Magic

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Creating a Magic User

Sortilege

All wizards have a trait called Sortilege (pronounced: SOR-tl-ij). It determines which of the two types of magic-users a character is in this setting and measures the wizard's connection to the fundamentals of magic. This concept also reflects the idea that connections to magic have developed differently across cultures around the world.

Note that 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. A character's sortilege level can become stronger over time as the wizard grows and gains greater wisdom.

There are two sortilege 'paradigms' a character can choose from. This is the fundamental philosophy behind the wizard's magic, and in some cases, this can affect how the magic takes shape.

  • Sorcery: This is the traditional type from the books.
  • Arendi: This is shaman magic with ties to the Native American community.

Use the following code to set a paradigm:

+stat/set paradigm=<Sorcery or Arendi>

Use the following code to set the sortilege level.

+stat/set sortilege=<value>

More details on each paradigm is available on the Sortilege page.

Aptitudes

This a magic stat that the system automatically calculates based on previous point allocation choices.

  • Potency: This determines a character’s power when performing magic.
  • Precision: This reflects a character’s finesse.
  • Protection: This indicates their resistance to the effects of harmful magic.

Check the character's +sheet to view how aptitude has been automatically assigned to a character.

Arts

Without training, magic is raw and unfocused. The Arts were developed to provide the focus needed to perform magic across six branches. These impact a character’s magic use, from casting spells to brewing potions. Keep in mind that a character's rating in any given Art cannot exceed their Sortilege rating.

Below are details for each type of art:

  • Charms: These 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: This 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.

Assign five points to reflect the character’s natural affinities for these areas of magic. More points will be available later, but for now, identify the character’s strengths and weaknesses.

Use the following command to set points for each art.

+stat/set <art name>=<value>

Example: +stat/set Charms=1

Using Spells

Magic can be unpredictable and destructive when it runs wild. So, wizards have learned how to focus it with formulaic spells.

Standard Spell

When casting a spell, roll Sortilege + the appropriate Art for the spell being cast.

Extended Spell

As a standard spell, except that successes are accrued over a series of rolls until the spell is achieved, time runs out, or a roll botches. The time between rolls varies with the task.

Enchantment

Enchantment is when a spell has an ongoing effect, such as those imbued into artifacts. Such spells are difficult to cast, requiring ten times the usual successes. If successfully cast, the caster must spend two points of Willpower per level of the Art required in order to make the enchantment permanent. Otherwise, it will simply last for three times the usual duration and then fade.

Magical Modifiers

Non-Verbal Casting

Part of the formula for spells is a verbal incantation, which helps the wizard to focus and visualize the weaving of magic into a usable form. It is possible to cast a spell without the verbal component, this this requires a complete understanding of the spell and how it works. To cast a spell non-verbally, the wizard must have at least 3 dots in the appropriate Art. Furthermore, casting a spell non-verbally imposes a -2 penalty.

Wandless Casting

Casting spells without a wand is highly difficult, and generally the purview of only the mightiest wizards. To cast a spell without a wand, the wizard must spend a point of Willpower and suffer a -3 penalty.

Note that there are some forms of magic that are inherently wandless, such as Apparition and Animagus transformation. These have no penalty or Willpower requirement for being performed without a wand.

Effects of Magic

The specific effects of magic vary from spell to spell. Some inflict harm, others might affect a target's actions, still others might be entirely cosmetic or even whimsical. Refer to the individual spell descriptions for details on what a spell can do, and what sort of system effects it might have. There are a few cases in which some common rules apply, described below.

Harmful Spells

Spells with the Harmful keyword inflict damage. Magical damage can be very difficult to heal, even with magical healing. Unless otherwise specified, the spell will inflict two levels of aggravated damage for each success that affects the target.

Defense Against Magic

Dodging Spells

Most wizards will say that the best defense against a spell is to avoid being struck by it. Most spells must physically touch a target in order to affect it. Therefore, dodging is very important in magical combat.

A spellcasting roll is treated as an attack roll. Therefore, a character with an available action can attempt to dodge the attack as normal with a Dexterity + Athletics roll

Resisting Spell Effects

Counterspells

Game System Files
Advantages Attributes Magic Merits Origin Rewards Skills System
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