There is an innate power in Circles. They make excellent containers for magical energy. This allows them to be used as traps, walls, and magical foci.
Creating a Circle
A circle can be created out of anything, but it must be uninterrupted to be effective. Harry carries a piece of chalk in his pocket just for the purpose of drawing circles. The circle doesn’t have to be geometrically perfect, its the intent that matters.
Once you’ve created the physical circle, spend a Power Point to infuse it with your will.
Disrupting a Circle
Circles are easily disrupted. All it takes is interrupting its physical form. Simply smudging a chalk circle, taking a stone away from a ring, or having an object pass through the circle. This makes circles one of the most fragile forms of magic and yet one of the most important.
How It Works
Circles can operate in one of two ways:
As a Barrier- When the character imbues a circle with power he may choose one of his Spheres to power it with. This determines exactly what the barrier is useful against. For example, imbuing a circle with the Spirit Sphere makes it into a barrier against things of pure spirit; it could be used to trap ghosts, demons, and other creatures from the Nevernever. The circle becomes a limited Threshold, whose strength is equal to one-half your Spirit Die plus any Power Points you spend beyond the activating one. It is a limited Threshold in that it only affects that which it was imbued with – the Spirit circle would have no effect against a purely physical object.
As a Focus- Sometimes you need to focus your Will and have no way of using your normal tools, either you don’t have them with you or you are trying to keep a low profile. In this case, circles make excellent substitutions. The empowered circle acts as a container for your magic, keeping out other magics that would otherwise attempt to disrupt your focus. This translates into a bonus equal to one-half your Spirit Die to your Spellcraft roll. Using a circle in this way requires more time and cannot be performed in combat. It does give you more power over the release of the energy, though, the spell will not be released until the circle has been disrupted.
Special Materials and Multiple Spheres
Sometimes you need something more powerful than a simple chalk circle. In that case, you can make your circles out of special materials. Any special material you decide to use imparts it’s own magical properties into your spell – a ring of silver is especially effective against Loup Garou, a ring of Iron will more easily thwart Faeries, etc. These circles will have extra investments of time and cash, but have the added benefit of not being easily disturbed.
Circles may contain multiple energies as well, but their design complexity increases proportionally. For each additional Sphere, the empowerment cost increases by one Power Point and the creation time increases by one hour.
Mortals and Circles
Because circles only require a “nudge” of will, mortals who have access to Power Points (as through the Awakened Edge) can empower circles. Since they don’t have access to any Arcane Spheres, the Threshold produced by a Mortal is a generic one that affects all supernatural entities.