Modern occult as a genre is doing well right now – just look at the number of slutty vampire hunters with werewolf boyfriends on the bookshelves right now. This is neither good nor bad. I just finished reading The Wyld Ways, sequel to the Enchantment Emporium, by Tanya Huff. In this series, the magic-infused Gale family throws around “charms” with all the effort and care of a dog in the yard. Charms for clean laundry, charms for night sight, charms for good cell phone coverage!
This made me consider: even in a game that penalizes magic as luxury (like new Mage), surely someone would figure out how to use low level, cheap “charms” to smooth life. We’re optimization machines, after all.
Thus, here I present a short, non-exhaustive list of convenience rotes. Magic for the easy life. (As usual, done in nMage, as that is my system of choice.) A good rule of thumb for the limit of these effects is a bonus of +1 to the action. These aren’t about breaking the system; these are meant to reflect the kind of *conveniences* someone with magic would become accustomed to.
A silent, mystical nudge at exactly the right time to wake a sleeping mage.
Fresh Eyed Day
By gentle massage of a mage’s sense of time, the caster feels as though she woke at whatever time she desires. Have to wake up at 5AM? Tell your body its 10AM! Offsets up to 2 points of penalty from sleep deprivation, or adds +1 for the first hour of wakefulness in that day.
Offset the clock
Change the time on any clock in sight (whether digital, analog, or mystic) to any time of your choosing.
Fate 1: Minor items are always where you need them to be. This spell won’t give you a gun if someone breaks into your house, but it will make it so you can find your toothbrush groping about in the dark.
Best Parking Space
Fate 1: Find the parking you’re looking for. Not capable of creating miracles (such as free parking in New York).
Remember that thing you forgot but that needs done. Yes, that thing! The one you never wrote on the calendar five months ago!
One Snap Shower
Life 1: Banish body odor and sweat with a snap of the finger. Functions like a good shower with none of the harsh chemicals.
Life 1: This spell suppresses routine food cravings, aiding a mage in losing weight by reducing intake. Jenny Craig would murder for this.
Hair Where no Hair Has Gone Before
Life 1: Encourages the growth of body hair. Rather than cause an instant explosion of follicles, this spell encourages what growth already takes place to accelerate.
Life 1: Exactly what it says on the tin.
Don’t You Have Somewhere to Be?
Life 1: Instigates a need to use the restroom in the chosen victim. Does nothing to someone with an empty bladder. Caution (or a rubber mat) is recommended for use on small children, the elderly, or dogs.
The Informed Customer
Feel out the essence of your purchases for signs of trouble by the resonance of the Essence within. Won’t fix an Illuminati conspiracy, but it will give you a nudge when your car’s essence is greed, profit, and obsolence.
Imbue an area with a fragment of the Shadow Realm, creating a sense of isolation and strange occurences in those who pass within. This effect is purely a special effect, but every good magician knows that mood is crucial.
Burn the Runes
With a flick of a hand, a twirl, or even a clap, the mage can construct a small white ritual circle, lined with runes of her choosing. The circle is outlined in spiritual chalk and acts in every manner as normal chalk.
Never Pay for a Drink
This spell weaves a small bubble of forgetfulness regarding small or modest, mundane bills. This won’t get you out of owing the mob, but it will let you walk out of a bar without a worry about your tab. (Remember: theft is a sin against wisdom!)
(or Forces) By trick of the eye or prestidigitation, make that coveted new CD or game fall into your jacket without any incriminating hands on.
Cast this spell upon a lump of pillows under the sheets to create a foolproof facsimile of a teenager sleeping soundly in their bed…as long as “foolproof” means “while the lights are off and no one touches it.”
Amaze airline stewardesses as you fit all your luggage into that carry on. Carry an improbably well equipped purse. Fit three cell phones and a wallet in your skinny jeans.
Watch Your Step
Attuned to the ripples of the dimensions around her, a mage who maintains this spell never stubbes her toe on a slip or gets a heel caught in a sidewalk crack.
Alone in a Crowded Subway
Provide yourself with a little breathing room by subtle pushes against the space manifold. Good for fighting claustrophobia.
Clear a Room
Conjure the smell of rot and decay as if a sewer main burst or someone left the garbage to rot in the rain. Myraid uses for the clever or prank-inclined; spell is not responsible for visits by health and sanitation.
Automatic pickling, canning, or smoking of food stuff. Does not provide any additional flavor.
Shut that Thing Up
Kill a mundane electronic item (like the booming stereo of the passing car) and prevent its functioning for a short period of time.
When the spell is cast, the mage chooses a single mundane substance to repel. This can be dirt, oil, blood, etc. The substance in question refuses to stain their clothes or skin. This does not cause the substance to leap off the mage. (If you try to use this to justify walking on water, the GM should laugh at you.)
A good cleaning for a regular item. May need to be cast repeatedly for large objects like cars. This will remove cosmetic rust, fix small blemishes, help chrome shine like new, etc.
Adorn eating utensils with the perfect coating, preventing cheese build up and keeping the silver shining.
Hey, Look over There!
Cause a flicker in the corner of the eye of the victim.
No, Really, I’m Eighteen!
Selectively smear the writing on a document just enough to make it thinly plausible that the mage is telling the truth.
All the world a stage
Everyone needs a little bit of good lighting now and then, right?
Quiet noises to about the equivalent of good foam padding or a pillow on top. Shuts up a cell phone or hides that ill timed fart.
Honey, I’m Home:
This spell causes all desired electronics within a mage’s domain to turn on as soon as she casts it. These applicances require power as normal, but its nice to never again have to fumble for a light switch.
This spell allows a mage to leave a book hovering at its open page, a door to remain ajar, or other such minor telekinetic convenience. Beware the mage chef who has mastered this spell.