Spiritual Background Aspects
|The persona enjoys a particular kinship with an animal species. This Aspect represents a truly spiritual, supernatural relationship. The Mythguide will assign specific benefits based on the animal species and the Aspect's Rank.
|In addition to the usual benefits described in the ARIA rules, this Aspect also modifies (at up to half the Aspect's Rank) the difficulty of any Spiritism communication trials dealing with Naturae Spirits related to that species.
|The persona possesses an unusually strong talent with one Archetype and/or Dominion in the Mana Origin. The persona can potentially create effects greater than the listed limits of the Origin would allow in the specific Archetype and/or Dominion chosen. This aspect may only be taken once for a persona.
|The effective Origin limit for the persona is increased by one point. For example, if the persona selected the Will Dominion, then the effective Dominion Rating for Will would be 7 instead of 6. The rank of this aspect is equal to the new rating (in the example, the rank would be 7). It is possible to increase the effective rating above ten using this aspect (although that would only apply to Ritual Mana Shaping).
|If the persona selects a specific configuration, rather than an Archetype or Dominion (Divination/Will, for example, instead of Divination or Will) then the limit of each is increased by 1. The higher of the two ratings determines the cost. This grants an even stronger capability to the persona in that single configuration, at the cost of only typical capability in the other configurations.
|If the Excession selected is limited in some significant way, the rank is halved (rounded up). Sample limitations include selecting the Matter Dominion, and limiting the benefit to apply to only water-related effects, or the benefit might only apply to imbedded effects (thus making the adept particularly talented at enchanting effects in the selected Archetype and/or Dominion).
|The persona must possess both Magical Talent and Manasense to select this Background Option, although the persona need not possess magical training of any kind (i.e. it is possible for an untrained mage to have enormous latent potential in one area, through this aspect). In order to make use of the increased capability from this aspect, the persona must still possess sufficient Omnessence Expertise and Mana Lore ranks. This aspect does not grant any bonus to the personal abilities of the adept, it merely allows them to exceed the limits of the Origin that others are bound by, if they possess enough talent and skill to do so.
|(Note: credit and thanks to author Iain M. Banks for his coining of the term "Excession" to denote something that exceeds known limits)
|The persona has unusually good Fortune in all areas of life. This exceptional luck follows the persona and affects many of his actions. This Aspect's Rank can be used to affect trials during the course of a single narrative. For each rank possessed, the persona may either re-roll a trial or modify its difficulty by one level. This Aspect is renewed at the start of each narrative.
|The persona has been gifted with something - an item, service, or ability - by a spiritual entity. The Aspect's Rank is based on the nature and value of the Gift. Example gifts include: one service from a powerful spirit (Rank 7 for a Spiritist), a protective charm against possession (Rank Two), or a blessing of -1 difficulty to all water-related activities (Rank 10 from Daedo, the Goddess of Rivers).
|A specific gift applicable to Spirit Familiars and Spiritism is the Manifest Medium Gift. This gift allows the persona to use a Spirit Familiar as a source of Spirit Omnessence for a number of services equal to this Aspect's Rank during each lunar cycle (month). Without this Gift, the Spiritist cannot perform Spiritism through a Spirit Familiar.
|The persona has a guardian that has been sent to protect the persona for some reason. The guardian is from a spiritual entity, and thus will be either a spirit of some sort, or possibly a physical animal. The guardian is not an overt ally - its only purpose is to protect the persona from harm. This protection can be either general or against a specific danger.
|A Spirit Familiar can possess this Aspect as part of its relationship to the Spiritist. Such a familiar will be a spiritual guardian rather than a physical one. The Aspect Rank will determine the familiar's relative ability to protect the Spiritist from one or more sources of harm - usually spiritual harm, but possibly other forms as well. A familiar which can physically manifest to protect the Spiritist is Rank 10. A familiar which merely protects the Spiritist from possession is Rank Three.
|The persona has a spirit guide of some type. Unlike a spiritual ally or a guardian, a guide does not necessarily provide overt assistance. The guide's purpose is to help the persona solve problems or develop a certain form of knowledge or ability. Guides are often cryptic or ambiguous in their aid.
|A Spirit Familiar can possess this Aspect as part of its relationship to the Spiritist. Such a familiar often serves to educate the Spiritist about the spirit realms and spirit magic. Familiars who are also guides are usually Entitae Spirits, but may be special Naturae or Elementae as well. A Spiritist with a spiritual guide can learn Spirit Lore without a teacher or books to study from.
|The persona has the innate talent to manipulate Reality using one or more forms of Omnessence. This Aspect is necessary for the persona to use magic, and determines a persona's starting ability with the various Omnessence Expertises. See the discussion of adept personas for more details. Unlike the ARIA Aspect, Magical Talent in Geoza is a Spiritual, not Mental, Background Aspect.
|The persona possesses the ability to sense the flows of Mana which permeate Geoza. This is related to the ARIA Sensitivity Aspect, but is specific to the Geozan Reality system. Manasense enables sensing of Mana manifestations at ranges of up to (Manasense rank * Availability Level) stadia - one stadia equals approx. 200 paces. Manasense permits gathering Mana at a range equal to (Manasense rank * Availability Level) paces. Manasense can also aid in understanding or countering Mana effects. Manasense can be purchased at any rank (even one rank allows the use of Mana in conjunction with Magical Talent), but is usually purchased at as high a rank as possible to allow for more efficient Mana gathering and sensing.
|Note: although the Awareness Talent allows the sensing of active Mana use, it does not provide sufficient detail to gather or shape Mana.
|The persona has a specific friendship with an animal or plant, or a more general relationship with a type of animal or plant. The nature of the relationship (empathic, telepathic, verbal, active aid, conscious control, etc.) and the abilities of the animal or plant should be considered when determining the Aspect's Rank.
|In addition to the usual benefits described in the ARIA rules, this Aspect also modifies (at up to half the Aspect's Rank) the difficulty of any Spiritism summoning trials dealing with Naturae spirits related to that species.
|The persona possesses Psychic Talent. Basic Psychic Talent is Rank 1. Each additional point up to ten grants a Rank in a Latent Psychic Discipline (with a limit of three latent ranks in any one discipline). Advanced Disciplines may not be selected, only Latent Disciplines may be selected. Psychic Disciplines are described in the Psychics section.
|The persona has an unusual ability to interact with the
spirit world and the spirits inhabiting it. This Aspect is necessary for Spiritism (in conjunction with Magical
Talent). It can also assist with the Psychic Discipline Pneumosis. Sensitivity
can be purchased at any rank, but because Sensitivity is a major component of the adept's
ability to "store" (bind) spirits, a persona who wishes to be a Shaman or Spirit
Mage should purchase it at as high a rank as possible.
Sensitivity can have its drawbacks, however. An untrained sensitive is vulnerable to spiritual harassment or possession. Modify the difficulty of any spiritual action taken against the sensitive by half the difference between their Spirit Lore (or Pneumosis Discipline) and Sensitivity Rank (rounded down). Example: Maria has a Sensitivity Rank 8 and Spirit Lore Rank 6. She is slightly vulnerable to spiritual harassment, spirits having a -1 difficulty to affect her. A Spiritual Guardian such as a Spirit Familiar can protect against such a vulnerability.
|Note: this Aspect is significantly changed from the ARIA rules. Other applications of the ARIA Sensitivity Aspect are reflected in Psychic abilities or the Awareness Talent.
|The persona has a Spiritual Ally, of which the persona may or may not be aware. The reasons for the ally, its motives, and the details of its relationship to the persona should be detailed by the Mythguide.
|A special type of Spiritual Ally is the Spirit Familiar. A familiar can aid the persona in the practice of Spiritism by adding half the rank of this aspect, rounded down, to both Meditation and Charisma Trials associated with summoning spirits. The relationship of a Spirit Familiar to a persona is usually closer than that of other Spiritual Allies. In addition, the Spirit Familiar can possess the Aspects of Guardian and/or Guide. A Spirit Familiar may be any type of spirit, from a Totem Animal Spirits (Naturae) to Ancestor Spirits (Entitae), to mystical Elementae.
|Note: A Spirit Familiar is not normally capable of performing Spiritism services for a persona - the special relationship between the two prevents the normal use of Spiritism through the familiar. A Spirit Familiar which possesses the Manifest Medium Gift (see Gift, above), can do so in a limited fashion. Spirit Familiars which possess that capability are rare.
|The persona has been called to the service of a deity. The player should select a Geozan deity appropriate to the persona's Heritage and background, and the Mythguide will detail the Calling and its consequences for the persona. This aspect is necessary to Access Deific Omnessence. See the discussion of adept personas for additional details.
|The persona possesses an unusually weak talent with one Archetype and/or Dominion in the Mana Origin. The persona's abilities with Mana are weaker than the listed limits of the Origin would allow in the specific Archetype and/or Dominion chosen. This aspect may only be taken once for a persona.
|The effective Origin limit for the persona is decreased by one point. For example, if the persona selected the Will Dominion, then the effective Dominion Rating for Will would be 5 instead of 6. The rank of this aspect is equal to the original rating (in the example, the rank would be 6).
|If the Limitation selected is further restricted in some significant way, the rank is halved (rounded down). Sample restrictions include selecting the Matter Dominion, and restricting the weakness to apply to only earth-related effects, or the weakness might only apply to imbedded effects (thus making the adept more limited at enchanting effects in the selected Archetype and/or Dominion).
|If the persona selects a specific configuration, rather than an Archetype or Dominion (Divination/Will, for example, instead of Divination or Will) then the limit of each is decreased by 1. The higher of the two original ratings determines the cost. This grants an even weaker capability to the persona in that single configuration, at the benefit of typical capability in the other configurations.
|The persona must possess both Magical Talent and Manasense to select this Background Option, although the persona need not possess magical training of any kind (i.e. it is possible for an untrained mage to have latent weakness in one area, through this aspect). A persona may select both this aspect and the Configuration Excession aspect, but may not select the same Archetype and/or Dominion for both (even if selecting a specific configuration, neither the Archetype nor the Dominion may be selected for both aspects - for example, a persona may not select an Excession in Divination/Will and a Limitation in Divination/Spirit, because Divination may not be selected for both aspects).
|The persona has been Cursed by some entity or deity, either at birth or during development. The details can vary, but will generally affect the persona's actions in one specific area of life.
|A specific application of this Aspect is a spiritual "calling" by the forces of Unlife and corruption. This Curse will lead the persona toward the practice of Necromancy (although such a Curse is not necessary to use Necromancy), and the persona will also possess at least limited Magical Talent. The Aspect's Rank will determine the speed and intensity of the "calling," and will also modify Necromantic Trials by up to one-third the Aspect's Rank (round down).
|Another specific application of this Aspect is animal spirit possession (Lycanthropy). A persona afflicted by this form of possession is subject to severe behavioral and mood swings, as well as eventually succumbing totally to the spirit entity, and shape shifting into the form of that animal. Those with strong wills sometimes manage to keep a partial control over their actions, but most simply submerge their mind into that of the animal, and later remember nothing, except perhaps some disturbing dreams. As with other spiritual factors, the phase of the greater moon Yezun has a pronounced effect on the process - the greater the phase of Yezun, the stronger the animal spirit will be relative to the persona. The Aspect's Rank determines the degree to which the process has advanced during development. At Rank 1, the persona demonstrates little to no evidence of the possession. At Rank 10, the persona demonstrates full lycanthropy, including forced shape shifting to the material form of the animal spirit during the full moon, and pronounced animalistic behavior at other times, increasing and decreasing with Yezun's phases.
|The persona has unusually bad luck in all areas of life. This exceptional luck follows the persona and affects many of his actions. This Aspect's Rank can be used to affect trials during the course of a single narrative - by the Mythguide. For each rank possessed, the Mythguide may either have the persona re-roll a trial or raise the difficulty of a trial by the aspect's rank. This Aspect is renewed at the start of each narrative.
|The persona is haunted by a benevolent or mischievous spirit. The Aspect's Rank determines the strength of the spirit and the frequency of its appearance. At higher ranks, this Aspect can act as an involuntary form of Spirit Magic, with the persona acting as an unwilling medium through which the spirit can affect the material world.
|The persona has a specific enmity with an animal or plant, or a more general hostile relationship with a type of animal or plant. The level of the hostility and the abilities of the animal or plant will determine the Aspect's Rank.
|In addition to the usual hindrances described in the ARIA rules, this Aspect also modifies (at up to half the Aspect's Rank) the difficulty of any Spirit Magic summoning trials dealing with Naturae Spirits related to that species.
|This Aspect is normally acquired during game play through failed use of the Sorcery Origin, but at the Mythguide's option may be allowed in a persona with Sorcery ability during development. When a persona's Sorcery Burnout rank equals or exceeds his Insight rank, all ability to perform Sorcery is lost. If Insight increases, or Burnout somehow decreases, the ability to perform Sorcery may be regained.
|The persona has a spiritual foe. The Apect's Rank
determines the general level of the spirit's ability, as well as its nature and the danger
it represents for the persona. The player should outline the reason for the
animosity as well as the relationship between the foe and the persona, and the Mythguide
should detail the spirit's powers. This Aspect is especially dangerous for a persona
who uses Spiritism, as the foe can play havoc
with the persona's attempts to summon spirits.
A persona may acquire a Spiritual Foe or Foes during game play if that persona greatly offends a spiritual entity. Normally this will occur as a result of Psychic or Spiritist actions in the spirit world. Use of Conjuration (see Metamagic) techniques on powerful spirits is one sure way to acquire spiritual foes. The relative power of the spirit(s) involved will determine the rank of this aspect.
|The persona is very superstitious, and is wary of things she cannot understand. When confronted by the supernatural, the persona must make a Willpower Trial with this Aspect's Rank as a modifier to the difficulty. If the persona fails the trial, she gives in to her fear.
|The persona has a spiritual or physical watcher, which has been sent to watch the persona, monitor his movements, and perhaps perform some action. The aspect's rank determines the danger presented by the watcher and the reason for its existence. The Watcher is not usually an overt enemy, and will not harm the persona directly.