General Information on Magic Users
All of the magical vocations except the Generalist Mage (Magician) are specialists who learn their Mode of magic at a -3 DF. However, the player must spend one Mastery slot in character creation in order to receive this bonus. (2-25)
All mages have Concentration in their primary vocational skill category and Willpower in their secondary category. (2-26)
All mages should take some level of knowledge in Spell Research.
Mages must be either Well Aspected or Poorly Aspected in order to use magic.1 An exception to this is for characters who practice "priestly" magic for the magic is granted through the favor of the deity which the character serves. The two "priestly" Modes of magic are Druid and Witch. (2-25) Both Druids and Witches may choose Neutrally Aspected and still be able to cast magic. One final note about Aspect, Necromancers are usually Poorly Aspected. If a player chooses to start his character as a Well Aspected or Neutrally Aspected (see footnote 1), then the character will have a 10% x ML in each game year of becoming Poorly Aspected. (2-27)
1In campaigns where the mana level of the campaign is moderate then characters who are Neutrally Aspected may practice magic only if they choose one of the mage's vocations and in a high mana level campaign a character who is Neutrally Aspected may take the skills to practice magic regardless of vocation. Ultimately who may and may not practice magic is left to the individual GM. (1-3)
Mode- A Mode of magic is the technique or approach
that a spellcaster utilizes to cast spells. For example, an Enchanter uses
spoken words and musical instruments to cast spells whereas a Druid casts
most magic through the use of herbs and plants. There are seven (7) Modes
of magic. The seven Modes are:
Druid (a priestly Mode of magic)
Witchcraft (a priestly Mode of magic)
Modes are learned as non standard skills. A character must have basic knowledge in the skill in order to use it. However, basic knowledge in a Mode of magic does not offer a base chance percent for success. (9-114)
Attributes and skills related to the Seven Modes
Druidic Magic- Wisdom and Piety are the primary and secondary attributes of this Mode. Herbalism is a vital skill to the serious practice of Druidic magic. (9-115)
Witchcraft- Wisdom and Piety are the primary and secondary attributes of this Mode. Witches work largely with herbs and therefore excell in Herbalism. (9-116)
Enchantment- Intellect and Bardic Voice are the primary and secondary attributes of this Mode. Although not necessary, players creating an Enchanter may want to contemplate taking Musical Instrument, Singing, Calligraphy and Illumination, and Meditation as skills to improve knowledge. (9-116)
Magecraft- Intellect and Discipline are the primary and secondary attributes of this Mode. No skills specifically mentioned in the book.
Necromancy- Intellect and Discipline are the primary and secondary attributes of this Mode. No skills specifically mentioned in the book. However, knowledge of three Methods (Command, Summoning, and Wards) are mentioned for this Mode. (9-117)
Power Word Magic- Intellect and Bardic Voice are the primary and secondary attributes of this Mode. Ancient Mage Tongue is suited especially well for this Mode. (9-117)
Thaumaturgy- Intellect and Wisdom are the primary and secondary attributes of this Mode. Often times Thaumaturges pick up skills related to have a high agility such as Sleight of Hand, Juggling, and even Thieving tricks like Picking Pockets. (9-117)
Method- Method is a field of magical knowledge which
can be studied and practiced by Mages having different Modes. Spells are
grouped into thirteen (13) general categories in the basic game. The thirteen
Methods of magic are:
Each spell in the game belongs to a Method. For example, Charm Person is a Command Method spell. Methods are developed as a standard skill. When a character wishes to cast a spell, his base chance of success is determined by the Method of the spell.
Attributes related to the Thirteen Methods of Magic (9-117 and 9-118)
Air- Intellect and Constitution
Arcane-Intellect and Constitution
Command-Intellect and Bardic Voice
Divination-Intellect and Wisdom
Earth-Intellect and Constitution
Fire-Intellect and Constitution
Illusion-Intellect and Wisdom
Plant-Intellect and Wisdom
Summoning-Intellect and Discipline
Transcendental-Intellect and Discipline
Transmutation-Intellect and Constitution
Wards-Intellect and Discipline
Water-Intellect and Constitution
PMF (Personal Magic Factor)- A character's PMF determines the ML of the caster in that Mode of magic. A character's PMF is calculated using the following formula (9-114):
Attribute Bonus+Aspect Bonus+ 3 per level learned in the Mode beyond level 0 (basic knowledge)
A character's Aspect bonus is +10 if the character is Well Aspected or Poorly Aspected. If a character is a Druid or a Witch, then the character receives a +10 Aspect bonus to that Mode of magic even if the character is Neutrally Aspected. (i.e. A character who is a Druid or a Witch will receive an Aspect bonus of +10 whether they are Well, Poorly, or Neutrally Aspected. 9-115) Note that an Aspect bonus is only applied to the Mode of magic, not to the Methods and not to the chance of casting a specific spell. Also note that a character's PMF in a Mode of magic is calculated individually for each Mode of magic that the character knows.
ML (Magic Level)- A character's ML determines the rate at which the character may learn spells. It also determines the strength of certain spells, how much damage they cause, or how large of an area is affected by the spell. The higher a character's ML the less time it takes to learn spells. (9-118) A character's ML is determined by crossreferencing the character's PMF on the Magic Level Table on 9-115 in the C&S book.
Learning a Spell- A character can only learn a spell if the following three conditions are met. (9-119)
1. The spell is within a Mode of magic that the character knows.
2. The spell is within a Method of magic that the character knows.
3. The spell is no more that 2 MRF higher than the character's ML.
If the above three conditions are met, then the character may learn a spell in one of three ways. (9-118) They may:
1. Research as spell.
Under this method of learning a spell, non-mages, Generalist Mages, and Power Word Mages must have a book in order to research a spell. Others may either use a book or do the research without one. Depending on whether or not a book is used determines the lenght of time that it takes for the character to learn the spell. If the character makes a successful Spell Research skill at the end of the time period then the character moves on to the Magical Resistance Reduction Table on 9-119. Druids have an oral tradition and do not use books to record their information. However, a Druid may visit one of the Sacred Trees and use the spell Commune with the Oghams to consult a "library". (4-57)
2. Learn it by receiving instruction from his master.
The character is under direct tutelage from his master and doesn't roll to see if the spell is researched. Go directly to the Magical Resistance Reduction Table on 9-119.
3. Discover a spellbook with the spell written in the exact form it
must be cast.
The book states that if the character's ML is equal to or less than the MRF of the spell, then he does not need to research the spell and learns the spell in half the time indicated on the Magical Resistance Reduction Table. (9-118) However, I believe that to be an error which should read equal to or greater than not less than. If the character's ML is below the MRF of the spell by one or two points, then the character need not research the spell but uses the Magical Resistance Reduction Table as listed on 9-119.
Once a character has researched a spell, learned it from a master, or discovered a spellbook with it, the character may then learn basic knowledge in the spell by spending the time indicated on the table. Once a character learns basic knowledge in a spell the spell may be cast. However, casting a spell before it is fully learned (i.e.before the MRF is reduced to 0) is more difficult. In order to reduce the MRF of the spell the character must spend the allotted time as indicated on the Magic Resistance Reduction Table on 9-119.
MRF (Magic Resistance Factor)- MRF is the innate magical resistance that something has to magical manipulation. It measures how difficult it is for the caster to bend the will of the object and channel manna through it in order to produce magical effects. Spells are learned by reducing the MRF of the spell to 0. See learning spells on how to learn a spell. (9-118)
Having a Master- A player who chooses to take a Mage vocation may automatically start the game with a Master. The apprentice has duties which must be fullfilled by the character until the character reaches a ML of three. (9-119) A player who does not choose to take a Mage vocation but still learns a Mode of magic may or may not begin with a Master. The chance of having a Master for these characters is equal to 1% x PMF in the character's Mode of magic. If the character fails this roll, but the player wishes to seek out a Master then it may be done through roleplaying sessions. (9-119)
Starting Spells- A character begins the game with some knowledge of spells. The spells that a character begins with are determined by the character's ML and the level of knowledge the character has in the method.
Casting a Spell- A character casts a spell in the same way as using any other Skillscape skill. The magic user's base chance to succeed is based on the character's Method of magic being used. A character's TSC% for casting a spell is calculated by totaling the following seven2 elements:
1. Base SC% based upon the appropriate DF of the Method of magic
2. + PSF in the relative Method of magic
3. + bonuses for using a particular magical item (if applicable)
4. + bonuses for using some magical enhancement (if applicable)
5. - penalties for casting a spell not fully learned (if applicable)
6. - penalties for wearing any restrictive armor/clothing (if applicable)
7. +/- any other modifiers applicable to the situation
A character's PSF is calculated by adding the character's attribute modifier and 3% per level of proficiency obtained in the character's Method of magic.
Partially learned spells reduce the caster's TSC% by 10% per MRF above 0. e.g. a spell which a character has reduced to MRF*3 would be cast at a -30% penalty. (9-120) Additionally, a spell which has only been partially learned will reduce a Critical Failure by -2. (9-121)
Leather armor imposes a -30% penalty and metal armor imposes a -50% penalty to the TSC% number. (9-120) Iron adds an additonal penalty. (9-120 and 9-131)
2Note that the book only says to add items 2-7 (9-120) but since it says that casting follows the same formula as other Skillscape skills on the previous page (9-119) then one can safely assume that the designers intended the list to include the seven items presented.
Fatigue and Body Level loss due to casting- Each spell that a character casts costs either Fatigue Points (FP) or if the caster has exhausted all FP's then Body points. The cost is as follows:
If the spell is successful, then the cost is 3 FP + 1 FP x spell rank.
If the spell is a failure, then the cost is 1/2 the cost as calculated above.
Basic Magic Resistance (BMR)- If a spell takes on
a tangible form and becomes physical force (wind, fire, mana energies,
etc.) or if a being is summoned then the BMR has no effect. However, if
the spell is non-material (i.e. charm, illusion, etc.) then the BMR is
added to the resisted roll. (9-121) Dwarves have a BMR of 20% and Neutrally
Aspected characters have a BMR of 10%.