Arcane perceptual fault

Arcane Perceptual Fault

Arcane perceptual fault, also called “arcane perception fault,” “arcane perceptive failure,” or just APF, is a reactive disorder caused by the prolonged loss of focus on the self in relation to the immediate, tangible world. It isn’t something likely to set in on most people, although some physicists and computer scientists have shown mild signs of “simple” APF. However, the arcane sciences require long term, close, and personal interaction with existential forces for which the human world is out of context.

The principle means of suffering APF is in learning or implementing an arcane procedure or in developing an arcane procedure. These two methods have different rules, because arcane drafting is far more intensive and debilitating to the person.

Simple APF

When learning performing an arcane procedure, the character will suffer a certain amount of APF, expressed as a number. The character may then use Introspection to try to offset this. The result of Introspection reduces the APF inflicted. Normally, this will be a Rote.

If any APF remains, then roll 1d4 for each point of APF and compare it to the following chart. The character suffers a loss of one point of the given Attribute for every time it’s rolled. If the character loses an Attribute Point he doesn’t have, it occurs as a point of Damage to that Attribute instead.

d4 Attribute Symptoms
1 Body The character suffers spontaneous fatigue. His blood pressure might go off. He may lose awareness of pains in the body and suffer mild and temporary loss of kinematic and kinesthetic intelligence.
2 Clout The character loses track of routine behaviors. He may stop wiping debris from clothing, looking people in the eyes, or otherwise engaging in normal social behavior.
3 Drive The character is confused. He may seem slightly lost, and needs a moment to keep up with events as they’re happening.

Severe APF

Every day a character spends in arcane procedural design will bring the risk of severe APF. He will have to use Skills to resist the gain of one or more points of Damage. The difficulty depends on the circumstances – see the rules for procedural design for more information.

Roll 1d10 to determine what Attribute is at risk and what Skill resists. If the resistance fails, one point of Damage accrues to that trait. If you roll a 10 and get all three, each Attribute tests separately for damage.

1d10 Damage Skill Symptoms
1-3 Injury Introspection The character suffers intermittent myoclonic seizures. The muscle tension and periodic wrenching starts to cause tissue damage. Organ system regulation begins to fail, causing sudden surges or drops in blood pressure, digestive irregularity, etc. Bruises form on the body for no reason, and the sufferer loses enough kinesthetic intelligence that basic proprioception fails. The sufferer may not be able to tell that the tremors and body illnesses are abnormal, and may cease to feel when the body is pushed beyond its limit.
4-6 Oversight Plan The character loses basic social rhythm and pattern. He no longer behaves by routines, or those routines no longer match the patterns of the person’s life. The character no longer dresses properly and doesn’t focus on other people. Social intelligence and awareness of social consciousness diminish or disappear entirely. The character loses any sense of being polite, and speaks in a stream of consciousness or, in extreme cases, a flight of ideas.
7-9 Clout Sixth Sense The character loses the ability to switch rapidly between frames of thought, and likely gets stuck in arcane mindset. He no longer understands (and perhaps no longer perceives) the world of exoteric events. He must check himself regularly to avoid getting lost even in simple environments (such as a plain room). He loses awareness of basic causation.
10 All three forms of damage threaten. The character must resist each separately.

APF and Supporting Characters

It is quite possible for Supporting Characters to be capable arcanists despite their lack of Attribute Points. Normally those would come out of Morale, which would make them rather pathetic. Instead, if a Supporting Character is doing arcane procedure, assign them an APF Resistance equal to the lowest of their three Attributes. Divide the APF of any procedure by 4 (round up) to determine how many of these points it burns through.

Thus, an ordinary Supporting Character with a 6 in each Attribute has 6 points of APF Resistance. Performing a procedure with an APF cost of 6 will cost two points of APF Resistance, while one with an APF cost of 12 will cost 3.

If a Supporting Character takes one point of Damage from APF, they’re mentally or physically Incapacitated – one way or the other, they’re doing nothing useful. If nobody’s there to check on them, roll 1d20 per day. On a roll of 1, they perish from lack of self-maintenance or for doing something self-destructive. On a roll of 20, they recover just enough to be “walking wounded” and can seek aid (or at least wait out the storm). Continue this until they roll a 1 or a 20 or until they recover from the Incapacitation by normal process.

Arcane perceptual fault

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