Difference between revisions of "Rough Magic 3e EN:Magic"

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Magic can be used to create constructs of light, sound, and shadow. For example, a magician can attempt to create an illusion of a roaring lion, or attempt to create an illusion of a solid floor where there is a gaping chasm. In such cases, the Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the [[Rough_Magic_3e_EN:Magic#Scope|scope]] of the illusion.
 
Magic can be used to create constructs of light, sound, and shadow. For example, a magician can attempt to create an illusion of a roaring lion, or attempt to create an illusion of a solid floor where there is a gaping chasm. In such cases, the Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the [[Rough_Magic_3e_EN:Magic#Scope|scope]] of the illusion.
  
If the magician succeeds on their Thaumaturgy (Reason + Power Level) roll, the illusion is created and is completely convincing until a character interacts with it (generally by touching it or walking through it). However, merely attacking an illusion will not dispel it, as long as the illusion reacts to the attack in a reasonably convincing manner: controlling an illusion to respond in this manner (or any manner) requires a free action by the magician who created the illusion. Illusions are temporary: if they have not been dispelled by the end of the current scene, they will fade away shortly thereafter.
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If the magician succeeds on their Thaumaturgy (Reason + Power Level) roll, the illusion is created and is completely convincing until a character interacts with it (generally by touching it or walking through it). However, merely attacking an illusion will not dispel it, as long as the illusion reacts to the attack in a reasonably convincing manner: controlling an illusion to respond in this manner (or any manner) requires a quick action by the magician who created the illusion. Illusions are temporary: if they have not been dispelled by the end of the current scene, they will fade away shortly thereafter.
  
 
Anyone who observes an illusion and who has a good reason to suspect its true nature may attempt a Perception (Reason) roll against the creator's Thaumaturgy (Reason + Power Level) roll. If the Perception (Reason) roll succeeds, the observer sees the illusion for what it is, and may respond appropriately.
 
Anyone who observes an illusion and who has a good reason to suspect its true nature may attempt a Perception (Reason) roll against the creator's Thaumaturgy (Reason + Power Level) roll. If the Perception (Reason) roll succeeds, the observer sees the illusion for what it is, and may respond appropriately.
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====Suggestion====
 
====Suggestion====
  
A suggestion spell is a mental attack which allows a character to influence a living creature's behaviour, forcing the target to obey the character's mental commands. To influence a living creature's behaviour, the character must succeed at a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll against the Mental Combat (Presence) roll of the target, or the Mental Combat (Presence + Power Level) roll of the target if the target has Mental Resistance. Giving a new mental command to the target requires a free action.
+
A suggestion spell is a mental attack which allows a character to influence a living creature's behaviour, forcing the target to obey the character's mental commands. To influence a living creature's behaviour, the character must succeed at a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll against the Mental Combat (Presence) roll of the target, or the Mental Combat (Presence + Power Level) roll of the target if the target has Mental Resistance. Giving a new mental command to the target requires a quick action.
  
 
To break free of the suggestion, the target must use a standard action to make a successful Mental Combat (Presence) roll against a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll of the attacker. If the target has Mental Resistance, they add their Power Level to their roll. If the target succeeds at this roll, they break free of the suggestion. If the target has not broken free of the suggestion by the end of the scene, then they break free of it shortly thereafter.
 
To break free of the suggestion, the target must use a standard action to make a successful Mental Combat (Presence) roll against a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll of the attacker. If the target has Mental Resistance, they add their Power Level to their roll. If the target succeeds at this roll, they break free of the suggestion. If the target has not broken free of the suggestion by the end of the scene, then they break free of it shortly thereafter.
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During their turn, or as a [[Rough_Magic_3e_EN:Actions#Forcing_An_Action|forced action]], a character who is able to cast spells may use a standard action to counter a spell cast against them (no Thaumaturgy roll is required). A counterspell might entail conjuring a magical shield to block the spell, neutralizing the spell with an inverse effect, or it might involve using finesse to harmlessly divert the spell away: the choice is up to the player.  
 
During their turn, or as a [[Rough_Magic_3e_EN:Actions#Forcing_An_Action|forced action]], a character who is able to cast spells may use a standard action to counter a spell cast against them (no Thaumaturgy roll is required). A counterspell might entail conjuring a magical shield to block the spell, neutralizing the spell with an inverse effect, or it might involve using finesse to harmlessly divert the spell away: the choice is up to the player.  
  
Casting a counterspell grants a bonus die to the character's defense roll against the spell. A character who is using their action to cast a counterspell may use free actions to cast counterspells against additional magical attacks until they take their next turn.
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Casting a counterspell grants a bonus die to the character's defense roll against the spell. A character who is using their action to cast a counterspell may use quick actions to cast counterspells against additional magical attacks until they take their next turn.
  
 
A character may choose to cast a counterspell after the attacker has determined that the attack will successfully hit: there is no need to counterspell an attack that misses.
 
A character may choose to cast a counterspell after the attacker has determined that the attack will successfully hit: there is no need to counterspell an attack that misses.

Revision as of 15:59, 13 November 2019

Arrow up 16x16.png Contents

Commanding the arcane forces of the universe is not as straightforward as performing a mundane activity; if it were, everyone would do it. All magic is opposed, if not by the struggling of the victim, then by the contrariness of the universe as a whole. Unless otherwise indicated, using Thaumaturgy to cast a spell is a remarkably difficult (DV 6) task.

Avenues Of Magic

The Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie divides magic into five approved "avenues", or categories: Alteration (changing one type of matter or energy to another type of matter or energy), Conjuration (creating matter or energy from nothing), Divination (perceiving through time, space, or both), Enchantment (influencing the minds of others), and Illusion (creating images without substance). If a magician has chosen to specialize in one of these avenues, they receive a bonus die on their Thaumaturgy roll when working within that avenue of magic. However, they incur a penalty die when working with any other avenue of magic. When dealing with magic of a general nature, the specialized magician receives neither a bonus nor a penalty.

  • Alteration is concerned with the magician's ability to change, often radically, the structure and composition of any object. Alteration may change one form of matter or energy to another form of matter or energy.
  • Conjuration is concerned with the magician's ability to create matter or energy out of nothing. In truth, creating something from nothing is impossible, even for a magician, but the actual source is somewhere far enough away that it makes no difference.
  • Divination is concerned with obtaining information through magical means. Divination can find hidden things, reveal the truth behind deceptive magic, and see into the future or the past.
  • Enchantment is concerned with beguiling and controlling the minds of others. Enchantment can make someone see something that no one else can see, can influence someone's behaviour, or even alter their memories.
  • Illusion is concerned with appearances. Illusion spells can be used to camouflage, illuminate, or obscure something without changing its structure or fundamental nature.

There are two additional avenues which the SIT has prohibited, and which carry a harsh sentence for those convicted of using them: Diabolism ‎(communing with entities beyond the mortal world) and Necromancy (manipulating the forces of death and undeath).

Jazz Sorcery

A final avenue, Jazz Sorcery, is not explicitly prohibited, but neither is it recognized by the SIT as legitimate. However, due to its pagan associations, Jazz Sorcery is condemned by the Gallican Catholic Church as a heresy, and its practitioners may run afoul of the law for that reason. Jazz Sorcery was originally developed by African musicians around the beginning of the 20th century. As the first original magical style to emerge from the Confederation of American States, Jazz Sorcery has been described as "American thaumaturgy". Its practitioners often rely upon musical rituals, pagan symbolism, and sympathetic magic.

Jazz Sorcery has roots in the magical and musical expression of West Africa and the western Sahel, in the magical traditions of the Savages of the American West, and in European military sorcery. After originating in African American communities in the late 19th century, Jazz Sorcery became internationally known by the 1920s. Since then, Jazz Sorcery has had a profoundly pervasive influence on other magical styles worldwide.

The Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie refuses to recognize Jazz Sorcery as a legitimate avenue of magic because its practitioners steadfastly refuse to submit themselves to the authority of the SIT. In fact, some in the Société maintain that such resistance to authority is one of the basic tenets of Jazz Sorcery.

Identifying Spells

If a character with the Thaumaturgy skill witnesses a spell being cast, or is able to examine a spell currently in use, they may make a moderately difficult (DV 3) Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll to identify the avenue of the spell, and whether it is offensive, defensive, or utilitarian in nature. If they make a remarkably difficult (DV 6) Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll, they are able to analyze the spell in great detail: the range, the scope, the intended effect, and so on.

If the spell was cast with subtlety, they incur a penalty die on this roll.

Mage Sight

Any character with a Power Level attribute greater than zero has the gift the Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie calls "mage sight". Mage sight allows a character to use a standard action to sense the presence of magic and those who can wield it. To perceive a source of magic, the character must succeed at a moderately difficult (DV 3) Perception (Presence + Power Level) roll. If the target of the magician's attention is another magic-using being, the magician knows their opponent's Power Level. If the target of the sorcerer's attention is a magic object, the sorcerer learns the general purpose of the object's magic, and has a rough idea how to activate it.

Mage sight has other uses, as well. For example, if a character with mage sight is being spied upon using Divination, they may attempt a remarkably difficult (DV 6) Perception (Presence + Power Level) roll to notice the fact (a person without mage sight does not have the ability to notice when they are being magically spied upon). If they succeed at an extremely difficult (DV 9) Perception (Presence + Power Level) roll, they also notice whether the person spying on them is in the past, present, or future.

Casting Spells

Invoking magic has two prerequisites: the character must have a Power Level attribute greater than zero, and the character must have the Thaumaturgy skill. A character who meets these requirements may attempt a Thaumaturgy skill roll in order to create or invoke a magical effect. The core game mechanic for casting spells is the same as for any other action: the player rolls their dice, counts the dots, and adds the result to the magician's relevant attribute. This roll is compared to their opponent's roll plus their relevant attribute. If the player's total equals or exceeds the target number, the character's attempt to cast the spell succeeds.

Basics

A basic spell takes one round (six seconds) to cast, has short range (10 meters), affects one person or two cubic meters of material, and requires the caster to recite magical phrases or make magical gestures. If the spell inflicts Endurance damage or accomplishes some straightforward goal, the effects are essentially permanent. If the spell causes some unusual effect or affects the target in some unusual way, it lasts for the duration of the current scene or conflict.


Table: Typical spell difficulties
Task Skill Roll Difficulty
Normal attack Thaumaturgy (Agility + Power Level) Target's Ranged Combat (Agility) plus armor, etc.
Mental attack Thaumaturgy (Power Level) Target's Mental Combat (Presence) plus Mental Resistance
Modification attack Thaumaturgy (Power Level) Target's Ranged Combat (Agility) plus Modification Resistance
Unusual attack Thaumaturgy (Power Level) Target's Ranged Combat (Agility)
Creating a defensive ward equal to Power Level Thaumaturgy (Agility + Power Level) Remarkable (DV 6)
Creating a useful effect Thaumaturgy (Reason + Power Level) Remarkable (DV 6)
Moving a willing target a distance Thaumaturgy (Agility + Power Level) Remarkable (DV 6)


The appropriate defensive equipment depends on the nature of the attack. Ordinary armor is effective attacks which inflict Endurance damage, but against other attacks, only a magical defense (such as a ward or a protective charm) is effective.

A magician can only have one spell active at a time.

A magician can only have one spell active at a time. If a magician casts a spell, any previous spell ends (although the lasting effects of a spell, such as physical damage, remain).

Aids

Ritual Magic

A prepared ritual enables a character to invoke more potent magic successfully. Using the tools of their trade, the character prepares a ceremony suitable for the spell being cast and the style of magic that the character employs. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the character commands the arcane forces of the universe as they wish. If the character takes an extraordinary amount of time to prepare their ceremony, the magician gains one or more bonus dice, based on the length of the ritual. The magician may eat, sleep, and attend to matters of personal hygiene, but may engage in no other significant activity while performing a ritual.


Table: Spell casting time
Casting Time Modifier
1 round No bonus dice
1 hour 1 bonus die
1 day 2 bonus dice
1 month 3 bonus dice
3 years 4 bonus dice
1 century 5 bonus dice
1 millennium 6 bonus dice


Specialization

If a magician has chosen to specialize in one of the avenues of magic, they receive a bonus die on their Thaumaturgy roll when working within that avenue of magic. However, they incur a penalty die when working with any other avenue of magic. When dealing with magic of a general nature, the specialized magician receives neither a bonus nor a penalty.

Sympathetic Magic

A magician can cast a spell more reliably by using the principles of sympathetic magic, particularly the Law Of Contagion and the Law Of Similarity. The Law of Contagion (or Law of Contact) holds that two things which have interacted, or were once part of a single entity, retain their connection and can exert influence over each other; the Law of Similarity holds that things which are similar or treated the same establish a connection and can affect each other.

Using a lock of the target's hair or a valued personal item which belongs to the target would be an example of using the Law Of Contagion. Using a photo of the intended target, or drawing a depiction of the intended effect, would be an example of using the Law Of Similarity. An effigy that has been crafted to resemble the target, and which includes a lock of the target's hair, is partaking of both laws of sympathetic magic (wise magicians hedge their bets).

Using sympathetic magic grants the magician a bonus die on their Thaumaturgy roll.

Complexities

Inevitably, a magician will want to affect more people, or transmute a larger object, or cast a spell on a more distant target. In such cases, the magician incurs penalty dice on their Thaumaturgy roll.

Being Subtle

A magician can cast a spell with subtlety (without using audible incantations or obvious gestures), but this imposes a penalty die on their Thaumaturgy roll.

Distance

The default spell is cast upon someone the magician is physically near (10 meters or less), or upon someone with whom they are (or have been) physically or emotionally intimate. If neither of these is the case, consult the following table, and apply the difficulty modifier that would make the spell easiest. If the spell is to be cast on a sibling on the other side of the continent, for example, use the difficulty modifier for "immediate family".


Table: Spell distance
Range Familiarity Penalty Dice
Short range (10 meters) Intimate No penalty dice
Medium range (100 meters) Immediate family 1 penalty die
Long range (1,000 meters) Close friend 2 penalty dice
Across the continent Extended family 3 penalty dice
Across the world Acquaintance 4 penalty dice
Another world Stranger 5 penalty dice

Duration

If a spell inflicts Endurance damage or accomplishes some straightforward goal, the spell itself is instantaneous, but the effects are essentially permanent. If the spell causes some unusual effect or affects the target in some unusual way, it fades at the end of the current scene or conflict, or shortly thereafter. The magician may extend this time, but this increases the difficulty of the spell. Spells which inflict damage may be extended to inflict that same damage again on successive rounds, while spells which normally last for a scene may be extended to last days, months, or even years.


Table: Spell duration
Duration Penalty Dice
1 round 1 scene No penalty dice
2 rounds 1 hour 1 penalty die
3 rounds 1 day 2 penalty dice
4 rounds 1 month 3 penalty dice
5 rounds 3 years 4 penalty dice
6 rounds 1 century 5 penalty dice
7 rounds 1 millennium 6 penalty dice


Scope

Whether conjuring blasts of fire, transmuting lead to gold, or conjuring walls of ice from thin air, the default spell is cast upon a single person or a small area (up to one meter radius). If the spell is to affect more than a single target, or is to affect a larger area, the difficulty of the spell increases commensurately. Consult the following table, and apply the difficulty modifier that would make the spell most difficult. If the magician casting the spell can pick and choose who gets affected by the spell and who does not (a plague that bypasses some households but strikes others, for example), add an additional penalty die.


Table: Spell scope
Size Mass Value Penalty Dice
One target (1 meter radius) 250 kg Expensive meal for two No penalty dice
One house (10 meters radius) 2 tonnes Luxury car 1 penalty die
A city block (100 meters radius) 16 tonnes Opulent villa 2 penalty dice
A neighborhood (1,000 meters radius) 128 tonnes Grand palace 3 penalty dice
A city 1,000 tonnes King's ransom 4 penalty dice
A country 8,000 tonnes National treasury 5 penalty dice


Specifics

Here are some specific applications of the above guidelines.

Attacks

Spells used to physically attack a target inflict Endurance damage. Such spells could be blasts of fire, shards of ice, blades of magical force, or even summoned knives and axes. The character who casts the spell decides what form the spell takes.

For physical combat spells, an attacker rolls their dice, counts the dots, and adds the result to the magician's Agility and Power Level. This roll is compared to their opponent's roll plus their Agility and the rating of any defensive equipment.

Blessings

Magic can be used to increase a character's attributes beyond their natural level. For example, a magician can attempt to increase an ally's Agility or Brawn. In such cases, the magician rolls their dice, counts the dots, and adds the result to the magician's Power Level. This roll is compared to the target's roll plus the base value of the attribute being increased: Brawn for Brawn, Reason for Reason, and so on. It is not possible to increase a character's Power Level attribute.

Blessings and similar benedictions ignore all normal forms of protection such as armor.

If the magician succeeds on their benediction roll, the subject's selected attribute increases by one. The effect of a blessing is temporary: the gained attributes fade after the fight is over.

Creation

Magic can be used to create physical objects, apparently from nothing. For example, a magician can attempt to create an automobile, a gold coin, or a brick wall. In such cases, the Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the scope of the created object.

If the magician succeeds on their Thaumaturgy roll, the object is created, and is indistinguishable from an ordinary object of its type. However, created objects are temporary: if they have not been destroyed by the end of the current scene, they will fade away shortly thereafter.

Curses

Magic can be used to cause less overt forms of harm. For example, a magician can curse a target to be weak or clumsy, or could cause their mind to be confused. In such cases, the magician rolls their dice, counts the dots, and adds the result to the magician's Power Level. This roll is compared to the target's roll plus the base value of the attribute being increased: Brawn for Brawn, Reason for Reason, and so on. It is not possible to reduce a character's Power Level attribute.

Curses and similar maledictions ignore all normal forms of protection such as armor.

If the attacker succeeds on their malediction roll, the defender's selected attribute decreases by one. It is not possible to reduce an attribute below zero. The effect of a curse is temporary: the lost attributes return after the fight is over, when the character has had a chance to rest and recuperate.

Healing

Magic can be used to heal as well as harm. For example, a magician can attempt to remove a curse or restore lost Endurance. In such cases, the difficulty of the Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is equal to the total amount lost from the affected attribute. If the target of the healing spell has lost any maximum Endurance or been disfigured due to the unintended consequences of a failed Thaumaturgy roll, the difficulty is doubled.


Table: Magical healing of unintended consequences
Unintended Consequences Difficulty
Minor (1) 2
Moderate (2) 4
Severe (3) 6
Critical (4) 8


Spells of healing and restoration ignore all normal forms of protection such as armor.

If the magician succeeds on their restoration roll, the subject's Endurance is fully restored, any curses are lifted, and any disfigurements are removed. The effect of a healing or restoration is essentially permanent.

Illusions

Magic can be used to create constructs of light, sound, and shadow. For example, a magician can attempt to create an illusion of a roaring lion, or attempt to create an illusion of a solid floor where there is a gaping chasm. In such cases, the Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the scope of the illusion.

If the magician succeeds on their Thaumaturgy (Reason + Power Level) roll, the illusion is created and is completely convincing until a character interacts with it (generally by touching it or walking through it). However, merely attacking an illusion will not dispel it, as long as the illusion reacts to the attack in a reasonably convincing manner: controlling an illusion to respond in this manner (or any manner) requires a quick action by the magician who created the illusion. Illusions are temporary: if they have not been dispelled by the end of the current scene, they will fade away shortly thereafter.

Anyone who observes an illusion and who has a good reason to suspect its true nature may attempt a Perception (Reason) roll against the creator's Thaumaturgy (Reason + Power Level) roll. If the Perception (Reason) roll succeeds, the observer sees the illusion for what it is, and may respond appropriately.

Mage Hand

The magician can use their magic to move or manipulate objects. The Brawn they may exert is equal to the magician's Power Level. If the magician wants to exert this strength to cause physical harm, use the guidelines for attack spells, above.

Mending

Magic can be used to mend physical objects, just as it can be used to destroy them. For example, a magician can attempt to recreate a burned painting from its ashes or restore a shattered vase. In such cases, the Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the scope of the repaired object.

If the magician succeeds on their Thaumaturgy roll, the object is restored to its undamaged condition. The effect of a mending spell is essentially permanent.

Mental Attacks

Spells used to mentally attack a target inflict Endurance damage. Such spells could take the form of monstrous hallucinations, painful memories from the target's past, or simply brutal migraine headaches. The character who casts the spell decides what form the spell takes.

For mental combat spells, an attacker rolls their dice, counts the dots, and adds the result to the magician's Power Level. This roll is compared to their opponent's roll plus their Presence. Mental attack spells ignore all normal forms of protection such as armor.

Damage from mental attacks is temporary. Record it separately; it all comes back after the fight is over, when the character has had a chance to rest and recuperate. Mental attack spells have no effect on inanimate objects, since the "damage" exists only as pain in the target's mind.

Phantasms

A phantasm spell causes the target to see things no one else can see, but which the subject believes to be absolutely real. The hallucination is so convincing that the target believes that they are injured by its attacks. Protective spells and equipment are as efficacious against these phantasms as they would be against the real thing. The damage inflicted can even "kill" the target (rendering them unconscious), but in fact any damage inflicted is "stunning", and therefore temporary.

For phantasm spells, an attacker rolls their dice, counts the dots, and adds the result to the magician's Presence and Power Level. This roll is compared to their opponent's roll plus their Presence. Phantasm spells ignore all normal forms of protection such as armor.

The victim of a phantasm spell may use an action to try and break free of it. To break free of a phantasm, the target must use a standard action to make another defense roll against the attacker's roll. If the target has not broken free of the phantasm by the end of the scene, then it fades from the target's mind shortly thereafter.

Protection

Magic can be used to create protective barriers, which are often called "wards". Wards are as effective as normal forms of protection such as armor. Anything which ignores normal forms of protection also ignores a magical barrier.

The Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the rating of the protective barrier. If the ward is invisible to those without mage sight, the difficulty is 3 higher than would otherwise be indicated by its rating.


Table: Magical protection
Rating Difficulty Modifier
Power Level No penalty dice
Power Level + 3 1 penalty die
Power Level + 6 2 penalty dice
Power Level + 9 3 penalty dice


Any attack which succeeds against the protective barrier reduces its rating by one. If the barrier has not been worn away by attacks by the end of the scene, then it fades away shortly thereafter.

Scrying

With a scrying spell, the character can attempt to perceive things at a distance. The Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the distance of the target. If the target of the scrying spell is in the future or the past, the difficulty is 3 higher than would otherwise be indicated by the target's distance. Additionally, if the magician is trying to find a specific person, the target's Presence is added to the difficulty if they have Mind Shield. Scrying spells are never completely reliable: they are primarily a roleplaying spell under the control of the GM.

Sleep

A sleep spell places a target into an unconscious state. They are not able to move or take any actions. For sleep spells, an attacker rolls their dice, counts the dots, and adds the result to the magician's Presence and Power Level. This roll is compared to their opponent's roll plus their Presence. Sleep spells ignore all normal forms of protection such as armor.

The subject of a sleep spell will wake up if roughly jostled or injured, but will otherwise be oblivious to loud noises and movement. If the character has not awoken by the end of the scene, then they will eventually wake up naturally.

Suggestion

A suggestion spell is a mental attack which allows a character to influence a living creature's behaviour, forcing the target to obey the character's mental commands. To influence a living creature's behaviour, the character must succeed at a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll against the Mental Combat (Presence) roll of the target, or the Mental Combat (Presence + Power Level) roll of the target if the target has Mental Resistance. Giving a new mental command to the target requires a quick action.

To break free of the suggestion, the target must use a standard action to make a successful Mental Combat (Presence) roll against a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll of the attacker. If the target has Mental Resistance, they add their Power Level to their roll. If the target succeeds at this roll, they break free of the suggestion. If the target has not broken free of the suggestion by the end of the scene, then they break free of it shortly thereafter.

Summoning

Summoning spells are among the most difficult and rewarding uses of magic. With a summoning spell, the character can attempt to retrieve a creature (or swarm of creatures) from another reality and have it do the magician's bidding. The Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the abilities of the summoned creature. Consult the following table, and apply the difficulty modifier that would make the spell most difficult. "Maximum Attribute Value" usually pertains to just one of the summoned creature's attributes; as a general rule, its other attributes are half this value. "Supernatural powers" may also refer to gifts. If the target of the summoning spell can cast magic of its own, the difficulty is 3 higher than would otherwise be indicated by the creature's abilities.


Table: Summoned creature abilities
Maximum Attribute Value Supernatural Powers Difficulty Modifier
3 3 No penalty dice
6 6 1 penalty die
9 9 2 penalty dice
12 12 3 penalty dice


Summoned creatures may be agreeable, or they may complain bitterly about their service. Some may see the magician as their temporary liberator; others may consider the magician as a kidnapper and abuser. Regardless of the summoned creature's temperament, it will follow the magician's instructions to the best of its ability for the duration of the spell. If the summoned creature is killed in our world, it is dispelled and returns to wherever it came from. If the summoned creature is still alive at the end of the scene, it returns to its place of origin shortly thereafter.

Telepathy

A telepathy spell is a mental attack which permits a character to communicate directly with the mind of another person.

To communicate directly with the mind of an unwilling person, the character must succeed at a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll against the Mental Combat (Presence) roll of the target, or the Mental Combat (Presence + Power Level) roll of the target if the target has Mental Resistance. With a successful attack roll, the attacker may mentally communicate with the target and may read their surface thoughts. If using the optional margin of success rules, the attacker may read the target's memories if the attacker achieves a margin of success of 3 or more (each memory viewed requires a separate roll).

To break free of the telepathy, an unwilling target must use a standard action to make a successful Mental Combat (Presence) roll against a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll of the attacker. If the target has Mental Resistance, they add their Power Level to their roll. If the target succeeds at this roll, they break free of the telepathy. If the target has not broken free of the telepathy by the end of the scene, then they break free of it shortly thereafter.

To communicate directly with the mind of a willing person, no attack roll is needed. With a willing target, the telepath may mentally communicate with the target and may read their surface thoughts and (if the target consents) their memories. A willing participant may end the telepathic contact at any time.

Transmutation

Magic can be used to change creatures and objects into other creatures and objects. For example, a magician can attempt to turn a prince into a frog, a lead ingot into gold, or a bottle of water into wine.

Attacking another person or creature with a transmutation spell requires a successful Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll against the Ranged Combat (Agility) roll of the target, or the Ranged Combat (Agility + Power Level) roll of the target if the target has Modification Resistance. Transmutation spells ignore all normal forms of protection such as armor and Damage Resistance. If the transmutation spell is being cast on an object, the difficulty is based on the scope of the transmuted object (either before or after, whichever would be more difficult). If the magician succeeds on their Thaumaturgy roll, the creature or object is transmuted, and is indistinguishable from an ordinary creature or object of its new type.

To recover from the transmutation, the target must use a standard action to make a successful Survival (Presence) roll against a Thaumaturgy (Power Level) roll of the magician. If the target has Modification Resistance, they add their Power Level to their roll. If the target succeeds at this roll, they recover from the transmutation. If the target has not recovered from the transmutation by the end of the scene, then they recover from it shortly thereafter.

Transportation

Magic is often used to transport a magician from one place to another. Typically, this is done either with flight or with teleportation. The advantage of flight is that the spell will last as long as the current scene: each time the magician uses a move action during their their turn, they can fly the distance granted them by the spell. The advantage of teleportation is that the magician can bypass obstacles, but unlike flight, the spell's duration is instantaneous: once the magician reaches their destination, the spell ends.

The Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6), and is further complicated by the distance the magician wishes to go.


Table: Transportation by spell
Distance Difficulty Modifier
Short range (10 meters) No penalty dice
Medium range (100 meters) 1 penalty die
Long range (1,000 meters) 2 penalty dice
Across the continent 3 penalty dice
Across the world 4 penalty dice
Another world 5 penalty dice


Wheel Of Fortune

Divination

Magic can spin the wheel of fortune, making unlikely events likely and likely events unlikely. The Thaumaturgy (Reason) roll is remarkably difficult (DV 6).

If the magician's roll is successful, they may describe a favorable or unfavorable circumstance and how that circumstance might have come about. If the GM agrees that the circumstance is possible (however unlikely it might be), then the GM will decide how this unlikely event impacts the character. The simplest way to translate this favorable or unfavorable circumstance into game terms is to grant a bonus die if the circumstance is favorable or to impose a penalty die if the circumstance is unfavorable. Magically spinning the wheel of fortune could also influence events in a less straightforward manner, and the GM should encourage players to be creative with the spell. Each spin of the wheel should be roughly as useful as a bonus die or a penalty die: significant, but not game-breaking.

Unintended Consequences

Magic is not natural to mortals. It is alien at best, and at worst magic is an insidious and corrupting force. Careful and skilled magicians can avoid the negative consequences of magic for a while, but no one escapes them forever.

When a magician attempts to cast a spell but fails their Thaumaturgy roll, the uncontrolled magical forces wreak havoc with their body, twisting and corrupting it. The worse they failed their roll, the more severe is this corruption. In the interests of simplicity, this usually results in the reduction of the magician's maximum Endurance. Alternately, the player may choose to roll on the fun and terrifying "Optional consequences of failed Thaumaturgy" table below. If the player chooses to roll on the optional consequences table, the character's maximum Endurance is not reduced: they suffer the optional consequences, instead.


Table: Consequences of failed Thaumaturgy
Thaumaturgy Roll
Failed By
Maximum Endurance
Lost
Typical
Consequence
Optional
Consequence
1-3 1 Trickle of blood from the nose Minor
4-6 2 Bleeding from the nose and ears Moderate
7-9 3 Blood flowing from the eyes, ears, and nose Severe
10-12 4 Blood gushing from every orifice Critical


Table: Optional consequences of failed Thaumaturgy
Roll 2d6 Consequence
Minor Moderate Severe Critical
1 White hair
2 Obsession
3 Hair loss
4 1 Phobia
5 2 Pallor
6 3 Stench
7 4 1 Lame
8 5 2 Webbed digits
9 6 3 Hunched back
10 7 4 1 Blight
11 8 5 2 Tumours
12 9 6 3 Bulbous eyes
10 7 4 Lesions
11 8 5 Glowing eyes
12 9 6 Scaly skin
10 7 Face rot
11 8 Polymorph
12 9 Eye stalk
10 Gelatinous skin
11 Extra arm
12 Tentacles


  • White hair: All of the character's hair turns luminescent white, all over their body.
  • Obsession: The character develops an uncontrollable obsession or fascination with an object, color, or circumstance. Pick a word randomly from the dictionary: the character will seek this thing out, cut out photos of it from magazines, collect it, and so on.
  • Hair loss: All of the character's hair falls out, all over their body.
  • Phobia: The character develops an uncontrollable fear or revulsion toward an object, color, or circumstance. Pick a word randomly from the dictionary: the character will avoid this thing at all costs.
  • Pallor: The character's skin becomes ashen grey in color, and powdery in texture.
  • Stench: The character exudes a putrid smell, like rotting flesh and sewage.
  • Lame: One of the character's knees, or ankles, or hips becomes painful, giving them a pronounced limp.
  • Webbed digits: The character grows membranes of skin between their fingers and between their toes.
  • Hunched back: The character's back twists and bends, giving them a hunched-over appearance.
  • Blight: Plants within ten meters of the character wither and die. Milk-producing animals stop producing, or give milk that is sour.
  • Tumours: The character develops numerous benign skin tumours, ranging in size from as small as an olive to the size of a tangerine. This doesn't impair their movement; it's just grotesque.
  • Bulbous eyes: The character's eyes triple in size and protrude slightly from their head. This doesn't affect the character's vision; it's just freaky looking.
  • Lesions: The character's skin is covered in oozing sores. This isn't painful; it's just gross.
  • Glowing eyes: The character's eyes becomes translucent, and they glow with a sickly yellow or green light. This doesn't impair the character's vision; it's just freaky looking.
  • Scaly skin: The character's skin becomes hard and scaly, like that of a desert lizard or alligator. This doesn't provide any protection from injury; it's simply ugly.
  • Face rot: The character's nose, ears, and lips rot away and fall off. This doesn't impair their senses; it's simply grotesque.
  • Polymorph: The character is transformed into a ordinary animal no smaller than a cat, and no larger than a medium-size dog. They can think and speak normally, and their Power Level attribute is reduced to 1. On the bright side, the polymorph removes any other magical consequences from which the character may be suffering: when they recover from the polymorph, they are their normal, human-appearing selves again.
  • Eye stalk: The character grows an additional, completely functional eye on their face or head, on the end of a 20 centimeter long stalk.
  • Gelatinous skin: The character's skin becomes sticky and translucent, and has a wet, gummy texture. The doesn't make the character more vulnerable to injury; they're simply grotesque.
  • Extra arm: The character grows an extra arm from their torso. This new appendage is somewhat clumsy, and not entirely under the character's control.
  • Tentacles: The character's arms become boneless tentacles. They are as useful for grasping and manipulating objects as hands; they're just grotesque.

The player of the magician who has been disfigured should make a note of the severity of the failure, because this may have an impact on the difficulty of reversing the effect.

Recovering From Magical Consequences

Normally, a character suffering from the consequences of a failed Thaumaturgy roll recovers one maximum Endurance after they have refrained from any use of magic for half an hour or so. After that, a character who completely abstains from using magic will regain one maximum Endurance per day; a character who has used magic in the past 24 hours will not.

A character who has been altered or disfigured by an optional consequence does not recover from that consequence until they completely abstain from using any magic for 24 hours. Additionally, a character who continues to use magic while suffering from an optional consequence risks their condition becoming permanent. Each morning after the first day, the player rolls 2d6. On a roll of 2, their character's disfigurement has become permanent.

Using magic to reverse the unintended consequences of a failed Thaumaturgy roll is possible, but difficult.

Counterspells

During their turn, or as a forced action, a character who is able to cast spells may use a standard action to counter a spell cast against them (no Thaumaturgy roll is required). A counterspell might entail conjuring a magical shield to block the spell, neutralizing the spell with an inverse effect, or it might involve using finesse to harmlessly divert the spell away: the choice is up to the player.

Casting a counterspell grants a bonus die to the character's defense roll against the spell. A character who is using their action to cast a counterspell may use quick actions to cast counterspells against additional magical attacks until they take their next turn.

A character may choose to cast a counterspell after the attacker has determined that the attack will successfully hit: there is no need to counterspell an attack that misses.

Empowering Objects

Any character with Power Level of 1 or greater can temporarily imbue non-living materials with magic. In practice, this allows a character to create pieces of magical "equipment" which operate similarly to ordinary equipment one can buy at a shop. This allows a character to create a charm that grants a character expertise with the Deception skill, a potion that grants an additional two character points of Brawn, a bracelet that grants the protection of rating 3 armor, and so on.

The rating of each piece of such equipment may not exceed the character's Power Level, and the maximum number of objects a character can have temporarily empowered at one time is also equal to their Power Level. If the character creates a new empowered object which would place them over this limit, one of their previously empowered objects ceases to function (the player may choose which one). The time it takes to empower a new item depends on the rating of the object. The magician may eat, sleep, and attend to matters of personal hygiene, but may engage in no other significant activity while empowering a new item.


Table: Time to empower an object
Rating Creation Time
1 1 day
2 2 days
3 6 days
4 24 days
5 120 days
6 720 days


Empowered objects last about a week before the magic fades, unless the character spends a number of character points equal to the rating of the item. This makes the empowerment permanent, and that item no longer counts against the character's maximum number of empowered items.