The Attunement skill represents a character's ability to perceive and tap into the mana streams of Elanthia in order to fuel their spells. It also governs alternate means of mystical perception some characters possess. It is the DR 3.0 combination of the Harness Ability and Power Perceive skills.
Spells and abilities that boost Attunement
- Aura Sight (Moon Mage)
- Echoes of Aether (Bard)
- Indigo velvet cloak adorned with gold roping (Cleric)
- Item:Indigo velvet cloak adorned with gold roping (Cleric)
- Kura-Silma (Necromancer)
- Magical research
- Persistence of Mana (Cleric)
Spells and abilities that decrease Attunement
Streams of raw mana flow all over Elanthia in various forms, and this mana can be tapped into by a mage and used to fuel their spells. In fact, manipulation of mana streams is what distinguishes magic from other forms of supernatural powers, such as khris or Barbarian abilities.
Your Attunement skill represents, among other things, your ability at manipulating this raw mana, which can often involve some tricky maneuvering by the harnessing mage. Harnessing is just that; the mage taps into these flowing lines of mana and attempts to use their power for their own means. Obviously, you can not actually remove the mana from the streams, or surely Elanthia would be barren of mana by now -- all you can really do is try to keep a regular flow of it channeling through your system for as long as your skill allows.
As such, your HARNESS (or MANA) represents your current connection to these mana streams. Harnessing mana is a demanding and strenuous process, and requires that the mage attune himself to the mana they have been trained to use. Casting too many spells or harnessing too much mana weakens this attunement, making it harder and harder for the mage to channel more mana without pausing to let their attunement restore itself.
It may be easier to think of this as your 'current mana sensitivity,' though that is not an entirely accurate way of looking at this process. It would be more accurate to think of Attunement as your current ability to plug yourself into those flowing streams of mana.
Wait -- If mana can't be held, then what's going on in group harnessing?
When others in the caster's group harness mana, it does help the caster but does not actually contribute that mana to the spell. The group's mana helps by reducing the natural resistance mana has to being harnessed -- a single mage harnessing mana will have a more difficult time than if their comrades are 'softening' the surrounding streams with their own efforts.
Upon casting, that helpful group energy dissipates, making the caster's own use of mana as efficient as if they'd harnessed more than they really did. However, since mana types are not truly compatible, this is also why like-mana is more efficient than mismatched mana in group harnessing efforts.
It is assumed that HARNESS SHARE OFF/ON simulates 'proximity' to the casting mage -- someone standing away from him would not be contributing to the effort of reducing natural mana resistance nor helping efficiency.
Whenever you take an action that requires harnessing mana, such as the HARNESS, CAST or CHARGE commands, you spend some of your current attunement. The amount spent is dependent on your Attunement skill and the available mana; higher levels of Attunement will cost you less attunement to cast the same spell.
Attunement also comes into play when attempting to detect available mana using the PERCEIVE command or synonyms. In addition, there are some specific uses depending on guild:
- Clerics are able to perceive the number of other people's favors, level of memory degradation on dead people, and items to discern their cursed or blessed nature.
- Empaths have the ability to Perceive Health.
- Moon Mages can perceive what spells are active on other people, the residue of their mana type, and whether they are preparing a spell or holding mana.
- Paladins can perceive the availability of their Smite ability, perceive items to discern their cursed or blessed nature, and perceive information about grave goods and grave robbers with the Sacred Insight ability.
- Rangers can perceive some Beseeches in effect.
- Warrior Mages can perceive familiars to identify who they belong to.
You gain a small amount of Attunement experience any time you harness mana, however, the most efficient way to train Attunement is by perceiving mana levels using the POWER, PERCEIVE or CONCENTRATION commands.
Most magic guilds are able to train Attunement from perceiving the mana in a room every minute. Specifically, you can gain experience once per room per 60 seconds. Thus the quickest way to lock Attunement is generally by walking through different rooms and perceiving mana in each one. This is known as "power walking."
Moon Mages can not power walk. Since Lunar Magic is global, there is no experience gained by moving to another room and perceiving the mana again before the 60 second timer is up. Therefore, Moon Mages will use one of the following training strategies:
First, they can train Attunement by performing PERCEIVE MANA every 61 seconds. It is also possible to PERCEIVE each spellbook/source of mana separately, but doing so does not result in any additional experience gain.
It is also possible to train Attunement through magical research (e.g. Gauge Flow). For the most part research takes more time than power walking or has a chance at backlash, making other training strategies more desirable.