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Old 10-04-2017, 08:57 AM   #7
Kromm
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Default Re: DF Implied Cosmology

Sanctity, Nature's strength, and mana are not related in any useful way. To paraphrase the relevant parts of Spells, pp. 5-8:
  • Sanctity is a deity’s power, as channeled by a cleric. It emanates from a god.

  • Nature's strength is ambient life force. It emanates from all living things.

  • Mana is a reality-warping force that predates the gods – or perhaps it's higher-dimensional leakage. Either way, it's innate to the multiverse.
What they have in common is that when ritually channeled to specific ends – that is, when used to enable spells – they produce changes in reality. These changes are resisted both by one another (spells can resist other spells) and by certain beings' innate immutability (called Magic Resistance).

A martial artist's chi has nothing to do with any of this! It's inner strength, not magic. It doesn't attempt to change the outside world. It changes the wielder, giving that person a superior capacity to change the world through physical action (fists, the shout of a Kiai, etc.). When those actions are resisted (as with Kiai or Pressure Points), that's no different from resisting poison, disease, or somebody else's ST.

One possible partial cosmology explaining this:
  • Mana is the collective life force of all deities, associated with no one of their kind and capable of existing independently of them as long as there are any gods.

  • Sanctity is the "chi" of specific gods – the inner strength of particular deities, which is so mighty that lesser beings can borrow part of it.

  • Nature's strength is the collective life force of all living things, associated with no one creature and capable of existing independently of living beings as long as there are such beings.

  • Chi is the life force of specific living things – the inner strength of particular creatures. Some people have learned to control theirs.

  • The gods used the reality-warping power of unfiltered mana to create the temporal world and all life within. Some of that mana remains there, very much stepped down, as a residue – and so does some of each god's inner strength, or sanctity. The living things in that Creation possess their own inner strength, some of which remains internal as chi and some of which is shared externally as Nature's strength. All of these forces admit manipulation by mortals with the right attunements, but those exterior to a person (mana, sanctity, and Nature's strength) tend to warp that individual and thus are resisted.

  • Gods and mortals alike are divided into Good, Evil, and Neutral, which represent factions whose precise purposes are probably unknowable by mortals, but probably akin to "Creation is great!", "Creation was a bad idea!", and "Why can't we all just get along?" These factions aren't forces in themselves, like those discussed so far. However, they are labels a bit like individual beings' True Names, and labels give magic power. Magic – be it clerical, druidic, or wizardly – that would be too uncontrollable if it were fully general can be made manageable by targeting and manipulating a specific label.

  • Elder Things are innately reality-warping and live in the higher dimensions from which mana leaks. They don't belong to any faction; they're a threat to every faction, divine and mortal alike. Their powers are some sort of mana unfiltered for mortals – much as gods' powers are unfiltered for themselves but "stepped down" for clerics. While the undead are a mockery of Life, and demons and members of the Evil faction often have little respect for Life, neither is Anti-Life. Elder Things are Anti-Life because they exist outside the Creation that brought Life into being, and even outside the level of existence of the entities that manifested that Creation (the gods). As druids and others who wield Nature's strength most directly champion Life (which isn't the same as Good . . . Life can be Good, Neutral, or Evil), they often stand in direct opposition to the Anti-Life of the Elder Things.
Or you can ignore all this. :)
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