Today’s Arcana Basics article was written by Blake Dy, one of the regular players in my group, and one that has spent an inordinate amount of time learning and applying the Mind Arcana’s tricks of the trade in his Mage: the Awakening Characters.
The Mind Arcana is at once the most simple yet one of the deepest Arcana that the Awakened command. This is the Arcanum used to connect with the Universal Consciousness shared by all beings possessed of thought: humans, animals, spirits and anything capable of in any way distinguishing between itself and its environment. This is an Arcanum of thoughts, dreams, emotions, motivations, memories, primal instincts, elevated precepts and ideas. Those who seek to master Mind attempt to grow closer to the unity of thought shared by all intelligent life, turning their mystic will inward, there to discover the simple truth that all Creation exists only in the eye of the beholder.
The Arcana Levels:
The word Toolkit pretty much sums up the Mind Arcana; while Mind might not be as blatantly reality changing as Time or Fate or as flashy as Prime or Forces, canny use of Mind will ensure that one is never bereft of a solution to any given problem. Mind can be a sphere of contradictions that despite its seemingly limited purview it is a sphere that seems to find application in nearly every situation.
- Allow a mage to compartmentalize his mind to perform two mental actions at once.
- Communicate with Astral Entities.
- Counter vulgar perceivable psychic phenomena.
- Sense the presence of Minds and Mental/Psychic Phenomena.
- View a subject’s aura, allowing a Mage to determine the mental state of the subject and if he is a supernatural being or not.
- Alter slightly the mental processes and perceptions of others (attention, emotions, time perception, suggestions etc).
- Bestow the Third Eye on another.
- Change one’s own aura.
- Control Simple Minds (Insects, Reptiles, Fish, Invertebrates).
- Gain any skill of choice and the capacity to do them extremely well.
- Perfectly remember things.
- Protect one’s self from physical harm by altering their perception of the mage.
- Send short messages from one’s mind to another.
- Shield one’s self from psychic manipulation and notice such manipulation on oneself or others.
- Augment one’s mental and social attributes.
- Augment mental and social skills of others.
- Bestow Psychic Armor and Resistance on others.
- Communicate with anyone regardless of language.
- Conceal one’s aura.
- Control Median Minds (Mammals).
- Increase Multi-Tasking capacity.
- Inflict trauma (bashing damage) using raw psychic force.
- Greater capacity to alter others’ perceptions and mental processes (cause something to appear as something else, remove their ability to form new memories).
- Prolong the time one can go without sleep.
- Telepathic Communication.
- Enter the Dreams of others.
- Exert limited domination over the minds of others.
- Inflict full blown hallucinations on others.
- Inflict Lethal Damage using psychic force.
- Project to the Astral Realm.
- Reduce the mental and social capabilities of others.
- Scrutinize and alter the memories of others.
- Surpass human limitations in augmenting one’s social and mental attributes or skills.
- Completely rewrite a person’s personality.
- Create a new mind.
- Create a telepathic network.
- Exert absolute control over the minds of others.
- Lobotomize someone.
- Possess a person as if one were a ghost.
- Project into the Shadow Realm.
Usage and Tips:
Mind can best be termed as a two faced Arcana in that, paradoxically, despite thematically being a subtle sphere it is also at once one of the most blatantly powerful even when applied at its crudest form and even far more insidious when employed with care and planning. It grants the wielder both superhuman prowesses while simultaneously the defenses against its avenues of attack are few and far between.
At the Initiate level the Mind grants the Mage capabilities that already put him nearly on par with the world’s greatest thinkers and negotiators, allowing him sense minds in his presence and to read people like an open book, thus shielding him from treachery and deception, as well as accomplishing twice the cognitive output of what most mortals can do at any given time.
Upon reaching the Apprentice and Disciple levels the scope of a Mind Mages power balloons sharply into a wide variety of effects that afford him unparalleled versatility. Aside from being able to manipulate people in subtle and limited ways, such as rendering oneself invisible to others, removing their ability to remember, changing their emotional states or even suppressing their morality or disbelief, the Mage attains the ability to transcend mortal limitations. He may now call upon any skill or attribute he deems needed for any given situation he might face even if he would normally not have such traits. The Mage also gains valuable combat capabilities upon attaining this level of proficiency, allowing him to project bolts of psychic force as well as protecting himself from harm, both physically and psychically, using a variety of capabilities. More or less at this level, the Mage has gained access to his bread and butter spells that would allow him to handle most any situation he comes across.
The Adept and Master expand the mage’s capabilities into the realm of comic book iconic psychics such as Jean Grey and Professor Xavier. The Mage is now able to force his will upon others, compelling them to do anything and everything he desires even to the point of suicide, he is able tear open their memories as well as rewriting their personalities at will, turn them into savants or reduce them to idiots and even send them into a coma. In the truest expression of mastery, a Mage of the Mind can even, out of quintessence and sheer willpower, give genesis to new consciousness shaped at his whim.
- Diplomat’s Protection: Psychically compels others not to attack the mage unless the mage starts the fight or they have enough resolve to overcome the spell’s potency. Even then the spell provides an Armor rating to the Mage that is not capped by any value, allowing the mage to potentially rack up awful levels of protection on an extended cast.
- Gain Skill: Allows the player to have or increase ANY skill up to his Mind rating for a scene.
- Mental Process: Turns any skill roll for a mental or social skill into a Rote Action (allowing the mage to re-roll any dice that don’t come up successes once).