Source: M. A. Lloyd
The Path of Nature deals with the living world - animals, plants and the vital force (anima) behind them. There is some overlap with the Path of the Elements, particularly in chaotic phenomena important to life, such as the weather.
The inverse of Cornucopia, each point of success margin lowers the productivity of the target area by 10%. An area reduced to 0% productive yield can still support the occasional weed or toxic mushroom though, producing a desert requires a margin of at least 15.
Plants within the target area grow as if conditions were better than they actually are. To determine the effects on crops, find the expected yield under the actual conditions, and increase it by 5% per point of success margin. Notice this is a multiplier, not an added yield, if nothing will grow under the actual conditions the Cornucopia will not help. The difficulty given is for the minimum duration of one season.
Causes a plant to thrive as long as it is growing somewhere it could possibly survive. It grows as if it had the proper light, water and soil nutrients and is immune to frost, heat, pests, parasites, random grazers, accidental forest fires or other random hazards, but not active efforts to harm it.
The magician can communicate with a selected type of animal for the duration. Sometimes he can hear animals speak, but the effect could take other forms. How much information or help an animal provides depends on its reaction roll, just as for anyone else asked for information or assistance. On a neutral or better reaction it is willing to at least listen briefly. What an animal can tell you may be sharply limited by its IQ and lack of understanding of human concerns; and it is no more likely than anyone to offer a service that requires significant effort.
Animals must win a contest of Will-5 against this ritual to feel hostility toward or fear of the target. Animals ignore the target at a distance. At close range they may treat him as a curiosity or potential playmate, and while they will not intentionally harm him, accidents can happen. Animals that resist do not automatically fear or hate the target; they simply can if the situation warrants it. Though often associated with pacifist saints, the effect is not negated by violence. It can be used to walk up to and kill animals.
The target can travel through any vaguely passable vegetation at his normal walking pace. Vines will not trip him, thorns never scratch and contact with poison oak is harmless. He will not need a machete to penetrate dense jungle or thick gloves to reach into a thorn bush. It does not erase a trail, but often makes it hard to follow, and Tracking rolls will be needed where others would leave an obvious slashed trail.
Attunes the target to the nearest example of a type of plant or animal. He knows in which direction it lies, but not how far. Once attuned, the guide points to the same example even if it is no longer the nearest. The casting fails if the duration is not long enough to walk to the target. The type selected can be a bit narrower than species (adult male horses or queen bees are legal types), or much broader (anything with blue flowers). Possible effects include causing a pointer to always fall in the right direction, always chancing onto tracks pointing the right way at moments of decision, or being actually led by a guide, typically a small bird.
Attracts all animals of a particular type within 1/2 mile per point of success
margin. Animals failing a Will roll (made daily for ongoing effects) will
travel to the target at their normal speed to the target and try to remain
nearby. If summoned to someplace dangerous - over a cliff, through a ring of
fire - allow another Will roll when they first notice the danger. The ritual
does not otherwise change their behavior or reactions, and once the effect ends
they disperse (or not) as they normally would. The caster may chose to limit
the number of animals responding any given day, possibly to as few as one.
The 'plague' only shifts animals around; surrounding areas actually have fewer than normal. Usually this is not noticed, but it can be used as a Pied Piper effect. It also makes a nice fishing boat blessing.
The target animal or group of animals will obey the instructions of the magician, to the best of their abilities. The ritual does not alter their abilities, intelligence or understanding of humans, so while an animal will let the magician ride, it isn't trained to make the ride comfortable for him, and while a bird will carry a message, the magician will need to give careful directions and a description of the recipient.
Alters the weather. As VO p76, except the area is the smallest region a natural weather system delivering the effect could occupy. To cover a larger region, roll at -2 x radius in miles. Any sort of weather can be encouraged; dry sunny spells, dense fogs, calms and severe storms are nearly as common as rain. For very rare effects, the GM can set the base odds below a 3 on 3d, requiring a margin of success to have any chance at all. Odds of 3 indicate something happens about twice a year, set rarer events one point lower per factor of 2 less common. For example if a hurricane hits an area about every 30 years, six doublings raise this to twice a year, so a margin of 6 raises the odds to 3 on 3d. Weather that never occurs in the area cannot be created with this ritual.