Edcmagic

Character Creation: Magic Users

While study, experimentation, and self-discipline is required to develop one’s magical aptitude, the ability to wield, or even perceive magic is generally known to be related to one’s bloodline. While it is theoretically possible that someone without the gift in their heritage might spontaneously develop the ability, the gift may instead lay dormant across any number of generations. Any group that has made the logical deduction of basic genetics may have decided interests in tracing those with a magical heritage, for any number of reasons, possibly as a fraternal order devoted to self-policing (see Ars Magica), or perhaps for darker purposes.

In terms of systems and character creation, while the cost for developing one’s aptitude follows a certain progression, the actual cost to have the gift depends on the strength of the bloodline or gift. The strength of the gift (or bloodline) determines the character’s magical potential.

The Sighted (4 DP) are not sorcerers themselves but are sensitive to the flow of magic in the world around them. They can not cast spells or engage in any other magic. They do, however, have sorcerous attributes and have access to the inate abilities of magic-users. Most importantly, they can perceive magical forces (using SGT) and resist spells using their Sorcery Pool (“ungifted” or “mundane” do not actually have a Sorcery Pool, so they must resist sorcery using only their own natural attributes – see the section on Resisting Magic). Since all magic-users, even at a young age, have the sight, a clever (and possibly unscrupulous) person seeking to find children with magic potential might use this fact to their advantage, perhaps producing something that only those with the sight would react to.

Faint-blooded (8 DP) characters are those with the faint touch of magic in their blood. They have a limited potential to develop their blood-gift and learn to craft magics. A Faint-blooded sorcerer is limited to buying ranks in any 3 magical spheres, and may never obtain more than 3 ranks in any sphere.

Half-blooded (12 DP) sorcerers have a strong pulse of magic surging through their veins. These characters are restricted to any 5 magical spheres, but are not limited in the number of ranks they can achieve in any sphere.

Pure-blooded (16 DP) sorcerers are the scions of legend. The gift runs strong in their blood and they possess the potential to develop their gift to the full extent of magical possibility, able to learn magics of all spheres to the highest level. Finally, a Pure-blooded character may achieve ranks in Apotheosis, a measure of true mastery. A sorcerer may gain a level in Apotheosis after achieving any of the following tasks:
• Achieve rank 5 in two different spheres
• Achieve at least 1 rank in 8 spheres
• [GM specific tasks – preferably tied to specific character goals and spiritual drive]

Apotheosis (APT) reflects the degree to which a sorcerer has mastered magic beyond Strain, becoming almost godlike in his power. Every level of Apotheosis costs 5 DP gives a sorcerer one automatic success on all Strain rolls.

The Workings of Magic

Definitions and Mechanics

Spells is the generic term for all types of active magical workings. Spells are divided into three types, which determine the base Sorcery Pool available for them, their base casting time, and the maximum number of Vagaries that can be incorporated into them:

Cantrips: A hasty impromptu magic of minimal elegance. Only a single vagary can be used in
Cantrips.
• Base Sorcery Pool: POW + SGT (Power + Sight)
• Normal Casting Time: (CTN) seconds
• Maximum Vagaries: 1
Castings: More complex and controlled spells, though slower. This type is for spells using 2 or 3 vagaries.
• Base Sorcery Pool: POW + SGT + ART (Power + Sight + Art)
• Normal Casting Time: (CTN x 10) seconds
• Maximum Vagaries: 3
Rituals: Extended, hugely complex and powerful workings.
• Base Sorcery Pool: POW + SGT + ART + CAP (Power + Sight + Art + Capacity)
• Normal Casting Time: (CTN x 10) minutes
• Maximum Vagaries: All

Note: The sorcery pool is always expended and recovered “from the bottom up”, i.e. the base dice from POW+SGT which are used for all spells are lost first and recovered first.

The Casting Target Number, or CTN, depends on the power and the complexity of the spell. The CTN can never be less than 2.

The Level of the spell is the highest Vagary level used.

CTN = Level + 1/each additional Vagary used + Range + Duration -

Range

Range is determined by the distance between caster and subject at which the spell will function. Note that this is the range of the actual magic effect – throwing a stone through magic would be Range 1 if the caster is touching the stone, since the magic affects the stone (which is touched), not the target.

0. Personal: The spell’s point of origin is the caster. The character may be the spell’s target or the spell’s effect may extend away from him, as noted in the spell description.
1. Touch: The spell’s point of origin consists of one or more characters or objects, which the caster must touch as part of the casting. The caster may affect as many willing targets as he can touch in the same round that the spell's effect is triggered.
2. Close: The spell’s point of origin may be set at any distance from the caster up to 10 meters.
3. Medium: The spell’s point of origin may be set at any distance from the caster up to 50 meters.
4. Long: The spell’s point of origin may be set at any distance from the caster up to 500 meters.
5. Line of Sight: The spell’s point of origin may be set at any distance within the caster’s line of sight.
6. Arcane Connection: The spell’s point of origin may be set anywhere in the caster’s current setting, but requires some form of Arcane Connection to the target (e.g. through a scrying pool, etc).

Target

Target is determined by the kind, diversity and size of whatever is affected by the spell. A spell that affects complicated, large or multiple targets is more difficult than one affecting a single small object.
A single human or humansized target is the normal case, with a Target of 0. Modify this value as follows:
+1 if the target is much larger or smaller than human-sized (a factor of at least 3)
+2 if it is very large or small (a factor of at least 10)
+3 if it is gigantic or diminutive (a factor of 100 or more)
+1 if the target is extraordinarily complicated, or part of a larger whole

+1 for multiple targets (up to 10)
+2 for large groups (up to 50)
+3 for very large groups (up to 500)
+4 for any targets within range

Duration

Duration is determined by the time for which the actual magic of a spell lasts – though whatever change the spell causes in the physical world is permanent. A creature slain by a spell is not resurrected when the spell ends, and an item changed does not change back. In most cases, it is obvious what will happen when the spell ends. The end of a levitation spell means gravity reasserts itself, with whatever consequences for anything that is still in the air. Something grown through a spell does not shrink again when the spell ends, but remains whatever size it is (i.e. the effect of growing ends).
Many effects can be done reasonably well with instant spells. However, some changes can not realistically or reasonably be done in the fraction of a second an instant spell allows. Growing an item may work that fast, but growing a living being at that speed will cause it shock or kill it. Likewise, a telepathy spell is of dubious use if it lasts no longer than a flash.

Also see Spell Durations, below, for more details.
0 Instant
1 Sustained (see Sustained Spells, below)
2 Minutes or Hours (15 minutes per success)
3 Hours or Days (12 hours per Casting Success)
4 Permanent (see Permanent Spells, below)

Spell Durations

The duration of a spell is the time for which the actual magic lasts – though whatever change the spell causes in the physical world is permanent. A creature slain by a spell is not resurrected when the spell ends, and an inanimate item changed does not change back. In most cases, it is obvious what will happen when the spell ends. The end of a levitation spell means gravity reasserts itself, with whatever natural consequences for anything that is still in the air. The way magic acts on living matter is different – changes that don’t directly cause damage will wear off after the duration ends as the natural energies of life slowly reassert control

Many effects can be done reasonably well with instant spells. However, some changes can not realistically or reasonably be done in the fraction of a second an instant spell allows. Growing an item may work that fast, but growing a living being at that speed will cause it shock or kill it. Likewise, a telepathy spell is of dubious use if it lasts no longer than a flash.

Sustained Spells

Sustained spells are powered from the sorcerer's Sorcery Pool. They remain in effect until the sorcerer intentionally drops the spell, or loses consciousness (KO, sleep, etc.).
Sustaining a spell this way ties up all dice used in the Casting Roll, plus one additional die per Level of the spell. All of these dice are used to sustain the spell and do not recover as long as the spell is in effect. Spells sustained in this way do not require much conscious effort or concentration, but in especially stressful situations, the Seneschal can require a roll of WP/CTN to keep the spell running.

Note that a sustained spell requires the target to remain within the Range for the entire duration, and will be interrupted if the target leaves the Range or the sorcerer moves away from the target far enough. Self-sustaining spells (Duration 2 and higher) do not suffer this disadvantage.

Permanent Spells

The creation of permanent spells requires that the sorcerer infuses the spell with a part of his life force in order to sustain it. The sorcerer will thus age one month per Level of the spell made permanent, above and beyond whatever aging the strain of the spell may cause (though he only rolls for knockout once).
There are two kinds of permanent spells – those with and those without a Spellbreaker condition. Both kinds can be forcibly dispelled, but spells with a Spellbreaker will also end when a specific action is made on the behexed target (e.g. the kiss of a handsome prince, the presence of a specific object, person or type of person, the saying aloud of a keyword, etc.). Note that for a Spellbreaker to be used, the spell must include the Divination Vagary. Every Spellbreaker Condition is subject to Seneschal approval.

The Laws of Magic

The Spheres

Essence
Void
Glamour
Kenning
Forces
Channeling
Shaping
Volition

Rites and Rituals

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