Fireborn: Dark Phoenix
New Skill - Symbology
These rules are PRELIMINARY until further notice, but will be along the following lines regardless.
The Symbology skill is the identification and manipulation of Symbols. It is distinct from Casting; and is not necessary for using pre-prepared Symbols as magical Keys (allowing APs to be spent on linked Powers).
Common Symbological skill applications are the Identification of symbols; Attuning powerful symbols to new users; and Restricting symbols to prevent their use until they regenerate.
In all cases below, if a symbol needs to ‘regenerate’, it remains inactive and unusable for the length of time specified in the Fireborn core rules for regenerating Karmic items, using the Potency rank as the proxy Karmic rank (Rank 1 = 1 year, Rank 5 = 1 day). Inactive symbols can be identified, but not manipulated (except to attempt their destruction, which does not necessarily require special skill).
Identification: A Symbologist can identify the properties of a visible (or otherwise detectable) Symbol. They must have a way of either seeing the physical pattern clearly, or examining the symbol magically in order to attempt an identification.
With a TH of 2, they can identify the Concept; this takes only a single action. If an hour is spent examining, each multiple of 2 above the base threshold allows one further piece of information about it to be uncovered (the Symbologist may choose; this includes Potency rank, Flexibility rank, Drawbacks, and any special effects such as prespecified powers or unique effects).
This also allows the identification of enchanted items from the symbols embedded in them.
Attunement: In most cases symbols cannot just be picked up and used; a symbologist is needed to attune the user and the symbol before it can be used as a Key. Attunement takes one hour per flexibility rank and has a TH of (15-3x potency rank) – hence more powerful symbols are easier to attune to.
Only one user may be attuned to a Symbol at a time. Attunement is not required for using symbols as Spell Symbols.
Failure: The attunee is exhausted by the effort and acquires a -1 weariness penalty until they next rest.
Restriction: A Symbologist may attempt to force a symbol to become inactive, meaning it must regenerate before it can be used again. This is a TH 5 test plus the Symbol’s Potency. Higher THs may allow finer control over the symbol’s inactivation, such as extending or reducing the duration by a proportion.