Magic

Spellbooks
Magic-users should create their own spellbooks in which they record the statistics of all the spells which they devise using these spellweaving rules. That spellbook can be referred to by the player when casting spells.  This helps ensure that the game is not slowed down by players devising spells during their turn, and adds a sense of immersiveness as players thumb through spellbooks which they themselves have written. The spells in a player's spellbook will likely be unique. The spells should include all the necessary statistics and descriptions needed for use.

Magic uses a freeform system called spellweaving.  The caster creates spells on the fly using a verb-noun (skill-secret) system.

Magic Points. Magic-users have 3 times their MAGIC attribute in MP, and can recover all MP once per day (after a full rest) with an hour's preparation/meditation/study. Each spell you weave has a cost, which is deducted from current MP.

Affecting creatures. Any spell which affects an (unwilling) creature always requires a MAG check vs. the appropriate DEFENSE score.

Skills & Secrets

Magic-users use skills and secrets.

Skills (abjuration, enchantment, chronomancy, compulsion, creation, divination, evocation, healing, hexes, illusion, infusion, infliction, movement, summoning, and transformation) are combined with secrets (fire, air, blood, demon, undead, ice, plant, beast, etc.) to create a spell. A caster must have both the skill and the secret. A magic-user with charm and undead can charm undead, but cannot charm animals or summon undead.

For example, a spell might use the skill abjuration and the secret of undead (abjure undead) to create an effect which protects the caster from the undead.

Skills are learned as normal. Secrets are acquired in the form of exploits.

Basic Spell (cantrip)

Choose a skill and a secret which you know and combine them to weave an action. The action might be something like lighting a candle (create fire), cleaning a garment (transform cloth), or unlocking a door (move metal), and is subject to attribute checks as normal (although MAG is always used as the attribute) unless it is an action you could normally perform without an attribute check (opening a door would not require a check, but picking a lock would). For example, if the spell unlocks a door, it may require a check vs. the lock's difficulty to pick it, which is normally made with an AGI check. The action can cause a maximum of 1 point of damage; additional damage must be purchased separately.

Each spell has a duration, a range, and a target (the target is either an area of effect, a creature, or a point in space), plus a magical action which meets those criteria.

A basic spell (cantrip), which costs 0 MP, is as follows.  You may purchase increases to these stats. You cannot spend more MP on one spell than your MAGIC attribute. Note that anybody with the skill and secret combination can cast a 0 MP spell, even if they have no MAGIC attribute.

Casting Time Two actions
Duration Instant or concentration
Range Touch or self
Target Area A creature*, object, point in space, or one 5-ft. square
Effect One action (e.g. open a door, light a candle, 1 point of damage, move 1lb)
*Unwilling creatures require a MAG vs. DEFENSE or MENTAL DEFENSE attack roll

Basic Spell Statistics

A basic spell uses the above statistics and costs 0 MP.  It can be enhanced with additional MP.  Choose a range, duration, and target and add on the MP cost for each.

For example, using move wood to hold a wooden door 30' away closed for 1 minute would cost 2 MP. Lighting a candle 100' away using create fire would cost 4 MP. Abjure water for an hour to keep the rain off would cost 3 MP, or to keep the rain off a campfire within 30' for the same time would cost 5 MP.

You can use this basic spell calculator to determine your basic spell stats.

MP

Duration

Range

Target Area (Diameter)

Casting Time (MP reduction)

0

up to one minute/concentration

touch (5') /self

5'/1 creature or object

2 actions

1

5 minutes

10'

10'

2 rounds

2

10 minutes

30'

20'

1 minute

3

1 hour

50'

30'

1 hour

4

4 hours

100'

50'

8 hours

5

8 hours

150'

75'

1 day

6

1 day

200'

100'

1 week

7

2 days

300'

150'

1 month

8

3 days

400'

200'

-

9

4 days

500''

250'

-

10

5 days

600''

300'

-

11

6 days

700''

350'

-

12

1 week

800'

400'

-

13

2 weeks

900'

500'

-

14

3 weeks

1,000'

600'

-

15

1 month

1,200'

700'

-

16

2 months

1,300' (approx. quarter mile)

800'

-

17

3 months

1,500'

900'

-

18

4 months

2,000'

1,000'

-

19

6 months

2,500' (approx. half mile)

1,300' (approx. quarter mile)

-

20

1 year

3,000'

1,600'

-
21 Permanent
3,500' 2,000' -
22 -
4,000' 2,500' (approx. half mile) -
23 -
4,500' 3,000' -
24 -
5,000' (approx 1 mile) 3,500' -
25 -
6,000' 4,000' -
26 -
7'000' 4,500' -
27 -
8,000' 5,000' (approx. 1 mile) -

Duration. Duration also applies to delayed effects; the delay is counted as part of the duration. 

Duration, abjuration. As a special exception to the costs for duration enhancements, if you cast an Abjure spell with only SOAK 1 (and range or target), and no other secrets or skills, you can purchase a one hour duration for 1 MP, and a one day duration for 2 MP. This can be used for longer term environmental protection.

Duration and conditions. Conditions can be shaken off as normal with an opposed attribute check. The duration of a condition puts an upper time limit on the condition. The condition ends when the duration expires, or when it is shaken off, whichever comes first.

Duration, concentration. The spell’s duration is only as long as you maintain concentration. Concentrating takes one action per round, and you can only concentrate on one spell at a time. If the caster takes damage, a WIL check vs. the damage amount is required to maintain concentration.

Duration, spread. Effects can be spread over a period of time rather than happening instantly. For example 10d6 damage could be 10d6 damage in one round, or 1d6 damage per round for 10 rounds. You may divide these damage dice (or ability drain, aging, and other effects) however you choose across the spell’s duration. If you divide the effect evenly across the duration of a spell, you gain a -1 MP discount on the spell cost for every 3 rounds of duration (note that 10 rounds or less is equal to one minute and has no duration cost itself, so this is a pure saving). You cannot reduce the cost of the damage or effect to less than half its normal cost, however.

Area. The effect must fit inside this area, which is noted as a diameter. Alternatively, double the value for a single line (5' wide, 5' high), or halve it for a cone. For spells with both range and target area, the range represents the center of the target area.

Charging objects. You can charge an object (such as an arrow or a sword) with your spell effect and use that as the ranged delivery mechanism. The duration begins from when the spell is cast, not when the arrow is fired. You may choose the trigger (continuous, when the arrow hits, if the door is walked through by a goblin, etc.)

Casting Time (Reduction). Spells normally take 2 actions to cast. By increasing the casting time, you can exceed your normal maximum MP limit - you can reduce the effective MP cost of the spell for the purposes of determining the maximum MP you can use on one spell, but you still need to actually spend the original MP cost. You cannot reduce a spell's effective MP by more than 50% by increasing the casting time; neither can you reduce it to 0 MP. If interrupted during casting, the spell fails, the time spent is wasted, and the full MP is still expended. To cast a spell faster than 2 actions, you need to take certain exploits, such as Signature Spell.

Common Enhancements
You can find a wide array of magical enhancements on their own page. Below is a list of the most commonly used, fairly simple enhancements for convenient reference. An asterisk means an attack roll is needed if an unwilling creature is the target.
Abjure [element, creature, virtue, self]. Get 2 SOAK or +2 DEFENSE per 1 MP for a specific damage type or creature type, or half that for all damage or creature types using abjure self.
Charm* [creature]. Inflict a WIL-based condition for 1 MP per severity level.
Create [element]. The cost of the object is based on its size as defined by the spell's area. Note that some elements have additional effects.
Evoke* [element]. Deal 1d6 damage per 2 MP. Note that some elements have additional effects.
Heal [creature, self]. Heal 1d6 HEALTH per 2 MP.
Infuse [element]. Create a +1d6 die bonus per 4 MP to checks with an atribute based on the element used (STR/metal, AGI/fire, END/earth, INT/air, LOG/ice, WIL/water, CHA/lightning).
Infuse [element, virtue]. Let a weapon or creature do elemental damage for 2 MP.
Move* (element, creature, self). Telekinetically move ten times the cube of the MP spent in lbs within range while concentrating.
Summon* (creature). Summon or create a creature with a max dice pool of 1d6 per MP.  Note that this does not compel or bind the creature without additional enhancements.

Other Enhancements

The following enhancements may also be purchased. A vast array of magical enhancements is available which allow for additional effects. Most of these have prerequsities in terms of magical skills. These are listed on their own page. Those below are linked to the spellcraft skill.

Additional skills or secrets. You can use more than one skill or secret in a spell beyond the two in a basic cantrip.  This does not cost anything extra.

Discerning. Cost 1 MP. The spell only affects creatures of your choice within the target area. Otherwise all creatures are affected. You may apply your own criteria – all enemies, all goblins, etc. If your spell has more than one effect and you wish to apply different effects to different groups, you need to include the discerning enhancement for each effect.

Contingency. Cost varies. A contingency is a set of criteria which triggers the spell. Contingencies cost half the usual cost for the spell's duration. For example, casting a spell on yourself which lasts 1 day would normally attract a duration cost of 6 MP. If it held a contingency trigger (e.g. a teleport which whisks you to safety if you fall below half HEALTH), that duration would cost 3 MP instead. Contingencies are often used for alarms and similar spells.  The contingency must be precisely specified and cannot require knowledge that would not be available.

Bless Weapon

Infuse good
Cost 5 MP; skills infusion 2
Casting time two actions
Duration 1 hour; range touch; target one weapon
One weapon becomes blessed, and does good damage for one hour.

Detect Magic

Divine magic
Cost 5 MP; skills divination
Casting time two actions
Duration 5 minutes; range touch; target 30' diameter
You can determine the direction to the nearest significant quantity magic within 15'. If there are several different things of the chosen type within the area, you are aware of roughly how many there are, and can concentrate on each one by one to determine its location.

Dry Campsite

Abjure water
Cost 5 MP; skills aburation
Casting time two actions
Duration 1 day; range touch; target 30' diameter
This spell keeps a campsite dry and protected from rain for a day.

Friends

Enchant person
Cost 7 MP; skills charm 3
Casting time two actions
Duration 1 hour; range 10'; target 1 humanoid
One humanoid target moves three stages along the Charm status track for one hour.

Healing Burst

Heal person
Cost 6 MP; skills healing 2
Casting time two actions
Duration instantaneous; range touch; target 30' diameter
This spell heals all humanoid creatures within 15' of the caster by 1d6 HEALTH.

Icewall

Create ice
Cost 9 MP; skills creation
Casting time two actions
Duration 1 hour; range 30'; target 50' line
You create a wall of ice up to 50' in length and 10' in height.

Lesser Firebolt

Evoke fire
Cost 5 MP; skills evocation 2
Casting time two actions
Duration instantaneous; range 30'; target 1 creature
A bolt of fire streaks out at the target, inflicting 1d6 fire damage.

Lupus Ally

Summon beast; compel beast
Cost 8 MP; skills summoning 4, compulsion 4
Casting time one minute
Duration 10 minutes; range touch; target 1 creature
You summon a wolf for 10 minutes, which remains dominated (will obey commands which do not overly conflict with its nature) for the duration. You must make a MAG vs. the wolf's MENTAL DEFENSE (14) check. The wolf does not gain any special intelligence, knowledge, or abilities, except for a special ability to understand your language.

Shield

Abjure self
Cost 5 MP; skills abjuration 5
Casting time two actions
Duration 1 minute; range touch; target 1 creature
You gain +5 to all DEFENSEs for 1 minute.

List of Secrets

Characters learn secrets by selecting the Arcane Secret exploit. The GM should determine which secrets are available; for example, the PCs could engage on a quest to find the secret of dragons. Like skills, secrets operate in a keyword-based manner, and are divided into elements, creatures, and virtues. Virtues are rare, and only present in certain beings which personify or exemplify that virtue; most creatures are free-willed. There is no set limit to the number of secrets - technically, there is a secret of curtains and a secret of shoes - but those below are common secrets.

An additional secret, self, is automatically known by all creatures. This ensures that a caster can always affect himself, and also serves as an "all" secret for some specific enhancements.

The special secret object can be learned by any caster who has learned 3 or more elemental secrets. This allows you to affect all inanimate objects, but adds 3 MP to the cost of a spell.

The special secret creature can be learned by any caster who has learned 3 or more creature secrets. This allows you to affect all creature types, but adds 3 MP to the cost of a spell.

Special Secrets
Example Elements Example Creatures Example Virtues
Self*
Fire Demon Good
Object
Air Beast
Evil
Creature
Earth Plant

Water Undead

Shadow Insect


Metal Person **

Life Reptile


Death Avian

Light Spirit

Acid Goblinoid

Ice Automaton

Lava
Fey

Lightning
Aquan

Mist


Ooze


Void



Sound


Wood



Magic



Cloth



Space





*Self is a free secret known to all.
**Person refers to humanoids.

Note that in terms of damage types, Good damage is usually refererred to as Holy damage, and Evil damage is normally referred to as Unholy damage. Death damage is usually referred to as Necrotic damage.

List of Magical Skills

Magical skills represent areas of arcane expertise. Magical skills also serve as prerequisites for many magical exploits. Also listed below are example uses of 0 MP cantrips for each skill in order to give a sense of what is appropriate for a minor effect associated with such a spell.

Skill Form
Inflict Inflict element
Evoke
Evoke element
Move
Move creature or element
Compel Compel creature or virtue
Illusion*
-
Infuse Infuse element or virtue
Summon
Summon creature
Enchant
Enchant creature
Hex
Hex creature
Transform
Transform element or creature
Create
Create element
Abjure
Abjure element, creature, or virtue
Phase
Phase element or creature
Divine/see
See element, creature, or virtue
Heal/mend
Heal/mend element or creature
*Illusions do not require a secret.


Abjure. Abjuration spells can provide numerous types of defenses. Most abjuration spells defend individual creatures or objects, but you can create a spell that limits the movements of creatures into or out of an area, enhance DEFENCE, grant damage resistance, or restrict the movements of certain creatures. Abjuration also includes the suppression or dispelling of magical effects.

  • An abjure cantrip can grant a simple 1 point of SOAK against a specific damage type for up to one minute. This is enough to provide basic environmental protection against non-extreme conditions.

Compel. Compel spells force creatures to act certain ways. Weaker compulsions let you set a specific task for the character to perform, while more powerful compulsions give you ongoing control of the creature’s actions.

  • A compel cantrip can allow you to issue a simple one-word command to a target or send a one-word telepathic message to an ally.

Create. Creation spells let you make objects or energy out of nothing. You cannot create creatures, and any energy you create is no more damaging than the weakest evocation, but many other effects are possible.

  • A create cantrip can create a tiny object worth no more than 5gc which lasts for up to one minute.

Divine/see. Divinations allow the magic-user to discover information, view distant locations, to see things normally unseen, and to let her spells reach extreme distances. The skill is called divination, but the verb is "see".

  • A divination cantrip can read tea leaves, throw bones, do a tarot reading, or other divination implements, to answer a single yes/no question, but this can only be done once per day. Alternatively, it can be used to detect the presence of (but not the exact location or details of) a creature, element, or virtue within 5'.

Enchant. Enchantment spells alter the moods and emotions of creatures, making them more likely to perform certain actions. Unlike compulsions, enchantments cannot force a character to perform more than the most primitive actions; at best, an enchantment might put a creature to sleep or make it attack in a frenzied anger. Enchantments inflict WIL-based conditions on a creature.

  • An enchantment cantrip can make a target feel a very weak emotion for up to one minute.

Evoke. Evocations are the flashiest, most impressive end of spellcasting, and the most directly applicable to combat. Evocations are what a caster uses to throw fire and lightning, blast her enemies, or wield ice and lightning as weapons.

  • An evocation cantrip can do 1 point of damage.

Heal/mend. Healing spells cure or mend damage and other afflictions to creatures, or to objects with the appropriate element type. Healing spells affecting objects are called mending spells.

  • A healing cantrip can heal one point of HEALTH, but a given target can only benefit from this once per day.

Hex. A hex is the opposite of an abjuration – instead of providing defense, it instead weakens a target’s defenses.

  • A hex cantrip can inflict a -1 penalty to all DEFENSES for up to one minute.

Illusion. Illusions are sounds, images, and other sensory deceptions.

  • An illusion cantrip can create a small, clearly illusory effect for up to one minute.

Infuse. Infuse spells fill creatures with spiritual or elemental energy, enhancing attributes that are related to the chosen element, or making the target detect as the chosen virtue or element.

  • An infuse cantrip can cause a creature to detect as the appropriate alignment or element for up to one minute.

Inflict.  Affliction spells are the reverse of infusion spells. An affliction spell saps a creature, reducing its attributes or other aspects, or causes diseases. Afflictions inflict END-based conditions on a creature.

  • An inflict cantrip can cause a feeling of slight nausea for up to one minute.

Move. Movement spells enhance movement abilities, allowing creatures to swim, burrow, fly, travel at great speeds.

  • A move cantrip can grant +1 to SPEED for up to one minute.

Phase.  Phasing is the manipulation of time and space. Through its use, time can be sped up, slowed, or even stopped, and different dimensions and planes can be accessed. This includes teleportation, phasing, and dimensional travel.

  • A phase cantrip can cause a slight blurring effect, granting +1 to DEFENSE for up to one minute.

Summon. Summoning spells can bring creatures to you from elsewhere (such as the classic demon summoning), create a creature out of existing material (like turning bones into a skeletal warrior), or can create a creature whole cloth (like making a construct out of ectoplasm).

  • A summon cantrip can summon a tiny, harmless creature such as a mouse or rat, for up to one minute, although it has no special intelligence or abilities.

Transform. Transform spells can turn your target into a particular type of creature or substance.

  • A transform cantrip can change the color of an object or target or other minor cosmetic changes for up to one minute.