Chapter 7 - Magic
Magic is the effect produced from Mana, a powerful force that infuses the universe with its energy. There are some who are able to channel its power and use it to bring to bear powerful magical effects. These magical effects are classified into the various Manifestations, but for these purposes they are also known as Trees. The Manifestations (or Trees) work just like proficiency trees, as the individual spell effects work just like specializations, when it comes to purchasing upgrades using proficiency points.
The common folk typically regard Magic as truly arcane knowledge, as the proper use of Magic is a rare thing to be seen indeed. Most times, when it is heard that someone is using Magic, it is usually a dark, withered necromancer working to summon an undead army; or a power-mad warlock whose ambitions have threatened to open a portal to an invasion from Hell; or an evil cult attempting to resurrect an even more evil lich; or a plethora of other rumor-inspired half-truths, with just as many real truth-founded stories as falsehoods, and none too trustworthy to distinguish the difference. Some even are so skilled at magic one would never know they were a practitioner. Magical schools, if any, teach and practice in secret, guarded against outside, prying eyes. Fewer still are the clergypeople who exhibit any true magical healing ability, most are only blindly devoted to their faith, charging outrageous "tithes" for low-quality healing potions, made by the high priest who may or may not have any real power or ability... the true holders of divine power are the aristocrats who run the massive temples in the big cities, established centuries ago, where even there most lesser priests are not allowed real connection with the gods. Some orders of monks exhibit some ability to channel and control magic, but after months and in some case, years of training to master, and use it to Enhance their speed or strength, or sometimes even Evocations of the elements, to some dark orders who have mastered some Curses through use of meditation on Dark Arts. Not untold are the legends of holy paladins or zealous arcane knights who imbue their weapons with Magic and then Smite their foes.
The 8 Manifestations of Magic (Mana)
Abjuration - Magic effects meant to protect, to defeat and to undo other magic and non-natural forces and beings. Exists to check magic.
Conjuration - These magic effects bring things into being. Things, materials, other people, at higher levels, yourself.
Divination - Magic dealing with seeing and knowing what normally can't be seen or known.
Enchantment - Magic that assails the mind of the subject.
Evocation - Raw power of elements brought to bear.
Illusion - Magic that allows its user to fool the senses.
Necromancy - Magic that assails the body of the subject, and can target the soul.
Transmutation - Changing one material to another, or altering properties about a given material.
How it works - Mana
Mana, in essence, is raw magic, likened to the live current of electricity. The Mana ability attribute represents the ability to channel raw magical energy from the cosmos and store it inside your body. Holding this mana in your body comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. Remember that of all the abilities, Mana is the only one that starts at 0, while the rest start with 1 during hero creation. Starting play with at least one level in Mana grants the following (Mana Proficiencies):
Detect Magic: A normal action, provokes attacks of opportunity; Your hero can detect the use of Mana. Just like a Perception check, your GM will tell you what magical effects your hero senses, and you are able to Concentrate on the action, gaining a bonus to the roll, and possibly more effects.
Use Magic Device: Some magical devices require charging with Mana to use, others require mana attunement, but this roll will suffice to meet any requirements for magic items.
Mana Pool: Your hero's Mana Pool has a maximum limit, equal to 1 plus your hero's ranks in Pool, the total of which is multiplied by your hero's Mana attribute.
Thaumaturgy: Determines your hero's ability to utilize mana stored. Governs your base ability to manifest mana effects, your hero's range, duration, and area of effect. These work as increments for effects that include range and targets or area. Upgrading Thaumaturgy upgrades these base abilities.
Your hero regains 1 mana plus 1 for every rank in Thaumaturgy every hour while not over-exerting. Your hero can also meditate or concentrate on channeling more mana, spending 1 minute and making a Thaumaturgy roll. However, this action can be shortened to up to a round. Divide the roll by 6 and then multiply by the number of rounds (Experience is granted by the total roll). The roll is made at the end of the duration. Exceeding your total pool results in Overchanneled. See below for more on this condition.
Further, as a normal action that provokes attacks of opportunity, your hero can perform simple magical tricks to improve the efficacy of some of their proficiencies. You can spend Mana from your hero's Pool to gain a bonus to certain proficiency checks. The applicable skills are: Acrobatics, Athletics, Stamina, Streetwise, Investigate, Focus, Artistry, Interact, and Perform. This bonus applies to the next immediate action performed; it cannot be "held on to" or "stacked".
Taking a rank in Thaumaturgy grants your hero access to Cantrips. Cantrips can be purchased as Fluencies under the Thaumaturgy proficiency. Cantrips cost zero mana to cast; as long as your hero has mana in their pool, you can cast a Cantrip. To cast a Cantrip, make a Thaumaturgy check as an Action. This number serves as the attack roll or the CR against which the target saves, whichever is applicable. Cantrips can only be augmented a number of times equal to the number of ranks in Thaumatrugy. Cantrips are described under the magic spell effects.The values noted in parenthesis, (), is the spell roll divided by 5, or 4 once the cantrip is upgraded.
Your hero can, at first, only manifest magic in their space, or upon those they touch. Taking fluencies in Thaumaturgy will give your hero other ways to manifest.
Mana Pool, Detect Magic, Thaumaturgy, and Use Magic Device can all be upgraded as proficiencies under the Mana ability attribute.
Overchannelled: Because mana is raw unfiltered magical power running through your hero's body, they can only hold so much. If they become Overchannelled, the difference between your roll and pool is the amount of mana overcharged. Consult the table 7-a to see the effects of being Overchannelled.
Backlash: Mishandling mana can be dangerous. Consult table 7-b to see the effects of Backlash.
Table 7-a, Effects of Overchannelled
Overchannelled has different meanings depending on your hero's ranks in Mana(Pool).
|40-59%||Nonlethal Fort saves vs. Amount in Mana Pool|
|60-79%||Body shines bright from within, aura gives off light|
|80-99%||Fortitude saves vs. Amount in Mana Pool||---|
Table 7-b, Effects of Backlash
How it works - Spellcraft
Spellcraft is a special ability used for crafting spell effects powered by mana, which must first be channeled for use. As such, the Thaumaturgy prerequisite acts as the gate to each rank of Spellcraft, in that before another rank can be purchased for Spellcraft that many ranks must be present in Thaumaturgy.
When you spend one proficiency point to purchase the Spellcraft special ability, you choose one of the manifestations of magic, the prereq of which is the Cantrip for that manifestation. Your hero is granted proficiency with that manifestation, along with a specialization in the base spell for that manifestation. For example, let's say you chose Abjuration as a Cantrip; this would serve as the prereq for the Abjuration manifestation proficiency.
Casting a spell:
The spell effects listed here are the broad categorizations of what can be done with magic. The true magic, as it were, comes in augmenting the basic spell effects. Your hero can only augment a spell a number of times equal to your tier plus your ranks in Spellcraft. The following table describes how to determine the mana cost for a spell effect you wish your hero to cast:
|Spell tier||Mana Cost||CR||Augment Range/Area||Augment Spell/Duration/Casting Time|
|Base, I||1||10||+1mp, +4 CR||+1mp, +6 CR|
|II||2||16||+2mp, +6 CR||+2mp, +10 CR|
|2nd tier, I||2||16||+2mp, +6 CR||+2mp, +10 CR|
|II||4||26||+4mp, +10 CR||+4mp, +16 CR|
|3rd tier, I||4||26||+4mp, +10 CR||+4mp, +16 CR|
|II||8||42||+8mp, +16 CR||+8mp, +26 CR|
|4th tier, I||8||42||+8mp, +16 CR||+8mp, +26 CR|
|II||16||68||+16mp, +26 CR||+16mp, +42 CR|