In the build up to a new campaign, one of my players asked me for an ability to help them manipulate traffic. Since there is no canon ability that fits, I decided to make one up.
The Song of Storms (Liber Canticorum pg 56) seemed the most similar to the desire effect for the Song of Traffic. I have drawn heavily from the existing song to design this one. Since the Song of Storms is flagged as potentially overpowering in the hands of a new character, I would carry that warning over into this new song as well. Do not let new characters have access to this song without giving the matter careful thought, and don’t give the song out at all if you suspect min/maxing.
About the Songs
The Songs of Traffic grant a degree of control over the movement of people, information, and goods. With enough essence you can effectively cripple an entire city, but influencing the Symphony on such a large scale will create a huge disturbance.
Each Song of Storms can affect an an area with a diameter in miles equal to the Song’s level plus the CD. If the song is centered on a chokepoint (such as a tunnel or a DSL hub) you can double the diameter. The Corporeal and Ethereal versions last 20 minutes per Force in the relevant Realm. The Celestial version lasts 1 hour per Force. Once the song ends, conditions will quickly return to how they were originally.
It requires two Essence to sing one of these songs at all. The amount that you can actually change the traffic is determined by how much additional Essence you spend. If multiple versions of the same song overlap each other, the rolls will always be contested (even if both singers want the same effect). This makes the Song of Traffic one of the best counters to a Song of Traffic.
The Corporeal Song of Traffic
The Corporeal Song influences vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic. The exact form of the congestion will depend on the current circumstances (as determined by the GM). If the only way to get the desired blockage is due to a traffic collision, the disturbance from that event will be added to the disturbance of your song.
The amount of Essence spent determines the degree of the effect: 1 Essence can speed or slow vehicular traffic by about 10mph; 3 Essence can guarantee that rush hour traffic either will or will not be stop and go; 6 Essence can empty a busy highway of traffic or bring a mildly neighborhood to a standstill. For 1 additional Essence you can create an unaffected corridor (good for personal travel or laying an ambush). Ofanim will always be able to find such a corridor if it exists.
The Ethereal Song of Traffic
The Ethereal Song influences data flow. It is mostly used to impact internet service (though telegraph, telephone, postal and radio service can also be disrupted). The singer will need to determine which channels their song will impact, and the GM is free to increase the Essence cost for each medium that is impacted.
The amount of Essence spent again dictates the degree of the effect: 1 Essence can speed or slow an internet connections or cause a minor lag in telephone communications (rarely more than a second, but still noticeable and able to significantly impact a two way exchange); 3 Essence will create or clear significant lags on the order of 5-10 seconds and the impact on emails can be measured in minutes (web pages will still be accessible, but real time communication will be all but impossible); 6 Essence can effectively cause or remove a regional communications blackout.
The Celestial Song of Traffic
The Celestial version of the song can speed or slow the workings of the black market. As with the other versions of this song, the current circumstances will determine just what form this change in pace will take. A slow black market could be due to police interference, but it could also be caused by a massive shipment of illicit goods that requires the full attention of the local black marketeers. The Celestial Song of Traffic is not a solution to crime.
The amount of Essence spent acts as a direct bonus or penalty (singer’s choice) to all target numbers in the affected area when negotiating with the black market. This song can be used to prevent thieves from fencing stolen goods or to make it easy to get a new fake ID when your vessel is seen to die. It is considered a somewhat risky song, since your rivals can also benefit from the effects.
Available: Freedom, Lightning (Ethereal Only), Technology, Theft, Stone, Wind
Duration: 20min x Force (Corporeal & Ethereal); 1hr x Force (Celestial)
Essence Requirement: 2 (but effects require additional essence)
Disturbance: CD x Relevant Forces + any damage required to initiate effect
As always, any essence spent also adds to the Disturbance.