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by Peter Brink
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Sorcery is a general term used for all Basic Roleplaying magic systems in which the magician makes use of his magic skills rather than any inborn abilities or the abilities of otherworld entities. There are several different schools of magic within the scope of the general term Sorcery, one of which is Wizardry.
A wizard is trained in several magical arts and skills, and thru his knowledge about the elements, his skill in conjuring and alterations he manipulates magic energies from the True Sphere and creates magical effects in the mortal world.
In order to become a wizard one must have the advantage ‘Magic Talent’. Only those individuals that are born with this ability can feel the magic energies around us and can learn to utilise the esoteric powers as a wizard does. The young wizard spends a minimum of five years as an apprentice, at the end of his apprentice hood the young wizard has learned the basics of his craft and knows three to five basic spells.
2. Wizard Arts
A Wizard knows one or more arts, such as conju-rations, abjurations, evocations, etc. A Wizardry Art is a Hard Magic skill with a base chance of INT + 1d6. The skill level of an Art cannot be increased by experience; it can only increase as a result of formal training or research.
For each Art the wizard needs to keep track of his index in that art, the index governs which spells he may learn. The index is calculated by dividing the skill level by 10 and rounding down to the nearest whole number, e.g. a skill level of 52 in Conjura-tions means the wizard has an index of 5 in Conjurations.
|Art skill level / 10, rounded down|
Arts are primarily used when learning new spells, see “Spell Acquisition” for more details. The arts of the wizard are: conjuration, divination, enchantment, illusion, manipulation, necromancy, reversion and transformation.
Conjuration: The art of bringing mundane matter (and in some cases beings) to the conjurer by manipulating the energies from the True Sphere to act in the mortal world. A wizard specializing in conjurations is called a conjurer.
Divination: The art of using arcane means to learn secrets and reveal unknown facts. By searching for objects in the True Sphere and manipulating their energies one may learn things about associated objects in the mundane world. A wizard specializing in divinations is called a diviner.
Enchantment: The art of infusing a mundane object or being with some of the properties of the corresponding true object in the True Sphere. This art is also used to a mundane object or being. A wizard specializing in enchantments is called an enchanter.
Illusion: The art of creating false or altered input to a mundane beings senses. A wizard specializing in illusions is called an illusionist.
Manipulation: The art of manipulating the objects in the True Sphere and create (or destroy) mundane versions of those objects. A wizard specializing in manipulations is called a manipulationist.
Necromancy: The art of life magic and death magic. This art can both be used to heal and to wound, to give life and take it. A master of necromancy who uses his arts to heal and help others is called a White Mage; someone who uses it to do harm and create undead beings is called a Necromancer.
Reversion: The art of reversals and negations. Reversion spells acts to protect, hinder and negate other magical energies. A wizard specializing in abjurations is called a reversionist.
Transformation: The art of using the power of the true object to transform and change the properties of a corresponding mundane object. A wizard specializing in transformations is called a transformist.
Common: A few spells works with all the arts or are a blend of several principles. These spells are called “common spells”. Arts are primarily used when learning new spells, se below for more details.
2.1. Ritual Magic
Wizards use ritual magic the same way as all other magicians do, by using the magic skills ceremony, enchant and summon. Please read the chapter on ritual magic for more details.
2.2. Levelled Spells
A Wizard can use and learn spells which are of a level lower or of equal level to his index in the art which the spell belongs to.
2.3. Spell Acquisition
All wizard spells are created using magic skills, and the spell (which in the case of Wizardry is best viewed as a magic recipe) is learned by studying old manuscripts, analysing spell scrolls and deciphering arcane treaties. This is a time consuming, and possibly dangerous, process.
The wizard uses his skill in a magic art to learn new spells. This is really a research project. The skill level in the art forms his base chance of learning the spell, it is supplemented by the quality of the manuscripts used, any additional instructions given, and the time spent researching the spell.
Spell Research Bonus Table
|Spell scroll: a brief description of the spells effect, but no notes on how to cast it.||+05|
|Brief notes: A set of brief notes on the spell, only some basic information about the spell is given.||+10|
|Spell description: good coverage of the spell, concise notes on how to cast the spell.||+20|
|Spell manual: complete coverage of the spell, and on how to cast it and how it works.||+30|
|Spell treatise: extensive descriptions on how to cast the spell, complete coverage of the relevant magic theory.||+50|
A wizard who knows a spell can teach it to another wizard, the bonus is based on the success level of the teachers Instruct skill roll. A success by the teacher adds 50 percentiles to the base chance, a special success adds 70 percentiles, and a critical adds 90 percentiles. A failure adds nothing, a special failure subtracts 30 percentiles and a fumble subtracts 60 percentiles.
The basic research period is 50 hours per level of the spell. For each 10 hours per level reduction subtract 10 percentiles from the chance of learning the spell, a minimum of 10 hours per level of spell must be spent researching it. For each 10 hours per level added, add 5 percentiles to the chance of learning the spell.
When a spell is successfully learnt a manifest skill (see below) is opened for that spell. On an ordinary success the manifest skill is opened at INT + 1d6, on a special success means the skill is opened at INT + 1d3 + 3, and on a critical success the skill is opened at INT + 1d6 + 6. A failure only means that the spell was not learnt, a special failure subtracts 1d6 from the chance to learn the spell the next time, a critical failure subtracts 2d6 from the next attempt to learn the spell.
The time spent researching spells counts as re-search of the art too, for every time a wizard spends his skill level in the art hours researching a spell the wizard is awarded one research roll in that art as per the standard research rules. This improved skill level in the art cannot be used until the next attempt to learn a spell, i.e. the wizard always uses the skill in the art he had when he began researching the spell.
2.4. Spell Research
A wizard can also create new spells. The process is similar to learning existing spells; the wizard uses his skill level in an art as the base chance, and sup-plements it with various bonuses. The time requirement is the same, 50 hours per level of the spell. Having access to a library, treatise in magic theory, a laboratory and/or assistants makes the task easier.
Spell Research Bonus Table
|Treatise relevant to the project||+10|
Assistant’s needs to succeed in their arts skill check to be of any help, if they fumble however, they are not very helpful and each such assistant subtracts 5 percentiles from the final roll.
The benefits of a library, a treatise and a laboratory are all added to the base chance, however one cannot benefit from more than one library or labo-ratory, if a wizard happens to have access to more than one library or laboratory use the bonus from the best in either category.
When a spell is successfully researched a manifest skill (see below) is opened for that spell. On an ordinary success the manifest skill is opened at INT + 1d6, on a special success means the skill is opened at INT + 1d3 + 3, and on a critical success the skill is opened at INT + 1d6 + 6. A failure only means that the spell was not successfully created, a special failure subtracts 1d6 from the chance to create the spell the next time, a critical failure subtracts 2d6 from the next attempt to create the spell.
2.5. Other types of Magic and Matrix Spells
Wizards can use any other type of sorcery. Spirit magic spells that does not need magic talent can be used by Wizards (as is the case with other sorcerers), and wizards can also use divine magic from gods who accepts sorcerers (or wizards) as worshippers. They can also use Spell matrixes created by magicians from other magic systems.
3. Wizard Skills
The wizard uses a number of skills to manipulate the spells he cast. The wizard can use these skills to manifest a spell, prolong its duration, extend its range, etc. The use of these skills is not unlimited however, a wizard can only add as many manipulation points as his Manifest skill in the spell / 5 to the base cost of a spell. A wizard, who has mastered a spell, i.e. has more or equal to 90% chance of manifesting that spell can use as many levels of manipulation as he pleases.
Example: Oslev has a skill of 80 in “Walk on Air”; he can use 16 levels of manipulation. When he reaches 90% he can use as many levels as he wants (and has MP to cast).
As a young apprentice the wizard was thought at least the basics in a few of the arcane skills. Opening a wizardry skill takes 50 hours and requires a teacher. The skills can be researched at a later point, but cannot be opened without proper guidance. The wizardly skills are:
Manifest (Magic, Hard, Varies)
As was mentioned above, when the wizard successfully learns or researches a spell a manifest skill is opened, the base level of the skill depends on how successful the wizard was with his studies. A wizard has a different manifest skill with each spell he knows.
This skill enables the character to manipulate magical energies and principles on the True Sphere and channel those energies into the mundane world so that he can form the desired magical effect. To manifest a spell the wizard combines vocal elements, such as chanting, with hand and body movements. In some cases spell props and or spell focuses are also necessary to form the spell. As with all other types of magic the ceremony ritual magic skill can be used to enhance the chance of casting a wizardry spell.
If a spell fails to form the wizard must spend one magic point, regardless of the level of the spell the wizard tried to manifest.
Amplify (Magic, Hard, INT + 1d6)
This skill increases the strength of the spell, for example the damage done or the amount of matter affected. See the individual spell descriptions for more details.
Distance (Magic, Hard, INT + 1d6)
This skill is used to increase the range of the spell.
Overbear (Magic, Hard, INT + 1d6)
This skill is used to break down magical defences. While Shamans may boost their spells only by expending extra magic points a wizard must use this skill to boost his chance of defeating any magical defences. For each magic point channelled into the spell while using Overbear, the wizard’s chance of defeating the target is raised by 5 percentiles. This skill can only be used to increase the chance of winning a MP vs. MP contest.
Reduce (Magic, Hard, INT + 1d6)
This skill is an energy management skill. In effect the wizard uses this skill to trade casting time against a more effective energy management. For each point of Reduce used the total cost of the spell is lowered by two, but the time to cast the spell is increased by one SR. There is a limit though; the wizard cannot reduce the spell cost below the greater of either the level of the spell or half of the total cost, in magic points, of manipulating the spell.
Example: Oslev (now with 93% in Walk on Air) is planning to climb a mountain with the help of Air Walk; Oslev being a large fellow this will be costly in terms of magic points. Since he has plenty of time Olsev uses Reduce to minimize his magic point cost. He spends 10 points on the base spell, 18 points to carry his SIZ and 6 points to ensure that he has plenty of time. He then adds 12 points of Re-duce. This gives a total MP cost of 10 + 18 +6 +12 - 24 = 22. The spell will take almost 5 MR to cast.
Prolong (Magic, Hard, INT + 1d6)
This skill is used to increase the duration of a spell.
Quicken (Magic, Hard, INT + 1d6)
This skill lets the wizard speed up the casting of a spell. For each point of Quicken used the time to cast the spell is reduced by two and the magic point cost of the spell is increased by two. One cannot reduce the casting time below the base casting time of the spell, which is equal to the level of the spell.
Example: Oslev, from the previous example, this time needs to cast an Walk on Air spell really quick. He needs no extra duration so the base cost is 10 +18 MP. He then adds 9 points of Quicken, which reduces the casting time by 18 SR, down to the base casting time for Air Walk. The spell costs Oslev 46 MP to cast!
3.1. Spell Costs
Casting a wizardry spell costs one magic point per level of spell. Each manipulation used adds one to this cost. A level three spell which is prolonged and three times and has had its range increased by two thus costs 3 + 3 + 2 magic points to cast. Wizards regain magic points as per the standard rules.
3.2. Spell Signatures
Each wizard has his own way of doing magic - his own personal version of wizardry; the way he casts his spells reflects his personality, his mood (at that point in time), and is coloured by his opinions and attitudes towards the target. The individual nature of magic is expressed in a wizard’s signature. Each spell a given wizard casts has a property, such as a smell, a sound or a colour, which is unique to that wizard. Someone well versed in lore’s might in fact be able to identify a wizard by the signature of his spells. Examples of signatures are:
- An aggressive wizard: a faint smell of brimstone.
- A caring female wizard: the smell of freshly baked bread.
- A prideful wizard: a shining light flashing around the area of effect.
- A wizard born by the sea: the sound of seagulls is heard when his spells are cast.
- A wizard can try to suppress his signature by taking a −10 modification to his chance of manifest-ing the spell.
Note that all use of magic gives of some visible effects and these effects cannot be suppressed. Spells cast by magic users from species who primarily relies on other senses (such as sonar) have “visible” effects in that medium instead. For example, the magic of a wholly blind species living in the dark would have sound effects rather than visible effects.
3.3. Spell Props
Some wizardry spell requires one or more props to help form and stabilize the arcane energies used. Without these props a wizard cannot cast the spell! Examples of such props are: a feather from an eagle, batwing powder, jellied snake eyes, various dried herbs, etc. A small quantity of the prop, a milligram or two, is consumed when the spell is cast, and this is regardless of whether the spell succeeds or not. A prop may also be optional; in that case a bonus is given in a parenthesis. The prop, if any, is described in each spell’s description.
3.4. Spell Focus
In some cases a wizard needs to employ a spell focus (an item with an arcane connection to the spell) for a wizardry spell to take effect. For example: a scale from a dragon, a silver mirror, an arrow, a miniature sword, etc. The focus needn’t be full scale objects, miniatures that represent the needed item work equally well. These focuses can also be optional; in that case a bonus is given in a parenthesis. Refer to the spell description for details about the focus, if any.
3.5. Spell Targeting
Some spells, particularly offensive ones who deal damage to the spells target, have to be aimed at a target to achieve the desired effects. The ability to aim a spell at a target is included in the spells manifest skill. However, not all such spells affects the target at the blink of an eye, some spells create missiles that needs to travel to the target. Such missiles are either treated as projectiles or thrown objects as far as defensive measures are considered, that is a thrown weapon can be dodged or parried.
When a missile has to travel over a large distance, that is ranges of more than 500 meters, and the tar-get is aware of the incoming missile, the missile can be more easily avoided. At ranges of 500 to 1000 meters, allow a dodge or parry at +30 percentiles chance for all slow, thrown weapon style, magic missiles and allow dodge or parry at half normal chance for projectiles. At ranges above 1000 meters the target needs to be stationary or moving along a predictable route for the wizard to be able to hit it.
When targeting a moving target, roll the manifest skill as normal, if the result is less than 10 percentiles below what was needed then the spell was successful but missed its target, depending on the range left and the angle of attack the magic missile may carry on its flight and strike something or someone else.
3.6. Gestures and Sound
A wizard, as does all magicians, needs to use words and gestures to bring forth the magical ener-gies used to form the spell. However, since wiz-ardry is a skill based type of magic, a skilful wizard can do with less sound and gestures. Use the fol-lowing tables to find the modifications to a wizards manifest skill when the wizard uses less or more sounds and gestures when casting a spell:
|Very loud chanting, screaming||+10|
|Loud and clear chanting||0|
|Frenetic dancing, jumping and waving||+20|
|Dancing, jumping and waving||+10|
|Discrete, subtle motions||−20|
It’s not possible to avoid noticing a wizard who is employing frenetic dancing and loud chantings when casting a spell. Even when casting a spell the normal way, it should be quite obvious to any observer what is going on. Add +10 to the bonuses given to the wizard to an observer’s listen respective scan skill to see if he notices the casting.
4. Wizardry Spells
All wizardry spells have a few parameters in common. Temporal wizardry spells have a base duration of 10 minutes. Ranged spells have a base range of 10 meters. Many wizardry spells are active, but one has to refer to the spell description for further details. Some spells are labelled as “Attack” spells, these spells needs to overcome the magic defences of the target to be effective. All spells have a base intensity of 1, the exact meaning of which varies from spell to spell.
All spell descriptions use the following format:
Spell title (Art - Level)
Attack Spell, Range, Duration, Active/Passive
|Divine Magic||The “magic” used by priests. The source of the effect of a divine magic spell is a diety or a servant of a diety, so in effect a priest using divine magic does not really cast a spell, he calls upon his diety and requests help. Divine magic is “paid” for in advance using raw POW or to put it in another way: the priest sacrifices a part of his being to gain a favour from his diety - it’s like pennies in heaven, only you can withdraw some of your cash… One does not have to have the Magic Talent advantage to be able to use divine magic but most of the more powerful magics are only available to priests, ordinary worshipers have to do with lesser magic.|
|Instant Spells||Instant spells take effect instantly. That is, they infuse their magic in or on the target instantly, but the effects of the magic might last for quite some time or even be permanent, a healing spell for example is instant but the effect is perma-nent.|
|Magic Talent||The ability to “feel” the flow of magic energy. Magic Talent is essential to any-one who wants to control and manipulate magic. Beings with a Magic Talent may or may not, depending on the setting, create discomfort in other beings as a result of their affinity for magic.|
|Permanent Spells||A few spells lasts forever, or at least as long as the target of the spell exists. Most spells with permanent duration are actually instant; they take effect by the blink of an eye but lasts forever.|
|Sorcery||Sorcery is a catch all name given to all magics which relies on the skill and knowledge of mortals rather than the aid of supernatural beings. Alchemy, nec-romancy, witchcraft and wizardry are all examples of sorcery.|
|Spirit Magic||The magic used by shamans and common folk. Spirit Magic is also (somewhat incorrectly) called “Folk Magic”. The source of Spirit Magic is ultimately not the magician himself but the spirits of the otherworld, it is they who teaches mortals how to do magic, a process which in itself is magical.|
|Temporal Spells||Most spells have a limited “lifetime”, they are cast on a target and their effect on the target then lasts for a limited amount of time after which it dissipates.|
|True Sphere||This concept is derived from Plato’s idea that the things we can perceive around us are merely imperfect versions of the abstract objects which can be found in a more perfect world that lies outside time and space. The True Sphere or True World is populated by objects (and possibly entities) which are perfect and true to their nature and by contemplating on those objects a magician can “tap” into them and by using the power and knowledge then gained a corresponding, lesser, imperfect, object in the mundane world can be manipulated, altered, de-stroyed or created by the magician.|