Contracts of Ink
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Writing has been the predominant means of long distance communications between people since its creation. Besides its utilitarian purpose, though, the written word has allowed mankind to explore its dreams and ambitions, as well as manipulate opinion and change the face of the world. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and the fae have long had dealings with this fascinating concept.
Everfull Ink Pot (•)
The changeling licks the nib of an empty quill, shakes an empty pen, or rattles the typewriter's ink well and refills the ink in the targeted vessel. This clause only works with manual and mechanical writing implements, not electronic ones like a computer printer.
Dice Pool: Wyrd + Expression
Catch: The changeling is using a traditional calligraphy set with a separate pen and ink vessel, like a traditional Chinese brush and ink grinder or a quill and ink pot.
Dramatic Failure: Not only does the vessel not refill, but every other ink vessel the changeling attempts to use in the next scene inexplicably dries up as well.
Failure: The level of ink in the vessel remains the same.
Success: The ink vessel, whether it is an ink pot, the inkwell in a manual typewriter, or a mundane ballpoint pen, becomes filled with enough ink to write continuously for the next scene. In addition, while working with the Glamour infused ink, every success gained for summoning the ink grants the changeling one bonus die for every Expression roll made using the ink. This ink disappears at the end of the scene, leaving the vessel empty, though any writing remains.
Exceptional Success: The ink is permanent and grants anyone a +1 to Expression rolls made while using it.
Polyglot's Eye (••)
Whispering to the ink written on a page, the changeling requests a translation of the words the ink forms. To the eyes of the changeling, the ink reshapes itself into intelligible speech.
Cost: 1 Glamour
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Wyrd
Catch: The changeling picks a book or piece of writing on which to use this power at random, with no foreknowledge of what writing it contains.
Dramatic Failure: All writing becomes unintelligible gibberish to the changeling for the next scene.
Failure: The writing remains unchanged.
Success: The targeted piece of writing: one book, newspaper, magazine, or street sign becomes legible to the changeling for the next scene. The changeling gains no proficiency in speaking or even writing any new languages, the material simply appears to be in a language that the changeling understands. This clause does not translate any supernatural language, but it can break mundane codes. If the targeted piece of writing is a code of some sort, apply penalties to the roll based on the complexity of the code.
Exceptional Success: Any written material translates itself to the eyes of the changeling for the scene, not just the targeted material.
Eye of the Beholder (•••)
The changeling is able to craft a message hidden within a piece of innocuous writing that only shows itself to particular recipients under particular conditions determined by the writer. Seemingly unnecessary pen strokes or passes with a brush "write" the message invisibly into the material, only seen by the intended target of the message.
Cost: 2 Glamour
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Wyrd
Catch: The changeling maintains eye contact with the intended recipient of the message the entire time it takes to write the message. This only works if all the intended recipients are in one place.
Dramatic Failure: The hidden message is visible to everyone except the intended target, who only sees the masking message. The changeling perceives the clause as having succeeded.
Failure: Only one message is written, the hidden message is lost. The changeling realizes the failure.
Success: A hidden message is implanted in a piece of writing or painting the changeling creates. To the intended recipient of the message, the masking image seems to reshape itself into the hidden message every time they look away and look back again. One coherent message can be hidden in one image per use of this clause.
The specificity of the target imposes penalties on the roll (General -1, only women, Americans, or vampires can see the message; Very Specific-3, only my neighbor John Thompson, that man I just bumped into, or Mary Rosethorn's killer can see the message) as well as specific conditions under which the target can see the message (General -1, only during the day, on weekends, or after someone blinks twice; Very Specific -3, only on February 29th, under the light of a full eclipse, or after someone has said a specific code phrase) and these penalties are cumulative.
The hidden message remains implanted for the next scene, unless the changeling spends a point of Willpower, in which case it lasts until the next sunrise or sunset. If the changeling also cuts herself, causing one point of Lethal damage, and smears a small amount of her blood into the message, it becomes permanent. This is how many Freeholds mark safe territory, with signs that are only visible to changelings.
Exceptional Success: As long as the message exists, its creator can reveal it to whomever she wishes. With in Instant action, the changeling can grant one target within sight the ability to read the hidden message as well.
Fae Script (••••)
The consummate skill of a writer with this clause manifests as the ability to transcend the normal boundaries of language and space. The changeling concentrates and writing appears upon any surface within sight, able to be read by anyone, regardless of language.
Cost: 2 Glamour
Dice Pool: Wyrd + Expression
Catch: The changeling uses this clause specifically to warn someone of immediate danger.
Dramatic Failure: Everything the character writes for the next scene is misinterpreted, usually negatively or in an offensive manner. All Expression rolls involving writing automatically fail and the changeling incurs a -3 penalty to Social rolls with anyone who reads his writing.
Failure: The writing is only as clear as the changeling's mundane skill can make it.
Success: The changeling makes one message appear on any surface in sight. A surface that is extremely far away but still within sight imposes a -1 penalty to the roll, while a surface viewed remotely, perhaps on live television, imposes a -2 penalty. Anything the character writes can be understood by any being that possesses a language, even if they are illiterate. The writing itself doesn't change, the meaning is just apparent to anyone who looks at it. This clarity lasts for a scene, unless the changeling spends a point of Willpower to make it last until the next sunrise or sunset.
Exceptional Success: Not only is the meaning of the writing made clear to anyone, but a specific emotional component can be added as well. Readers can be made to feel anger, sorrow, joy, or any one emotion that the changeling implants at the time of the writing.
Suspension of Disbelief (•••••)
People tend to believe what they read. This clause takes advantage of that property of writing, convincing the reader of the veracity of written statements.
Cost: 3 Glamour + 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Wyrd
Catch: The changeling specifically forges a document that actually exists.
Dramatic Failure: The clause fails, but the changeling is convinced it worked and cannot be convinced otherwise for the rest of the scene.
Failure: The clause fails. The writing is only as convincing as the changeling can make it with mundane skill.
Success: The changeling writes a note or paints a painting so convincing that anyone who can read or interpret it believes it to really be what it is depicting. The changeling can pin a piece of paper to her chest reading, "This is a Press Badge." and can walk confidently into a press conference when no one challenges her. The changeling can even paint a picture of a fire on a wall or write "Crackling Fire" in graffiti in an alley and the homeless would huddle around it, basking in the illusory heat. This illusion lasts for a scene or until it is broken.
Any character looking at the writing for the first time in the scene can make a reflexive Wits + Composure roll with a penalty equal to the successes the changeling rolled in activating the clause to notice something odd about the illusion. If the character suceeds, he must still make a Resolve + Wyrd roll and beat the successes the changeling achieved to see through the illusion. If any character sees through the illusion and explicitly points it out, the power is broken for everyone. The naked changeling wearing a ribbon that says "I'm wearing fine clothing" is exposed for the fraud he is.
Exceptional Success: The illusion is so complete that it also works on people who receive the information second hand, by word of mouth. Someone who is fooled by the illusion can describe it to someone else, who's mind then supplies the image for the illusion. The second person can still make the roll to break the illusion, though.
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