The Veil of Isis
Each subject taught in the Outer Order is described below, both in terms of the kinds of knowledge imparted and the gameplay benefits it derives. Recall that each subject is bought in levels by spending points, and that multiple levels can be purchased (and multiple sets of benefits gained) by spending enough points. Details on buying levels and points can be found in The Outer Order Curriculum section.
The Keeper has additional information about each subject and will inform of such information when needed in the course of play.
The Pentagram Ritual with the Cabbalistic Cross
The Golden Dawn’s teachings continually warn of harmful spirits which seek to do ill toward unwary dabblers in mystical matters. As protection from these dark forces, new members were taught how to create a protective pentagram. The pentagram was drawn in the air (or occasionally inscribed) with a steel dagger. Numerous variations of drawing the pentagram existed, each of which had a particular function; for playability, these are not addressed. When drawn correctly the pentagram can aid in the use of magicks, including the summoning and banishing of spirits, the negation of unwanted magickal effects, and many other rituals.
Alchemists believed that they could reduce minerals down to a single common component known as the Philosopher’s Stone. When added to a molten base metal this substance transmuted it to pure gold. The Stone was also considered to be the prime ingredient in the Elixir of Life, the secret of immortality. Alchemical traditions have their roots before the birth of Christ, and are found throughout Egypt, the Middle East, and all of Europe, even into the 17th and 18th centuries.
Whatever its magickal teachings, the study of alchemy at the very least yields some conventional chemical and pharmaceutical knowledge. For each level in Alchemy purchased, the investigator receives 1D4 points in Chemistry and 1D2 points in Pharmacy.
Astrology is a method of divinition that reveals the general nature of the subject’s personality, as well as what forces may be acting on various parts of the subject’s life. Divination is performed by examining the position of the planets, the moon, and the star-signs of the Zodiac at the time of the subject’s birth, as well as their position at the time of the divination. While the subject’s name need not be known, the date, time, and birthplace of his or her birth should be. Along with Tarot readings, astrological readings were frequent activities in the Order. An astrological reading could provide guidance as to emotional states, as well as goals and obstacles in one’s life. The first level of this subject purchased imparts a base skill of POWxl in Astrology. Each additional level purchased adds 5% to this skill. In addition, those who study Astrology also receive 1D4 points in Astronomy per level purchased.
A method of divination using cards. In the case of the Golden Dawn these were a Tarot deck of Mathers’ design. Tarot divination was generally used to examine the symbolic forces at work in the past, present, and future of the subject. Cartomancy can be performed on an individual, or a group, nation, or nearly any other entity, though with varying degrees of success — skill in this form of divination amounts to having a good understanding of the symbologies of the cards and then applying these symbologies to the situations of the subject’s life, and the better the diviner knows the subject the more accurate and insightful the reading will be. Members of the Golden Dawn frequently conducted Tarot readings to try and foresee the futures of themselves or others. The first level purchased gains a base Cartomancy skill of POWxl, and each additional level bought adds 5% to the skill.
The Golden Dawn curriculum contained elements from a wide variety of hermetic traditions, and as such initiates were expected to be familiar with at least some of the languages in which these esoteric teachings were originally written. Hence, the Order encouraged its members to have some knowledge of Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, and other Eastern languages. Each language is studied separately, and thus must be purchased with separate character creation points. For example, 2 points buys one level of Latin, not one level of the whole range of esoteric languages. Each level bought gains a skill increase of 1D6 in one particular language.
A method of fortune-telling using a quill and a patch of ground, considered inferior to cartomancy. The diviner takes a quill and makes dots in sand or dirt while in a meditative state. The eventual number of dots and the patterns they make were the pieces of information used to form the answer to the question posed. The first level purchased gains a base Geomancy skill of POWxl, and each additional level bought adds 5% to the skill.