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Displacement

Displacement is the sphere for altering the spatial and temporal fabric of reality. With Displacement, creatures can be transported between locations instantly, and even the flow of time can be interrupted.

Displacement is perhaps the most unique aspect of mystic magic, because unlike the arcane spell teleport and related spells, Displacement is not permanent. Instead, objects that have been displaced (ported) eventually “snap back” (unport) to their original locations, occasionally resulting in complex consequences.

Every object has a natural location. It is not an absolute set of coordinates, but rather a relative position tying it to other relevant objects. A boat floating on the ocean has a natural location relative to the earth; a man standing on that boat has a natural location relative to the boat; and a pouch of gold tied to that man’s belt has a natural location relative to the man. The man has possession of the pouch, the boat has possession of the man, and the earth has possession of the boat.

For example, say Ellwood the mystic bard ports a shopkeeper’s bag of money away from his belt. When the Displacement expires, that bag will return to the shopkeeper’s belt, along with all the gold that was in the bag at the time of porting. Displacement can’t be cheated—any object that is displaced with Displacement will always return to its natural location when the effect ends, regardless of how the object is moved while ported.

Objects under the effects of Displacement have a certain essence to them that is unmistakable upon touch (so paying someone in ported gold, for example, would probably not be a good idea). Thus, in the above example, any self-respecting merchant would not tolerate Ellwood’s attempt to pay him with the gold he temporarily ported from the shopkeeper.

With some cleverness, however, Displacement can be quite useful. As an example, say that Rovash the mystic paladin needs to leave immediately to reach a city to the north, so that he can stop some villains from committing a terrible crime there. Unfortunately, he needs to investigate a lead at the local tavern first. He mounts his noble steed, then immediately ports back onto the ground next to the fine animal. He gives the stallion instructions to gallop onward until the city is in full view, and with a wave to his departing horse, goes to investigate the tavern (for the glory and honor of Pelor). Later, when the Displacement effect wears off, Rovash suddenly returns to the back of his trusty animal, just as the city is growing ever larger before him.

When a mystic uses Displacement to move an object to another location, all of its possessions go with it, and the mystic must pay a cost appropriate to the total amount of weight being ported. For example, porting a man from one place to another would take his clothes and equipment along with him. If an effect where the man is ported without his clothes is desired, the mystic would have to first port away the man’s clothes, then port the man. When the port on the clothes wore off, they would snap back onto the man’s body.

Displacement can be used as an area effect (see “Converting a single-target effect to an area effect” in the Target section), but the mystic must still pay additional sphere points for extra weight within the area. For example, such an effect is useful for creating a triggered Displacement field across a preset area—when a creature steps within the field, Divination magic triggers the Displacement to send the creature away temporarily.

In order to harness raw magical energies, mystics have learned to be in tune with their own bodies. Thus, when porting himself, the mystic does not count as weight. His possessions, however, do still contribute to the Displacement effect’s difficulty.

Porting a living thing or its possessions when that thing does not wish the port to occur entitles it to a Will save. Success allows the creature to resist being ported, although any objects besides that creature and its possessions still get ported (unless they too passed their Will saves).

Being ported is a disorienting experience. Indeed, those with weaker stomachs sometimes lose their lunch just after appearing in a new location. After porting or unporting, creatures must get their bearings and cannot take any actions until the next round.

Displacement can be a dangerous thing when used carelessly, and a powerful weapon against one’s enemies when used with cunning. If an object or creature (the offending object) is ported or unported into another object or creature (the destination), both objects take Xd6 damage, where X is the level of the Displacement magic used. The offending object immediately snaps back to its old location. If this leaves the offending object in a ported position, it will continue to snap back (and take damage) each round until there is nothing blocking the destination.

Displacement can be warded, but the fabric of reality fights against such unnaturally prolonged displacement. The warding level deteriorates rapidly until it collapses. Nonetheless, warding Displacement is a common technique among mystics for extending the duration past normal limits. See the types of Displacement listed below for details on warding deterioration rates. Note that charged Displacement (see the Mystic Charge feat) can be warded without such deterioration.

Short-range teleport

1: Port up to 25 lbs. of material without error. [Temporary (rounds)]

+1: +25 lbs.

Notes:

Long-range teleport

1: Port up to 25 lbs. of material to any area with which you are familiar. [Temporary (minutes)]

+1: +25 lbs.

+8: travel between planes

Notes:

Temporal manipulation

1: Slow down or speed up time relative to the mystic by 10%. [Temporary (rounds)]

+1: +10% time alteration

Notes:

Optional rules