Chapter Five: Rule of Magic (p.3)

Casting a Spell

First, to cast a spell, the caster must meet five requirements: the caster must know the incantation and the invocation to the spell; the caster must be of sufficient level; the caster must have the necessary material components; the caster must meet the gesture components of the spell; and the caster must have the Magic Points to invoke the spell.

The Incantation and Gesture Components

The incantation gathers the magical energies and allows the caster to shape the magic to the spell's effects.

The player must write the incantation for each of the spells he or she knows or obtain standardized spell from the Elder of the Realm. Listed in the spell list under each spell are the numbers of words required for the incantation. Generally, the number of words is equal to the spell's level x 15. The incantation must contain the required number of words, make sense, and must be original; avoid using song lyrics or excerpts from literature for spells. The incantation must be written into the caster's spell book. At the beginning of an event, an Elder may check the player's spells and spellbook.

Casting requires the character's full concentration. The player must recite the spell's incantation clearly and exactly. The player may memorize the spell or read the spell from his or her book. The recitation may be done as quickly as possible but the words must be spoken clearly and out loud--boisterously with flourishes or low and surreptitious. Whispered incantations must be clear enough and loud enough to be heard and understood by someone in melee range of the caster.

All spells, unless specifically noted in the spell's description, require a simple gesture component. The caster must have at least one hand (preferably his or her dominant hand) free to invoke a spell. The player may gesture with the hand as if weaving magic or hold his or her spellbook open with the free hand. The gesture helps other players identify the caster as casting. If the caster does not have a free hand, he or she cannot cast.

The player may not walk, run, speak any other words than the incantation and invocation, or make any other action (e.g. speak to another player, fight). However, the player may gently dodge attacks as long as he or she remains in one place (though the caster cannot use a weapon or shield to block). If the caster moves quickly, is startled, or disturbed violently (e.g. hit regardless if damaged, jostled, wounded, affected by a spell, killed) while casting then the spell is ruined and the Magic Points are lost.

Holding the Spell

After the incantation is spoken, some spells (usually combat thrown spells) allow the caster the hold the energy of the magic before releasing it with the invocation. Normally, the incantation must be followed immediately by the invocation. If a spell can be held, it will be noted in the spell's description. The energy of touch spells is held differently; see the later section on Using Combat Touch Spells.

The caster may not speak, fight, or be disturbed while holding the spell. If the caster breaks concentration or is disrupted, the spell is ruined and the Magic Points are lost.

The caster may move with the held spell, but he or she may only move a certain number of normal steps (e.g. not at a run or jumping). The total number of steps is equal to the level of the caster in the spell's arche + 5. For a generalist, the number of steps is equal to the caster's general arche level + 5.

For example, a caster casts Flame Dart. This spell can be held. The caster is level 7 in the Arche of Fire. Thus, the caster is allowed 12 steps (7th level + 5) of movement.

Once the steps have been used up, the caster may not take any more steps. If the caster does move, then the spell is ruined and the Magic Points are lost.

The Invocation

Unless the spell is held, once the incantation is completed the invocation must be spoken immediately. The invocation represents the release of the magical energies and also allows the Elders and other players know what type of spell is being cast.

All the invocation lines are listed under each spell in the spell list. Though the player may create his or her own incantation, the caster must use the listed invocation.

For certain spells, the invocation line must be shouted just like a weapon hit call. Spells where a component is thrown or where the area of effect is sight/hearing distance requires the invocation to be shouted. The invocation must be made clearly and exactly otherwise the spell is considered miscast.

Once the invocation line is spoken, the spell is immediately released and the appropriate result takes effect (e.g. a spellball is thrown, if the target is hit, damage is done).

Like incanting, if the character is violently disturbed or disrupted in anyway before he or she can finish the invocation, the spell is ruined and the Magic Points are lost. As with incantations, the invocation cannot be made while moving. The caster must stop and speak the invocation.

Using Magic Points

Remember, once the spell is started, the player subtracts the number of Magic Points required to invoke the spell. If the spell is ruined, the Magic Points are still considered spent.

Other Spell Rules

Detailed below are further rules, restrictions, and reminders concerning the casting of magic.

Concentration Spells

The spell remains in effect as long as the caster concentrates. The caster may walk freely and may speak without breaking the spell. The player should roleplay that he or she is in deep concentration. If the caster casts another spell, runs, is hit, or is violently disturbed, then concentration is broken and the spell ends.

Using Combat Touch Spells

Some combat spells, such as Cause Light Wound or Fire Touch, require the caster to touch a target. After speaking the incantation, the caster must put on the appropriate colored glove signifying the activation of the spell. Most spells require only one glove to be worn on the hand the caster gestures with; some spells require two gloves. With the glove on, the caster may walk about freely.

While the glove is on, the caster may not cast any other magics. While holding the energy of the spell, the caster may not fight with weapons or be violently disturbed, tackled, or affected by a spell. If the caster is disturbed or disrupted, concentration on the touch spell is lost.

Once the caster is ready to touch a target, the invocation must be shouted and the touch made. If the invocation is made and the target is missed, the spell is gone.

Never swing, shove, or punch when using a touch spell. Be careful of reaching with a hand into a swarming and fast-moving combat.

Layering Spells

A caster may not have more than one spell of a certain type in effect at the same time; nor may a caster bestow a spell upon another player or creature who already has a similar spell in effect. In other words, a caster may not layer spells that use the same material component.

For example, a caster (or creature) may not have both the spells Armor and Barkskin in effect at the same time because both are represented by headbands; in other words, a caster cannot have two headbands on at the same time. Or for example, a caster may not have both the spells Fire Touch and Touch of Paralysis held at the same time for both use gloves.

If the caster invokes a spell of the same type that he or she already has in effect, the newly cast spell replaces the old one.

Maximum Duration

Some spells have special durations relying on a specific event to occur before the spell is used up or discharged. For example, a Protection from Fire spell remains in effect until the player is struck by a fire-based attack.

However, all spells have a maximum duration of one game event unless otherwise noted. At the end of an event, all spells end and must be re-cast at the beginning of the next event.

Visual Effects

The casting of magic is often accompanied by mystical sounds and flashes of color and light. Many spells in Archaea have visual effects, which players should role-play and react to what their characters would see. For some spells, the visual effect is described in the spell's description. Furthermore, any spell that uses a material component has a visual effect.

For example, a caster who invokes Fire Charm ties a red ribbon to the weapon to be enchanted. The red ribbon represents the slight, red glow that surrounds the weapon while the spell is in effect. Or for example, the caster casts Protection from Plant and wears a green armband. The visual effect may be a dim, greenish glow that surrounds the caster.

However, just because a player sees a visual effect does not mean the character can identify the spell cast. Characters with the skill Magic Lore may be able to ascertain the spells being used by their special effects.

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