Technomagic comes from Imbuing, and uses that magical Talent in a very strange way (at least to Beyonder ways of thinking.) Whereas enchanting an item (a Wand of Liquid Hope, for example) takes weeks or months, a technomage can create the exact same thing in a few hours, with the proper raw materials.
(These are known as “quick-and-dirty” devisements, or QaDD, pronounced “quad”. Other technomagic devisements take much longer to craft.)
An enchanted item lasts until it’s destroyed, but technomages can take the raw materials used to create one quad and tear them apart, using them in the next. This flexibility seems unnatural to those raised in the Beyond, but is very much appreciated in the chaotic and impoverished Outlaw.
Technomagic – Cracking is possible because electricity can affect magic, creating convergences in the Shadow World. Technomagic works on similar principles. Maguses can cast Flash Fire, and incinerate an opponent. Technomages can do the exact same thing, with the correct devisement.
Technomages use wires to create electric circuits, them imbue those circuits with a small amount of magic, creating a devisement. Each devisement is different — one might allow you to enter a computer construct, another might enhance the strength of a wearer, another might make bullets explode when fired. Once electricity — from a generator, power plant, or battery — is flowing through the circuit (a process the technomage must initialize), the effect comes into existence (and lasts until the power is cut off).
Creating quick and dirty devisements takes a knowledge of the proper circuits and the ability to solder, wrap wires, and screw together a case. Blank wiring boards, wire cutters, batteries, and spools of wire are the tools of the technomage.
Each different effect requires a different circuit, so above all technomages must memorize the several known circuits and what effects they cause. This is especially important because a poorly formed circuit doesn’t just fail to work. It might, or it might feedback on the user or creator, might melt into slag, or do nearly anything else. This is magic, after all, and disasters can be spectacular.
Enchanted items (a magical sword, for example) are permanent (at least until the item is destroyed). Spells are evanescent. Devisements (even quads) are permanent, so long as the circuit is intact and a current is flowing. If the wires are torn loose, or the current is interrupted, the magic fades and can only be re-initialized by a technomage. (In fact, only technomages can switch batteries if they run dry.)
Technomages are at a disadvantage, when compared to maguses. A maguses’ abilities are innate, they cannot be taken away. Nor do they depend on a power source (as the electrical devisements do). They are also more flexible.
At the same time, maguses are at a disadvantage, when compared to technomages. Once a devisement is finished, it can be used without tiring or hurting its wielder. Maguses are not so lucky.
Technomagic is a very new discipline, only discovered in the years after Emergence. The first commercial technomage set up shop 11 years ago, but breadboard kits for technomages (suitable for quick-and-dirty devisements) are less than eight years old. Shadow walkers could read information from computers from the very first time they crossed over, but constructs to protect that data weren’t developed until 9 years ago. And shadowjacks, which revolutionized computer use and cracking, are just three years old.
Technomagic is so new, no one knows what it might eventually be capable of. By increasing the complexity of the circuit and the power flowing through it, ever more powerful effects can be created. If there is a limit to this process, no one can say. Technomagic may eventually be able to duplicate, or exceed, the legendary abilities of the archmages.