Each Magical Tradition also counts as a Magical Style. This means that at Gnosis 1, each Magical Tradition grants a favored Attribute and two favored Practices, in addition to a third Ruling Arcanum, and all three Ruling Arcana count as Favored. A favored Attribute is an Attribute that, when used as part of a Rote, grants the mage a +1 dice pool bonus for the casting. Likewise, a favored Practice or Arcanum grants a +1 dice pool bonus for all Rotes that utilize the favored Practice or Arcanum. These bonuses stack, granting a maximum bonus of +3 dice if a Rote uses both the favored Attribute, a favored Arcanum, and a favored Practice. Magic which does not use the Tradition's foci, trappings, and mudras does not gain these bonuses.
Types of Magical StylesEdit
Among the various Magical Styles, there are certain categories. These are styles that share common elements sufficiently to impart particular advantages and disadvantages. The most common categories of Magical Styles are Ecstatic, Ritualistic, Techgnostic, Theurgic, and Free.
Ecstatic magical styles use ingested substances, meditation, thrill-seeking or body control to achieve an altered state of consciousness. Potions, drugs, “chi”, and trance states all serve as effective magical tools, but the Ecstatic's most important magical tool is their own body. Ecstatics lower their Paradox dice pool for any Vulgar effect that they cast upon their own body by -2, and increase the Duration Factor of all spells cast using their magical tools by 1. In return, Ecstatics must always enter some sort of altered state to do spellcasting – they must reflexively roll Wits + Composure as an instant action to “switch modes” between the Fallen World and the Supernal. While in a trance state, magic may be cast normally, but all mundane actions are performed at a penalty equal to the mage's Gnosis. While in the “normal” mode of perception, none of the Tradition's Magical Style benefits apply. Ecstatics which use drugs or potions do not require a Wits + Composure roll, but are forced into “Supernal mode” whenever they ingest mind-altering substances.
Theurgic magical styles assign magic a will and consciousness of its own, often attributed to one or more spirits or deities. Sleeper witnesses who share the Theurge's belief system never cause Disbelief or increase Paradox pools, and the traditions and dogma of their belief count as magical tools. Moreso, Theurgic traditions tend to be more forgiving when Paradox actually occurs – if a Theurgic mage causes a Paradox Manifestation, subtract 2 successes when determining the power of the beings that arrive. If the remaining net successes would not normally be sufficient to cause a Manifestation, appropriate beings native to the Theurge's belief system appear, and demand penance or repair of the damage caused by the Paradox. It is a testament to the power of the concept of religion that half of the ten Greater Traditions are Theurgic.
Ritualistic magical styles are formulaic and rigid. Most rotes designed for Ritualistic styles may only be cast as rituals, rather than as immediate spellcasting efforts. Reduce the total Paradox dice for any effect which is cast as a Ritual by -2. Non-ritual Rotes become harder to cast, however, becoming Vulgar if they would otherwise be Covert, or gaining a +2 bonus to all Paradox rolls if their effects were already Vulgar. Note that non-ritual Rotes may still be designed, and may still be learned as in-Tradition Rotes; they are simply far less reliable and safe. Non-rote instant effects become more dangerous still – apply an additional +1 bonus to all Paradox rolls and a -1 penalty to the casting roll when attempting an instantaneous improvisational effect.
Techgnostic magical styles blur the line between magic and “sufficiently advanced technology”. While they follow all the rules for Arcanum magic, they often have all the trappings of actual scientific and technological inventions. As such, Vulgar techgnostic Rotes often contain a Paradox mitigation effect – reduce the total Disbelief dice for techgnostic Rotes and devices by -2, and do not apply the bonus to Paradox dice pools for Sleeper witnesses. In return, techgnostic magic must always be based on extrapolations of known science, and must maintain all the trappings of plausible “near-future” science fiction, even when dressed in mysticism. Techgnostic magic, whether rote or improvised, may never be cast without the proper tools, equipment or materials – there must be some technologically plausible source for the effect.