and fire, commanding the very weather… all these are possible, but Forces is an arcanum that goes beyond just flashy displays of power.  To some mages it is this arcanum that is the hallmark of the mage’s place in reality, where even the very forces of nature bow to the superior will.  To others, it is the arcana that ultimately demands the most discipline and wisdom from a mage, a true test of what kind of person they are by virtue of how they exercise it’s power.

Sphere Levels:

Of all the Arcana, Forces enjoys the infamy of being one of the most difficult to use without incurring Paradox.  Vulgar effects are easy to come up with, but covert applications of Forces are equally valuable, if more troublesome to conceptualize.  Among the phenomena that fall under the purview of the Forces arcanum are: Electricity, gravity, kinetic energy, light, physics, radiation, sound and weather.  The following is a general list of effects that a mage can pull of with varying degrees of mastery of the Forces Arcana:

Initiate:

  • Influence heat
  • Influence light
  • Influence sound
  • Nightvision
  • Perceive energy and magical resonance
  • Hear sounds on subsonic or supersonic frequencies
  • Listen in on free floating data transmission and translate it to an understandable format

Apprentice:

  • Control heat
  • Control light
  • Control sound
  • Bestow another with the ability to perceive energy and magical resonance
  • Influence electricity
  • Influence fire
  • Render an object invisible
  • Convert all damage of a strike to a tiny surface area to convert Bashing damage to Lethal
  • Hijack an extant radio signal and replace the information with something else
  • Create an armor out of the Forces Arcanum

Disciple:

  • Cast a spell to perform an extended-action task autonomously
  • Bestow another with armor made from the Forces Arcanum
  • Call down lightning to strike a target
  • Control electricity
  • Control fire
  • Mastery of light
  • Turn oneself invisible
  • Mastery of sound
  • Telekinesis on objects
  • Strike a target from a distance via a telekinetic blow
  • Turn aside an incoming projectile, such as a bullet

Adept:

  • Bestow invisibility
  • Propel oneself with incredible speed
  • Change the weather
  • Increase or decrease the velocity of an object
  • Transform oneself into a being of pure flame
  • Increase friction on a subject so that a stiff wind could cause lacerations and cuts
  • Levitation
  • Hurl lightning from ones fingertips to a target
  • Transform one kind of energy into another
  • Telekinetically lift another living creature remotely

Master:

  • Create a major weather distubance
  • Propel another with incredible speed
  • Bestow Levitation
  • Control Gravity
  • Increase Gravity
  • Negate Gravity
  • Completely control an object or living being’s velocity
  • Create Sunlight
  • Cause an earthquake
  • Generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP)
  • Extinguish radiation
  • Irradiate an area
  • Flight

—-

Usage &  Tips:

The Forces arcanum is the Really Big Stick of the 10 Arcana.  Therefore, it becomes crucial that the Forces mage exercise his own cunning, and subtlety and milk the Forces arcanum for all it’s worth.  Anyone can fire a gun, but it takes skill to learn how to shoot with any real accuracy.  At the early levels of control over the Forces arcanum, the Forces mage remains at the top of the heap when it comes to information.  Sonar, infrared spectrum and even the ability to sense movement in the wind are all open options for a Forces mage to get a lock on his opponents.  Add the fact that the mage is also able to tune in to certain frequencies, little tricks like listening into someone’s cellphone conversations becomes a trivial matter.

Forces eventually evolves to battlefield control, developing various abilities to render opponents unable to function normally as light, sound and even radio communications are disabled.  A clever forces mage can cause much havoc among his targets by simply screwing around with the electricity of their home or base.  And should all consideration for Paradox fly out the window even a Disciple level Forces mage is a walking bomb, capable of laying down some truly righteous punishment.

This scaling doesn’t get any lighter with the advancement towards Adept and Mastery.  At this point, harming someone becomes trivially easy, and large scale damage via earthquakes, weather disturbances and explosions are all under the purview of a vengeful Forces mage.

Like in any fight, the Forces Mage entering combat is better off setting his own pace.  Depriving the enemy of information, both electronically and through his senses by making sure that the room is completely dark and silent are two ways to start off on the right footing.  Once you’ve established surprise, it’s a simple manner of indulging one’s inner sadist.  Don’t bother with monologues, though, go in quick, do the deed, and embellish the account later.

Recommended Rotes:

  • Tune In / Transmission – The ability to intercept and (later on) modify electronic transmission is remarkably handy in this information age.  Radio signals, Cellphone conversations and even bluetooth and wi-fi signals are all at the mercy of these rotes.
  • Call Lightning – One of the few direct damage spells that fall under the category of a Covert spell, Call Lightning is also useful for time swhen you don’t want to be nearby when the target goes down.
  • Personal Invisibility – It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the countless ways that personal invisibility can come in handy.  Forces can also be improvised to make heat sensors and motion sensors fail to register the presence of a mage.

6 thoughts on “[Mage: the Awakening 101] Arcana Basics – Forces

  1. Bear in mind the phenomenal utility of the Unveiling and Knowing Praxes. The modern world of the Lie includes almost uncountable numbers of electronic devices, and the ability to find them can save a willworker’s life. In the real world, GPS tracking units can be attached to a vehicle in less than 5 seconds. Therefore, a mage with mortal enemies can find his movements tracked unless he looks for something much more subtle than a bomb or more blatant than a “dampened” magical curse.

    1. Hello there!

      Apologies for the late reply. A character like that would unlikely be a new mage, but it does feel like they’re a predominantly Forces Mage, with large scale weather changes falling under Forces 4 or 5. Turning someone into stone feels like a Life + Matter spell to me, and also somewhere along the 4 or 5 range as they’re very vulgar and (technically) lethal.

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