Advantages

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Sortilege

All wizards have a trait called Sortilege (pronounced: SAWR-tl-ij). This measures the wizard's natural connection to magic, and therefore the ability to call upon it to alter reality. This connection can become stronger over time as the wizard grows and gains a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of magic. This Trait begins with one dot, and can reach up to five dots. Sortilege contributes to the dice pool of every spellcasting roll a wizard makes.

Paradigms

Sortilege also describes a wizard's magical paradigm. This is the fundamental philosophy behind the wizard's magic, and in some cases this can affect how the magic takes shape. The Trait requires a descriptor that determines this paradigm.

Sorcery

The most widely known form of magic, Sorcery is practiced almost exclusively through Europe and North America, and has many practitioners in other lands as well. Many of the world's most famous wizards have been sorcerers: Merlin, Newt Scamander, Voldemort.

Sorcery is best characterized by its formulaic approach to magic. Sorcerers think of magic in terms of weaving raw magic into quantifiable forms. They use wands to focus and channel magic more easily, and rely upon strict wand movements and verbal incantations to refine and shape their spells. Powerful and enlightened sorcerers can learn to cast spells without these methods, but even they tend to fall back on their old tools when casting difficult magic.

Sorcery Benefits and Drawbacks

  • A sorcerer can benefit from special bonuses and abilities granted by a wand's wood and core.
  • Sorcerers may purchase and use the Arithmancy Knowledge.

Arendi

Arendi is an animistic philosophy practiced by the indigenous peoples of North America. It is named for a Wyandot word for "spiritual power", and is sometimes known as "medicine". Its practitioners are properly known as arendiwane, but are also known commonly as medicine men/women or shamans. Arendiwane believe that all things have spirits, and they learn how to commune with those spirits. To an arendiwane, a spell is simply a prayer to the spirits to request a favor, not a formula to alter reality. As such, arendiwane do not rely upon wands to focus their magic.

While most modern arendiwane do learn the incantations common to sorcerers for expediency's sake, they also have a more ritualistic approach to magic spells that bligs don't find so suspicious, though it generally takes longer to perform. These rituals are also considered more sacred to the arendiwane, and are preferred for religious ceremonies and for matters of great importance.

A key aspect of the arendi paradigm is the comparative lack of ability in transfiguration magic, particularly transformation. To an arendiwane, everything and everyone has a spirit that defines its nature. To alter something's physical form requires the medicine man to essentially convince its spirit to become something else, which is no small task.

One might note that arendi and arendiwane are specific to certain languages, but are not shared among all Native American tribes. These were chosen only because they encompass the concept behind the paradigm, and because there is no word that transcends all languages to describe it. The closest is the concept of "medicine", but since that word already has a specific meaning in the Storytelling System, another was chosen to avoid confusion. In role-play, characters are still perfectly welcome and encouraged to use more familiar terms like medicine, medicine man/woman, and shaman.

Given the lack of transfiguration ability, it is confusing to other wizards their American Indian counterparts should have so many more Animagi among their numbers. This is due to their belief in totem spirits that the human spirit is connected to. An arendiwane shapeshifter (sometimes called a skin-walker, though this generally has negative connotations) does not learn to transform by rote and rigorous practice, but through meditative insight, tapping into the animal spirit within and giving oneself over to its form. To the arendiwane, this is not an act of physical transfiguration, but of spiritual manifestation.

Arendi Benefits and Drawbacks

  • An arendiwane may cast spells wandlessly at no penalty. An arendiwane gains no benefit from using a wand, even if the wand normally provides bonuses or special abilities.
  • +1 on all Potions rolls.
  • +1 on rolls to cast spells with the Animal or Plant keywords. This bonus does not apply to spells that also have the Transformation keyword.
  • -3 on rolls to cast spells with the Transformation keyword.
  • To purchase the Animagus Merit, an arendiwane must have Sortilege X and Willpower X. This replaces the normal requirement for Transfiguration 4 and Willpower 6.

Arts

While any wizard is capable of magic, that power is raw and unfocused without training and discipline. The Arts were developed to provide that focus. Each Art represents a branching of magical learning. Every spell is connected to one of the Arts.

A character's rating in any given Art cannot exceed their Sortilege rating.

Charms

Charms are spells that alter what a subject does (as opposed to what it is). This Art deals with corporeal effects, such as levitation, animation, or illumination.

Glamers

Glamers is a branch of Charms magic, but this Art specifically deals with effects of the mind, such as spells affecting emotions, memory, or perceptions.

Transfiguration

This Art is used for spells that deform or alter the physical nature of the subject in some way. Both creatures and inanimate objects can be transformed. Note that a living creature transformed into an nonliving shape is not killed, but rather placed into a sort of stasis. If untransfigured, they will resume living as normal.

Conjuration

While technically a branch of transfiguration magic, Conjuration deals with creating something out of nothing, as well as Vanishment, the banishing of something into nothing. There are strict laws (both natural and legal) regarding what can be conjured. For example, conjuring food is impossible; it can only be summoned or multiplied.

Potions

One of the most prized arts of the wizarding world is the ability to create magical potions — elixirs, draughts, and other mixtures that can produce a variety of effects. While many potions can be reproduced with other spells, there are certain advantages to using potions. It is one of the only ways to delay a spell effect, and by preparing magic ahead of time, it removes the possibility of miscasting a spell in the heat of the moment (assuming the potion was prepared correctly).

Runes

Runes involves the study of magical symbols, glyphs, and wards. It is used for casting a number of spells with permanent and semi-permanent effects. Like Potions, this Art can delay a magical effect until a rune is triggered, as well as create persistent effects that endure as long as the rune itself remains.

Darkness

Darkness is the void left by the absence of compassion. For a wizard, such a void becomes a dangerous force. Those that fully embrace the Darkness can use it to fuel Dark magic, but at a terrible cost. Madness and even physical deformity can result from the Darkness taking hold in a wizard.

Like Willpower, Darkness has both a permanent rating and temporary points. However, the points are not spendable, nor are they limited by the permanent rating. If a character with 10 points of temporary Darkness gains another point, that point becomes a permanent Darkness and the temporary pool is reset to 0. Any remaining temporary Darkness gained at the same time overflows into the newly reset pool.

For example: Sally has a permanent Darkness rating of 3 and 10 temporary points. She betrays her best friend, a sin that earns 3 more points of Darkness. The first point above 10 converts to a permanent dot of Darkness, raising Sally's rating to 4, and her Darkness pool resets to 0. But the 2 remaining points for betraying her friend overflow, leaving her with Darkness 4 and 2 temporary points.

Gaining Darkness

You gain temporary Darkness when you perform Dark magic, or when you commit acts of a dark nature, succumbing to the most evil of temptations. The table below is a guideline for acts that will earn Darkness. The Darkness gains are temporary points unless otherwise specified.

Sin Darkness Gained
Using Dark magic Equal to Art level
Deception that leads to harm 1
Stealing out of greed 2
Betraying a loved one 3
Torture 4
Killing an unintelligent creature for pleasure 3
Killing an intelligent creature (crime of passion) 5
Premeditated murder of an intelligent creature 1 permanent
Creating a Horcrux 1 permanent
Exceeding 10 temporary Darkness 1 permanent

Purging Darkness

You can eliminate Darkness points when you engage in selfless acts, risking your well-being for that of others. Such acts can eliminate temporary Darkness points at the Storyteller's discretion. Purging permanent Darkness is just like gaining it, but in reverse. If a character with 0 points of temporary Darkness purges another point, that point burns away a permanent Darkness and the temporary pool is set to 10. Any remaining temporary Darkness purged at the same time overflows and reduces the newly full pool by an appropriate amount.

Act Darkness Purged
Telling the truth when it is disadvantageous to do so. 1
Risking one's health or safety to help another 2
Risking one's life to help another 3
Risking one's life to help an enemy 4
Making a major sacrifice to help another (e.g. donating a kidney) 3
Destroying a Horcrux 5
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