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Lightcaster

“The art lies as much in shadow as in light; what is hidden is as important as what is revealed. With the right tools and a bit of time it is a simple thing to draw an audience into the world you build for them. The real trick is keeping them there.”
-Nyzh of Subin, Ringmaster of the Circe Chaotica

Summary
Devices of use to both entertainers and generals, the Lightcaster is a radiant light bending tool for crafting convincing illusions. A skilled wielder can craft ephemeral environments filled with phantasmal animals, monsters, and even people.

Description
Lightcasters come in two parts; the projector and the reader. The projector consists of a distributed array of multi-faceted crystalline lenses that can project images. The range and luminosity of a projector is directly related to its size and most are crafted into a stave or similar device for height and portability. The reader is a small lattice or loop of complex construction that must be placed on the head of the wielder and which translates mental imagery into three dimensional illusions. The reader is typically crafted into a circlet, hood, or helm, reinforcing it and hiding it from plain sight.
Without a reader, a projector is merely a powerful torch, and without a projector, a reader is just expensive jewelry. Together they create a powerful tool for projecting illusions.
Trying to use a Lightcaster untrained tends to produce disappointing results as the device reads ambient thought as chaotic sprays of colour and shadow. It takes a disciplined and creative mind and significant practice to exert true control over the device.
In the hands of a skilled wielder the Lightcaster produces detailed three dimensional illusions, volume of light and shadow that can be static or animated, realistic or exaggerated, silent or terrifyingly loud. The most common term used for these projections are phantasms.

  • Lightcaster is a term for both a device and a group of people who utilize it.
  • The largest store of Lightcaster technology was recovered by a Vandar tribe that would go on to form the basis of the Granden nation. Rumours suggest that the Granden have been successful at replicating Lightcasters in limited quantities, earning their culture the title of ‘The Mirage Kingdom’. Their skill with the devices have caused even the most aggressive Vandar to give them a wide berth.
  • While most Lightcasters are small units, with limited range and power, there are some of sufficient power to project phantasmal armies.

Each Lightcaster requires a small amount of Helion to operate, typically housed in the projector, and an unpowered Lightcaster provides no benefit.

Mechanics: To effectively utilize a Lightcaster you must have at least 1 Will, a point in the Broad Skills of Technology and Performance, and 1 Point of Focus Skill in Lightcaster.
It takes a full action to activate the device and generate an illusion and the wielder must roll a Will + Performance + Lightcaster. Any observer or audience member makes a Perception check against this roll to discern if the illusion is real.
Advancement: The ability of a lightcaster to remain ‘in tune’ with its wielder can be improved by synchronization, a process of mental attunment between device and wielder. A Lightcaster can only be synchronized to one individual at a time and requires active practice with the device. Increasing synchronization requires experience points at a cost of new level multiplied by 7. Each level increases the duration of an illusion, the number of elements that can be manifested, and the size. Elements include things like creatures, objects, sounds, or environmental feature. So at level 1 the wielder might be able to
Duration indicates the length of time before an illusion begins to lose fidelity and detail. Once an illusion reaches its duration any observer is able to recognize the true nature of it. Duration are situation dependent and illusions are much harder to maintain in the stress and chaos of active combat and times are reduced accordingly. Note that this does not prevent the wielder from reestablishing an illusion but observers get a +3 to their Perception check against any illusion they have seen end.

Level Elements Combat Duration Passive Duration Size
1 2 2 round 1 minute 2m
2 4 4 round 3 minutes 4m
3 6 6 round 9 minutes 6m
4 10 8 rounds 30 minutes 10m
5 12 rounds 50m