Any character that is knowledgeable of any kind of magic has a chance of wielding the energies of the Great World Spirits. It may allow a magician to control the elements, the people around them, or Fate itself. There are a number of different schools of magic, a number of different methods of spellcasting, and a number of different spell effects. Each of these types of magick will be detailed in its own section to follow. When combined, the types of spell a mage can cast is almost limitless.
Every spell cast can be customized by the magician. The character may be very creative about how he performs the spell and what the intention of the spell is, leading to a very unique experience every time a spell is cast. As such, alongside the listed rules for most of the sections in this chapter will be examples to show some unique ways to employ them. Ideally, a magician should be able to do absolutely anything he wants to using the forces of magic.
Success Rate: Magic requires the raising of spiritual energy. Although each type of magic may have different methods for this, they all require rolls that can be referred to on the following table unless noted otherwise.
|Success Rate||Energy Raised||Ritual Magic Energy Raised|
|Critical Failure||Lose all of what has been raised||Lose all of what has been raised|
|Failure||Lose half of what has been raised||Lose half of what has been raised|
|Poor||1 per turn||100 per hour|
|Fair||5 per turn||250 per hour|
|Good||10 per turn||500 per hour|
|Excellent||25 per turn||1000 per hour|
|Exceptional||50 per turn||2500 per hour|
|Terrific||100 per turn||5000 per hour|
|Amazing||250 per turn||10,000 per hour|
|Spectacular||500 per turn||50,000 per hour|
A Special Note: In order to cast a spell, a mage must have both a Spellweaving skill (such as Create/Destroy) and a School of Magic (such as Incantation). The mage will also have one or more Spheres of Magic that comes with being a magician.
Although spellcasting is virtually limitless, there are a number of aspects that remain the same throughout all the different types of spells. Here they are:
Spheres of Magic: The Spheres of Magic are the individual areas of influence over which a magician holds sway. There are a number of Major Spheres, each with a number of Minor Spheres below them. The Major Spheres are Light, Darkness, Life, Death, Flora, Fauna, Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Time, and Space.
Schools of Magic: The School of Magic indicates the method used by the spellcaster to raise magical energies, called Spell Points. Each School has its own bonuses and penalties, but should be chosen primarily to add to the character and personality of the mage.
Spell Effects: Spell Effects are those different ways which a mage may use to wield his magical powers. Each allows the mage to perform a number of different spell effects.
Spell Points: Spell points are a numerical representation of how much energy a mage has built up toward casting a spell. Every spell requires spell points to cast, which must be built up prior to using the spell, and which are consumed upon casting the spell whether the casting was successful or not. The amount of spell points required is based on the spell effect being used, and are described in that section.
General Spellcasting Guidelines: The mage first selects the Sphere of magic he will be casting under. If it is not the Sphere with which he is most familiar, there may be a penalty, and if it is too far removed, he may not be able to cast at all.
The mage then decides what the effect is that he will be using, putting something together from the variety of spell types at his disposal. For example, he may cast a Create spell effect, and his Sphere may be Fire, and thus he can cast Create Fire in order to bring the element of fire into being where there was none before. A mage automatically gets a number of points to put into any spell equal to the skill level of their Spellweaving skill for the effect they are attempting. For example, if the mage in this previous example had a Create skill of 5, he would automatically have five points to apply to the spell before he even rolls.
The magician must then decide what School of Magic he will be using to cast the spell. Once this is decided, he may begin rolling against his skill in that school in order to raise Spell Points. When it is the mage’s turn, he rolls on his spellcasting ability. The result shows the number of Spell Points he may gain every turn until his next turn. For example, if he rolls a Fair result, he gains five spell points per turn until his next turn comes around. He gains the first five immediately, and then another five at the end of every other combatant’s turn. If there were a total of four combatants including himself, he would gain 20 spell points by the time his next turn came around. If he has not gained the sufficient number of spell points to cast his spell by that time, the mage must roll again. The amount of spell points he gains per turn may increase, decrease, or stay the same.
On a failure, all spell points that have been built up so far are lost, and the mage must start over. On a critical failure, the spell backfires and the GM should find a way to create the exact opposite of the desired effect. As soon as the mage has built up enough spell points, he may butt himself into the order of turns and cast the spell immediately. He rolls for the entirety of the spell (unless the spell is not intended to take place all at once) by rolling on his Spellweaving skill for each spell type he is to cast. For example, a mage casting an exploding fireball would have to roll first on Create Fire to create the fireball, then Project Fire to throw it, then on Expand Fire to make it explode. Each success rate will indicate to the GM how well the spell performed. In this case, the GM decides that the Create Fireball roll would indicate how much damage the fireball would do when it hits its opponent, the Project roll would indicate its aim, and the Expand roll would indicate if the explosion does as much damage to the enemies caught in the splash radius.
A Note on Attack Spells: In order to create a bolt of energy that can hurt a target, it has to be at least a certain size, otherwise a mage could create tiny marble-sized balls of fire without spending any spell points and use them to kill a giant. Rememeber, the name of the game is realism!
In order to cause adequate damage to an opponent, a bolt of energy must be as many square feet as the target takes up on a map. Thus, a regular-sized creature which takes up one square foot on the map must be hit with a bolt of energy that is one foot square. For every size you double, the damage rank would shift up by one. Thus, a two-foot square ball of energy would get +1 rank, a four-foot square ball of energy would get +2 ranks, and an eight-foot square ball of energy would get +3 ranks.
Conversely, for every size it goes down, the rank is reduced by one. So if it were 3/4 of a foot, the rank would go down by one. If it were 1/2 a foot, the rank would go down by two, and if it were 1/4 of a foot, the rank of damage done would go down by three.
The size of the creature follows this same pattern. Thus, for a 3/4 size creature, a 1-foot square ball of fire would cause +1 damage, and for a size 2 creature it would do -1 rank of damage.
Programming a Spell: A mage casting a spell may not wish it to take place immediately. In this case, programming the spell is necessary. The mage must either cast the spell on an object and then command the object when it is to release the spell, or build up all the spell energies and cast the spells all at once (essentially programming each spell effect on to the previous one, like the Elemental Bolt spell listed below). This requires no effort, and the amount of time programmed could very well be indefinite. See the Spell Synergies below for a couple examples of how this would work.
In order to get many of the different effects that are possible, and may be necessary during adventuring, a mage will have to use more than one spell effect. Here is a short list of spell synergies that can be achieved by casting multiple spell effects, some of which involve Programming the spell.
Elemental Bolt: To throw a ball of energy based on a certain element, the mage must first Create the element, then program the end of the Create spell with a Project spell to project the element at his enemies. If the spell is to explode and cause area of effect damage, the mage may also program an Expand spell into the end of the Project spell as he is creating it, commanding it to release when the bolt has struck its target.
Shelter: A mage can create a small magical shelter which lasts throughout the night so the party has a safe place to sleep. He would first Create Earth (or wood, or even metal) in a size large enough to contain all of his allies. He would then have to cast Shape Earth on that block in order to form it into a cabin or tent or igloo or whatever else he had in mind.
Alarm: The mage may cast Analyze Fauna on four rocks or trees surrounding the party’s encampment, putting enough spell energy into it to last as long as the party will be camping. Since the sensation of Touch is also a part of the Fauna Sphere, the mage may then cast Inflict Touch on the stones or trees, giving it a range that is at least far enough to reach every member of the party. He would then program into the Inflict Touch spell that it is to be released only if the Analyze Fauna spell finds an enemy. The party may then go to sleep, and if the Analyze Fauna spell discovers an enemy, it will cause vibrations in the party members it was set to effect, instantly waking them up.
Message: The mage may cast Imbue Sound on a door, and then program it to only take effect when the party’s Rogue comes along. The sound would be a message that only takes three seconds to be heard, so the mage would put a one turn duration on the spell. Then, when the Rogue shows up and tries to open the door, the door would “speak” to the Rogue and tell him he missed the party. Of course, since it won’t bother anything and doesn't change the effect of the spell as far as any rules are concerned, the GM may allow some flavor to the spell, like having a mouth appear on the door when the message is spoken.