Tian Xia Geomancy
Note: Geomancy interacts heavily with a place's Shentong rating, a concept explained fully under TianXia Sorcery.
Cost: A high concept like Wandering Geomancer or Minister of Architecture. Two of Investigate, Lore, and Notice at +1 or better.
- Raise any of Investigate, Lore, and Notice, per the usual rules.
- Add any of the stunts below.
Geomancers are like mystical investigators and troubleshooters. Their talents reveal anomalies or strange properties of a location. They use this talent to learn how to solve a problem or change a place’s inherent nature. Power flows from the very earth itself and shapes the mystical landscape as surely as wind and river shape the physical world. Understanding the ways of this flow is the realm of geomancy
Any geomancer can divine the chi flow of a large area by surveying it and consulting books and tables on the area’s feng shui, and thus its Shentong rating and aspect. Feng shui relates not only to the chi that sorcerers and beasts need to thrive. It can tilt one’s luck for good or ill, cause people to feel more or less at ease, and have other, subtler effects that geomancers are trained to notice
Geomancy expands the roles of three skills:
- Notice. Geomancers use Notice to passively discover peculiar feng shui, which may reveal a site’s aspect or, more often, reveal that an aspect exists and requires further diagnosis.
- Investigate. Geomancers use Investigate to uncover more about the feng shui—not just the aspect itself, but what may cause it and what effects it triggers.
- Lore. Geomancers use Lore to know how to change a place’s feng shui. Unlike using Investigate to discover what causes something unusual, Lore can be used to create or remove an unusual area. See below for more.
Changing a Place's Feng Shui
It does not take sorcery to alter a place’s Shentong rating, no more than that the otter must bend water to create a dam. Long-term manipulation of feng shui can raise or lower a location’s Shentong. Most geomancers nudge and tug at feng shui, like carving or blocking a stream. Changing Shentong is like carving or blocking a vast, raging river - something that can be done over time with effort and the right tools. Local lords often have this done to protect the populace from monsters and sorcerers — either calling on the Ministry of Architecture or retaining a personal geomancer (possibly in secret).
Geomancers trying to affect Shentong require a long-term plan. At major milestones, a place’s Shentong may be affected based on the actions of the characters— whether in their favor or not. A significant milestone could signify a small enclave within a larger area having a different Shentong rating. Minor milestones are not enough to change the course of the raging river.
The Ministry of Architecture
The Imperial Ministry of Architecture is led by Chief Imperial Architect Ren Enlai from Zhōngzhōu Province, but has offices throughout Shénzhōu. These experts in feng shui ensure projects proceed in the proper way and in the right places to ensure maximum positive energy and good fortune.
In addition, it is the Ministry's job to limit mystical energies in important places (such as the Imperial Palace) so that sorcerers and supernatural creatures have limited power. This duty requires constant vigilance. Otherwise there would be little to stop a demon or dark sorcerer from strolling into the palaces and government centers of Shenzhou and subjugating, replacing, or destroying heads of state. They employ not only geomancers but surveyors, astronomers, and other professionals to aid in their duties.
Action Geomancer: The geomancer’s understanding of feng shui works at much smaller scales, even that of a room. She can quickly change a room’s chi flow to benefit or detriment. She can use Lore to Create an Advantage like Lucky or Unlucky - which either requires a Fair (+2) result or the target Defends against with Chi, depending on the situation. When using this, the geomancer must describe the change to the room, and it must be dramatic in order to affect the feng shui so quickly. She cannot place such an advantage on herself.
Known Among Architects: The geomancer has +2 to Contacts and Rapport when dealing with the Imperial Ministry of Architects. Given their extensive connections, this perk extends far beyond asking about geomancy.
Something Isn’t Right Here: The geomancer gains a +2 bonus to detect hidden chambers, traps, or other secret spaces and alterations to an area.