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So I'm a big fan of the S&S artifact creation rules, mostly because I'm a big number cruncher, and 'properly' applied, they can result in some serious artifacts. If they're overpowered is up to you and yours, but let us just say they're often quite powerful - and often have immense commitment costs to go with them. Now then. The rules clearly provide for charm-type effects on things, but say nothing about astrology effects. In particular, after reading Aspect Book: Earth today, I noticed that a number of the important DB's have astrology effects listed for them, the most impressive one being a "Hound-Chases-Rabbit Blessing" that provides 1WP anytime an event happens related to the blessing. More particularly, the one I'm thinking of grants 1 WP the first time a spell is cast in a scene. For a DB wizard, that's huge. It essentially removes the WP cost of terrestrial sorcery, and would be a major boon to even Celestial or Solar - especially since the higher Essence of the casters allows more of such blessings.

Now then. I'd like to include this effect into an artifact, so as to not rely on a Sidereal Astrologer in-game. My theory is that in game-terms, some Sidereal, a long time ago, made an astrology effect that targets "the person using this artifact", with some scope, power, and long duration. That's easily enough assumed. The bigger question is how to crunch-ify it, so that it blends into the existing S&S rules, without becoming too powerful, or too lightweight.

My initial proposal, then, is as follows:
For each artifact "power level" allocated to a given astrological effect, a given astrological effect is assumed to be of power equal to that artifact level. Duration is 'long', and scope is only individual. Effects affecting others must have an artifact power level one higher.

Thus, a level 1 astrological artifact effect (on the user) would manifest only once per week, while devoting a level 4 power (and thus many motes of commitment) would manifest on every related activity). If the effect were to affect one other person (often the target of a weapon, for example) it would require one more level. Thus, for a level 2 effect, one could design a weapon that would reduce the opponent's WP by one on the first person struck that week. A level 5 effect would make a weapon that reduces temp WP of the target by one each time they're struck.

Sound tolerable to everyone? I personally am a fan of it, so we'll see what you think.


Sounds reasonable to me, but no characters would ever get their hands on one of these astrology-blessed items if the Sidereals didn't want it to be that way. I imagine they'd keep a very, very tight leash on them. Like they do with all their special tricks and toys. So, as a way to not have to visit your Siddie astrologer every week, it's great. But it's not a feasible way to make a character who benefits from it but doesn't interact with Sids in some major way in his/her story. There's no feasible way to do that. - IanPrice

Yes and no. Astrology effects, once 'cast', can only really be easily eliminated by the Shard of the Siddie who made it. If that Siddie dies, and the new Shard doesn't know about the old item, it stays. But in general, yes, an item with such a benefit should be Siddie-related. The item that this question came up with was actually a character's Cult of the Illuminated enhanced Artifact background, as they're working on a rather nice 5 pt Artifact using the S&S rules. The Cult administrators, of course, helped make the thing, hence the Astrology-based bonuses. -- GregLink

Remember that the Sidereals know where each and every new Sidereal will exalt, and if they don't steal (and possibly replace if they're compassionate) the child at birth, it's because they see some great and beneficial destiny to leaving the child to grow up on his own, if not exalt on his own. Even ronin sids are watched by other sids. So, even if the effects couldn't be undone, the item could certainly be tracked and either destroyed or placed in safe keeping. I didn't think you'd really be trying to pull a fast one, but I felt that for the sake of others reading this I should re-state the speed limit. - IanPrice
Indeed. As before, I do agree. Sidereals are creepy watchful b*stards. At the same time, depending on the tone of your game, the Siddies can either be a big influence, or struggling just to keep up. Older things, made during the shogunate, will almost certainly have been tracked, as the Shogunate was like Sidereal happy land, to a point. During other periods though, such as the contagion, and the deathlords more recently (or even the locust crusade) really rain on their parade pretty heavily. Depending on how the ST runs things, it's quite likely that the 100 members of the five-score fellowship are more likely functioning at perhaps 70 members, of which 40 are Bronze, 20 Gold, and 10 close enough to Ronin for government work. At such a point, they're barely getting along, and dealing with CTE's (Creation-Threatening-Events) all the time, and don't really have the wherewithal to write down that they enchanted a ring for some Solar to help him out. One accident later, and there's an enchanted ring out there, with no one to keep track of it. So while I agree that Sidereals are creepy, and will find the next Sidereal, it's also possible (if not likely, depending on the tone of your game) that such an item, once made, falls off of the map. Especially since such things don't need to be written down anywhere - once made, astrology is maintained by the Pattern Spiders, not the Bureau. -- GregLink, summarizing: It might be possible in your game. Then again, it might not. If it is, I recommend the costs above. If it isn't, well, you won't need such a system anyway.