Ask Luna #59

From: MassMaster

Hey Luna how do hybrid mages come to be I thought you choose one discipline and that’s it.

That’s like saying ‘how do you choose to be medium height, everyone is supposed to be short or tall’.

You don’t choose a discipline. You find out what you are, you start learning, and at some point other mages will tell you what kind of mage you’re supposed to be. If you fit into one of the pre-existing boxes they’ll tell you that you’re a fill-in-the-blank mage. If you don’t, they’ll call you a hybrid. It’s just a name.

From: Todd

Dear Luna,

Sometimes I wonder if I am a Chance Adept with a strange manifestation of bad luck.

While I could point to vague instances in my day to day life which may or may not involve chance magic, I have been able to document, and confirm with friends, that there is something odd with my uncanny bad luck with tabletop games involving elements of chance. Most typically games which use dice. This manifestation has been so noticeable to my friends that they even call it “Todd Luck”.

Usually if I need to roll high to succeed in some aspect of the game, I will almost always roll low, and vice versa. One time I even rolled eighteen six-sided dice, needing to roll a three or higher and all of the dice rolled ones and twos. A lot of people have runs of bad luck though so I have to point to more unusual aspects as possible evidence.

Dice which I have handled or touched will roll badly for others for a short time too, and those which have been in my possession for a lengthy amount of time are nearly useless to anyone who tries to use them as they seem permanently imbued with bad luck.

For some reason purple dice are less susceptible to this effect – I do not know why other than the fact that it is my favorite color. Whether my decision for it to be my favorite color was a result of this effect, or the differing luck effect on them being a result of that preference I can not be sure.

Even more bizarrely, anyone sitting directly to my right also tends to suffer a heightened amount of bad luck in such games. My friends started placing an empty chair to my right to combat this effect, which has proven to be somewhat effective.

This effect manifests only when the dice roll matters – pretend rolls or trying to roll dice to test who rolls higher always ends with inconclusive results. It also becomes much stronger when I am rolling dice (or drawing cards) in direct opposition with another player, and even stronger still when money is at stake.

Needless to say it didn’t take long for me to completely give up trying to gamble, and I have had to hone my strategical skills in order to minimize the impact of dice on games that involve strategy, allowing me to win such games despite the dice. In that regard I can’t say it’s impact on my life as been entirely negative.

I feel like this effect has either weakened over the years, or I have subconsciously been able to restrain it to a certain degree, but I would be very interested in any tips you may have in regards to controlling chance magic and whether you think this could be evidence of weak magical talent (or curse).

Best regards,
Todd

Okay, that’s definitely one of the more unusual stories I’ve heard, but it does actually sound weirdly familiar. Did you get cursed by some very puritanical family member who really had a thing against gambling, or something? I suppose at least they didn’t have it in for you really badly, or they might have had it work on something worse than dice.

Assuming it’s a real thing and not just a case of selective memory, you could probably learn to control it. The thing about those kinds of curses is that to influence you, they have to be bound to you so closely that you pretty much always can eventually start influencing them back. The only problem is that curses and hexes kind of do what they do, so even if you did do that, all you’d realistically be able to accomplish would be to direct your bad luck at other people, and I don’t know if that’s really how you want to live your life. Plus it’d take months to years.

Or if that sounds like too much work, you could just get a job at casinos where you get paid to sit directly to the left of anyone who’s winning too much at the craps table.

From: MetroMaster

Hey luna I kinda have a a few big questions

1. With Morden now on the council how will that affect the magic community globally

2. How will his council position affect mages in the UK

1. Not much as far as I know, apart from the usual petitions and complaints and snippy comments from other countries.

2. Probably badly.

From: Andrew

Dear Luna, I have been musing over the vexities of gate magic, most particularly that of having to know in good detail the point of arrival. The implication being primarily that you can only safely gate to somewhere you have already either travelled to mundanely or been carried to by another agency. My question is, if I posted to you an intricately woven rug from somewhere else in the world, would that in itself be of sufficient knowledge to use safely as a gate focus?

Kind regards

Andrew

Nope, it’d just be a pretty rug. If you want to gate to a location, you’re best off if you know it very well. There are a lot of ways to do that, but the simplest one is just to head over and spend a few hours studying the place.

The alternative is to use a gate focus, but a gate focus isn’t just some random piece of junk you pick up, it’s a specifically crafted magical item. From what I understand, having the item be tied to the location helps, but you’re still going to have to put in the hours to make it. And as part of the process, you’re going to have to tie the item to the location, so you’re still going to have to end up going there anyway. Bottom line: gates are a great time saver, but someone still has to get there the regular way first.

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