Guide to the New 3.1 Symbioses
BEFORE READING THIS SYMBIOSIS GUIDE, I RECOMMEND READING THE RESEARCH GUIDE HERE
A few things before I begin. Symbiosis, emphasis on the -is, is singular. Symbioses, notice the -es, is plural. Also, this is just an introduction based on what I’ve had the time and opportunity to investigate so far, so please feel free to comment if you see any errors or suggestions for improving this guide.
*** What is a Symbiotic Magic? ***
Symbiotic Magic is a form of meta-magic, allowing a spellcaster with proper training to weave a special type of spell pattern into an existing spell, essentially piggybacking a new player-created spell onto an existing matrix. It is advanced spellcasting and attempting it is challenging for even experienced spellcasters.
A Symbiosis is the spell pattern you create via RESEARCH SYMBIOSIS, giving you the advantage of a self-researched meta-spell, essentially a self-crafted buff at the cost of making the next spell you cast considerably more difficult. This, in itself, is a blessing and a curse, as the spell is harder to pull off and likely will be at non-capped mana for most spellcasters (meaning less potent and shorter duration), but will teach magic even beyond the limits of what the spell would normally teach.
For example, an introductory spell like Ethereal Shield (ES) will only teach to about 500 ranks of Warding and Primary Magic. Beyond that skill level, even casting the spell at maximum mana will not yield experience. However, stacking a symbiosis to the spell will increase the difficulty well beyond esoteric level, making it harder to cast and granting experience from a successful cast.
*** How do you Create a Symbiosis? ***
First, one must learn one of the feats associated with RESEARCH SYMBIOSIS. The feats associated with Symbioses are:
Symbiotic Research, Physical Matrices, Mental Matrices, Survivalist, and Scholar
Each of these feats will open up a group of options via RESEARCH LIST. This is not confirmed, but it seems that Symbiotic Research allows for magic-buffing symbioses, Physical and Mental Matrices boost physical and mental stats respectively, and Survivalist and Scholar grant survival and lore boost respectively.
With this feat, you must begin a RESEARCH SYMBIOSIS project. Similar to performing a normal Magical Research project, you must select have Gauge Field (GAF) cast before starting. From your RESEARCH LIST, you select which Symbiosis you want to create. Symbioses are tied to a particular skill, and you must have at least 800 ranks in a skill to have the option to create a Symbiosis for it.
An example of a Symbiosis is the ACTIVATE SYMBIOSS which is an Arcana skill buff. In order to begin a research project for an activate symbiosis, you would have to enter RESEARCH SYMBIOSIS ACTIVATE [time amount between 30-300 seconds]. Symbiosis projects seem to take 6 minutes, so an interval of 300 followed by 60 should complete the project. Alternatively, you could begin other types of symbiosis projects such as STRENGTH or PERFORM, amongst many other options.
*** How do you use a Symbiosis after you’ve created it? ***
Once you’ve completed the Symbiosis, you are ready to prepare the meta-magic spell pattern. To do this, PREPARE SYMBIOSIS. There is no prep time or roundtime associated with this action and it can be done before or after preparing the spell you’re stacking it on. The result of a prepared symbiosis is that your next non-combat spell you cast will be significantly more difficult, but upon successful casting, will grant you the benefits of your symbiosis – in the case of the example above, an arcana boost and spellcasting experience. If your spell backfires or you release the spell, your prepared symbiosis remains and will affect the next non-battle spell you cast.
Symbiosis buffs seem to last about 30 minutes, but this is only barely tested so far.
From a roleplay perspective, a symbiosis is essentially a spell of your of your own creation. With sufficient skill in magic and on your chosen topic, you’re well-versed enough to create your own magic to further influence your ability using that skill. In order to create the spell, you must spend time preparing the subtle nuances of the spell matrix you’re planning to superimpose over an existing pattern.
*** Upon completion of an individual Symbiosis session, you’ll see a message like: ***
You make definite progress in your project about the Activate symbiosis and decide to take a break.
However, there is still more to learn before you arrive at a breakthrough.
*** Upon completion of a Symbiosis Project, you’ll see a messages like: ***
You complete reviewing your knowledge of the Activate symbiosis and commit the details to memory.
You dismiss the knowledge of the Harness symbiosis from your mind, replacing it with knowledge of the Activate symbiosis.
*** You can check your progress towards the project via RESEARCH STATUS: ***
You believe that you’re 14% complete with a portion of research about the Activate symbiosis. You estimate that you will complete it a few minutes from now.
This information is telling me that I’m 14% complete with the total RESEARCH SYMBIOSIS project.
Similarly to Magical Research, interrupting a RESEARCH SYMBIOSIS session clears all progress you’ve made during that session, while any completed session progress will be kept. Losing an active GAF cast will cause the total research project to fade away.