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The Path of Summoning

Even more so than is usually the case, sorcerers who practice the Path of Summoning place their lives and their very souls in the balance with each act. This is because, unlike the powerful summoning spells available to the Exalted, a mortal summons does not constrain the summoned being from any behaviour, it merely compels (or strongly requests) attendance. Many a tribal shaman has called up a demon from Malfeas only to find that his offerings are worthless in its eyes and is torn to bloody shreds for his trouble. That said, the Path of Summoning does not merely allow the sorcerer to conjure up demons and elementals, but it can be used to call for far more prosaic creatures, such as the beasts of the field or the birds of the sky.


Standard Test: Charisma + Occult (Difficulty varies): After deciding on what he wants to summon the sorcerer conducts the summoning ritual which takes the time listed below. If this is interrupted for a length of time greater than a few seconds (one combat turn) then the summoning is aborted, and any offerings or trappings are ruined and/or destroyed. The number of dice available to the sorcerer’s player can be modified by the character making certain provisions for the ritual, as shown on the table below:
  |  Circumstance        |        Effect        |
  |  Decreased time      |        -2 Dice       |
  |  Increased time      |        +1 Die        |
  |  Ritual trappings    |  +1 Die / Resources  |
Decreasing the time for as summoning divides the time as given in the table below by an incrementing amount, each increase costs the sorcerer two dice (i.e.: a summoning in 1/2 the time costs 2 dice, 1/3 the time costs 4 dice, and so on…). Increasing the time for a summoning multiplies the time similarly, each increase giving the sorcerer an extra die (so taking double the time gives the sorcerer an extra die, tripling the time gives two dice, etc…). Ritual trappings are such things as offerings, summoning paraphernalia, appropriate clothing, and so on… While the exact kind of trappings desired depends on the creature being summoned (a Wits + Occult roll can be used to determine appropriate offerings), their overall effect is to increase the chance of a correct summoning as well as making the initial reaction of the creature more favourable to the sorcerer.
  |  Summoned Being        |  Difficulty  |   Time    |  Service Length  |
  |  Small animal          |       1      |  30 mins  |     1 month      |
  |  Large animal          |       2      |  1 hour   |     1 week       |
  |  Hungry ghost          |       3      |  2 hours  |     1 night      |
  |  Ghost (intelligent)   |       4      |  4 hours  |   As bargained   |
  |  Demon or elemental    |       5      |  8 hours  |   As bargained   |
The time it takes to conduct a summoning is given in the table above, although it is possible to alter this length of time (either up or down) to increase or decrease both the chance of calling the being that the sorcerer wants and of getting a favourable reaction to the summons.
For every two extra successes on the Charisma + Occult test the sorcerer gets one die for any tests required when bargaining for services from the summoned creature. If the creature is non-intelligent then every two successes over the required amount doubles the length of service – if well-treated the animal may decide to stay after the service period has ended.

The Little Gods

The thousands of gods that infest Creation are a special case. Although it is not possible to summon a god to ones position, it is possible for a sorcerer to “put a call out” for a specific kind of god within the local area. The number of successes determines the level of success, but provided that a god of the appropriate type is within the area of effect of the ritual (1/2 mile per point of the sorcerer’s permanent Essence) then they are almost certain to make an appearance, if only to find out what kind of impertinent mortal would call to them.


If a mortal summons an animal or a hungry ghost he may force servitude upon it, but if he summons anything else then he must bargain for its services. The price to be paid can vary from the esoteric (gathering every third petal from a particular flower to throw them into the northernmost cove of a lake) to the prosaic (construct a shrine in honour of the being) to the gruesome (the heart and stomach from an innocent, ripped from them while they yet live). The chiminage that many barbarian shamans offer to their gods are another such price, and while the barbarians consider this practice holy, most sorcerers from the more civilised lands would rather the price be less intrusive.
Some degree of haggling over the price is expected (and sometimes even required) and many spirits (demons especially) will ask for far more than they really want from the sorcerer in an attempt to see just how desperate he truly is. However, as noted above, every two extra successes on the summoning roll provide a bonus die to any rolls that may be required for the bargaining process (if this is entirely role-played out, then every two extra successes should reduce the initial asking price instead).


Of course, now we have rules for mortal summoning in the Player's Guide.  :) - Quendalon

Yes. I know. And do I particularly like them? No. The "summoning people" bit, for some reason, strikes me as particularly egregious. So here's mine. It's like my artefact construction system - now there's Savant & Sorcerer with one that is, apparently, rather better than the one in Bo3C. Well... alternate rules are always nice. - Moxiane