Tao Shih


Tao Shih P.C.C. Immortalist:

The focus of the Tao Shih is that of an educated mage who is obsessed with the power of the written word and the inheritor of the Taoist Mystic tradition.

They do not cast spells directly, but they are experts in storing spells in the written characters of Celestial Calligraphy. Because a great many of the Chi Magic spells work only for the caster of the spell, Celestial Calligraphy is the only way to give magical protection to others. Anyone can activate paper-inscribed Celestial Calligraphy simply by setting fire to the paper and holding it while the written characters burn.

Basically, this character is on the way to becoming an Immortal and learning the secrets of Internal Alchemy.

Tao Shih Requirements & Base Numbers:

Attribute Requirements: I.Q. 14.

Alignment Requirements: None

Base S.D.C.: 15

Base Hit Points: Standard (P.E.)

Base Chi: Standard (P.E.)

Base P.P.E.: 6D6

Tao Shih Advancement Bonuses:

1st: +2 to save vs. magic, +2 to save vs. possession, and +1 to save vs. horror factor.

2nd: Select one Mudra of Self-Possession.

3rd: Add 1D6 to S.D.C. and 1D6 to P.P.E.

4th: Select one new P.C.C. Related Skill.

5th: Add 1D6 to P.P.E. and +1 to save vs. magic

6th: Select one Mudra of Protection.

7th: Add 1D6 to S.D.C. and +1 to save vs. possession.

8th: Select one Mudra of Evocation.

9th: Add 1D6 to P.P.E. and +1 to save vs. horror factor.

10th: Add 1D6 to hit points and select one additional P.C.C. related skill.

11th: Add 1D6 to P.P.E. and +1 to save vs. possession.

12th: Select one Mudra of Self-Possession.

13th: Add 1D6 to S.D.C. and 1D6 to P.P.E.

14th: Select one Mudra for the Manipulation of Objects.

15th: Add 1D6 to P.P.E. and +1 to save vs. magic.

Tao Shih Martial Arts: All Tao Shih are students of Hsien Hsia Kung Fu, and are prohibited from studying any other martial art form. Advancement takes place normally.

Tao Shih P.C.C. Skills:

Chinese Classical Studies (+15%). Note: Specializes in ancient magical writing. Can date, authenticate, and recognize the value of old manuscripts within the specialty.

Wei Qi, The Game of Go (+10%).

Chinese Language: Stage 4/Classical Chinese Literacy (+5%).

Chinese History (+10%)

Detect Ambush (+5%)

Land Navigation (+5%)

Radio: Basic Communications (+10%)

Artistic Calligraphy (+10%)

Wilderness Survival (+10%)

W.P. (Ancient Chinese): One of Choice.

W.P. (Modern): One of Choice.

Tao Shih P.C.C. Related Skills: Select eight other skills.

Communications: Basic Radio Only.

Computer: None

Cultural/Domestic: Any

Cultural Games: Any (+5%)

Electrical: Basic Only

Espionage: Any

Mechanical: Any, but only as Secondary Skill.

Medical: Paramedic only (+5%).

Military: None

Physical: Any (+5%)

Pilot Skills, Basic: Any (+5%)

Pilot Skills, Advanced: None

Pilot Related Skills: None

Science: None

Swindler: Any (+5%)

Technical: Any +10% in any language or dialect they select.

Temple: Any

W.P. Ancient Chinese: Any

W.P. Modern: Any W.P.

Military: Any

Tao Shih Secondary Skills: Select any four from the previous list. These do not get the advantage of the bonus listed in parentheses. All secondary skills start at the base skill level.

Tao Shih Finances:

Cash: Start with $25,000 to purchase initial equipment and/or for the character's personal savings.

Income: Tao Shih are rarely pressed for money. They are often supported by a Taoist temple and the local congregation who value the character's learning and knowledge. All that is expected of the character is that they participate in seasonal celebrations and ceremonies, occasionally assist in funeral services and to help protect them from demons and mystic forces. Combining their regular stipend and the occasional "tip" from wealthy worshippers and adventurers, means the

character gets around $300 to $700 per week.

Special Tao Shih Gear: Tao Shih Travelling Kit. Since so much of the Tao Shih's art depends on writing and writing supplies, this canvas shoulder bag (or briefcase, if preferred) is designed to contain most of what might be needed in a compact form.

The travelling kit includes:

One Wu Tsa Tsu Spell/Magical Journal.

Five ink sticks, one each of black ink, blue ink, gold ink, red cinnabar ink and white ink (water soluble).

Two ink stones, one large and one small.

One bottle of purified water, for mixing inks.

10 Chinese brushes of various sizes.

50 sheets of ordinary paper.

10 sheets of parchment paper.

20 slips of each of the ten colored joss papers (200 joss slips total).

500 $10,000 bills of "Hell Money"

5 small packages of wooden matches (100 matches per package),

One brass offering bowl (for incense, or for burning without touching).

Two scented candles.

One folded silk work cloth (the size of a tablecloth),

Two Peach wood Wands.

One small bottle of Cinnabar paint. Cost: $ 1,000

Initial Spells of the Tao Shih:

Roll percentile and consult the following table. Then select whatever spells are allowed from the listing of the Chi Magic spells. Note: Most geomantic spells and some others can NOT be rendered into Celestial Calligraphy. However, the Tao Shih can still read these spells and can transcribe them into a book or other writing.

01-10: All the spells from first, second and third levels, except for the geomantic spells, for a total of 21 spells.

11-20: Six spells each from the first, second and third levels, plus one spell each from the 4th through 6th levels, for a total of 21 spells.

21-30: Five spells each from the first, second and third levels, plus two spells each from the fourth through sixth levels, for a total of 21 spells.

31-55: Four spells each from the first four levels (4 from 1st, 4 from 2nd, etc.), plus one spell each from 5th through 9th levels, for a total of 21 spells.

56-75: Three spells each from the first five levels, plus two spells each from levels six through 8th, for a total of 21 spells.

76-80: Two spells each from the first eight levels and one spell each from the 9th through 11th levels; a total of 19 spells.

81-85: Three spells each from first, second and third levels, and one spell each from 4th through 13th levels, for a total of 19 spells.

86-90: Four spells each from first and second levels, plus one spell each from third through 13th level, for a total of 19 spells.

91-95: Two spells each from first through sixth levels, and one spell each from 7th through 13th levels, for a total of 19 spells.

96-00: Two spells each from first and second levels, and one spell each from 3rd through 15th levels, for a total of 19 spells. No Living Chi spells allowed.

Tao Shih Magic & Magical Writing:

Note: The Tao Shih cannot cast spells directly. The written spell can be activated by burning the paper it is written on. Potency of the spell is equal to the experience level of the Immortalist

Calligrapher at the time it was written.

1. Sense Magic & Sense Magic Writing: By touching any object, or any living creature, the Tao Shih can get a sense of whether or not magic is contained, active, or bound up inside of it. The Tao Shih also has the unique ability to sense the subtle aura around a piece of writing that warns of potential magic, understanding that some piece of magical information is included, even if the writing itself is not magical. Range: Touch

2. Read & Acquire Magic: The Tao Shih is constantly seeking out ancient books, manuscripts or inscriptions that might contain magical spells or information about magic.

Once a Tao Shih has successfully deciphered a written spell, the character can always transcribe it into another form. Whether or not it can be used as Celestial Calligraphy depends on the specific spell (see Chi Magic spells), but there will be no need for any additional dice rolls. Note: Since Tao Shih do NOT automatically receive any spells as they gain new levels of experience, the ONLY way to gain new spells is by finding them in written form.

Base Skill: 82% +4% per level of experience.

3. Books of the Tao Shih: Unlike other types of mages, the Tao Shih is a writer of magic and devotes a great deal of time creating special Wu Fa ("Magical Arts") books. Since a Wu Fa volume can only hold about forty spells, Tao Shih will find themselves putting together a larger and larger collection as they advance their knowledge. For travelling purposes, the Tao Shih usually carries a Wu Tsa Tsu, a magical journal, which includes notes for a dozen or so spells and room to make notes and to transcribe up to two dozen new spells.

If, for whatever reason, the Tao Shih does NOT have access to a book, notes, or other references, then the only way that a spell can be transcribed or formed into Celestial Calligraphy is if the character can reconstruct the spell. That requires a feat of memory that is not certain and the player character has to roll under this skill. Base Chance of Reconstructing a Spell: 24% +2% per level of experience (-10% if totally unfamiliar with the spell).

Tao Shin's Inscribing Celestial Calligraphy:

Celestial Calligraphy is sometimes known as Thunder Writing and is the art of writing magical Chinese characters. It is a method of storing a spell of Chi Magic into a series of mystical characters on paper. Burning the paper with the magically inscribed characters will activate the spell.

Choice of Ink: There are five ink pigment colors, each of which is considered to generate a different "active element."

1. Black Ink is strong in the element of water. Used for manipulating Negative Chi.

2. Blue Ink is strong in the element of wood. Used to focus perception, sense or vision.

3. Gold Ink is strong in the element of earth. Used for manipulating magical power/energy (P.P.E.).

4. Red Cinnabar Ink is strong in the element of fire. Used for manipulating or Evoking Positive Chi.

5. White Ink is strong in the element of metal. Used for healing or for altering organisms.

Choice of Paper: Each spell calls for a different kind of paper, which corresponds to one of the five elements and/or Positive or Negative Chi.

1. Matte Black (non-reflective): The element of water in a Positive Chi aspect. When used as a paper charm, it is usually hidden away as a source of secret protection.

2. Glossy Black (reflective): The element of water in a Negative Chi aspect. If any spell or magic is to involve one of the Yama Kings of Hell, or any of their Infernal servants, this is the appropriate paper.

3. Blue Paper: The element of wood in a Positive Chi aspect. Used for summoning or communicating with Immortals, Heavenly Deities and other spirits of Positive Chi.

4. Green Paper: The element of wood in a Negative Chi aspect. The paper most associated with geomantic magic and the manipulation of the flow of Chi.

5. Red Paper: The element of fire in a Positive Chi aspect. Commonly used all over the world as a symbol of good luck and the most common color for paper charms. Generates an explosive or outwardly moving component to a spell.

6. Pink Paper: The element of fire in a Negative Chi aspect. Considered to be the opposite of explosive, so that imploding or absorbing forces are generated.

7. Gold Paper: The element of earth in a Positive Chi aspect. Another popular color for paper charms, it is associated with wealth. In magical spells, it adds a component of forging, molding, or changing physical objects.

8. Yellow Paper: The element of earth in a Negative Chi aspect. Used in spells of protection or warding, especially against entities of Negative Chi.

9. Silver Paper: The element of metal in a Positive Chi aspect. As a paper charm, it represents good health. Often used with curative or healing spells.

10. White Paper: The element of metal in a Negative Chi aspect. Associated strongly with ghosts, souls, entities and departed spirits.

Other Forms of Writing

Characters can also be carved into hard surfaces. For example, Celestial Calligraphy can be inscribed into a piece of jade or stone. It can also be painted on solid surfaces (this is generally done with Red Cinnabar Paint), or simply sketched in dirt or sand (usually using a Peach wood wand).

Choice of Script: The following eight different styles of script are only a small portion of the hundreds of secret or coded magical scripts that can be found in ancient manuscripts.

1. Yang Script. A square style of calligraphy with sharp angles and blocky characters. Usually used in conjunction with Positive Chi. Usually used in paper charms.

2. Yin Script. Rounded characters, which are said to be able to bind in Negative Chi. Typically used in communications with Internals and the Yama Kings of Hell.

3. Cloud Script. This is the script that most Tao Shih will use in rendering spells into Celestial Calligraphy. It appears to flow smoothly, like western handwriting (cursive).

4. Constellation Code. A secret set of cryptograph, known only to Tao Shih. While they can be used for spells, they are also used for messages between Taoists and Taoist Temples. Entirely

made up of dots connected by straight lines, each referring to some constellation in the heavenly night sky.

5. Vortex Script. Confined in the loops and swirls of these characters are stored a bit of P.P.E. Used for containing magical energies.

6. Pen Tshao. This is the mystical script of the Chinese Alchemist.

There are thousands of characters, each with special meanings, that can be used to describe the components, procedures and effects of different elixirs and other compounds.

7. Eminent Spirits of Purity Script. Stop rain, raise wind, raise thunder, raise hail, stop fog.

8. Brilliant Jade Character Script. At most, the character will be able to recognize these magical runes for what they are.

It is so very secret that only one or two characters have ever been translated by outsiders. Spells found with this script are usually of extraordinary power, but impossible to decipher.

Releasing Joss-Using Celestial Calligraphy

Most spells contained in Celestial Calligraphy are released by burning. Since the Chi Magic is released into whoever is holding the burning paper, it will be as if that character cast the spell.

Some spells are intended to be used as ashes. In this case, the Joss is first burned in a metal bowl, and then mixed with water or other fluid, and then consumed.

Paper Charms of Celestial Calligraphy

Although the magic is very weak (the amount of P.P.E. is so small it won't even be noticed by a Wu Mage), these bits of paper confer small amounts of influence over a long period of time. Each takes about an hour to create and should be designed for use in a particular place.

1. Good Luck. In a household or building, the charm serves to change the balance of luck ever so slightly. Perhaps the result might be a +1 to save (vs. just about anything) just once a day.

Over time, this charm renders accidents less likely to happen, and when they do happen, they are less serious than they could have been.

2. Encourage Positive Chi. Over time the area will build up a slight increase in the flow of Positive Chi, but never increasing it more than a single point.

3. Good Health. The Positive Chi of the area will tend to scatter into any living bodies, therefore increasing healing and health by a tiny margin (perhaps an extra point of healing per day or +1 to save vs. disease or poison).

4. Appease Ghosts. Immediately after the paper charm is put up, a quantity of Hell Money is burned. Rather than going to the afterlife, the transformed Hell Money sticks to the charm. Afterwards, the charm serves to attract ghosts who will take a few bills of the ghostly Hell Money and (hopefully) go away satisfied. Ghostly entities and minor spirits stay away.

5. Repel Demons. Generally done in Yin Script, the charm is usually a written notice warning demons of dire consequences if they remain in the area. Most demons loudly scoff at such foolishness, but these superstitious creatures (especially lesser demons) will think twice about hanging around and causing trouble.

Tao Shih Knowledge of Mudra:

With a solid understanding of meditation, the character has also mastered some Mudra

(5 total) and continues to learn more.

Mudra of Self-Possession: Take the Mudra of Tranquility and Collection and the First Mudra of Unmoving.

Mudra of Protection: Take the Mudra of Silent Contemplation and the Mudra for Protection from Magic.

Mudra of Evocation: Take the Mudra for the Collection of Alms.

Mudra for the Manipulation of Objects: None to start.

They make it, by writing the spell on paper, much like a traditional spell scroll from most fantasy games. P.P.E. is spent when the spell is inscribed for use later on (the stored P.P.E. then fuels the spell). As to time to create, simple spells can be done in 2-3 actions if prepared, while complex magic may take hours to inscribe before being released. You can prepare as many as you want, but sorting them out etc if there are two many mat be a problem.

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