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Divination

Type:
Definition:


Prerequisites:
Time to Perform:
Relative Accuracy:
Relative Difficulty:



Notes

Divination: The act of discovering facts about the unknown or the future, using supernatural or magical methods.

Whether you call them spells, special abilities, miracles, divine intervention, skills, or feats, divination in one form or another is present in most games as well as most real-life societies. Divination ranges from the complex sacrificial cermonies of the Aztecs to the simple modern-day eight ball. This document provides definitions for nearly 200 types of divination as well as some simple guidelines to use when introducing divination to your game.

Some of the techniques here have robust histories with many examples of use throughout history associated with them. Some are less known, rarely reported, or fictional. A simple online search should provide plenty of information for GM's who really want to flesh out their campaign.

Prerequisites:

This field lists some examples of ability scores or attributes that are important for a character to possess when trying to perform divination. If the style of game you are playing does not use the same set of characteristics, then adjust them to the 'best match' as needed. Also, adjust the adjective descriptor to best fit the numerical system used in your game. Having a set of guidelines available for the players to consult is very important because in most games not all characters are going to be able to possess these skills.

Sample Prerequisites  Sample Modifiers
Intelligence  Average
Wisdom  Above Average
Perception  High
Manual Dexterity  Very High
Intuition   
Faith   

Time to Perform:

This field tells the amount of time it takes for a character to make a 'reading' when attempting to divine the future or an unknown object. Sometimes, an image or premonition will occur almost instantaneously. Other times, hours or days may pass before the answer is given. This value should consider the length of any required ritual or ceremony, as well as the amount of time (if any) spent waiting for the character to interpret the reading.

The options the generator uses are seconds, minutes, hours, or days. Of course it is possible that a time of weeks, months, or years may seem appropriate for your campaign.

Relative Accuracy:

This field gives a percentage of how accurate a reading is when successfully performed. Depending on the campaign setting, some types of divination will be more accurate than others. The generator assigns a random number; however, it is sensible for the GM to adjust this as needed. For example, a technique with 100% accuracy will provide the players with very straight-forward information, such as 'Teric the Grave will kidnap the mayor's daughter.' A less accurate technique might reveal, "A tall, male that is somehow associated with a cemetery will kidnap the mayor's daughter.'

Again, this is the accuracy of a reading and not the percent chance of making a reading. The percent chance of making a reading will depend on the mechanics of the game being played---such as the character's skill rank or level of intelligence.

Relative Difficulty:

This field gives a relative descriptor indicating how challenging it is to perform this type of divination. In some campaigns, Ailuromancy (using cats) may be very easy; in others, cats may be so rare or so common that making a reading is extremely difficult.

The options that the generator uses are: very easy, easy, average, difficult, and very difficult.

Types of Divination:

TypeDefinition
Abacomancy Divination by using observations of the patterns of dust or the ashes of the deceased.
Acutomancy Divination by using sharp objects e.g. needles.
Aeromancy Divination by using signs in the air or other atmospheric phenomena e.g. thunder and lightning.
Agalmatomancy Divination by using statues.
Ailuromancy Divination by using observations of cats.
Alectryomancy Divination by using a male bird and grains of corn.
Aleuromancy Divination by using meal or flour.
Alphitomancy Divination by using a loaf of barley.
Alveromancy Divination by using sounds.
Ambulomancy Divination by using observations made while taking a walk.
Amniomancy Divination by using a caul (membrane that may envelope a child's head when born).
Anemoscopy Divination by using observations of the winds.
Anthracomancy Divination by using burning coals.
Anthropomany Divination by using human entrails.
Alomancy Divination by using salt.
Apantomancy Divination by using a chance object or interpreting omens from chance events.
Arachnomancy Divination by using observations of spiders.
Arithmancy Divination by using numbers e.g. assigning numerical values to letters in a name.
Armomancy Divination by using observations of someone's shoulders.
Ashagalomancy Divination by casting small bones.
Aspidomancy Divination by chanting on a shield.
Astragalomancy Divination by casting small bones.
Astrology Divination by interpreting the motions and positions of celestial bodies.
Astromancy Divination by the stars.
Augury The art of interpreting omens e.g. the flight and cries of birds.
Austromancy Divination by using observations of the winds.
Auto-manzia Divination by casting ten straight pins and three bent pins onto a dusted surface. Used by Italian Psychic Maria Rosa Donati-Evstigneeff.
Axinomancy Divination by using an axe-head.
Batraquomancy Divination by using observations of frogs.
Belomancy Divination by using arrows.
Bibliomancy Divination by using books; divination by using chance verses from the Bible.
Bolomancy Divination by using feathered arrows.
Botanomancy Divination by using plants especially vervein, briar, or heather leaves.
Brontoscopy Divination by using thunder.
Capnomancy Divination by using smoke especially the fumes of burning poppies.
Captromancy Divination by using a mirror.
Cartomancy Divination by using a deck of cards.
Cartopedy Divination by using observations of feet.
Catoxtromancy Divination by using looking glasses.
Cattabomancy Divination by using metal vessels, often brass.
Causimomancy Divination by using objects tossed in a fire.
Cephalomancy Divination by using a head especially of a goat or donkey.
Cephalonomancy Divination by using observations of the boiled head of a donkey.
Ceraunomancy Divination by using observations of lightning.
Ceromancy Divination by using observations of melted wax dripped into water.
Chalcomancy Divination by observing the sounds made when hitting metal bowls with a mallet.
Chaomancy Divination by using observations of the shapes of clouds.
Chiromancy Divination by inspecting the hand.
Chresmomancy Divination by interpreting the ravings of a lunatic.
Chronomancy Divination by using time.
Cleidomancy Divination by using a suspended key.
Cledonomancy Divination by interpreting random events or remarks.
Cleromancy Divination by lots e.g. beans, bones, or dice.
Cometomancy Divination by using observations of comets.
Conchomancy Divination by using shells.
Coscinomancy Divination by turning a sieve and a pair of tongs.
Crithomancy Divination by using meal strewn over sacrificed animals.
Critomancy Divination by using observations of the paste and flour of cakes offered as sacrifices.
Cromniomancy Divination by using onion sprouts.
Crystallomancy Divination by using a crystal ball, pool of water, or other transparent item.
Cubomancy Divination by using observations of cubes.
Cyclomancy Divination by using wheels.
Dacryomancy Divination by using tears or crying.
Dactyliomancy Divination by using a finger ring.
Daphnomancy Divination by using a burning laurel.
Demonomancy Divination by using oracles made by demons.
Dendromancy Divination by using oak and mistletoe.
Dictiomancy Divination by using a dictionary.
Enoptromancy Divination by using a mirror.
Entomomancy Divination by using observations of insects.
Eromancy Divination by using observations of bubbles in a vase of water when spoken into.
Extispicy Divination by inspection of the entrails of sacrificed victims.
Felidomancy Divination by using observations of cats.
Floromancy Divination by using flowers.
Gastromancy Divination by using images seen in the belly of glass vessels full of water or by using sounds from or signs on the stomach.
Geloscopy Divination by interpreting the tone of someone's voice and laughter.
Genethlialogy Divination by casting nativities (a horoscope at birth).
Genethliacs Divination by casting nativities (a horoscope at birth).
Geomancy Divination by using a handful of thrown dirt, pebbles, sand, seeds, or random dots.
Graptomancy Divination by using observations of a person't handwriting.
Gyromancy Divination by interpreting the point at which a person walks around in circles and falls down from dizziness.
Halomancy Divination by throwing salt into fire.
Haruspicy Divination by inspection of the entrails of sacrificed victims.
Hematomancy Divination by using blood.
Hepatoscopy Divination by using observations of the liver of sacrificed animals.
Hieromancy Divination by interpreting objects offered in religious sacrifices or sacred things.
Hieroscopy Divination by interpreting objects offered in religious sacrifices or sacred things.
Hippomancy hippo- (horse).
Horoscopy Divination by the casting of a horoscope (an observation of the configuration of the planets at a point in time).
Hydromancy Divination by using signs derived from water or rain.
Hypnomancy Divination by using sleep or hypnosis.
I Ching Divination by using the Ancient Chinese Book of Changes (the I Ching).
Ichthyomancy Divination by using observations of fish entrails.
Idolomancy Divination by using idols or images.
Knissomancy Divination by using burning frankincense.
Lampodomancy Divination by using observations of the flame from an oil lamp.
Lecanomancy Divination by using observations of a knife or other object thrown into a container of water.
Libanomancy Divination by using observations of smoke from incense thrown in a fire; combined with prayers.
Lithomancy Divination by using signs derived from a stone or stones e.g. a lodestone (a magnetite that is naturally magnetized).
Livanomancy Divination by using burning frankincense.
Logarithmancy Divination by using logarithm tables.
Logomancy Divination by using words.
Lunomancy Divination by using the shadows created by the moon on a person's face.
Lychnomancy Divination using an oil lamp or torch.
Kephalonomancy Divination by using the baked head of an ass or goat.
Macharomancy Divination by using knives and swords.
Macromancy Divination by using observations of large objects.
Maculomancy Divination by using observations of spots.
Margaritomancy Divination by using a pearl.
Meconomancy Divination by using sleep.
Meteoromancy Divination by using observation of celestial bodies.
Metopomancy Divination by using a person's facial wrinkles.
Micromancy Divination by using observations of small objects.
Molybdomancy Divination by using observations of motions in molten lead.
Myomancy Divination by using observations of mice or rats.
Myrmomancy Divination by using observations of ants.
Nagomancy Divination by communicating with the dead.
Narcomancy Divination by using sleep.
Necyomancy Divination by summoning or communicating with demons.
Necromancy Divination by communicating with the dead.
Nephomancy Divination by using observations of clouds.
Nephromancy Divination by using observations of the kidneys of sacrificed animals.
Nomancy Divination by using the letters of a person's name or by using a person's features.
Numerology Divination by using the significance of numbers.
Oenomancy Divination by using wine.
Oculomancy Dicination by using observations of a person's eyes.
Odontomancy Divination by using observations of a person's teeth.
Omphilomancy Divination by using the navel or umbilical cord.
Omoplatoscopy Divination by using observations of the cracks in a burning shoulder blade.
Oneiromancy Divination by interpreting dreams.
Onimancy Divination by using observations of the angel Urial.
Onomancy Divination by using names e.g. the significance of the number of letters in a given name.
Onychomancy Divination by observing fingernails.
Oomancy Divination by using observations of an egg broken into a glass of water.
Ophiomancy Divination by using snakes.
Ornithomancy Divination by observing the flight and cries of birds.
Osteomancy Divination by using bones.
Palmistry Divination by using observations of the lines and configurations of the palm.
Pedomancy Divination by using a person's footprint in clay.
Pegomancy Divination by using observations of the rings produced by dropping a stone into water.
Phyllorhodomancy Divination by using rose leaves.
Physiogomancy Divination by using observations of a person's face.
Podomancy Divination by using observations of feet.
Psephomancy Divination by using stones or beans marked with symbols or colors.
Psychomancy Divination by communicating with spirits.
Pyromancy Divination by using signs derived from fire.
Rhabdomancy Divination by using a rod or wand e.g. a divining-rod to find minerals or water.
Rhapsodomancy Divination by using random verses, passages, or words from the works of a great poet.
Rune Stones Divination by casting rune stones.
Scapulimancy Divination by observing the cracks in a burned shoulder-blade bone.
Scatomancy Divination by using observations of feces.
Schematomancy Divination by using observations of a person's form.
Sciomancy Divination by observing shadows or communicating with ghosts.
Scrying Divination by using observations of visions when staring into a shiny object.
Scyphomancy scypho- (cup).
Selenomancy Divination by using observations of the moon.
Sideromancy Divination by dropping dry straws into a hot iron skillet.
Solmancy Divination by using observations of the sun's rays.
sortes Biblicae (L) Divination by seeking guidance from a chance selection of the Bible.
sortes Homericae (L) Divination by seeking guidance from a chance selection of a passage from Homer.
sortes Praenestinae (L) Divination by casting letters of the alphabet and observing the words they formed.
sortes Vergilianae (L) Divination by seeking guidance from a chance selection of a passage from Virgil.
sortilege Divination by the casting of lots.
Spasmatomancy Divination by using twitches or convulsions.
Spatulamancy Divination by using an animal's shoulder blade.
Splanchomancy Divination by using the entrails of sacrificed victims.
Spodomancy Divination by using ashes from sacrificial fires.
Spodanomancy Divination by writing in ashes.
Stercomancy Divination by using observations of seeds in feces.
Stareomancy Divinition by using the elements.
Sternomancy Divination by using the markings between the breast and the belly or by speaking from the chest without moving the mouth.
Stichomancy Divination by using random lines of verse.
Stoicheomancy Divination by using the verses of Homer and/or Virgil.
Stoichomancy Divination by sticking a pin into a book opened at random, often the Bible.
Stolisomancy Divination by using observations of the way a person dresses.
Sycomancy Divination by using fig leaves.
Tasseomancy Divination by using tea leaves.
Tephramancy Divination by using ashes of burnt sacrificed victims.
Thalassomancy Divination by using observations of the tides or sea.
Theomancy Divination by using the prophecies of oracles.
Theriomancy Divination by using observations of a wild animal.
Topomancy Divination by using observations of landforms.
Tyromancy Divination by using observations of coagulated cheese.
Uranomancy Divination by using observations of the heavens.
Urimancy Divination by using observations of urine.
Xenomancy Divination by using observations of a stranger who is sought or happens to appear.
Xylomancy Divination by making observations of wood e.g. sticks found in one's path or the arrangement in a fireplace.
Ydromancy Divination by using signs derived from water or rain.
Zoomancy Divination by using animal forms.
Zygomancy Divination by using weights.

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(c)2003 Jeffrey A. Mills, DVM
doctorjeff98@msn.com


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