Carnymancy abilities include:
- Keeping an incapacitated unit alive when it would normally die. Both Charlie and Sylvia had this happen to them. In Charlie's case it was "at a terrible price", and in Sylvia's case she believed that it had made her immortal at some intangible cost.
- Dispelling the Summon Perfect Warlord Spell (or possibly killing Parson outright, according to Isaac).
It appears that the Carnymancer makes a 'deal' with Fate, at least for some of these events, though the exact nature of this bargain is unclear. It is also possible that the unit affected by the deal may then owe a debt to Fate (or whomever), which may have to be paid back in some fashion. It would seem that Carnymancy spells, rather than modifying unit specials or other stats, might affect the actual rules upon which Erfworld operates.
What is clear is that the effects of Carnymancy must somehow be distinct from the effects of Luckamancy, as they each occupy a separate magical axis, and Luckamancy so far seems less permanent than Carnymancy (one 'borrows' to produce its effects, the other makes a 'deal'; one operates within the 'rules', the other changes them). However, they both may involve some form of cosmic 'debt' that will be paid back in some fashion. Luckamancy pays back good luck (numbers) with an opposing force of bad luck for the unit's side or good luck for the enemy. Carnymancy pays back good Karma (fate) by rigging the rules in one unit's favor while rigging the rules to another unit's detriment (possibly trading one units fate for that of another).
Based on Jojo's statement in LIAB 90, that the Carnymancers should work their specialties, "stir up trouble" and "Get 'em in a real lather," Carnymancers can likely cause both negative emotions and conflict between two or more units.
- This manipulation likely puts it at odds with Flower Power, which seeks to end conflict and promote peace, and Thinkamancy which uses intellectual over emotional manipulation.
- This is also fitting with Charlie's work style. As a ruler and Carnymancer, his Rules encourage his units to cause problems so that he can be hired to solve them.
- Similarly, Carnymancers may also be related to modern day con artists for their tendency to trick 'marks' into participating in their scams.
- Alternatively, Carnymancers may adhere to a 'trickster' archetype, where their actions are not exclusively meant to harm or inconvenience an individual, but may also help or instruct. At times, however, the two might be difficult to tell apart.
- Can be used to manipulate Fate so as to railroad Erfworld into going down a specific path like a cheating game master. The Titans are the most prominent users of this ability, but Carnymancers frequently try to impose their own will on Fate as well. This allows Carnymancers to cheat Fate, in a struggle to railroad against the Titans themselves. For example, when Parson tried to determine the odds of casting a Carnymancy scroll, the Titans' Carnymancy made his Mathamancy Bracer say zero to dissuade him from trying, but Charlie's Carnymancy allowed it to show the true odds for a flash.
- Possibly the Fate magic behind the Arkenhammer.
- May reduce enemy abilities, similar to how carnival games are 'fixed' to be disproportionately difficult.
- May have minor abilities of other schools, which would explain why the Arkenhammer has so many different and wild abilities.
- May involve taming of wild units, which would correspond to the Arkenhammer, like in a circus carnival.
- May involve mesmerizing the enemy with flashy production values, if Carnymancy was the extra element in the Vanna "Wheel of Fortune" linked Turnamancy spell. Since carnivals involve fooling the "townies", are there links to Foolamancy?
- Being in the Fate axis, could involve the alteration of cause and effect, totally redefining the show.
- As it is said to alter rules, Carnymancy might be capable of such feats as modifying archery attacks so that they could hit targets across hexes off-turn instead of hanging in midair, or preventing a specific unit from being injured or incapacitated by falls, and so on.
- It may provide a means to dispel or cancel other magic, as Jojo claims that he has a spell that can send Parson (who was summoned by magic) back to Stupidworld.
- Alternately, its effects might operate further outside the rules, as Sylvia suspects that, when they both served Unaroyal, Jojo might have made a deal that would prevent her from ever being permanently croaked.
- Carnymancy might serve to alter the 'rules' (or morals) which a unit 'plays' by. To keep this distinct from Hippiemancy (which alters a target's perception and might 'suggest' a course of action a unit would already be open to under a given circumstance), Carnymancy might instead influence that unit, to change what they consider to be an acceptable course of action in a given situation. As it is a form of Stagemancy, along this line of thinking it would also not be unreasonable for Carnymancy to be used to 'teach' a unit a new 'trick' (e.g., 'teach' them a new Special such as Archery).
- As indicated by the Predictamancer Marie Lavraie, like a carnival carny it may be that carnymancers take non-carnies as stooges or suckers to be played. It is possible that carnymancers lie to these suckers as required to manipulate or alter Fate. After all, who but a master cheat would claim to be able to cheat Fate itself?