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Spells are cast through the use of essence. There are two types of essence, personal and ambient. Personal essence is one of your character's primary attributes, and when it is used to cast spells, it is temporarily drained, and recovers like any other attribute that has taken damage. Ambient essence can be used to power spells, but it requires the Gather skill to collect, which takes time.
Gathering ambient essence takes 1 action, and collects an amount of essence equal to the gather rating. Gathering while moving is difficult - if you are moving, you gather 1 less per action than normal. You are vulnerable while gathering, and provoke a reactionary attack each action you do so. Gathered essence goes into the character's Control.
A character holds gathered ambient essence in his control. Any essence in control is added as a temporary modifier to the characters personal essence, increasing the character's Mental and Spell Resistance. Holding ambient essence within one's body is difficult and dangerous. Characters are limited in the amount of ambient essence they can control at any one time, as well as the length they can control it by thier concentration skill.
In any round where a character ends their turn with essence in their control, they must make a concentration check. The DC of the check is equal to the amount currently in control, plus the cumulative number of turns that a character has maintained essence in thier control (including the current round). Any round where the character expends all their essence resets the cumulative rounds to zero. If a character suceeds at the check, there are no negative consequences. If the character fails, they take stamina damage equal to the difference between their roll and the DC, as the essence writhes within thier grasp. They may choose to release some of the essence from their control before it damages them. Reduce the damage taken by 1 for each point of essence released.
If a character is attacked and struck for damage, they must immediately make a concentration check. Calculate the current DC as normal, and add 1 for each point of stamina damage taken and 2 for each point of constitution damage taken. Damage taken is not cumulative between attacks. Recalculate the base concentration DC for each attack before adding damage modifiers. If a character suceeds at the check, there are no negative consequences. If the character fails, they release an amount of essence from control equal to the difference between their roll and the DC.
Spells have a number of components. Primary amongst them is the Spell Level, which determines the complexity of the spell. SL is set, it does not change.
Spells also have a Power Level, which determines how powerful the spell is. Spells have a Base Power Level that sets the minimum power of the spell. Spells may become more powerful by Enhancing them - setting the PL of the spell at some multiple of the BPL. The maximum PL of any spell is five times the BPL.
Each spell costs a certain amount of essence to cast. A character must have at least that amount of essence available before casting the spell. He can prepare the essence from personal or ambient essence, or any combination of the two. The essence cost of any spell is equal to the Power Level that the caster sets.
The action cost for most spells is one action. Long or complex spells may take 2 or more actions, while rapid or simple spells may take zero actions, or even be free actions. A character may still gather essence or move during spellcasting, but doing so increases the difficulty of casting the spell.
When a character learns a spell, he can gain some mastery over it, making it easier for him to use. Spells are normally first learned at ML 1.
Spells successfuly cast with the use of ambient essence deal some small amount of damage to the caster, due to the entropic corruption of ambient essence. A base spell leaves behind an anmount of entropy equal to the SL of the spell. Each Enhancement of the spell also leaves behind the same amount. Each point of Entropy deals stamina damage to the caster. (Spells may also be focused through runestones by more advanced casters to avoid this downside of spellcasting). Such spells may be also be cast at an increased Efficiency Level to reduce the amount of entropy left behind.
Spells are normally cast at Efficiency Level zero. Each EL lowers the effective number of Enhancements by 1 when determining Entropy. If the effective number of enhancements are reduced to zero, the next Efficiency Level makes the spell perfectly efficient, leaving behind no entropy.
First, a mage picks which spell he will cast, and looks over the spell's components.
Once a character has selected the spell, and has the essence ready, he begins to cast the spell. At the start of the action where the spell is cast, the spellcaster spends an amount of essence equal to the PL of the spell. Whether the casting is a success or failure, the essence is expended. The caster also sets the EL of the spell, and calculates the entropy the spell will leave behind.
The caster then makes a Spellcraft check to cast the spell. Casting a spell leaves the caster open, and provokes a Reactionary attack. The base DC of the check is 2*SL + PL - ML.
Additional factors may affect the DC, if the are perfomed in the same action(s) as the spellcraft check. Additional essence above the cost of the spell may be spent to stabilize the magical field around the caster in the moment of casting, and make the spell easier to cast. Characters may move or gather essence during casting. Any essence gathered may not be used to increase the PL of the spell, as the essence cost is paid at the start of the spellcasting action. Gathered essence may instead be used to stabilize the field, although this is rather pointless unless the character is skilled at gathering while casting. Typically, essence gathered during casting is in preperation for the next spell the mage will cast, when he is in a situation where he needs as much magic as fast as possible. Casters may come under attack or take damage. If a character takes damage, the spellcraft DC is adjusted as appropriate, and the character will also need to make a concentration check to avoid losing any essence in control, if the have any. A character can cast defensively so as not to provoke reactionary attack and avoid taking damage from them.
Spellcraft DC Modifier Table
- Efficiency Level : +5 per level.
- Stabilizing : -1 per essence spent.
- Gathering : +2 per essence gathered.
- Moving : +1 per point of movement spent.
- Defending: +1 per active defense roll.
- Taking damage : +1 per point of Stamina, +2 per point of Con.
- Casting Defensively: +4, +2 per threatening opponent.
If the spellcraft check is successful, the spell is cast. If the check is failed, the spell eneergy dissapates harmelessly. If the spellcraft check succeeds or fails by a large amount, additional effects may occur.
If the spell is cast on a willing target, its effects take place as stated in its description.
If the spell is an attack spell, a Spellfire attack roll will need to be made, to see if, after all the casters hard work, the spell even hits its foe. Do not dispair, however, cause magic is powerful, and spells that do hit are a force to be feared.
Main Article : Spells
Main Article : Miracles