by Jared A. Sorenson (email@example.com)
the conscious man is dead and i buried him
beneath this scar tissue - armored skeleton
the machine is now alive, desensitized with open eyes
powered by an angry mind, and hatred fueled by those i despise
- fear factory "h/k hunter killer"
Cybermancy is magick based upon technology and its impact on humanity (or inhumanity, as the case may be). These mages (called borgs) seek to attain immortality through technology and a mythic "purity of thought." at the very least, they desire to transcend their bodies using man-made constructs -- and one can only guess that as this fringe school matures, transcendence of the mind will soon follow (virtual reality will undoubtedly play a major role). Of course, the more that the mage relies on technology, the more he will come to depend on it, suffering a loss of power if that dependence turns against him.
The Borgs have a love/hate relationship with the flesh; simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by their biology. Many Borgs often take a radical approach to their bodies, preferring to augment themselves with steroids, bodybuilding and ritual scarification. Some of the most powerful Borgs are often grossly endowed with hypertrophic musculature, although their myriad scars and implants mar any kind of physical beauty that normal body-sculptors try to attain. Their motto is simple: that the world is a cruel, hard and unforgiving place...and the only way to survive is to become as cruel, as hard and as unforgiving.
A similar relationship is fostered with technology. Using it to their advantage reinforces its role in their lives but having things go awry will strip the Borg of his strength. This catch-22 is also reflected in their lifestyle; many Borgs are known to eschew modern conveniences in favour of stark, barren industrial wastelands of concrete and steel...a monk-like ascetism that embraces hardship and glorifies conditioning.
Cybermancy blast style: Cybermancy blasts affect technology rather than human beings. The damage can manifest as anything from blown fuses in a television to stress fractures in the fuselage of a 747. Cybermantic blasts will not affect mechanomancer constructs.
Generate a minor charge: gain a minor charge whenever you use technology to transcend your physical limitations. This can be anything from using tools or weapons (making you stronger) to riding in an airplane or bus (making you able to travel faster). However you use technology, it must be in a way that affects your life in a fairly important manner. Squeezing off a few rounds at "Budıs Shooting Range" won't gain you a charge but using a gun to defend your life will. The key in gaining charges this way is necessity over convenience.
You may also gain a minor charge whenever you receive a hardened mark in violence. As you leave behind your humanity, you gain strength -- but eventually you will have little humanity left. Strangely enough, you can gain significant charges by failing a violence stress check...see below.
Generate a significant charge: Cybermancers may gain significant charges in two different ways. The first is to willingly integrate man-made items into your body -- this can be done through elective surgery (having a pace-maker put in, having fillings put in, pinning together a shattered tibia) or self-surgery (elaborate body piercings or severe invasive procedures). Once a body part has been modified, you cannot alter it again to create another charge. Modifications and surgery will usually cause between 5 points (a few days) and 30 points of damage (about two weeks or so). Surgery of this type will leave a nasty scar.
The second way is to go temporarily berserk -- that is, to fail a violence stress check and frenzy. In this manner, your own rage becomes a catalyst for self-evolution, tearing away the veneer of humanity that remains and unleashing the killing machine hidden beneath the surface.
Generate a major charge: permanently replace a body part with an artificial replacement (heart, limb, eye) or go permanently insane with bloodlust (acquire five failed notches in the violence category...and no, you don't receive a significant charge for failing that fifth stress check).
Taboo: cybermancers lose their charges if they are somehow "let down" by technology. Missing an appointment because of traffic, burning your food in an oven, having your gun jam in a gunfight...these are all examples of breaking taboo. If the technology fails because of human error, then taboo is not broken (after all, humans are fallible and this simple truth is a primary component of cybermantic thought).
Random magick domain: Cybermancy deals primarily with technology and our growing dependence upon it. This school encompasses both the obvious, external aspects of a hi-tech society (machines and computers), as well as the more subtle, internal repercussions (self-modification and desensitization toward a rapidly expanding, fast-forward culture) most cybermancers use their magick internally for combat purposes, especially during ritualized pit-fights, but some use magick to distil and focus raw human rage and aggression.
Starting charges: cybermancers start with no charges (they're hard to keep but really easy to acquire).
Cybermancy minor formula spells
cost: 1 minor charge
effect: the cybermantic minor blast spell affects small appliances and simple machines. The damage is usually repairable, albeit irritating, and can eventually lead to the destruction of large machines (causing the malfunction of a brake cable could lead to a fatal car crash).
cost: 1 minor charge
effect: as long as the Borg is in physical (bare skin) contact with an artificial surface (concrete, steel, astro-turf), he cannot be knocked down. as soon as he leaves contact with the ground, the spell's effect ends. This spell can also be used on man-made items and weapons that the mage is holding in his bare hands, rendering him incapable of being disarmed.
cost: 1 minor charge
effect: By spending one charge, the borg can magickally allow himself to delay the effects of failed stress checks. The borg MUST cast this spell ahead of time, it lasts until the next failed stress check by the adept. At that point, the spell becomes active. while under the influence of this spell, The cybermancer is emotionally impregnable (10 hardened marks in each register). His emotions are being channeled sand stored for later. A cybermancer can delay his mental failures for a number of minutes equal to his mind rating, Then it all comes crashing down: the adept is weak as a puppy, suffering tremors, and needs rest badly. borgs usually use terminator as a precursor to a spree of bloodshed and mayhem (special thanks to chad underkoffler for suggesting the effects of this spell).
cost: 2 minor charges
effect: With this spell, the borg can amplify and channel his own bio-electricity. He can jump-start a dead car battery or power small electrical applicances. Impulse can also be used as a ranged weapon, inflicting damage as per a hand-to-hand combat. If used in conjunction with a hand-to-hand attack, impulse can add its electrical damage to the normal attack.
cost: 3 minor charges
effect: Cryonics enables the mage to alter his vital signs (blood pressure, pulse rate, body temperature). This allows him to survive an otherwise lethal attack by slowing down his internal systems (he won't go into shock, die from blood loss, etc.), Giving him extra time to get medical assistance (this time is equal to the sum of the dice rolled to cast the spell, in hours). The user of cryonics will be unable to perform any strenuous physical activity while under the effect of the spell unless he also casts the formula spell dead helmsman (this includes the time after his wounds are tended to).
Cybermancy significant formula spells
cost: 1 significant charge
effect: the cybermancy blast spell is used to cause major damage to mechanical devices.
cost: 1 significant charge
effect: primarily used in combat, dead helmsman causes the borg to affect a zazen (no-mind) state, oblivious to all mental and physical distractions (like pain or fatigue). because of this heightened mental state, the borg is also preternaturally fast, able to react instantly to any threat on a purely instinctive and unconscious level.During the combat, he automatically gains initiative (if another cybermancer involved in the combat also uses this spell, the mage with the higher speed goes first). of course, while in this fugue, the borg will be unable to communicate or retreat -- he may only react to immediate threats (in addition to his opponent(s) of course). the spell ends when the combat scene is over. borgs under the command of dead helmsman have been known to wade through their enemies on bloody stumps, only to die instantly from shock the moment the conflict has ended...
cost: 1 significant charge
effect: iron man enables the borg to gain subdermal body armor, reducing all physical damage done to them. the amount of armor is equal to the cybermancer's magick skill. if the damage done to the borg is less than his armor rating, the damage is halved, as is his armor rating for subsequent attacks. if the damage exceeds the armor's rating, the armor is destroyed in a suitably impressive shower of sparks and shrapnel, and the attack's damage is also reduced by half.
cost: 2 significant charges
effect: body hammer enables the borg to integrate weaponry into his body. broken glass, scarp metal, iron spikes and screw will erupt from the borg's flesh, giving him a bonus to all damage he doles out in hand-to-hand combat. whenever making an unarmed attack, add the sum of the mage's magick skill to the attack's damage (a roll of 30 (3+10) and a magick rating of 62% (6+2) will cause 21 points of damage (3+10+6+2). If you get a matched success when attacking with body hammer, the attack is treated like a firearms attack (and your bonus is added to the total damage). This spell lasts for the duration of the combat (or until the end of one combat scene if cast before the fighting starts).
cost: 5 significant charges
effect: man/machine enables the borg to use his rage to control and assimilate technology into his own physical being. in essence, he may transform his flesh into machinery, allowing for a wide range of bizarre and deadly effects. Hands can become spinning augers, eyes can transform into light-magnifying lenses, and weapons can burst forth from his skin -- everything from flamethrowers to chest-cannons that fire shards of bone and teeth. the only caveat is that anything that leaves the body (bullets, gouts of burning napalm) will hurt him (an attack that does 20 points of damage will cause the borg the same amount). man/machine will last for as long as the cybermancer is conscious or awake.
Cybermancy major effects
with a major cybermantic charge, the borg could permanently gain the advantages of a cybernetic body or somehow transfer his consciousness into a machine.