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Diving is this world’s form of “Magic”. It is the act of connecting to different planes of reality through the use of a Relic. Any Relic may be used, it is the fact that they are connected to the divine that allows them to be used for this purpose. Some Relics have particular connections to particular planes, allowing Divers using that Relic to more easily strengthen their connection with that plane.

The planes each rule over an aspect of reality, either physical or metaphysical. The church believes they are aspects of god given a physical form. The believe that these Planes are the source of what they govern.

A capable diver can complete a dive in a few seconds, connecting to the planes in sequence and pulling out the effect they desire.  Novice divers or those undertaking large and complex actions may take longer.

You can use the following tool to plan your dive and calculate your chances of success: DIG Diving Calculator Long Touch/Click can be used to display additional info about a sphere.

Basic Diving mechanicsEdit

To be able to dive you need a Relic Fragment OR any other Relic.
Sphere map

Map of the spheres.

Diving functions by moving through a 'sphere map'. Each sphere in the gray area controls a Substance while each sphere in the white and black control actions. In order to perform a magical action to effect the world, the Diver needs to “visit” both spheres. In order to do that, they must trace a path along the passages to reach each sphere. This path always begins in the center sphere: Akhmah.

Each movement through a passage requires a Nerve roll. Failure does not prevent passage, instead it applies a -1 to Nerve for the next 24 hours or thereabouts. The diver can also decide to “Strengthen” their connection to a sphere with extra rolls, increasing the power of the spell.  This helps increase the attributes of the strengthened sphere, as well as allow greater range and precision.

At the end of all the rolls for the creation of the spell, there is a final Nerve check to make sure the diver’s mind came back intact, not fractured or infected. Failure can have numerous side effects, some minor, some catastrophic. The greater the failure though, the worse it will be. This is an instance in which the Fate die is used and can make the difference between shrugging the effects off and being fatally possessed.

In addition to these Nerve rolls, one or more stat rolls are required at the end, depending on what material sphere(s) were used. Note that you only need to roll for the stats of the material spheres you actively used. If you simply 'passed through' a certain material sphere on the way to another sphere, without using the aspect of that sphere in your spell, you don't need to roll for that sphere's stat. Failure of these other stat checks will again not stop the effect from materializing, but will alter it.

When you cast spells there three states you can do it in. Focused is when you are doing a spell in someplace safe and quiet, and you get an advantage on all the Nerve rolls. Normal is when you are doing spells someplace that isn’t actively dangerous but isn’t safe either. Rushed is when you are in active combat or in a dangerous situation; all rolls then are done at a disadvantage. Note that the final nerve roll and the final stat roll is not done with advantage or disadvantage, but they do benefit from any Dive skill bonus.

White action spheres What it governs
Ah Creation: Specifically the act of creating something out of nothing. This isn't the same as say, building something out of different pieces, or taking it from somewhere and bringing it here. It is literally pulling raw matter and energy from nothing. And as such, it is the highest form of the motive powers.
Zon Duplication: The act of replicating or copying something that already exists. This new object is created out of nothing, much like with the above, but it is a copy of an existing thing, not a new creation in and of itself.
Xi Summoning: The act of moving something from one place to another without traveling through the space between. Summoning brings something that already exists from one place to another, it doesn't create anything.
Nehn

Enchanting: Enchanting is, in this case the act of creating an active connection between the enchanted object and a sphere. This connection allows aspects of the sphere to manifest through the enchanted object. It is, in many ways, a lesser form of summoning, and carries with it many benefits and dangers, which are covered later

Hel Transmutation: The act of changing the material or properties of something without altering its form.
Sige Alteration: The act of changing the form of something without altering its properties or material make up
Es Manipulation: Moving or controlling something.
Gray material spheres What it governs Stat
Telazch Biology: Life in all forms, poison, healing, disease, animals, plants, etc. Endurance
Yengenze Mind: The mind, consciousness, and the spark of life. Perception, emotion, skills, thoughts, understanding, dreams, memories, etc. Cunning
Tzimtzvot Elemental forces: Natural and elemental forces, electricity, light, kinetic energy, radiation, fire, etc. Strength
Akhmah Mundane materials: natural, non-organic substances like chemical elements, water, stone, etc. Not things made by mankind or other sentient beings or living things. Awareness
Balarim Technology: Anything which is unnatural and created with purpose; writing, spoken language, technology, art, tools. Knowledge
Noth Physics: Variables that describe the universe; size, speed, weight, spacial location, time, etc. Dexterity
Konis Weather and natural happenings: rain, snow, flooding, river flow, volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, oil deposit, tornados, etc. Speed
Black action spheres What it governs
Jal Shielding: The act of preventing something from entering an area; excluding and repelling it.
Gesh

Binding: Binding is a very specific type of action and it only effects living or at least animate creatures. In essence, it is the act of forcing someone or something to something. For instance, you could bind someone to never tell anyone else a specific secret and, assuming they didn't have the will power to break it, the binding would prevent them from telling that secret. It can, however, be used to detect things as well, and be used as a sort of trip wire or trigger for certain events or circumstances. For instance, it could be used to detect someone's emotional state and cause some sort of reaction if it detects a particular emotion.

Hal Sealing: The act of preventing something from leaving a certain area; confining and trapping it.
Udyne Undo: The act of reverting something back to an older version of itself.
Non Dispelling: Because magic is everywhere and the connections to other spheres is not only what constitutes magic but also what allows things to have their current forms, dispelling is the act of severing connections to spheres outside the current one for a specific object or area. This is, in almost all cases, extremely destructive, as examination of what the Spheres of the Gray govern should tell you.
Neth Stasis: The act of keeping something in one particular state and not allowing it to change.
En

Destruction: This isn't destroying something like setting it on fire is destroying it or smashing it to pieces is destroying it. This is the act of erasing something from existence completely, including all pieces, and, in some cases, completely eradicating it from the memory and timeline of the world. This is the opposite of creation; Something into Nothing.

Diver SacrificingEdit

A Diver has the power to sacrifice things and themselves to recoup lost Nerve before that final check. Sacrificing items can be done, though generally these items must be of some worth and of some connection to the material or action spheres being accessed. Sacrificing themselves comes in two varieties; major and minor. Minor involves the permanent trade of one stat point (effectively deleveling it by 1) for the return of up to +3 on Nerve. The second, Major method involves the wholesale sacrifice of a body part. Depending on the part sacrificed, this can purchase an entire spell or at least significantly lessen the burden. Severed parts may be replaced but they often have unpredictable side effects due to their connection to other worlds. Note that the more a sacrifice hurts the diver, the more likely it is to work and be helpful. The more beneficial it is (such as sacrificing to get rid of an obstacle in the way), the less likely it will be accepted. It may even cause harm. 

Sphere ProjectionEdit

A diver can choose to, rather than just connecting up the spheres for an effect, project themselves into those spheres. This requires rolls to reach the sphere like in normal diving, though he wouldn't need to reinforce any of the spheres. Once there they will behave as though they are physically in that place. They can only go to one sphere at once, they can't hybridize spheres. The other spheres are other universes and divers can enter them, explore, interact with beings there, and even take items from them back to our world. All items and stats carry over, however death in those worlds will lead to brain death and possible possession. Items brought over retain their connection to the original sphere and thus may be prone to oddities and attracting oddities. A diver can take other people with him when projecting themselves into a sphere. 

Description of the SpheresEdit

EsEdit

Es is an idyllic place ruled over by the arcane machinations of unseen forces. A endless archipelago, clustered islands in a great sea inhabited by a great many strange races. Enormous metal cables stretch down from overhead, securing the islands and sometimes attaching themselves to inhabitants to puppet them about. There is an unimaginably vast machine  for a sky and it stretches to the horizons, giving the impression that the entire world is like a mechanical diorama, all things in it controlled and maintained in some mock interpretation of reality.

SigeEdit

Sige is a place of constant change, realm of a force known as "the Flux". Its a fluid dimension, filled with liquids of different densities and materials, all shifting like a lava lamp. There are islands of more solid material, but their shapes are always changing. The inhabitants are equally mutable gel like creatures who seem to share a consciousness and hate stagnant or unchanging things. They want to spread the flux and are known to act...deviously to do so. They seem to have great difficulty distinguishing one human from another and understanding the concept of individuality. Dangerous to go there for any long period of time as it will result in mutation.

Hel Edit

Is a place of transmutation, everything looks the same, but what its made out of keeps changing. As per creatures that might possess someone, you think the giant Aquamarine Cats are the most likely. They're usually not hostile but they are alien and can do some dangerous things even without malice. They're also damn near indestructible, least on their world. 

Relic VisionsEdit

In addition to sphere projection, there is another way to visit dimensions other than our own.

Relics are objects which contain some measure of the divine. They are uncommon and generally are easily identifiable by their odd qualities. They are often mundane items with some measure of otherworldliness to them; for instance a fresco vase with moving images or a chalice which is always full of blood.  These Relics are unique and interesting but not very useful on their own under most circumstances. Instead, they act as fuel for what the Tenebrous Church calls “Communion”, hallucinatory dreams in which a group of people may explore a communal out of body experience.  These visions are similar to exploration of the spheres: the body of the dreamer remains behind but they may return with physical objects from that dream world and may be injured or die there.

These visions are where the true prize of Relics lie; each vision contains what is considered to be the “Core” the inherent power which maintains the artifact. This may be a weapon, an item, a material, knowledge, or just about anything else. Finding and returning with these objects will destroy the Artifact, but the exchange is usually more than worth it.

Communion involves the burning of the Relic, or at least engulfing it in flame. Some relics, the lesser ones, will be destroyed. Others will survive so long as their core is not removed. Regardless, the smoke they release will allow those that breathe it to experience the vision. In addition, certain other things may be burnt along with the relic. Called “Divine Parts” these are literally body parts, sometimes pulled from living beasts and sometimes found preserved in Tombs.  These extras modify the vision in different ways and can strengthen or weaken the core, or apply different effects to it.

Human made shrines are usually where communion takes place, as they are specifically set up for it. Relic Visions and Diving are considered to be similar in nature though quite different in result. Relic visions are far smaller and weaker than the Planes accessed by Diving, thought to be fragments of the greater whole. One can still perform magic through diving while visiting another sphere. Note however that using that sphere for magic while inside it can have strange consequences. [1]


Diving exampleEdit

Radio’s character has 13 nerve and +3 dive skill. His stats are 10 otherwise.

GM: Lets start with something where you have an advantage. Irony, the Ethral, comes up to you in the bore demanding  you make him a little boy homunculus. For research purposes.

Radio: First I demand something for a sacrifice. For instance some short shorts, from his previous experiments. That should have some connection to the spell and work as a sacrifice.

GM: He gives you a pair of oddly moist latex hotpants.

Radio: Ok, that should let me recoup some Nerve at the end.  So I’m going to go Telazch for biology and Yengenze for the mind.  I could go Ah to create the body from scratch but instead I’m going to create a body from Clay and then use Hel to transmute it to flesh. So path is Akhmah, Telazch, Yengenze, then Hel.

GM: Alright so 5 rolls for the basic spell. Are you gonna sink extra rolls into any of those spheres you’re using to strengthen them?

Radio: Well...Irony probably doesn’t want them very cognizant so no reason to reinforce Yengenze. Lets sink one extra into both Telazch and Hel.

GM: So seven total. Lets roll that out, 7d20, rolling less than 16 to succeed...You got 3 failures, but you have advantage so I’ll reroll those three failures. Alright, you still failed one roll so your nerve decreases from 13 to 12.  Now lets do that final roll. Remember, it isn’t done at advantage. I’m not sure these shorts are good enough as a sacrifice, so I’ll roll fate to decide...looks like it will work.  Oh no~ You rolled a 20.  Which means you succeeded on the spell but you went a bit mad in the process.

Radio: Damn it.  What about the other rolls?

GM: You used two materials, Yengenze and Telazch so we’re rolling Cunning and Endurance...Looks like you failed The endurance so this thing isn’t gonna be doing so great in terms of being alive.

Radio: So in the end I created a half dead, malformed idiot child and went partially insane in the process?

GM: Yep.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=171120.msg7809635#msg7809635