Thursday, June 25, 2015

Augury Magic - Compare and Contrast

I've done some research on the spells we regularly use to predict the future and speak with the gods. I thought I would share my findings here:

An augury can tell the caster whether a particular action will bring good or bad results in the immediate future. It has a 75%-ish chance of answering a yes or no question correctly. Good for questions like, "Would putting this salve on the lizard man's wounds be a good thing?". It is a second level divine spell.

A divination is a 4th level divine spell in ACKS. A divination spell can provide the caster with a useful piece of advice in reply to a question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity that is to occur within one week. The advice can be as simple as a short phrase, or it might take the form of a cryptic rhyme or omen. It should always be cast with the phrase "Oh elders fleet and strong and wise...". Good for questions like, "What could happen if I escort these completely random folks out into the Badlands without support." If the caster doesn’t act on the information, the conditions may change so that the information is no longer useful. The base chance of a successful divination is 60%+ level of the spellcaster, but that could be altered depending on whether the question is posed in the form of a proper rhyming couplet or whether it serves the plot or not. Also, if it is awesome.

The most powerful of the three divination spells, it is a 5th level divine spell. This spell puts the caster in contact with the great powers he serves, who will answer three yes-or-no questions. The being contacted may or may not be omniscient, and further, though the being is technically allied with the caster, it may still not answer questions clearly or completely. The ritual to cast this spell takes 1 turn to complete, and may be performed but once per week. Once a year, possibly upon the patron deity’s feast day, the divine spellcaster may ask twice the normal number of questions.

Contact other Plane
Although most augury magic is the wheelhouse of divine magic, this one exception is available to arcane casters. It is a 5th level spell, so it is more costly than the divine spells. The caster sends his mind to another plane of existence in order to receive advice and information from powers there. The powers reply in a language the caster understands, but they resent such contact and give only brief answers to questions. All questions are answered with “yes,” “no,” “maybe,” “never,” “irrelevant,” or some other one-word answer. The caster must concentrate on maintaining the spell in order to ask questions at the rate of one per round. A question is answered by the power during the same round. The caster must choose how many questions to ask before the spell is cast. The number of questions to be asked determines the power and proximity of the contacted being. The more questions asked, the further away the contacted plane is and the more powerful the being is.

  • Augury is good for a single, immediate good/bad call
  • Divination is appropriate for getting a nebulous rhyming or allegorical answer to a vague question
  • Commune is good for three concrete yes-or-no answers. It is particularly powerful on festival days.
  • Contact Other Plane is like calling up a demon and asking stuff. All questions are answered with “yes,” “no,” “maybe,” “never,” “irrelevant,” or some other one-word answer.

    1. Is the shaman ability to consult with the ancestral spirits the same effect as Commune?

      1. It appears to me that it is in fact, identical.