- 1 Spell Casting
- 2 Spell Types
- 3 Spell Lists
- 4 Spellbooks and Memorization
- 5 Path
- 6 Charge
- 7 Spell Resistance
- 8 Magic Proficiency
- 9 See Also
In its purest form, you know a spell, you cast it. How long it takes is governed by the following:
- Fast Cast: Instantly, cannot be cast if not memorized.
- Slow Cast: Can be cast from anything; takes two rounds (1 round to start casting, then the cast happens when your turn begins on the next round)
- Weave: Same rules as Slow Cast. Duration is specified by spell.
In order to cast the spell, you need to know it or have it recorded, know the typed-proficiency, and meet the minimum level. That's it. The spell then goes on Cool Down. If you have too many spells on cool down, you cannot cast spells.
Only AOE spells have range, single-target spells as considered to be able to hit any target the character can see. Spells do not pass through obstructions.
Weave spells without a specified duration last until some effect removes them.
Each spell is classified as Physical, Mystical, or Effect, and is treated accordingly. There is no dice role when casting spells, instead each spell has a base star-rating and is effective against anything up to and including that number. Mages may have abilities that increase the effectiveness of certain spells.
Spell Types Are:
- A Physical Spell is something that has a direct, normal, physical effect. Like a fireball: the attack is literally a ball of normal fire (albeit one that has been created magically). If a spell is Physical, it is treated just like a weapon attack, with attack dice, defense, etc. The player rolls attack as normal.
- A Mystical magical attack is one that has some sort of super-natural component. This does not apply to all spells cast under the Mystical Proficiency, nor does it exclude all Elemental spells. Because they are more powerful, Mystical spells have a lower base star rating.
- An Effect spell is one that does not typically "deal damage". These are usually "buff" weaves that have some sort of positive effect on the target. They may also have negative effects when used on enemies, etc. However, some extremely powerful spells may deal damage or even destroy a target completely.
What Spells Can Be Cast
This is where things get a little bit rickety for the spell-caster-types. There are Known Spells, Recorded Spells, Memorized Spells, and spells being carried around in other ways. Let's try and go over some of the ways a spell can be cast, and how.
- Memorized: Can be cast instantly from memory (if a fast-cast spell). Memorized slow-cast spells can also be cast at any time, but still take the same amount of time to cast and resolve. Mages are limited in the number of spells they can memorize at any one time. Spells can be memorized from the Known list or through the Lore proficiency.
- Known: Known spells are those learned through the normal process of leveling or memorized through the Lore proficiency. These spells cannot be "cast" in combat as they exist within the memory of the mage and require concentration and thought in order to recall. A mage can, if given several minutes to focus and meditate, cast known spells, or transfer them from knowledge to memorization.
- Recorded: Kept in a spellbook or other method (on a scroll, in a talisman, etc.). These spells can be cast if the item they are recorded on is held by the mage (such as a spellbook equipped to the main hand). Assume you need to look at what it's recorded on; having a book in your pocket does not help. All spells cast this way are done at slow-cast speed.
Casting By Ability
There are three factors that determine whether or not a character can cast a spell:
- Minimum Level
A character must meet all three in order to cast a spell.
Some mages only have access to specific schools. For example, the Auramancer has Magic Proficiency, Effect, and so can cast any effect-type spells, but does not know the Dark school of magic. So, they can cast Heal from the Endo-Mage spell list, but not Underworld Swarming.
Unlike the card game, spells cannot be "countered"(the countermagics have become a part of resistance). Slow-Cast and Weave spells cast from spellbooks can be interrupted.
Nearly anything can interrupt a spell. Each of these counts as an "Interrupt Event":
- Anytime a mage takes any damage(being the target of an attack does not interrupt the spell unless the attack hits)
- Anytime the mage is the victim of an Effect
- Anytime the mage is touched by a powerful enough anti-magic aura.
Additionally, some spells cause interrupt effects.
There is no check for interrupts(except for interrupt spells), however the character can take facets that allow them to ignore a certain number of interrupt events, this does not help with spells that directly cause interrupts.
Like activated abilities, some spells have a Star Rating. This rating is usually quite high, as we can expect most spells to effect most targets. As with activated abilities, if the star rating is greater than the target's rating, the spell lands successfully.
Note: A star rating of 00 is a stand-in for the infinity symbol, indicating it can hit anything.
Spells now all fall into 5 categories: Physical, Mystical, Effect, Aura, and Elemental. Spells can be in multiple categories, and these determine what proficiencies are required to cast them, as well as what impact they have on the world around them. When casting a spell that has multiple types, use the highest proficiency you have for one of those types.
In simplest terms:
- Physical spells have a direct, tangible impact on the material world.
- Mystical spells have some sort of super-natural component
- Effect are exactly what the name implies, instead of dealing damage they cause effects.
- Aura spells are in something of a class of their own; belonging to the Auramancer, these spells can have physical, mystical, or effect components, but still only be considered an aura spell.
- Elemental spells are also a separate class; the soul domain of the Exo-Mage, all elemental spells are also physical, and cannot have mystical effects.
For the purposes of combat, spells are treated only as either physical, mystical, or effect. All elemental spells are automatically also physical. While an Aura might only have Aura as the main type, it will have one of the other three listed in the rules when making combat checks. See: combat for more information.
Outside of combat, spells are just sort of cast. If you are casting an offensive spell, that starts a combat round. If not(like throwing a healing spell on an NPC or something simple) you just sort of do. Assume cooldowns are a few seconds(unless otherwise specified). Just, ya know, be cool. Check the cooldowns page for more information.
See Spell List.
These magics are subdivided in two ways: path and charge.
There are essentially three different types of spells: gained, learned, and granted.
- Gained: Gained spells are those that the character automatically gains access to as they level. New gained spells become available every 3 levels for Additive and 5 levels for Subtractive, so at levels 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, and 23.
- Additive Gain: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 23
- Subtractive Gain: 5, 10, 15, 20
- Learned: Learned spells are spells that have to be obtained through the use of scrolls and tomes, using the Transcription and Lore proficiencies.
- Granted: These are spells that are granted by some game rule, such as a Facet or Pillar.
Each gain is called a Progression. Additive First Progression, Additive Section Progression, etc.
However, just because a spell is able to be cast, does not mean the player knows it. For Learned spells, the character will have to track down and obtain special Tomes in order to gain new magics. The character is able to memorize a certain number of spells based on their level (to a maximum of 9 memorized spells). If they have a spellbook, they can then write down additional spells and cast from the book, allowing the player to learn all spells covered by their proficiencies.
A tome is a book containing a spell that the player can learn. if the player wishes to memorize the spell from a tome and they have a high-enough lore, they can essentially zap it straight into memory (note that players may only memorize a limited number of spells).
The memorization-check from a tome is: Lore Proficiency + Buffed Intelligence. Players with the Comprehension Skill can also add their Comprehension Modifier to their Intelligence Modifier for calculating their Lore Skill as well as adding their total comprehension X Buffed Intelligence Modifier to the final tally.
Every tome will have a minimum memorization-check listed on it. If the player fails the check, the tome remains in their inventory and can continue to be used to cast spells.
Scrolls, which are primarily a use-item cannot be memorized from the scroll, but can be coppied into a spellbook using the Transcription proficiency. This act consumes the scroll and destroys it. Once a spell is placed in the spellbook, it can then be memorized.
The transcription-check for scrolls is Transcription + Intelligence / 10. Roll the check against a difficulty rating listed on the scroll. If you beat it, you can transcribe the scroll into your spellbook. You still must meet the requirements for casting the spell.
Spellbooks and Memorization
Mages store the bulk of their arcane knowledge in spellbooks, which serve as both a backup and a casting resource. How many spells a given book can hold depends on the book, some contain only a few, others many. A character may only cast spells from the book currently in his or her hands.
Memorization is governed by the transcription skill. Each day, a mage may transcribe 1 spell from memory into their spell book, or memorize 1 spell, per point in transcription. Learning spells from tomes or other spellbooks are similarly limited.
In order to get a spell from a Tome, the player would first have to memorize the spell from the tome, transcribe it to their spellbook, then memorize it from the spellbook. To do this in a single day would require a transcription proficiency of at least 3. (Note: points of transcription are not "spent" in that they do not go away, they are just a limit on the number of actions per day.)
Spells can also be "forgotten" for no points. If a character has enough space in their spellbook, they can merely record copies of a spell and "forget" them as needed, re-learning them from the book.
The character gains the ability to memorize spells at level 2. Every 2 levels up to 14, they gain an additional memorization-slot (for a total of 7). Two additional memorization-slots can be earned through facets, for a total of 9 memorized spells.
In order to change-out known spells, the player must "forget" a memorized spell. This process takes some time, and cannot be carried out during combat or "on the fly". This is the sort of thing the Mage should do when they have some down time between adventures.
At the time a spell is being memorized, the Mage can choose to erase it from their spellbook. Spells can only be erased this way, meaning the character must use up a number of "Transcription" actions any time they wish to erase spells. Forgetting a spell is free, but if a forgotten spell is not kept in a spellbook, it is gone forever.
A tome is a magical book that contains the instructions for a single spell. Spells cannot be learned from scrolls, although hiogh-level mages can sometimes make tomes from scrolls. A tom is not "used up" when a spell is memorized from it. Alternatively, a character may equip a tome like a spellbook and cast the spell from it.
Some spellbooks will contain spells already inscribed. These are able to be erased like ordinary spells, but beware - these may be special, and getting rid of them to make room could mean loosing knowledge forever.
Spellbooks in Combat
All spellbooks are initially treated as two-handed blunt weapons, and require the mage to have the Bludgeon proficiency in order to attack. They deal Mortal Damage. using facets; spellbooks can also be made into 1-handed weapons and eventually dual-wielded. If a spellbook is wielded in the off-hand, a more practical weapon can be wielded in the main-hand.
As a character approaches level-up, they should take the time to transcribe all spells into their spellbook. Upon leveling up, any new spells gained will go into their memorized spell slots. At the time the level is taken, they have the option to forget any memorized spells in order to take on the new ones. Any spells not learned at the time of leveling will be lost.
Every type of magic is considered part of either the Lesser Path or the Greater Path. The exact nature of the division has never been fully understood, though it is widely regarded that 'Greater Path' magics are more grandiose, more complicated, etc., while the Lesser Path is not.
Unlike charge, the concept of Paths is artificial, the significance given to each type of magic exists according to its consideration during the early days of the Mage Wars, most likely the First Chaotic Period. Not the 3 and 8 division found very commonly throughout magical hierarchies.
The Lesser Path magics are:
The rest, or so-called Greater Path:
Charge has more to do with the actual mechanics of magic, hence it does not follow traditional divisional lines. The four cardinal magics (earth, fire, wind, and water) have no charge and are considered neutral. The other 8 are considered either positive or negative. The use of the term 'charge' to describe this was invented sometime during the Dynastic Period; earlier books of lore refer to Positive as 'Additive', and Negative as 'Subtractive'.
Spell resistance(not to be confused with combat resistance) factors in damage reduction from any magical source (not just enemy casters). And, with the proper gear and facets, a player could become entirely immune to magical damage.
Resistance is a form of damage-reduction and works by percentage, having a combined 100% would reduce the damage to zero.
Stacking Spell resistance stacks. For example: if a player had 15% Ruby Counter-Magic and 10% Lesser Path resistance, they would receive a 25% damage reduction from all fire-based spells.
As established by the card game, there exist specific counter-magics for three of the four elemental types: Ruby, Diamond, and Sapphire against Fire, Wind, and Water spells respectively. Genesis Counter-Magic will also stop any combination of the three.
There is no counter-magic for Earth, making it the only irresistible spell.
You may also take resistances by positive or negative charges, covering the whole range of endo-magics. Unlike path or cardinal, there are no excluded forms, so a player can become entirely immune to endo-magic.
You can also gain spell-resistance by path, taking either Lesser or Greater (or both) resistances. Greater-path resistance still excludes Earth-based spells.
Since path-based resistance covers all magic-types in just two categories, this is the preferred approach. Items with path-based resistance will be extremely rare.
Genesis is a blanket term for all types of magic, so an item offering Genesis Resistance provides resistance to all magic-types.
In addition to the various named proficiencies, there is a general "magic" proficiency, covered on its own page with a few of its own rules.