Reality is a flexible, yet resilient medium, and its mastery requires control over many diverse phenomena. Most of the time, major powers manifest as the forces of synchronicity, bringing an astonishing array of coincidences together to make great events possible. (This means that cinematic timing does not have to be unbelievable— the sense of disbelief that comes with such occurrences is actually a sign that great powers are at work, rather than credulity-straining plot elements.)
The places of power. Locations with good feng shui attain a cosmic significance; those who live there and defend the place, who are attuned to the site, gain benefits appropriate to the site. The greatest of these powers is an ability to influence reality itself in subtle ways. Characters attuned to feng shui sites have a certain luck to them; synchronicity works in their favor, and their dreams, ideals, and desires help to mold reality itself. A group of people with similar ideals who hold enough feng shui sites can change the very course of history.
The Netherworld, being a place where reality is rather plastic, can be shaped by those who have held the power of reality-shaping in their hands. All people who have attuned to feng shui sites possess a Shaping AV equal to the number of feng shui sites they have ever attuned to, plus occasional modifiers.
Some are more abstract than simple sites: check out the Internet Spamhaven and Strange Highways. Note that the Nodes prized by wizards are usually sources or sinks of chi, while feng shui sites are channels through which chi flows; there are sites that are both a Node and a feng shui site, but there are plenty that are only one or the other.
Propaganda that manipulates the collective unconscious has power in its own right; there is a synergistic effect with feng shui sites here. Hollywood is full of major feng shui sites because of the amount of manipulation that comes out of there. Despite the efforts of factions such as the Technocracy to discourage mystical thought, more shows like Hercules and Xena keep springing up and the public continues to queue up for tales of magic and wonder.
This can dovetail nicely with media themes from cyberpunk games.
The cosmic forces of creation, preservation, and destruction exist in an uneasy three-way balance; great ascendancy for any one of them could be disastrous. The Garou call them the Wyld, the Weaver, and the Wyrm; the current state of affairs has the Weaver running crazy trying to package up all of reality as a static block, the Wyrm attempting to erode and destroy all of reality, and the Wyld trucking along inspiring people as it always has. Each of them invests energy in various ways; destruction of these investments are setbacks, while support and enhancement of them is an advancement.
Adventures during which characters significantly affect the Cosmic Balance give the same experience award as attunement to a feng shui site, and in some rare cases, give a bonus to Shaping.
Sometimes, a particular object develops a mystical significance.
Speculation abounds as to the source of this little cellular phone, but Virtual Adepts, when asked, grin ruefully and admit it’s beyond their power. This phone connects to the international grid in the modern juncture, no matter where or when you are at the time, even in the netherworld or makai. The only thing known to block transmission is the closure of the modern juncture. Calls are untraceable and free; directory assistance is usually available, though it seems to start in random locations on the planet where people speak the language of the phone’s holder.
Attempting to take it apart is a surefire way to ensure that trouble will show up and distract you. Simply approaching the device with a screwdriver and intent is guaranteed to have a guy come through the door with a gun, Chandler-style, or cause some similar incident that will disrupt any attempts at analysis.
No one knows whether or not the Netherphone is tapped, but it exhibits great powers of influence over synchronicity. Some theorize it is tapped by some or all of the Invisible Clergy, and that they will occasionally exert their influence when prompted.
Heroes can step into archetypal roles that make their support mystically quite powerful. Archetypes themselves exist at a deeper level of existence than most mortals: they commune with the information that feeds into the collective unconscious from six billion minds, and their desires manifest as synchronicitous events. The group of archetypes is collectively known as the Invisible Clergy, and each and every one of them were once a mortal human.
Heroes who walk in the footsteps of an archetype are known as avatars. Few people possess the purity of focus to unconsciously emulate an archetype to the degree required to be an avatar; it usually requires effort on the order of devoting your life to the purpose. However, there are occasions upon which a person finds themselves naturally attracted to the position of an avatar— as in Mage: the Hero Defined, by Matt Wagner. (OK, those are reincarnations, but they fit the notion quite well.) Avatars gain some advantages— synchronicitous powers that relate to the archetype they follow.
From a game-mechanical standpoint, any avatar has a particular skill based on the whichever of their Chi stats is currently lowest. With an AV in the Avatar skill from 1–10, one particular power, a channel, becomes available to them. At AV 11, there are two powers; at 14, three; at 19, 4. The avatar skill goes up with experience, and can decrease if you act in a way that is inconsistent with your chosen archetype. A character can have only one avatar skill at a single time.
There can be only one avatar with an AV of 20 in their avatar skill, and that person is known as the godwalker for that archetype. There are special powers only available to godwalkers, and the only way to displace a godwalker is to get them to act against their archetype... or kill them.
One advantage of being a godwalker is that it is possible, by being so consummately good at following an archetype, that you embody the archetype better than the individual who ascended, however long ago. This means you ascend to their place... and they exit via the House of Renunciation. It is also possible to ascend directly to the Invisible Clergy by embodying a new archetype so well that your own symbolic prominence drags you willy-nilly into the collective unconscious. There are rumors that it is possible for the Invisible Clergy to become filled when it reaches a particular number of archetypes (some say 333), at which point all the archetypes will fuse into one Godhead, and the universe will be destroyed and re-created in the image of that fusion of archetypes, with an empty Invisible Clergy awaiting its first archetype. Some say that that sort of thing happens all the time, it’s called a “critical shift”, and archetypes who don’t fit the new universe are kicked out. No one has managed to canvas enough netherworld-walking avatars to find out if they’ve noticed anything while changing junctures.
(The Comte de Saint-Germain is believed to be an immortal being who begins existence whenever the universe is reborn and always ascends to the Invisible Clergy when one seat remains.)
A classical example of a godwalker is the Fisher King. (Tim Powers’ Last Call was seminal to the notion of the godwalker for the Unknown Armies creators.)