Chapter Five: Rule of Magic (p.2)


Each arche contains a list of spells unique to that particular sphere. The spells are ranked in power ranging from level one to level ten just like most skills. Some arche have spells beyond level ten. Depending on the level of the character in a particular arche, the spells that the character can cast will vary.

Each spell has ten descriptors or pieces of information that define the spell: Name, Arche, Level, Range, Area of Effect, Material Components, Incantation, Invocation, and Description.

The first descriptor is the Name of the spell, which is most commonly used by the realm of Archaea.

Arche describes the sphere of magic the spell comes from.

Level describes the level the caster must have in the spell's arche to be able to cast the spell; level also determines the number of Magic Points required to invoke the spell.

Range defines the effective distance of the spell; many times a spell is represented by a spellball or spellring or spell hammer that is thrown by the caster. There are four ranges: self, touch, throwing distance, and sight/hearing. Self means the spell only affects the caster himself or herself. Touch means the spell affects whomever or whatever the caster touches with his or her hand. Throwing Distance means the spell takes the form of a material component that is hurled at a target. Sight/Hearing means the spell affects a target or targets within line of sight of the caster and within hearing range of the caster's invocation; the effects of a sight/hearing spell may require the adjudication of an Elder.

Area of Effect defines the area, volume, mass, or number of targets the spell affects.

Duration defines the amount of time that the spell remains in effect.

Material Components define what the spell requires for casting and how the spell is represented in game terms. For example, spellballs, spellrings, spell hammers, gloves, scarves, ribbons. The spell components of a particular arche are often distinguished by color.

The Incantation are the words required to cast the spell. The caster must recite the incantation to cast. Incantations are written by the player or provided by the Elder of the Realm and must have a certain number of words depending of the level of the spell.

The Invocation is the final line of the spell that signals the release of magic. Invocations are provided in the spell list and their exact wordings must be used by all casters.

Lastly, the Description of the spell details the special effects, the nature, and the results of the spell.

Specialist Spells Versus Generalist Spells

The spells for specialization mages and generalization mages are cast the same and function as per their description in the spell list. However, the technique, style, philosophy, and understanding of magic for each school of casting is different. A specialist mage cannot use the formulae of a generalist mage and vice versa. Furthermore, a specialist mage cannot copy a generalist mage's spell book and vice versa.

The difference between schools is only in how formulae are researched and recorded. The basic mana or magic itself used in casting is the same for both kinds of mages. In other words, the effects of a Fireball spell, for example, cast by either school has the same result. In addition, both schools of magic are equally affected by Dispel Magic. And the potions, scrolls, and magic items made by either school will function normally for each unless otherwise noted.

Starting Spells

Casters do not automatically gain all the spells in the spell list even if they are of the sufficient power to cast the spells. Each caster gains a certain subset of the whole list of formulae whenever they reach a new level of magical power.

For specialist casters, they will gain most of the beginning level spells automatically, but as they progress, the spells on the higher end of the spectrum must be discovered through the course of the game. Looking at the spell list, all the spell names that are not marked with an asterisk (*) or a degree mark () are free spells and all specialization casters may enter them into their spell books upon reaching the respective level. Spell names which are marked by an asterisk are lost spells meaning they exist in the realm but must be acquired by the caster.

For generalist casters, they gain spells with each level in their General Arche. For each General Arche level, the general mage gains three spell slots for the bought level. The character may choose any three spells of that level regardless of arche and regardless if the spell is free or lost. Certain organizational spells may be chosen but must be approved by the Elder of the Realm. Furthermore, for each General Arche level bought, the caster gains one free-floating spell slot to be used for any lower, preceding level.

For example, a starting general mage has level 1 in the General Arche. Therefore, he or she may pick any three level 1 spells out of any arche; he or she gains no benefit from the free-floating slot. Reaching level 2 in the General Arche, he or she may pick any three level 2 spells out of any arche and one level 1 spell. At level 3, he or she may pick any three level 3 spells and one level 1 or level 2 spell and so on.

Once a spell is chosen, the mage cannot change the slot.

Gaining Spells

A mage gains new formulae through experience and adventuring. All newly gained spells must be practiced and learned before they can be invoked with ease and proficiency. The time required to train is one full event. During the training period, the caster must invoke any new spell at double its normal incantation length. By the next event, the caster may cast the newly learned spell normally.

For specialist mages, each new level in an Arche grants access to the free spells for that particular area. Once the character reaches a new level, he or she may enter the free spells into their spell books. On the other hand, lost spells must be discovered through adventuring. Lost spells are marked in the spell list with an asterisk (*). If the character discovers a lost spell and is of sufficient level to cast it, he or she may copy the formula into their spell book. Other than finding a lost spell, the mage may attempt to trade spells with other casters or buy spells from magical organizations.

For general mages, each new level in their General Arche grants three free spell slots for the bought level and one free slot to be used for any preceding level. The generalist may buy additional spells slots with Experience Points. Even if the general mage has access to a new formula, he or she cannot cast it until the spell is bought. The cost for an additional spell slot depends on the level of the slot and is the same for all three Disciplines:

Level 1 / 5
Level 2 / 10
Level 3 / 15
Level 4 / 20
Level 5 / 25
Level 6 / 30
Level 7 / 35
Level 8 / 40
Level 9 / 45
Level 10 / 50
and so on...

For example, to buy a new level 1 spell costs 5 points. Another level 1 spell costs 5 points and so on. The player must decide upon the new spell at the time of purchase. Once the spell is bought, the mage may enter it into his or her spell book and the slot cannot be changed.

Organizational Spells

Looking at the spell list, certain spells are marked with a degree () are organizational spells. Organizational spells can only be accessed and cast by members of a particular organization and cannot be learned or recorded by non-members without special permission. Generalist mages, though, may be able to gain access to organizational spells approved by the Elder of the Realm. See the final chapter on the realm of Archaea for details on organizations and their awarded spells.

Spell Books

Spells must be recorded in a safe, permanent place-usually, a spell book. The caster's spell book contains (and represents) all the spells the caster knows and can cast. At the least, the spell's name, arche, level, incantation, and invocation must be scribed into the spell book; the player may wish to include all the pertinent information about a spell for reference purposes.

Spell books can be in the form of a pocket-sized book, scrolls, or sheets of heavy paper. Spell books should be made from unlined paper and spells should be written in ink. Like costuming, spell books should fit the atmosphere of the game. Spell books are considered personal items and cannot be stolen or used by another.

A caster may not cast a spell that he or she does not have in his or her spell book. To gain additional spells, the caster must both find them and copy them into his or her book or copy them from another caster.

A caster may not copy a spell beyond his or her level of power or skill. Remember that a specialist mage cannot copy the formulae of a generalist mage and vice versa.

Material Components

Certain spells require material components to be worn, shown, or thrown to represent the invocation of the magic. Remember that material components are personal items and cannot be taken or stolen; in other words, they are representations of magic and not in-game objects.

There are nine types of material components used in the game: spellballs, spellrings, spell hammers, gloves, ribbons, armbands, headbands, scarves, and surcoats.

Generally, the shape of the component may help identify the spell's effect. Spells represented by a spellball inflict damage. Spellrings catch, imprison, immobilize, or hold the target. Spell hammers affect objects rather than creatures. Gloves represent magics with a touch range. Ribbons often signify an enchantment upon an item. Armbands and headbands represent protective magics. Scarves represent magics that guise or hide. Lastly, surcoats represent transformations.

The color of the component will often identify the arche of magic used.

Animal Print / Animal
Black / Spirit / Necromancy
Blue / Air / Lightning
Brown / Earth / Stone/Metal
Gold, Metallic / Earth / Electrum or Gold
Gray / Power
Green / Plant / Wood or Leaf
Orange / Fire / Fire
Pink / Special / Illusion
Plaid / Mind / Thought or Charm
Purple / Water / Poison
Red / Fire / Fire
Silver, Metallic / Water / Frost
White / Water / Frost
Yellow / Body / Healing

The directions and figures for making spellballs, spellrings, spell hammers, and other material components can be found in the full version of the Archaea Sourcebook.

Magic Points

Magic Points represent the caster's magical or spellcasting energy. A caster begins an event with a reserve of Magic Points from which he or she draws to cast spells. The Magic Point cost of a spell is equal to the level of the spell to be cast. Some spells may allow the caster to use more Magic Points to increase the effectiveness of the spell (e.g. Turn Undead or Dispel Magic).

For example, if the caster wishes to cast a level 4 spell of the Arche of Fire, the character must spend 4 Magic Points.

The number of Magic Points a caster has is determined by the character's level in the Arche of Power or General Arche. For every Arche level, the caster gains 10 Magic Points per event day.

For example, if a specialist caster is level 3 in Power, he or she has 30 Magic Points to expend on spells. Similarly, if a general caster is level 3 in the General Ache, he or she has 30 MP to spend. If the event is over a period of days, such as a campout, the caster would have 30 Magic Points to use per day.

As the caster uses Magic Points, he or she becomes more and more magically weary. Once the caster is reduced to zero Magic Points, he or she cannot invoke spells from himself or herself; though magical reservoirs (see Chapter Three and the skill Magic Research and the level 4 Power spell Hold Power) can be used. The caster's bodily Magic Points are refreshed at the start of each event day.

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