The loose nature of dream magic has meant that some parts of the Synthesis are somewhat unclear. The following questions and answers should resolve some pressing questions and prepare Weavers to deal with others. Some of these answers are extrapolations of the existing rules, others are clarifications.

This same FAQ appears on pages 108 to 111 of the Tribe 8 Companion (DP9-805) and it can be considered official.

1.0 General Questions

1.1 The Thresholds are quite high. How do I ever get a high MoS?

Synthesis is a mercurial dream-magic, generally ill suited for use directly in combat or for earth-shaking effects. For Conjunctional Synthesis perception effects are much more likely to succeed. Use of longer rituals or group ceremonies will also give you significant bonuses and allow for higher MoS. 
Aspects benefit from fewer bonuses, one reason they are only available to people with Synthesis Skill Level 2 or more. Hallucinogenic drugs (known as Hazers) can be used to provide a bonus to all Synthesis rolls.

Weavers who wish to make Synthesis more potent can do so in any number of ways. They can reduce the SP cost of Synthesis Skill to that of a Complex Skill, allow Dreamer Modifiers to be applied to Aspects as well as Conjunctional Effects, or even rule that in Synthesis rolls both extra 5s and 6s count as +1 (rolling two 5s would result in a 6, 5 and 6 in a 7).

1.2 What constitutes a ritual (in terms of the Synthesis rules)?

A ritual is a ceremonial event that a Synthesis wielder performs in order to reach the dream like trance necessary to manipulate the River of Dream. In the case of the Ritual Skill, these are set ceremonies passed down from one dreamer to 
another. In the case of the Synthesis Skill, these ceremonies are much more personal and intuitive - one dreamer might spin like a dervish, another might recite secret mantras, another might use drugs or sex. Generally the longer a ritual the more powerful its effects (hence the bonuses and penalties for longer or shorter ceremonies). Weavers can ask Players with the Synthesis Skill to define the general type of ritual their characters use.
Rituals almost always have some sort of externally noticeable component - e.g. incantations or hand-movements. Some situations may prevent a dreamer from using her habitual rituals (a gag, tied hands, being bound, etc.). Those with the 
Synthesis Skill can still use it, though, because they have an intuitive connection to Dream that is not strictly dependent on any one type of ritual; Weavers would be well within their rights to impose a -1 or even a -2 penalty in this situation, 
however. Solely being deprived of ritual implements - charms, knives, etc. - would not cause this penalty, it would only deprive the dreamer of the +1 bonus for using such implements.

1.3 Do I roll Combat Sense to use Synthesis in combat?

Only if you are beginning or ending your ritual trance this round, in which case you roll Combat Sense to determine initiative (and hence whether the ritual successfully begins this round or when it takes effect). If you are going to be continuing a ritual throughout this round, you may not need to roll Combat Sense (although the Weaver may ask you to just to keep track of everyone). This roll does not count as an action.

1.4 How do I learn Synthesis, learn a new Aspect or raise my Synthesis Skill?

Experience Point costs are dealt with on page 155 of the Tribe 8 Rulebook, but they are not the only requirements. Any form of new knowledge of Synthesis requires some form of enlightenment or improved understanding of spirit and 
dream. This new knowledge can come from a variety of sources: long seasons of study, a quest for an ancient artifact, a confrontation with a Fatima, a journey into the H'l Kar or River of Dream, etc. The specifics are very much up to the Weaver, 
but in general the quest should involve danger for the hero and a meeting (or confrontation) with some entity powerful in spirit. The new ability might even be granted by or stolen from that entity. This process is made much easier (and less 
dangerous) by the presence of a tutor. Not only can this reduce Experience Point costs (see Tribe 8 Rulebook, pp. 155-156), but these mentors can provide guidance and warning before and during quests for enlightenment. Aspects require a tutor unless they are granted by a spiritual entity.
Note that Tribal characters usually receive Aspects or increased Synthesis as a direct gift from their Fatima.

1.5 How do Synthesis and Sundering interact?

Synthesis and Sundering are essentially opposites (Synthesis melds the physical and spiritual, Sundering rips them apart). This is what makes using Synthesis against Z'bri or in Z'bri lands more difficult. The personal connection to the River 
of Dream is very difficult to achieve in an area influenced by the Z'bri (hence the -1 penalty in Z'bri lands or when outnumbered by Z'bri) and using the power of the river directly against a Z'bri or Serf is equally difficult because they are not 
actually connected to the river (-1 penalty for this situation). These problems can be offset by attacking in large numbers or by using Synthesis on objects that are then used against the Z'bri rather than affecting them directly. The Fatimas, 
Sisterhoods and the hidden Marians know rituals to consecrate ground so as to purge it of Z'bri influence - hence when led by a Fatima, tribals are rarely considered to be in Z'bri lands.
Another important defense against Sundering is to deprive a Z'bri of the emotional reactions they depend on. Conjunctional effects using Devotion, Bravery, Conviction, Inspiration, or Unity can be used to suppress an individual's or a group's fear, pain or pleasure. This causes a lack of sensation for the Z'bri, imposing a -2 penalty on Sundering. Sundering used in lands consecrated by the Fatimas (e.g. their temples) also suffers a -2 penalty.

2.0 Eminences

2.1 How many Eminences (and which ones) do tribal characters have?

Tribal characters (i.e. those still in the grace of their Fatima) have both of the Eminences of their tribe. They develop these Eminences in childhood and will have both by the time of their coming of age ceremony (Agnites develop both very rapidly). 

2.2 When do you gain a Fallen Eminence?

Fallen lose one tribal Eminence during their banishment ceremony. They gain their new Fallen Eminence soon thereafter. The exact interval varies greatly (running from mere seconds to weeks) and depends on context. A character angry and outraged and wanting to strike back at the world that has made her suffer might gain Vengeance immediately, and only later find herself gravitating toward the Jackers. A more timid outcast might interact with various groups of Fallen for weeks before finding the Lightbringers she feels comfortable - acquiring Conviction as her confidence grows. If this comes up in play, the exact moment is up to the Weaver.

2.3 How do you use Eminences if you don't have the Synthesis Skill?

Conjunctional Synthesis and Aspect use are *impossible* without the Synthesis Skill. Eminences can be used, however, as a sort of specialized luck, allowing a +2 bonus or a rerolled Fumble once a session (see Tribe 8 Rulebook, p. 164). 
Eminence is also used with Ritual Synthesis (using the Ritual Skill) as explained on page 174 of the Tribe 8 Rulebook.

2.4 Can I get more Eminences?

The short answer is no. There may be exception circumstances - such as drinking from the Grail in the Sangreal quest (see p. 72) - that grant an additional Eminence for a certain amount of time, but these are extremely rare instances.

2.5 How do I decide what fits (or doesn't fit) in my Eminence?

There are no hard and fast rules for deciding just what Conjunctional effects or simple actions fall within one Eminence or another. This is part of the flexible, loose nature of Synthesis and each Player Circle will reach a different consensus. 
When dealing with the more subtle Eminences it is generally best to ask what the goal of the action is. For example jumping across a wide chasm evidently falls within the Eminence of Motion, but depending on motivation it could also fall 
within Bravery (jumping into an enemy camp), Capriciousness (tricking a pursuer), Freedom (escaping from that same camp), or Fury/Vengeance (jumping to pursue an enemy).
When dealing with the +2 bonus to a roll, Weavers should be liberal in their interpretation. The Player can only use this once a session, so let them use it when they want as long as it's not patently ridiculous. Weavers can be more demanding for Conjunctional Synthesis, but should still be flexible. A good option is to impose a -1 penalty in a borderline situation.

3.0 Conjunctional Effects

3.1 How do I use Conjunctional Synthesis as a weapon? What's the attack procedure? What does a Conjunctional Synthesis attack look like?

If the circumstances fall within a dreamer's Eminence, she can use Synthesis as a powerful weapon through a direct Conjunctional effect. Joanites with Fury can do so with ease, channeling their anger into physical pain and damage, but other Eminences may be appropriate depending on the circumstance. A Dahlian could push an enemy with great force (using Motion), a Jacker could strike at an enemy who has hurt her (using Vengeance), a Joshuan could channel energy into an 
opponent (using Force), or a Yagan could cause organs to wither (using Death). 
These are only some possibilities.

The attack procedure is basically the same in all cases and assumes the dreamer must touch her opponent: roll Synthesis + AGI against the opponent's Dodge +AGI (with a minimum Threshold of 7, for affecting another person). Use the MoS 
as you would in any other attack, with a Damage Multiplier equal to 10 + Synthesis Skill. Creating an attack at a distance can be possible at the Weaver's discretion, although the Threshold should be 8 or 9. 

The visuals of each attack depend on the Eminence and the dreamer. Joanite "Fury blows" generally look like martial arts moves.

3.2 Page 165 of the Tribe 8 Rulebook gives MoS equivalencies. Do I get everything at a certain MoS or do I buy effects with an MoS pool?


The MoS equivalencies are intended as guidelines and dreamers get all the benefits of that MoS unless it simply does not apply or makes no sense. So a MoS of 3 could give a +3 bonus to STR that would last for an entire scene. The durations listed apply only for effects that are prolonged. If using a Conjunctional effect to leap a chasm, the MoS does not determine how long the jump lasts.

3.3 Is performing a ritual considered an action? What happens if I take other actions?

Yes, performing a ritual of any type (be it for an Aspect, Conjunctional Synthesis, or Ritual Synthesis) is considered an action. If in a combat situation, any other actions performed are at -1 and the final Synthesis (or Ritual) roll is also at -1. In the case of a multi-round ceremony, it counts as an action every round, although the actual Skill roll occurs only when the ritual is complete. That skill roll is penalized -1 if an additional action was taken in one or more of the rounds during which the ritual was being performed, and another -1 for being unable to concentrate. If two additional actions are taken in one or more rounds than the total penalty rises to -3. Weavers can rule, however, that certain actions are impossible while continuing a ritual - say yelling a warning when reciting an incantation. Normal Dodging is not considered an action but does ruin concentration. All-Out Dodging is impossible when performing a ritual.

3.4 Can I "enchant" an object with a Conjunctional effect?

Yes, but creating a permanent "magic object" is very difficult and something generally reserved for the Fatimas and other powerful entities. More feasible are small charms and medallions that grant small aid in specific circumstances (generally a +1 bonus to the appropriate Attribute or Secondary Trait, or +3 to the DM of a weapon). The Thresholds to create these permanent charms are quite high, however: 11 to affect the wearer's senses, 12 to affect her mind, 13 to affect 
her body. Weavers can rule that failed rolls cause cursed charms that either impose a penalty or bring very bad luck. An MoS higher than 1 is generally lost, although the Weaver can decide the charm is especially powerful (gaining a +2 
bonus or being able to affect several people at once).

Even successful charms rarely work in a mechanical, entirely reliable fashion. Generally, they create a surplus of the desired effect that manifests itself in other part's of the bearer's life. For example, a hunter wearing a charm that increases 
her senses for stalking may not be able to sleep because of the "roar" of her mate's breathing; or a warrior with a battle charm may develop an extremely short temper and violent behavior. These effects can be lessened (but not eliminated) 
by refraining from wearing them in everyday life. The most common charms in Vimary are Fatimal medallions produced by the various Sisterhoods (see Vimary Sourcebook, p. 131).

If you want a temporary "enchantment," it is generally best to use Conjunctional Synthesis as normal to directly augment another's senses, mind or body (see Tribe 8 Rulebook, p. 165).

4.0 Aspects


4.1 Are there only two Aspects per tribe?

There are two common Aspects per tribe, but the Sisterhoods and various guilds know more. Additional Aspects will appear in various sourcebooks, especially the Wordbooks focusing on the individual tribes.

4.2 Can a character have Aspects not from her Fatima?

Yes, although it isn't common. For tribals this represents a special gift from the other Fatima - such as the Evan Storm Cry (see Vimary Sourcebook, p. 91) who has the Sheban Aspect of Truthsaying. Fallen can learn Aspects from any tribe as 
long as someone can teach it to them and/or they undergo an appropriate ordeal.

4.3 How do Dream Travel and the Dreaming Skill differ?

Basically, Dreaming allows a character to act in dreams, while Dream Travel allows her to move through dream and spirit. The Dreaming Skill allows a character to better interact with the River of Dream and its spirits once she has 
entered it - generally by falling asleep. She can deal with dangers more skillfully than an untrained Dreamer and even fight spirits if she must. Dream Travel allows a character to separate her spirit from her body, and travel great distances. 
She may travel through the physical world as an invisible ghost - essentially moving through the Shores (see p. 32) - she may enter the dreamscape of a nearby individual, or she may travel through the vast River of Dream like a 
powerful spirit. Dreaming is still used to accomplish actions while in this form, however.

5.0 Other 

5.1 Ritual Synthesis (Tribe 8 Rulebook, p. 174) seems weak. Why the -2 penalty? Wouldn't I be better off spending my points in Synthesis Skill?

Ritual Synthesis (the use of the Ritual Skill) is intended to be a poor-man's Synthesis, the more formulaic and less potent version of Conjunctional Synthesis used by elder tribals not blessed by the Fatimas. Family heads use it to get luck 
for newlyweds or for the coming harvest. The -2 penalty basically represents the fact that Ritual generally requires more participants and ritual implements. This penalty can be overcome with very lengthy rituals (one lasting a little over two-
and-a-half days - 64 hours - would gain a +5 bonus), although these are understandably rare. In terms of spending points, Conjunctional Synthesis is generally more potent. Remember, however, that Ritual Synthesis is only modified by the KNO Attribute, so by raising that Attribute at the expense of others, potent rituals are possible.
Note that "Ritual Synthesis" (which uses the Ritual Skill) is not the same as the rituals used in Conjunctional Synthesis (which uses the Synthesis Skill). 
Conjunctional Synthesis uses much less complex ceremonies (or rituals) to focus the dreamer's mind and they can provide useful bonuses to rolls (see Tribe 8 Rulebook, p. 165). The ceremonial requirements in Ritual Synthesis are greater 
(hence the longer time). The details of these ceremonies are left to the Weaver, but they generally require ceremonial action (e.g. a dance, an incantation, sexual intercourse), a physical focus (e.g. an effigy of the target), and some form of 
sacrifice by the ritualist (e.g. blood or a gift).