What do those Imperial Mystics meditate about?


As promised in the previous post, we thought we would share with you some of the intriguing concepts explored in depth in Meditations of the Imperial Mystics (available for sale now at Paizo and DrivethruRPG). The product introduces a quartet of “tomes” – two actual books, a scroll that can be read forwards and backwards in very different ways, and prayer wheel, each with their own unique and rich background and flavor. In terms of mechanics introduced within this product, however, some of these are additional ki feats like those found in The Way of Ki, though with more of a slant towards magic and mysticism, like the following feat from the tome Body Outside Body:

Mindlink (Ki)
Your knit your aura with another’s, allowing you to share thoughts and spirit.
Prerequisite: Wis 13, ki pool class feature or Ki Meditation feat, Spellcraft 3 ranks
Benefit: You are expert at reaching into the minds and hearts of others, and any mind-affecting effect you create takes effect at +1 caster level. In addition, as a full-round action you can spend 1 point from your ki pool to create a mental and spiritual linkage with another creature by touch equivalent to a status spell (Will negates for unwilling creatures). By spending 2 points from your ki pool, you can make the Mindlink function both ways, allowing your partner to know your status as well. This effect lasts a number of hours equal to your Wisdom modifier. You can continue the Mindlink for the same duration by paying the ki point cost again.
As a full-round action, you can spend 2 points from your ki pool to send a message to a creature with whom you share a Mindlink and receive a reply, as sending.

Our products seek to evoke the tropes and feel of Asian mysticism, at least in the popular sense, and to explore how those overlap with standard magical mechanics, like connecting two minds. The Mindlink feat above serves as one root of a branching tree that heads in one direction to a more thorough communicative Rapport, in another to transferring mental and physical changes through a Fate Link, and through yet another to implanting a Mindworm into a linked mind. Other parts of Body Outside Body incorporate other roots of the same tree, paths that intersect with the linking of thoughts and the weaving of fates as they deal with the relation of mind-body-spirit with objects or places in the world around them on an intangible level as well as a physical one.

All of these are part of answering the same question: What kinds of things does magic do in the game that could be understood as possible supernaturally while remaining outside the realm of spellcasting per se. Not that the fantastic Orient would be devoid of spellcasters, of course, but the ancient spiritual and meditative traditions associated with the fantasy version of the Far East offer a natural home for an alternate magical path the focuses deeply inward while extending far beyond the self.

Next time: Mystical acupuncture?

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