Subject[dq] Earth College Branches
DateFri, 15 Mar 2002 15:28:44 +1300
A few years ago I got sufficiently annoyed at the Branch descriptions in
Earth to write up a replacement.  The idea died a quiet death then but
following a dis-satisfying discussion of the differences between the
branches the other day I looked up what I'd put together.

Attached below is the new section on the branches and their BC modifiers.
But first my main reasons for wanting this change...
At the moment Druids are supposedly bloodthirsty but have no reason to be.
Pacifists the way they are written are the hairy nutters that leap out from
behind trees every now and then and beat the crap out of woodsmen.  And for
some reason they are unaffected by Counterspells.  So in theory all Earth
mages are either hiding in their forests (not adventuring) or are
blood-thirsty bad guys that adventurers hunt down.
Now this could be fixed by changing the descriptions a bit but then why have
the branches at all?  Simply drop the pacifistic benefits and make it a
philosophical difference that is prevalent amongst NPC Earth mages, or not
mention it at all.
But I prefer to take what was started and enhance the difference and the
flavour.  Give the pacifists a reason for their benefits, give Druids a
benefit for being blood-thirsty, and give them more reason to come into
conflict with each other.

To summarise what's below:
Pacifistic get minimal change from how they currently work but get a reason
for their benefits and usual philosophical stance.
Druids lose the benefit of Mistletoe but can increase their base chances by
killing furry animals - the bigger the better.  And to tempt them to go all
the way over to the dark side there are some very nice benefits for
sacrificing sentients.

Cheers, Stephen.
Declaration of Interest: I play a Pacifistic Earth mage that doesn't really
fit either branch but is more not a druid than not a pacifist.

The College of Earth Magics is concerned with the shaping of the powers of
the earth itself and of those entities and things that are rooted in the
earth or in contact with it. There are two distinct branches of this
College, and a practitioner of Earth Magic College can be a member of only
one branch at a time. They may alter their affiliation, but are treated as
if they had quit their original branch and lost all knowledge of Earth Magic
until such time as they have spent six months in study and meditation to
relearn the General Knowledge of the College in a new form. The two
divisions of this College are: 
Pacifistic Earth Magic Adepts of this branch work with the natural flow of
mana through the earth.  They direct, focus, and enhance the natural flows
to perform their magic.  Adepts of this branch are usually pacifists and are
rarely seen in heavily populated areas, preferring to live and work in "pure
and untouched" wilderness areas.  They are unaffected by counterspells of
their College cast over an area they occupy while attempting to work the
magic of their College. In addition, the counterspells of their College give
only half the normal benefit to characters attempting to resist their magic.
However, if they ever participate in magics of this College that involve
human or animal sacrifice then they will lose all of their college abilities
until they spend six months in study and meditation to re-attune themselves
with the natural flow of mana.
Druidic Earth Magic Adepts of this branch disregard the natural flows of
mana and tap into the raw power of the earth.  This form of Earth Magic is
usually practiced by strong-willed individuals who have no objection to the
taking of human or animal life to further their magic. It is often practiced
communally since it is in part ritual magic. Many of the rituals involve
courting the darker sides of earth by providing blood to quench its thirst.
A Druid may sacrifice a land-based animal or a sentient entity to improve
their chance of performing spells (standard cast only not pulse casting) or
rituals.  In addition if a sentient entity is sacrificed then the effective
rank of the spell or ritual is increased by one.

.1 Restrictions 
No Change from current.

.2 Base Chance Modifiers 
The following numbers are added to the Base of performing any talent, spell
or ritual of the College of Earth Magics. 
Pacifistic Earth Magic
Adept is wearing a sprig of fresh mistletoe 	5
Adept occupies a Pacifistic place of power ? 	25
Adept is in a manmade dwelling without an earthen floor 	-5
Adept is in contact with earth, but beneath water 	-20
Adept occupies a Druidic place of power ? 	-25
Druidic Earth Magic
Adept sacrificed a small animal (rabbit, cat, etc.)	5
Adept sacrificed a large animal (deer, pig, horse, etc)	10
Adept sacrificed a sentient entity	15
Adept occupies a Druidic place of power ? 	20
Adept is in a manmade dwelling without an earthen floor 	-5
Adept is in contact with earth, but beneath water 	-20
Adept occupies a Pacifistic place of power ? 	-20
For example, beneath the ocean, if the Adept can find a way of breathing in
such a situation, a Druid's BC would always be reduced by 20.
? These can be any places frequented by worshippers of earth. Examples from
mythology and literature might include: Stonehenge, Finn McCool's Seat, The
Hill of Tara, etc. Druidic Places of Power are frequently used for ritual
sacrifice, they are often barren or surrounded by warped and twisted plants,
most animals will actively avoid them.  Pacifistic Places of Power are
peaceful areas, usually surrounded by lush growth and frequented by animals,
performing a sacrifice in one will disrupt the place of power for between a
week (small animals) and 3 months (sentients).
All modifiers are cumulative. They are in addition to the modifiers listed
in 7.4.

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