Spellcasting

Magic is the lifeblood of the universe; it flows through everything, one unifying force that connects all living things. Long ago, the mortal races learned to harness this power, learned how to leash it to their will and alter the very fabric of reality. Regardless of how a caster gains the ability to utilize magic, spells and spellcasting use the same rules for all casting characters. Whether the adept’s own strength of will grants him the ability to use magic or that gift is bestowed by some supernatural entity, the outcome is the same. The adept harnesses magical energy from their source, focuses it into a specific magical effect, and then releases it towards a target. Some spells heal, some destroy and some simply make people’s lives easier, but the basics are the same: channel, focus and release. The spells a caster knows can make their name or cause them a grim, early death. If he knows the right ones, he can keep himself and his companions alive; if not, he is a liability to the group and can get himself and others killed. The more spells a character knows, the more versatile he is and the more he can do with his magic. A “one-trick pony” won’t get very far. Buying Spells Purchasing a spell to cast costs 2 CP; upgrading that spell to the next higher level costs another 2 CP. You cannot cast a spell until it is fully written into your spellbook. You must purchase the lowest Level of a spell before you can purchase the next higher version, and so on. If you cannot cast a spell due to Access restrictions (see below), you cannot purchase it. Spells are, in game terms, skills. Buying them follows all applicable rules for buying skills in the Skill Header System section and the Downtime section. In order to purchase spells, a character must have a skill that allows them to buy spells, such as(but not limited to) Magical Art, Magic of the Master, or All Magic Is One. That "gateway" skill is, in effect, the caster unlocking the header for an entire category of magic spells. Each individual category of spells is considered its own header. The categories of spell are: Air, Earth, Fire, Water (called the Elemental Arts) Light, Shadow (called the Energy Arts) Autumn, Spring, Summer, and Winter (called the Seasonal Arts) Once a spellcasting character has unlocked the category, they can purchase any spell within that category, just like unlocking a header allows you to purchase any skill you meet the Requirements for. Major Access & Minor Access Different types of spellcasters have different specialties when it comes to magic. Arcane casters specialize in the Elemental Arts, manipulating the building blocks of the universe. Divine beings have different aspects and only allow their priests to use magic that fits those aspects. Ghorn, for example, is a god of the forge, creation, and fire. It makes sense, then, that his followers have access to the Fire Elemental Art and the Light Energy Art (Ghorn is a god of the White Court). But Ghorn also is a god of the cold mountains and industry, particularly favored by the Free Dwarves. How do we represent this in game terms? The answer that Ghorn's followers have Major access to the Fire and Light categories, and minor access to the Winter and Earth categories. Major Access means that a caster can buy and cast any spell in that category, no matter the level-- so long as they have purchased the Spell with Character Points according to the rules above. Minor Access means that the character can access the category, but can only purchase and cast Level 1 and Level 2 spells from that category. NOTE: Some spells start with a level 2 version, meaning a caster with Minor access can only cast the lowest-powered version. Some spells start with Level 3, meaning casters with Minor access cannot use the spell at all. Arcane Caster Access Arcane spellcasters BEGIN play with the ability to purchase Major access to the Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Shadow Arts. HOWEVER, when a caster chooses one of the Elemental Arts, they automatically LOSE Major access to its opposite and instead can purchase only Minor access. Arcane characters can always purchase Major access to the Shadow Art-- this represents the whispering, calling creatures of the Otherworld offering more and more power, but at the risk of the character's soul. Conversely, an Arcane character cannot purchase the Light school at all. Expect a character who uses arcane Shadow magic frequently to be tempted by those beings. We'll be watching. Example: Velarion the Erin'Tar Wizard buys Fire as his first Magical Art. As soon as he does so, he loses Major Access to the Water Art-- if he ever decides to purchase that Art, he will have only minor access to Water. Likewise, if Velarion buys the Earth as his next category, he has has Major access to Earth but can only buy Minor access to Air afterwards. Velarion can always spend the time and CP necessary to unlock Major Access to the Shadow header, but unless he finds a different route to get it such as a Signature Items or becoming one of the few Multi-Source Characters, he will never be able to purchase from the Light list. Otherworld and Primal Caster Access Otherworld and Primal characters have access to specific Arts and Seasons as determined by their Patron, class, or skill description. Researching New Spells The Basic Spell Lists included on this website are just that—basic. Characters will find new spells as treasure in long-forgotten dungeons, as rewards or gifts from other-planar entities, and characters can even research spells on their own. If you wish to research a spell, contact Logistics OUT OF GAME, BETWEEN EVENTS VIA EMAIL, and we’ll talk about it. Researching a new spell will cost CP, in-game money, and some of your Downtime. It will also require a back-and-forth between you and Staff for a final version of the spell; do NOT expect that the first version of a spell you submit for research will be the one that ends up as a final version. Any spells researched by a player will be non-transferrable from that player to any other player for a duration of 6 months. After that, the spell can be taught and transferred as normal, and the spell will become part of the official rulebook on the website, named after the character who created it, such as "Merlin's Amazing Magic Arrow," etc. Spellbooks A caster’s spellbook is his most treasured item. It is an in-game item and can be stolen, damaged and destroyed. In it the caster must keep a written, legible record of all spells he has purchased, the effects and game verbal for the spell, and the incantation he uses to cast the spell. Inside the front cover of the spellbook the caster should glue a small pocket, large enough to hold an index card. On the index card, the caster needs to write his character name, real name, and SPELLBOOK. If the character has more than one book, he needs to have both the inside cover of the book and the card numbered to differentiate, such as "Merlin's Spellbook, 1 of 2." If the spellbook is ever stolen, the thief takes only the TAG, and then shows it to the nearest possible Staff member. A prop will never be stolen. The spellbook is PROPERTY OF THE PLAYER and should never be removed out-of-game. A spellbook must be a bound book; loose leaves of paper are not allowed. Other means may be used to represent spellbooks. Be creative, but get approval from staff before you invest a lot of time and energy into it. ***Casting Spells*** You can cast any version of a spell you have purchased. Thus, if you have purchased the Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 version, you can cast any version at any time, so long as you have the Stamina to spend on it. Casting a spell costs a variable amount of Stamina depending on the power level you wish to cast. The more powerful a spell, the more Stamina it will cost to cast.The Level 1 version of a spell costs 1 Stamina; the level 2 version costs 2 Stamina, and so on. When casting a spell, you CANNOT HAVE ANY ITEMS IN YOUR HANDS, unless another skill you have purchased specifically allows it. Your arms must be completely free and unhindered-- you cannot tuck anything into your armpits or under your arms, nor can you cast spells while a Maim [arm] effect is in place upon you. Once an adept has the Stamina necessary, knows the spell, its unique incantation and has it readied, he is ready to cast it. Every spell must have a target (or multiple targets, depending on the spell) before it is cast. An adept cannot complete the incantation for a spell and then decide on his target. The target can change only if the original becomes no longer viable (runs away, dies, etc). If the spell is a touch-cast spell, the caster must touch the target AS THE INCANTATION IS BEING SPOKEN. If the spell is channeled through a packet, the caster must throw the packet within 5 seconds of completing the incantation or the spell is flubbed. A spell the caster wishes to touch-cast on an unwilling target must be delivered with a natural weapon phys rep. When the incantation is completed, the spell goes off and all effects are resolved immediately. Some spells have a casting time other than just the incantation. These are usually special spells that take time to complete, such as consecrating an area to the gods or resurrecting the dead. Incantations The incantation for each spell represents the caster harnessing magical power into a specific effect, bending reality to produce the effect he desires. Each spell must have a unique incantation, specific to that spell. The incantation must have the spell’s name somewhere in the incantation, or some reference to the effect of the spell. Incantations must be 5 syllables long per level of the spell, followed by the verbal for the spell, such as “10 Damage and Agony by Magic!” Thus, a level 4 Spell has to have a 20 syllable incantation, etc. All incantations must be said in a firm tone of voice loud enough for the target or targets to hear. A spell incantation may NOT be whispered under any circumstances.Remember, if the target cannot clearly understand what you are trying to affect them with, the game will grind to a halt as the target calls for Clarification, etc.SPEAK CLEARLY AND LOUDLY. You are bending the whole of reality to your will-- have some confidence in how you go about it! An incantation doesn’t have to make sense, but it must be the same every time the spell is cast, and the incantation it must reference the spell effect or name in some way. An incantation maybe composed of “magical language” but may not be gibberish or simply the same word over and over again. You cannot move while speaking your incantation. You can move before or after, however. Incantations on a battlefield or murmured across the campfire are an excellent way to build atmosphere; do your best to personalize them for your character and keep them in-character. Getting Hit If a caster is struck by a negative effect during the incantation, the spell is not flubbed, but the incantation must be started over before the spell can be successfully cast. On the other hand, making a caster laugh in the middle of an incantation is a good way to flub them, too. Spell Keyword Quicklist Skills that are NOT listed in the Spell Lists but have the Spell keyword use the following rules: Purchasing the skill and Stamina cost rules on this page do not apply. The skill is bought and the Stamina cost is determined per the Skill Description. All other keywords apply as normal. All special rules in the skill description apply as normal. Any character who buys a skill that has the Spell keyword must have a spellbook for that skill-- all Spellbook rules above apply EXCEPT the skill cannot be transferred to another character or taught to another character in any way. All rules in the "Casting a Spell" section above apply except Stamina cost (see first item in this list). All incantation rules apply-- every skill that has the Spell keyword MUST have its own unique incantation, written down in the spellbook, etc. A skill with the Spell keyword can be flubbed just like a regular spell. A skill with the Spell keyword is restricted in the same way as a regular spell-- nothing can be in the caster's hands; both arms must be functional and unhindered unless another skill specifically permits otherwise. If a caster is hit by an enemy attack while casting a skill with the Spell keyword, the incantation must be re-started, just like a regular spell.