The art of Magic & Prayers

Magic Types

There are 2 types of magic, elemental and god given. Although these types may produce similar results they are in no other way related. The power for all spells and prayers comes from the planes, priests draw from the planes of heaven and hell whereas mages draw from the elemental planes.

Before we can discuss the powers and types of magic we first need to get a grounding of how the multiverse is made up.

The planes of existence

Planes of existence

Thus we can see that the prime material plane where the characters dwell is actually part of the elemental planes. These planes comprise the four basic elements at the periphary surrounding the demi-material planes of dust, smoke, shadow and dozens of others which in turn surrounds the prime material plane. Following the logic it can be seen that the prime material plane is in fact simply a mish mash of all the elemental planes put together. No one elemental plane dominates the prime material, creatures which inhabit the other planes often find it relatively easy to slip betweeen the boundaries in to the adjacent planes.

The planes of heaven and hell exist in another dimension to the elemental planes which is why the priestly and elemental magic do not co-exist. In the diagram power for a character can only flow vertically or horizantally between the planes but not both.

Surrounding the planes are the ethereal and astral planes. As any mage or priest will be able to tell you the Ethereal plane connects the prime material with the elemental planes. Any point corresponds to an equivalent point in every other elemental plane, whereas the Astral plane only connects the prime material with the planes of heaven and hell, There can be no direct travel between the Astral and Ethereal planes

Priests

Priests cast their spells by invoking the will of their god or other extra-planar creature as is their whim. Priests are able to cast their spells as long as they are not cut off from their god. their power comes from the planes of heaven and hell which can be reached with equal ease from any of the material planes. The problems come only when the priest is further removed from their gods plane than normal. The further down into the abyss a priest travels the less the power of the gods from the upper planes and the greater the power of the gods from the lower planes.

Elemental / Old magic

Elemental magic belongs to wizards and the creatures of the elemental and demi-elemental planes, including those that choose to reside on the prime material plane. This includes creatures such as dragons, mephits...

These can perform their powers anywhere on the elemental planes. They employ their powers by direct manipulation of the elemental forces and channelling the forces from their home plane.

Wizards have more problem than priests when travelling towards heaven or hell as their powers are designed to work within the elemental planes and not pass the boundaries in the vertical direction. Rather than preventing the mage casting the more powerful magics however (as happens to priests) it reduces the level of spell available to him.

Casting Spells and Prayers

Spells and prayers do not have a skill roll when casting but normally one of the spells attributes will have a variable.

2d4

2d4+1

3d6

4d8

5d10

6d12

5d20

Damage cannot rise above 5d20.

This is the roll the wizard/priest makes which represents the variability of the cast.

It is asumed that the character has a base INT/WIS of 2 (or they wouldn't be that class);

If there is no saving throw then each each additional INT/WIS above/below one allows the caster to reroll any one die keeping the new result otherwise the caster's INT/WILL affects the save required.

It may be necessaryto make a seperate skill check to determine if a cast can be made at all, thus casting on a galloping horse would require a riding check or you are being bounced around too much at the vital moment.

Hero points

A hero point will give the caster additional dice, one die for every two dice they would normally roll (minimum 1).

Thus 3d6 damage become 4d6 damage, but 4d8 becomes 6d8 damage. For spells/prayers where the variable is a saving throw an extra d4 is rolled) thus 13+d4 (14-17) becomes 13 +2d4 (15-21).

Power Needs

Spell casting creatures cast spells by using up power points (PP). Any spell a character knows may be cast provided the requisite power points are available. The higher the level of the spell the greater the number of power points required.
Spell / Prayer
Level
Power
points
Cantrips 0
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 5
5 7
6 9
7 11
8 14
9 17

 

Spells vs Rituals

Spells and prayers can be cast in one of two forms: quickly which burns power or slowly as a ritual which does not. By default spells are cast as an action with a combat segment (1 second) whereas rituals may involve circles, candles, performing a rain dance... Thus rituals cannot be used in combat.

By default rituals take 10 minutes per level.

Rituals do not require power points as the power's release is carefully controlled however this does not mean there is no effort involved, instead the caster loses the equivalent number of stamina points; these of course may be healed by magic.

Whilst all spells can be cast as rituals not all rituals can be cast as spells.

Saving throws

Against non-damaging spells or prayers the default saving throw is:

4 + Arcane Knowledge/Faith + INT/WIS + d4

Against damaging spells or prayers the d4 is assumed to have rolled a 2 so it becomes

6 + Arcane Knowledge/Faith + INT/WIS

The AK / Faith is the level of the caster not of the spell/prayer.

Ongoing saves

Ongoing saves are those where the effect is carries on from round to round, the creature will (normally) get an immediate save plus another one on their turn.

Ongoing saves are normally mental attacks where you are trying to throw off an effect (e.g. hold person); these occur at the end of your turn

When taking damage the character saves before the damage roll.

 

Thus if doused in acid the character saves immediately to see if they managed to avoid the worst of it. If they fail then at the end of their turn they make another save and possibly take further damage. The save will depend upon their actions and the spell effect.

 

Example

A fire effect that normally lasts for three rounds of damage

Spell goes off

Immediate: Character save fails - Takes full damage

Turn 1 :

Option 1
Character attacks, - No attempt to put out the flames so they take full damage,
   Next turn they are still alight and taking damage
Option 2
Character rolls on the ground, - flames are put out so they take NO damage
Turn 2 :
Option 1
They are still alight and taking damage
Option 2
Flames are put out so they take NO damage

Note that some effects will only give you a chance of avoiding the damage or may require more than one rolling manoeuvre.

Spell Attacks

Some spells require the caster to perform a spell attack. This is made using the:

 

Arcane Knowledge/faith level-1

 

And is vs their ranged defence (except for specific spells that require actual touch). As these attacks require a to hit roll they do not normally get a saving throw.

Boosting an ally in combat whether by healing or providing protection does not require an attack roll.

Spell range

Many spells/prayers have a standard range which increases as your level increases. This is shown as Range = Std in the spell lists. A few show Std x 2 or similar or even a specific range.

 

Arcane knowlwedge / Faith Level x 10'

Combat Round

Spell casting is difficult at the best of times, requiring intense concentration to phrase the words and complete the somatics correctly. These problems are bad enough when standing still in silence on a solid floor: attempting to perform spells in combat where the din of battle pounds your ears, the horse your sitting on refuses to stay still and the next spear is likely to be directed at you is almost impossible. Fortunately heroes take these things in their stride (you are a hero aren't you)

If in direct melee it is impossible to cast a spell that takes more than 2 segments to perform. Longer than this and that spear will have an intimate knowledge of your entrails.

Normal spells/prayers

These are the general type and require a major action to perform.

Battle spells

Battle spells are minor actions, they are designed to be very quick and easy so they may be cast in a addition to a major action except if the main action is also casting since the battle spell will still drain power leaving the caster feeling mentally empty. Thus you may strike with a weapon, perform an acrobatic leap and still cast. They are an adjunct to you main action so are cast immediately before or after your main action.

Reaction spells

These require a free action and are cast instantly when a given effect has occurred. Some spells may be reaction for one variant but not another, e.g. Feather Fall is reaction but Levitate the 2nd level version is not (hint, it's not reacting to anything). Reaction spells do NOT prevent you casting on your main action, unless they occur simultaneously.

Rituals

These take a significant amount of time (minutes, hours or even days) and cannot be performed in combat.

Cantrips

These are minor actions but take no power..

Running out of power points

In dire circumstances a wizard or priest may need to use more power points than they have currently remaining. There are two methods in which this can be done

Rest & Recovery

Power points are recovered by sleep and rest. A full nights rest (8 hours) will recover all lost points. Shorter rest periods enable a character to recover only a percentage of a characters full capability as shown below (round down points recovered).

When out of power a fw minutes rest will enable you to recover a bare minimum = (Arcane / Faith ) level / 2 (round down.

Hours of
sleep
Percentage
recovered
4 20%
6 50%
8 100%

After resting characters need to spend time reading their books or praying to their god.

Dispelling magic

Each wizard can automatically dispel their own magic. They need to be within the original casting range of the spell (this will be touch for many spells).

Problematic casting

Concentration

You can only have one concentration spell/prayer going at a time. Concentration spells designed for battle cannot be kept going between encounters.

If you suffer damage whilst concentrating you may lose the spell so need to make a Mental Defence concentration check.

10 + (spell/prayer) level

Casting whilst Restrained

Mages and priests are sometimes captured and tied up or gagged (or both). In these circumstances it may still be possible to cast depending upon the effectiveness of the restraint. Make a skill check vs 10. The excess is the level that can be cast.

A mage = Arcane Knowledge (INT) check.

A priest = Faith (WILL) check.

Mages suffer disadvantage for each of binding and gagging. Priests don't need their hands so only suffer for gagging.

The roll determines the highest level that can be successfully cast whilst restrained in that manner. (If a Hero Point is used then it is added for that one round only).

All casts (priests and mages) are at the same disadvantage on the effect roll as the casting attempt roll.

Prayer casting in combat

Priests have a slightly easier time of it than wizards as they are using the power of their god not the arcane forces. Gods are less particular about the verbal and somatics components of prayers. If a priest screams in pain in the middle of calling for divine help the god may even be inclined to help more. If the prayer is stopped though it will certainly fail.

The priest is able to finish the prayer on an endurance save of:

5 +1 per SP

Casting whilst moving

Casting in difficult circumstances such as on a horse frequently disrupts spells. The chance of failure depends upon the movement in the ground (or mount). The movement modifier is applied spell skill roll

Casting from a book.

A spell that you have known in the past but currently have forgotten can be cast directly from a spell book. It takes a round of preparation per two spell levels to read through and digest the spell immediately prior to casting. Of course you also need the book open and present (and thus in harms way) to read from.

 

Wild Surges

The Southern Kingdom is more technologically advanced and this causes magic some problems.

Rolling 2d8 on a 2-3 on the dice a wild surge happens roll on the wild surge table.

2 = Spell Fails but draws normal power

3 = +1 power or spell fails. If it works it surges (see surge table).

Stun save INT + Arcane knowledge vs 10 + spell level

Pass reduces the damage level as per normal stun saves.

Magic is harder to cast (-2 to all magic skill rolls).

Wild surges may occur under other circumstances