4.0 Wizardology.   Posted by The Arbiter.Group: 0
The Arbiter
 GM, 20 posts
 The Creator
 The Judge
Thu 9 Jul 2015
at 22:12
4.0 Wizardology
4.0: Wizardology

We've discussed the various planes of existence - the battlefield itself - but that's not really what Wizardry! is about. Wizardry is about wizards, and their all-consuming quest for all-encompassing power. Each player takes on the role of one of six of these wizards, split across two separate planes of existence. They must fight to the death - fight beyond death! - if they wish to survive and succeed.

Below is the information about Wizards, terms of the game, and how things work.

This message was last updated by the GM at 20:44, Thu 16 July 2015.

The Arbiter
 GM, 27 posts
 The Creator
 The Judge
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 22:26
Re: 4.0: Wizardology
4.01: The Difference Between Petty Magics and Wizardry

Magic exists, and is used by almost every mortal race across the planes. There are many witches, sorcerers, psychics, magicians, thaumaturges, clever men and shamans in the world... but only one Wizard per world.

It's a matter of scale and Mana. Magic is so often small, personal, utterly esoteric... but the wizard, through ruthless sacrifice, has changed that. His magic is as big as it can get - drawn from the most powerful source of Mana. He does not chant or dance and hope for the best. There is a science to his method. Petty magics, then, is a small thing - still dangerous, often deadly - but wizardry is as large as the universe itself.

4.02: Mana

Mana is said to be the stuff of creation itself. Regardless of it's origin Mana is your Wizard's power, currency, and lifeforce! Each world has their own form of Mana, but any wizard could use any form should they gain access.

A Wizard NEEDS Mana, without it he will die, and his World with him. A Wizard uses Mana for his Spells, paying to Upkeep his Foundation Cube, and paying to Upkeep his body. Once you use Mana for a Spell or Upkeep it is gone, spent for magic. You will need to go outside your Tower to look for more!

A Wizard can store Mana in 2 places: His Foundation Cube & his Body.
The Mana in his Foundation Cube is much like a bank to safely store your Mana, none can touch it. The Mana in your Body is your working pool, that you use for Spells and for paying for his Body's Upkeep. Mana in your body is at more risk than the Mana in your Foundation Cube. If your body dies, then the Mana inside it stays in your corpse. The Mana in your body is also much more at risk for being leeched out from various methods. You can transfer Mana from your Foundation Cube and your Body through touch.

Things that require Mana.

1- A Wizards Foundation Cube will require 1 Mana upkeep per cycle to start with, this will steadily increase. Drawn from Foundation Cube.

2- A Wizards Physical Body requires 1/3 it's Body Score in Mana per Cycle. Drawn from your Body.

3- To reincarnate, Foundation Cube must have enough Mana equal to your Body Score. In an emergency though, less Mana can be used to create a disfigured and horribly crippled version for 1/2 your Body Score.

4- Spells can be cast from the Body and take from the Body's Mana. Some Spells can be cast directly from the Foundation cube as well in a very limited fashion (such as to reincarnate), these take from the Foundation Cube.

5- Ranking your stats is done from the Mana in the Foundation Cube (which you must touch).

6- Other reoccurring costs will specify if they drain from the Foundation Cube or Body.

4.03 Mana Sources and Foci

Each world has their own unique Mana resources. Some are easily harvests, other require intense processing.
Booty, Power-Gen cores, Star Stones, Flowers, Bones, and Refined Dust both contain easily accessible Mana, touch them to draw Mana.
Skymetal must be melted down to a liquid before the Mana can be drawn from it.
Megabeasts must be killed before their Mana is no longer trapped in their bodies.
Unrefined Dust must be refined using a very complex process.

There are also universal Mana Sources:
Sacrifice of Life- All life carries tiny shreds of Mana, but sentient life has an almost quantifiable amount. The only way it can be harvests though is in-mass. 1000 living souls must be ritualistically sacrificed to obtain just 1 Mana. Some say there might be a way to improve this ratio, but if so non has ever been discovered or disclosed in the passages of Wizardry. The ritualistic process doesn't really mater much, any Wizard (or anyone with any magical background) can sufficiently create such a ritual.

Wizard Stone- When a Wizard wishes they may place Mana into any gem they desire (or really any container so long they know how). The Gem acts as a container for the Mana inside. The only real use for this process would be the creation of self-sustaining magical effects away from the Wizard. Beware though that this easy method of having continued effects can easily be absorbed by another wizard.

Foci are a source of continuous Mana rather than a solid amount. While some Foci last for generations, others are temporary. Natural Foci tend to attract spirits and it is very common for a spirit of some sort to latch on to the Foci and defend it. Once a Wizard finds a Foci they will need to destroy or come to terms with it's guarding spirit. Inventive Foci (once that perhaps the Wizard learned how to tap) are usually guarded only by the unknown knowledge of how to access them. All Mana received from Foci go directly to the owning Wizard's Foundation Cube.
The Arbiter
 GM, 28 posts
 The Creator
 The Judge
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 22:39
Re: 4.0: Wizardology
4.04: Wizard's Parliament

Wizardry cannot exist in a vacuum, and all Foundation Cubes are sympathetically bound. As such, each wizard understands that others exist, must exist, even though they've likely never met face to face. Each wizard is connected in ways they'd often rather not explore, even across the planes, and each holds a place within the astral plane known as the Wizard's Parliament.

It's a Subtle Plane that can only be accessed by the mind of the wizard, and it is there that he may bargain, threaten, blackmail and make peace with his peers. In game terms, the Wizard's Parliament acts as an in-character space where characters can wheel and deal amongst themselves, form alliances, pacts, etc. All dialogue is in-character, though the wizard does not need to be near his Foundation Cube to actually speak - it's assumed that all characters, unless annihilated, have access to the Wizard's Parliament.

The Wizard's Parliament also acts as more than a forum: it's a political arena. Connected as it is by the currents of power running through the Foundation Cubes, existing as an intermediary between the courts of the physical and spiritual, it had the power to subtly affect and twist wizardry itself. Referendums and decisions will be brought to the wizards by the Arbiter, the creature which serves the wizards and keeps their parliaments. Each wizard, as Lord of the Invisible, has a single vote. (This may be changed through special traits and tokens, expressions of political power gained through certain esoteric means). The outcome with the highest votes is decided; the Arbiter will itself break ties.

The Wizard's Parliament has other uses. Secret messages may be passed (using the 'secret line' function of rpol.net) to other wizards through it, and the Arbiter itself may be questioned. Pacts may be made via the Parliament, being agreements and vows on certain things between two or more wizards. These Pacts have dire repercussions for those who break them, and are sealed in Mana and more. Pacts themselves can be used to create portals between two wizard's towers, create peace or ensure mercy between to difficult parties, etc.

Referendums are not usually passed until all votes have been cast, though the Arbiter itself may decide to make an exception if there is too much delay on an issue.

4.05: Immortalism

The only thing thing that can truly kill a wizard - annihilation without ever a chance of return, save as twisted pattern-ghosts and force-memories - is the smashing of his Foundation Cube, the artifact caging his true will and armouring his very soul. They cannot be reliably killed by stoning, gassing, drowning, disease, poison, dehydration, stress, stabbing... or, at least, they cannot be killed permanently.

When a wizard suffers mortal death a couple of things happen.

Firstly, the Arbiter immediately freezes the previous referendum (to be picked up after) and brings a Vote of Wizard's Mortal Death to the Parliament: the Wizard's Parliament, excluding the subject of the referendum, vote upon whether the newly expired wizards should be granted Relief of Incarnation. This will immediately cover the costs of his reincarnation. For this reason alone it can pay to have allies on the Parliament.

Secondly - though also immediately - the Wizard's Tower of the dead immediately seals every entrance (though seals can be broken) and attempts to exterminate any intruders. Its reach is minimal, however, and if the Tower cannot defeat the enemy it is likely the dead wizard will be annihilated. When either the Wizards Parliament passes the Relief of Incarnation or the Wizard pays the price in Mana the wizard will be reborn upon his Foundation Cube.

When the wizard suffers mortal death all magic cast upon his previous body are dispelled. Any items he had with him still remain with his corpse. Contracts or other long-term Spells that are kept via Mana from the Foundation Cube are still in effect.

If the Wizard is unable to produce a new Incarnation he is not annihilated yet... at least not until he has no more Mana to Upkeep his Foundation Cube.

4.06 Traits

Your character has 2 Traits, one unique to his starting World, the other from a universal list. These can be advanced alongside his Attributes and Forms. Pick these after Character Creation, after all Wizards have picked a world. Each offer terrible surprises and cutting edges. (Not all traits are always 100% beneficial in nature, they simply are what they are).

Universal Trait List:
King of The Invisible- Your Foundation Cube wears a crown of glass.
   Taken by Atash Gethzrai
Master of Puppets- Your Foundation Cube possesses a small thread that vanishes into nothing.
Fallen Star- There is a guest inside the dungeons of your tower.
   Taken by Titania
Masked- Your Body is masked upon Incarnation. None may ever see your face.
   Taken by Azazel Vos Drago.
Sword of Victory- Legend says he who hold this sword in hand will never be defeated in combat, though legends can lie.
The Athanor- An elaborate machine, or series of machines, created by long-forgotten alchemists, the entire bottom level of the wizard's tower is taken by the great furnace, the hidden contraptions and the maps and tomes of alchemy...
   Taronachi the Ever-Perfecting Flesh
The Observatory- At the height of your tower exists a series of lenses forming a great and powerful telescope, the better to examine and manipulate the movements of the planes...
   Taken by Glinora

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:02, Sat 19 Sept 2015.

The Arbiter
 GM, 31 posts
 The Creator
 The Judge
Sun 12 Jul 2015
at 00:02
Re: 4.0: Wizardology
4.07: The Foundation Cube

The Foundation Cube is the most important artifact a wizard can ever possess. A huge slab of shining silver, decorated with sigils and characters that mean nothing and everything, it cages his soul and accelerates his wizardry. Within the Foundation Cube is the wizard's past, his future, everything and everyone he has ever been or ever will be. It exists at the center at the bottom of his wizard's tower, silent except for the occasional thrum of arcane force. The wizard believes, though he cannot remember it, that he forged the Cube in an act of arcane supremacy; some fear that it is the Cube that forged them.

The Cage of the Soul
By holding his soul in the Foundation Cube the wizard has earned himself immortality. The soul may never be removed from its silvery home; to do so would mean annihilation for the wizard as the fragile thing is ripped asunder by all manner of natural forces and incorporeal beasts. The Cube is difficult to destroy, harder in many ways than blackstone - typical wizardry cannot break it. It often requires something more, a particular artifact or mortal hero that possesses the capability to destroy such a thing. A sword made of starfall, or a man whose heart is promise to the Queen of Chrysanthemum Towers would do the trick; the Fist of the Second Court or Ugalmur's Hammer might work, too (though doubtfully these exist in any of the current worlds). Weapons like these are not so easily found, but a wizard with cunning and intelligence should have no problem eventually finding what they seek.

If the Cube is destroyed, the wizard whose soul it kept is immediately annihilated. He is removed from the game, and will never truly return. The destruction of the Cube is true death for a man of wizardry.

Silver Cannot Tarnish
We've established that the Cube cannot be destroyed by magic - requiring something exceptional to do the task - and this works the other way. The Cube, being an artifact composed almost entirely of arcane forces, will accept no enchantments or conjurations. It cannot have spells cast upon it by the wizard possessing the Cube in any way. The only exception to this is when the wizard's tower is destroyed - the wizard may then immediately spend 300 Mana to shift the Cube to another random location in another plane. (It's new location will put it at sever risk.

Currents of Force
The Cube does provide an aditional benefit to the wizard, however, besides immortality. A wizard who keeps physical contact with his Foundation Cube as he casts spells is enhanced by the raw arcane currents thrumming within. For as long as he is physically touching the Cube, the power of his Mana is increased based upon his Discipline Attribute (which stacks on top of all other modifiers). For as one masters his own Soul, his soul hums with the rhythm of the universe itself.

Connection of Body and Soul
Upon touching his Foundation Cube the Body of the Wizard is completely restored and in fact upon he will continue to regenerate though at a diminished rate as time continues.


4.08: The Codex

The Codex manifests as a huge tome, bound in leather and iron and locked with elaborate seal-glyphs. Barely small enough for a man to carry, it is nevertheless one of the wizard's most important tools in his quest to conquer.

The wizard, of course, needs no spellbook - his own natural talent and memory is all he needs in order to cast most spells - but the Codex is more than a simple grimoire. If the Cube is a wizard's soul, then the Codex is his mind: it connects the wizard to his ciphered past and introduces him to the esoteric meanings of his future.

The Ciphers of the Past
The wizard cannot remember most of his past. He might have, at most, a handful of vaguely remembered visions of the time before he became something more... knowledge of the past, he knows, sacrificed for power. By abandoning his own identity and history he freed himself from the old bonds, from the past, from everything holding him back... but he could not destroy them. Not truly.

The wizard is still haunted by the past (his past? Another past Wizard? The wizard does not know). By glimpses of memories, strange feelings, mnemonic stumbles... the past, desperate to do anything to survive, claws its way back. In order for the wizard to be free, to truly be the master of his own destiny, he must banish the demons - the ciphers - of history and claim it for himself.

In the front page of the Codex exists the wizard's First Name. It is the name he was born and blessed with, and it is the key to his power. The wizard, before mastering his past, cannot read it - the word seems to twist and dart before the eyes. It is invisible to all eyes save his own. The wizard may spend some time studying upon his shimmering Name. By doing so, he enters an unbreakable trance and enters the shadow paths of his Past.

There are ciphers, in his Past. Demons manifesting as deadly creatures or elaborate puzzles that must be defeated in order for the wizard to move on. The wizard must overcome these obstacles, destroy these ciphers, in order to strengthen himself in the Present. For each cipher-trap defeated, he gains a free Attribute or Form Rank (despite the Cost). His magic grows more potent with every step. There are four ciphers in total.

If the wizard defeats every cipher in his past - studying upon the word four times and surviving each time - he may finally read the Name. In doing so, his Past is unleashed upon the Present, and if the wizard can survive the onslaught he succeeds in his quest to assimilate the demons of his past. Successful Wizards will instantly be granted a new Trait of immense power.

The Esoterics of the Future
The penultimate future self - the sacred guardian and utter potential every sorcerer, wizard or not, strives to become and manifest - is the guiding force and mentor of the wizard. The best magical instruction he can receive is from himself, studying the highest aeonic sorceries under the tutelage of a shadow against time. The Codex enables this. Simply by existing, it acts as a powerful fetish twisting time and space... and allowing the future assist the present (and fight the past).

On the last page of the Codex there is a blank page which will never be filled. If the wizard studies upon the page, he will enter enter a trance state in which it is possible to contact and communicate with - however vaguely - with his future self. This is the ultimate divination (and the wizard's skill in Divination, of course, plays a part). The future self speaks in strange truths and obscured visionary symbols, but the wizard who can decipher these with a high Lore will be given the secrets of the world.

The most useful ability, however, is for the wizard, when in grave peril, to call upon his future self for assistance. The wizard calls his future self, raising his hands, and allows raw magic to flow through him. If he is desperate enough, and if his relationship with his future self is amicable, he may invoke the future. Wizardry moves around him, and spells (as chosen by the GM) are cast without the expenditure of Mana or the need to even cast them. The spells are likely unknown by the wizard, and as they are cast through him he knows that there will be an eventual cost - for nothing, magic included, is free. There will be a time when the Wizard must repay his Past self, and unfortunately these things often come at a most inconvenient time.

Incantations From Beyond
Incantations are elaborate spells, tied deeply to the future and the past, that have been researched by the wizard and are kept in his Codex. If a wizard ever has his Codex destroyed, he can no longer cast his Incantations: they are forever lost to him.

Incantations are strange sorceries that are learned by the wizard in collaboration with his future self - through studying the cryptic pages of the Codex or defeating Ciphers. These are special spells with a set Mana cost who's effect is non-reliant on Wizard's stat, but only the abilities of the Incantation itself. They tend to plead with powers outside even the universe itself.

Incantations are often not small petty spells, but once complete can change something fundamental about the Wizard, the World, or even the universe. Their exact details and requirements of each differ from Incantation to Incantation, and are found in the Character Sheet section (though the exact details of your Incantations are kept a secret from other wizards).

Destruction
The Codex, like any wizard's artifact, can be destroyed. It cannot be burnt, crushed, exploded, stabbed, torn or otherwise ruined by mundane means. The Codex is by far the most fragile of the artifacts, however - all it takes to truly destroy it is for an enemy wizard to open the tome, smear his hand across the first page and sacrifice a single point of Mana. The pages will be awash with ink and the Codex will forever be just a normal, useless book.

Purple Madness- The wizard who has his Codex destroyed loses access to the guidance of his future self, the power of his Incantations and the ability to confront the past. He slowly descends into Purple Madness... without a map, his reality twists and bends (though it is often subtle and cryptic) and he is prone to hallucinations and paranoia. This is considered by most wizards to be a horrible thing, as it robs him of his judgment and rationality and puts his entire existence at threat... but there are those who would disagree. They open their arms to the madness, tattoo themselves with sigils devised by a demented mind and wear robes of purple. There is a certain power to be found in madness, yes...


4.09: The Blasting Rod

The Blasting Rod is a fairly simple artifact - though no less important - when compared to the Codex and the Tower. It is the wizard's edge, his tool against rival and enemy. It is with Rod in hand that he conquers and destroys. Each wizard's Rod manifests differently according to the wizard: a simple wooden rod, a stave made of bone and soaked in myrrh, an ebony wand of an eldar tree, a jewel-encrusted metal rod... they each appear different, but are identical in function.

The Edge
A Wizard with the Blasting Rod in hand, he may point the Blasting Rod at an opponent and spend 1,10, or 100 Mana and declare his victory over his opponent. Immediately there is a clash of wills between the two with the initiate of the battle having a distinct advantage in accordance to how much Mana was spent in the Edge. What happens upon victory or defeat is dependent on the scale of the defeat and what was targets.

A mortal, monster, or other such more worldly creature upon losing the Edge to a Wizard may flee in terror, drop unconscious, or simply die on the spot depending on just how horrible their loss was. The the Wizard somehow fails this battle, he is only harmed 1 HP.

A true hero or great supernatural beast of some kind won't be killed by the edge. At the very least their power is greatly reduced, or they might decide to flee in terror, and at the very worst defeat they will pass unconscious. If the wizard fails to obtain the Edge then he himself is shocked by the result and is doomed to lose this particular fight, and should consider fleeing at all costs.

For spirit, demon, archon, or other outsider the only two outcomes are the banishing of the being or its complete annihilation. Though if a Wizard loses, he becomes incredibly susceptible possession and/or harm by the being.

When a Wizard performs the Edge against another Wizard the effects can be devastating even at a minor loss. If the challenged wizard is fast enough to counter with his own Blasting Rod he may also perform the Edge, otherwise he is at an extreme disadvantage. The loser (whichever Wizard) by even the smallest amount is rendered completely magically muted for 4 rounds unable to cast spells. Should a Wizard lose by an extreme amount then he might very well be immobilized or even incapacitated.

Blasting
The wizard may attack an enemy directly with his Blasting Rod channeling his magic through it. The spell must be destructive in nature, and when done so in granted quite a hefty bonus based on the users Strength, attribute independent on the amount of Mana spent. The destructive nature can be against matter, other beings, monster, even targeting magical spells itself. As long as your objective to absolutely sunder the target in question, the Blasting Rod will be quick to make short work of it.

If you had declared the Edge against something and won, then the blasting rod will receive three times as much power when you go to destroy it.

Unfortunately Blasting will not work upon another who has a blasting rod unless you have won the edge against them.

Branding
If the wizard has his Rod in hand and he has his enemy bound or otherwise incapacitated - or is begging for mercy or cannot defend himself - he may choose to press his Blasting Rod into his opponent and Brand him. In doing so, he spends 50 Mana into the Brand and marks his victim. The Band is physically noticeable to any inspection can shines through magically so that any wizard would see it.

If the Branded victim is anything other than a Wizard they must instantly become the Vassal of the Wizard who has branded them. If the Branded is another Wizard they not entirely a slave, but against the one who branded them they will find their Magic is weakened considerably, maybe almost complete if they are weak enough. A branded Wizard loses the right to vote against his brander in Wizard's Parliament. He may abstain from voting, but unless his vote is in accordance with the wizard who branded him, it is not counted by the Arbiter. The Brand will follow him even beyond his Mortal Death, for it is his Soul that has been Branded.

This continues until the branded victim slays his brander, the brander is annihilated by another, or the branded victim decides to remove the brand. To do so, he must scar his own soul and sacrifice 1/5th of his Body Score permanently, but the brand is removed.

Regeneration
While the Blasting Rod is in hand the Wizard will regain HP without the use of Magic. This is a long-term effect though, not something that happens in the midst of battle.

Destruction or Capture
If the Rod, unheld, is ever Blasted by another wizard's Blasting Rod, it is immediately destroyed and the wizard loses access to all of the abilities noted above. All brandings are destroyed. Perhaps worse is that Blasting Rod can be taken by another Wizard. The Blasting Rod will function for the other Wizard completely (increasing the holding wizard's ability to proclaim Edge or Blast) with the exception that it cannot be used to Edge, Blast, or Brand it's original owner. Any Brand made by the Rod is that of the original owner not the wielder.


4.10: Wizard's Tower

The Wizard's Tower is sometimes referred to as the Fourth Artifact, as it is every bit as important and precious as the Cube, Codex and Rod. It is the symbol of the wizard's strength and virility, his home and manor, the center of his empire of operations. Jet black, higher than any mortal engineer can imagine, holding a vague intelligence and able to work with the wizard on levels even he cannot fully comprehend, it holds his laboratories and libraries, his smoking rooms and appleariums, his observatories and oracles.

The Wizard's Tower is made of Blackstone: Blackstone is sorcerous brick woven with the life-spells of the wizard himself. It possesses its own intricate magics - unknown to the wizard ignorant to Divination - that are used mostly in the defense of the tower. Blackstone is extraordinarily resistant to sorcery - even those spells of the wizard himself - and can survive even the deadliest of spell bombardments. The stone itself shifts and strengthens when needed, and can deflect off all manner of mundane assaults (and retaliate in kind).

Strangeness
As the blackstone shifts, rooms can be created or eliminated at the will of the wizard. Time and space bend and crack, and thus the wizard never lacks for room or facilities, for his various workshops and projects entire rooms will spring into existence for the Wizards needs.

Defenses
The strangeness of the tower will attempt to confuse and terrify any intruders, trapping them in logic-loops, pattern labyrinths, gloom spirals and mazes beyond ken or reason. When the wizard faces mortal death, however, the true defenses are switched: all manner of bound spirits, spells, and arcane traps are unleashed upon the foes within the tower.

Seven Seals of Grace and Glory
Each wizard has seven elaborate seals carved deep into the blackstone. These can, and are, the gates entering and exiting the tower and can be opened or closed at the wizard's will. The seals themselves also act as powerful lodeways, channeling influence from the Wizard's Parliament, and it is these seals that prove a wizard's political worth. While the tower begins with seven entrances - all slam closed when the wizard meets mortal death - these can be closed or opened at will. The seals themselves contain enough binding power to keep permanent portals to other planes without the expenditure or upkeep of Mana, which many a wizard will find useful in his travels.

Destruction
Blackstone is incredibly difficult to destroy, and becomes deadly living magma when it is reduced to its basest form, desperate to return to original pattern and devouring any that gets in its way. It can only be destroyed by the most powerful of spells - when its resistance finally isn't enough - though it typically reforms before the tower itself can be damaged.

The key to killing a Wizard's Tower is hitting the Seven Seals. Any wizard powerful enough to reduce the stone that held a Seal to magma will cause it to crack and forever be lost. When all the Seals are destroyed, the Tower will begin to decompose, become magma, and wreck havoc upon the land. All of the wizard's laboratories and libraries are ruined in the process. (If a wizard is annihilated the very same thing occurs). While many seals may be hidden within the innards of the tower, the entrance unto the world the Wizard presides is always an exposed Seal. Should it break another Seal shall open to the world somewhere else on the tower (closing a portal should it need to).

Any wizard without a Wizard's Tower must immediately shift his Foundation Cube to another another plane - as the one being abandoned is sullied - which is the only magical act allowed on the thing. The Cube will manifest in an uncharted area of another plane, far from plying eyes. It takes a three hundred Mana to move his Foundation Cube - if the wizard cannot pay, the Foundation Cube is immediately destroyed with his Tower and he is annihilated.

The wizard, in addition, loses all access to the Wizard's Parliament when his Tower is destroyed, and may never again know the luxury of a Wizard's Tower.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:12, Wed 29 July 2015.