The art of Magic
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.
To save writing spell/prayer the term spell means a spell or a prayer unless it is obviously only related to mages.
Priests cast their spells by invoking the will of their god or other astral plane creature as is their whim. Priests are able to cast their spells as long as they are not cut off completely from their god. Their power comes from the planes of heaven and hell. This coalesces on the prime material plane and weakens the further they travel into an elemental plane or down into the depths of the planes of Hell/Heaven (depending upon their god).
Mages cast their spells by weaving the various elements together into new combinations drawing their power from the elemental planes.
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...
Wizards have problem 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.
Old magic / Shamans
Shamanistic magic is a remnant of the power of Gaia herself from the beginning of time. It comes from the earth itself and is tied into the cycle of life and death.
It is only accessible with difficulty outside the prime material plane.
The planes of existence
Before we can discuss the powers and types of magic we first need to get a grounding of how the multiverse is made up.
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.
Astral and Ethereal
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, this requires going via teh prime material plane.
In both planes there is a sense of up and down but no real gravity; objects released from possession hover where they are dropped. Movement is by thought with you speed based off either Intelligence or Wisdom depending upon the plane. Technically it's an acceleration as long as you are going in a straight line; stopping instantly when you change direction or run into something.
As a mage/priest's power is drawn from the particular planes casting in unaligned planes is more difficult and maybe impossible.
The Ethereal Plane is a foggy realm that connects the Elemental Planes—of which the Material Plane is one. You cannot see your location relative to any of the planes, you oonly find out where you are when you exit. It is easy to become lost in the mists therefore travellers tend to stick to known routes. They can be guided by beacons for those who know how to detect them. Distance in the ethereal is variable but at compressed by at least a factor of 10 so that on step in the ethereal is 10 steps in the prime material. Teleportation spells move you through the ethereal having manipulated it to be exceedingly compressed on your route.
If you stop on the ethereal plane then movement speed is Intelligence x 10' per round with a minimum of 10'/r.
- Prayers in the ethereal/elemental planes are harder to cast costing 1 PP more.
- Spells in the ethereal plane are easier to cast costing 1 PP fewer (min 1)
Known dangers include whirlpools sucking you into the one of the elemental planes.
The Astral Plane can look upon the closest plane it is otherwise a timeless, almost featureless plane and is home to everything non-physical or beyond mortality. Astral projection travelers saw their silver cord leading back to a metallic silver pool, rippling like mercury in a pan. Pools appear as two-dimensional circles about 5-10 m diameter and only visible from the astral side unless they had some way to detect invisible objects. The colour of the pool depends upon the plane they lead to, ranging from brilliant white for Nirvana to black for the planes of Hell.
Movement speed is Willpower x 10' minimum of 10'/r.
- Prayers in the astral/heavenly planes are easier to cast costing 1 PP fewer (min 1)
- Spells in the astral/heavenly plane are harder to cast costing 1 PP more.
Known dangers includes frequent incursions by demons, devils and heavenly servants searching for ways onto the prime material plane.
Casting Spells and Prayers
The variability of the success of spells comes in different forms. Ranged attacks may need to cast an attack roll, damaging spells roll for damage, spells with saves roll the difficulty of the save, utility spells may have a random duration
Whatever the reason the roll will be on the following scale
If the spell has a standard saving throw then that is calculated as either:
Arcane Knowledge + INT + d4
Faith + WIS + d4
However, if it is against a main statistic e.g. strength then it will be a fixed number (depending upon the spell) + d3
Casting in difficult circumstances suchas on a galloping horse may require a riding check as you are being bounced around at the vital moment.
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 NeedsSpell 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
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.
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
The AK / Faith is the level of the caster not of the spell/prayer.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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'
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.
These are the general type and require a major action to perform.
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.
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.
These take a significant amount of time (minutes, hours or even days) and cannot be performed in combat.
These are minor actions but take no power..
- Hero points. One hero point may be used as one power point.
- Body disfunction. For each extra power point or part of, of their maximum normal power, the wizards loses a life point. Magic cannot speed up the healing process. During this period only 10% of their power points may be recovered during a day of 8 hours rest.
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.
After resting characters need to spend time reading their books or praying to their god.
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).
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.
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