Second and Third Practice Application

Applying the Law of Names to the Second or Third Practices makes spells easier to cast. Birth names lower the casting DC by -2 and Secret names by -4. Typically beings with True Names have one syllable or name per hit die (see sidebar "Acquiring a Secret or True Name"). For each syllable of the being's true name used as a verbal component in casting a spell targeting it, the DC is decreased by -4 for the first syllable and -2 for each additional syllable. This might allow low-level characters to summon powerful beings, but doing so without that being's consent or without proper safeguards in place can lead to disaster.

ACQUIRING A SECRET ORTRUE NAME

Most magick practitioners have at least a few names, and magickal beings may have many. A human spell caster will have been given a birth name through the usual means. In even a moderately historical Imperial Age setting this is most likely a Christening name. Next they will have a surface name, often a nickname given in childhood or a pseudonym chosen by the practitioner to prevent misuse of his birth name. This surface name does not grant any special magickal knowledge, but can be a key to finding out the person's birth name or secret name. Most magick practitioners will also be given a secret, or ritual, name when inducted into an occult society or by a mentor when they first begin to learn the secrets of the art of magick. Others may receive a secret name in a vision or dream. Typically this name reflects some aspect of the practitioner's inner power and self-knowledge, and is frequently taken from mythology and nature. One might be Artus, another Athena, Corbie, Grendle, Rat's Tooth, Turtle, Agamemnon, or Dracus. Since these names are often either chosen or bestowed, they should say something about the character's personality, goals, or past.

Humans almost never have true names. Magickal beings always do. For each hit die (HD) the being has, it has one syllable of a true name. These syllables are words or parts of words in the creature's native language, and these words are generally descriptive of the being. A simple dryad in Hyde Park might have as her True name "Soft Long Leaf" in the fey tongue, be called Jane Willow if encountered by humans but be known to the other dryads as Willow by Water's Edge. A typical breathsnatcher demon would have a fiendish true name that was six syllables long, but one that had risen in the hierarchy of hell might have one that was ten or twelve syllables long. Humans who have the blood of supernatural beings, such as aasimar or changeling may also have true names. These names are usually shorter than their inhuman kin's, having one syllable of true name for every 4 HD for a thin bloodline or a syllable for every 2 HD where the lineage is stronger.

Being able to speak the language of the creature is not required when employing a true name, but it helps. Practitioners who employ a true name without being able to speak the appropriate language run the risk of misspeaking the name. There is a cumulative 5% chance per syllable that such an event might occur. Should the name be misspoken it could have any of the following results: the spell fails as if miscast; the spell works but affects the wrong creature; or the spell could work and affect the correct creature, but in the case of summoning spells that creature becomes hostile toward the practitioner for the insult of misspeaking its true name.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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