"Quit killing people; that's high profile."
"Oh, lighten up."
-Azrael and Loki, Dogma
Disturbance is the standard term for the perceptible echoes that result from a celestial's meddling in the Corporeal plane. For example, spending Essence produces a single point of Disturbance per Essence spent, while offing a human is (10 + the human's number of Corporeal Forces) points of Disturbance.
Perils of DisturbanceEdit
Generally speaking, disturbance is frowned upon. One reason is that shaking things up prevents Tethers from forming. Superiors do from time to time engage in "salting the fields" to throw a monkey wrench in another Superior's attempt to form a Tether, but 99% of the time the standing orders are to keep it quiet.
The other problem is that disturbance can lead those who detect it to the originators, or at the very least tip the other side off about what's going on. No, celestials aren't forbidden from disturbing the Symphony, but it's considered poor form, and if they do it all the time, they might get a talking to.
For various reasons, we use a variant formula on R & D. To hear a disturbance of level X, a character must roll against a target number of X/3 + (their Perception)/2, rounded down.
Example: Belligeriel burns 6 Essence to boost a roll to hack a computer: a 6-point disturbance. Noziel the Malakite is on the other side of the city. Noziel has Perception 8. Half of Noziel's perception is 4, and a third of the Disturbance is 2. Therefore, Noziel must roll at or below a target number of 6 to hear the disturbance.
They can receive bonuses to this TN for proximity:
|Bonus to Detect||Proximity|
|1||Same 3-floor office building|
Example: Nosiel burns 4 Essence in the same room as Sampliel the Cherub, who has an average celestial Perception of 6. The target number is 1 (a third of the Disturbance, rounded down) plus 3 (half of Sampliel's Perception) for a total of 4. Another 3 are added due to proximity, bringing the total TN to a 7. Thus, Sampliel has a 58% chance of sensing it. If only 2 Essence had been burned, it would be 3 (3 from Perception, 0 from the Disturbance), plus another 3 for proximity, giving a TN of 6 and a 42% chance of noticing it.
Thus a typical 6 Perception celestial has a decent chance of detecting a single point of Essence being used in the next room (3 for Perception + 0 for the size of the Disturbance + 2 for proximity = 5 = 28%), and is more likely than not to hear a human being killed even across town (3 + 4 = 7 = 58%), but is virtually guaranteed to detect a Superior manifesting in celestial form (3 + 8 = 11 = 97%).
Disturbances originating within the city extend to the city's boundaries, and then vanish. Disturbance is after all not true "sound"; it's a discontinuity in the progression of Corporeal reality. The city has symbolic significance in this regard; it's a single locational entity of intertwined elements that conduct this disturbance. Disturbance originating from outside the city's boundaries likewise does not reach into the city.
Disturbances of 5 or less do not radiate beyond the "same office building" level.
If a scene produces disturbance, please post the magnitude of the disturbance to board 4 so that interested parties can roll against it with staff.
What a Disturbance Might Look LikeEdit
This video is certainly nice special effects (it's actually from an ad campaign for a video game in China). However, it gives a great idea about how Songs might work in an example which combines the use of several Songs:The Songs and Attunements we can see evidence of here include:
- Song of Teleportation (obviously, the teleportation)
- Ofanim of Wind Attunement (rushing in to save the guy)
There may be others, as well. But this is a great example! Thanks, special effects people!
The result of this would be very high Disturbance, on the order of probably 4-5 points of Essence. Every Superior on the continent would be alerted that something like this happened. So, kids, do NOT do this in-game, okay?
- Role (includes information on using Roles to mask disturbance)