Suggestion - Minor Arcana, Major Arcana, and Cooperative Occult Operations

The usage of arcane glyphs and diagrams to power a wide variety of occult rituals.
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Lexx416
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Suggestion - Minor Arcana, Major Arcana, and Cooperative Occult Operations

Post by Lexx416 » Mon Aug 23, 2021 10:59 am

I recently made an Arcanist, because the system absolutely intrigues me, but also because I tend to get ideas when I'm interacting with systems as that has me thinking about the kinds of things I'd love to see, have access to, and play around with. So this is kind of a Big Idea I had, to bring back the concept of Minor Arcana and Major Arcana (and allowing Arcanists access to Major Arcana alone, as a means of specialization), as well as a new concept: Cooperate Occult Operations (which would fall under Major Arcana, but also require multiple people to accomplish and create cooperative opportunities for Scholars).

Minor Arcana

Minor Arcana, very simply, is any glyph that can be permanently committed to memory. This isn't so much a change, as much as a classification for something that we already have, to differentiate power levels/power scales, and to give folks an idea of what "occult generalists" should mostly have access to (with some exceptions for Arcanist Secrets such as Shaol and Dorun). I'm still in favor of having complexities to this ala circle dividers, activators, etc., these would just scale much lower in terms of Raw Power compared to Major Arcana and Cooperative Occult Operations.

Major Arcana
Major Arcana is a category of limited (possibly single) use glyphs that can be committed to memory one at a time, but disappear after 1 or more uses depending on the individual Glyph. These are glyphs that can perform complex (but still very limited and specific) effects. I imagine these Glyphs would show up in lootboxes on metal plates (or ceramic tiles, because I think that sounds cool if it's lore friendly) which cannot be smelted down due to Weird Occult Forces, or perhaps could show up in special locations in the world locked behind exploration checks. I think if anyone without Arcana looks at or tries to read the Glyphs, they should take a little sanity hit, anyone with Arcana that isn't an Arcanist takes a higher sanity hit as well as a morale hit (to display that Occultism is Weird and Strange and probably makes Normal Folks uncomfortable), and Arcanists should have a skill check based on Arcana roll to identify these Glyphs without incurring minor sanity losses (similar to the STUDY system) to simulate specialized training.

I feel like Major Arcana could do more flashy, cool things, but be limited in terms of what activators and diagram separators are used - as in, you can't change the effects of Major Arcana with the addition of extra glyphs, and you would limit Activators so that you had to use specific activators (such as Beldi, since we have no other examples currently) with them. I don't have too many specific ideas, but these would be Glyphs that did Bigger Things, such as allowing you to temporarily enchant an entire suit of armor (maybe to help with encumbrance, or boost damage resistance, etc.) for either a specific duration or a specific number of hits (could not be "re-upped" until all pieces of armor or maybe make it so that you have to wear the full set to get the benefits), enchanting a lidded container to extend the preservation of food inside (perhaps at the cost of reducing quality, which lends more value to Morale Boosting food). These Glyphs should probably have a higher cost to draw and activate, more on par with 50-100 energy, and should have to be re-studied after a limited number of uses.

Major Arcana would only memorizable by Arcanists - suggesting specialized training and education.

Cooperative Occult Operations
This is probably the most drastic and complicated suggestion in the thread - essentially these would fall under Major Arcana, except they require cooperation from other folks to perform. Like other Major Arcana, you could only retain one at a time in your mind (and this should not stack with the same slot you use to memorize normal Major Arcana). The most basic form would be a Major Arcana Glyph that draws on more energy than can be provided by a single human safely, which could account for drastic, one-use glyphs that do grander things than normal Major Arcana. These could also have component pre-requisites to achieve. As an example - a Cooperative Operation that allows you to enchant a handcart to reduce the encumbrance/weight of items inside of it (for a very long but impermanent duration), which requires Fine or better quality parts in the handcart, and several people to stand in the circle before the Arcanist (pulling the empty handcart) to stand in the circle to activate - this would drain energy from each individual (more people = less drain per person, with diminishing returns) as well as cause sanity loss to each individual involved, to represent the dangers of Occult Forces.

The more complex versions of these would be cross-disciplinary Operations that require Druids or Warlocks with specific abilities to attend, as well as the addition of other people for added energy costs. I'm thinking this would be a way to temporarily alter the weather in an area, to created an ensorcelled vampiric blade that bites the wielder if they haven't recently slain things, so on and so forth. Big effects that players would look forward to doing, and would necessitate cooperation between a minimum of 3-5 people at least.

As with Major Arcana, Cooperative Occult Operations could only me memorized by an Arcanist, and perhaps requires an Arcana skill threshold to study, and cannot be identified by anyone that is not an Arcanist. These could also account for "rituals" that invoke Immortals. As with Major Arcana, I imagine the more (relatively) 'common' Operations to be hidden away in permanent areas in the world, gated behind exploration skills, but the rarer ones would show up in lockboxes.


Glyph Plates
The above ideas necessitates a way to transport and keep glyphs in lockboxes. For that, I suggest something similar to a quivering bowstring - plates (metal, or ceramic, whatever is lore friendly) that cannot be destroyed by traditional means, but also have a tendency to disappear if you start to hoard them. Glyphs don't like being contained, and the foolish Arcanist or adventurer that tries to hoard Glyph Plates has been known to not only find them missing from their person, but suffer Strange Occult side effects as they keep too many of them in their possessions.

Essentially: Use it or Lose it. Maybe let players keep 1 or 2 around, and make rarer ones more likely to disappear quickly back into the world. You could also have a set limit of Glyphs extant at any given time, to prevent people from hoarding them and instead using them.
"You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods... Remnants of an older time they be, living few and secretly, wild and wary as beasts."

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