The Mark, Magic, and Magic Mechanics   Posted by Storyteller.Group: 0
Storyteller
 GM, 280 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:47
The Mark, Magic, and Magic Mechanics
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This message was last edited by the GM at 18:09, Fri 29 May 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 281 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:48
The Mark
The Mark is the most common name for the change made to your soul that allows you to use magic. Each Mark is broken into three different categories relative to their potency: minoris, mediocris, and majoris.
  • A Minoris Mark is the most subdued, leading to no noticeable changes in the people around the mage and producing subtle supernatural traits.
  • A Mediocris Mark is the most common of Mark. People with this mark have pronounced supernatural traits and begin to experience Disquiet.
  • A Majoris Mark is the most potent Mark, granting potent supernatural abilities in exchange for a stronger Disquiet.

Disquiet is a pervasive aura of wrongness that surrounds a mage. Those with Mediocris Marks cause people to become uncomfortable and they might avoid or develop an irrational fear of the mage. This imposes a minor penalty (-2) to all social interactions with mundane people. Those with a Majoris Mark have a stronger Disquiet which can cause people to flee their presence or attack them unprovoked. They have a major penalty (-4) to all social interactions with mundane people. Those with a Minoris Mark have no discernible Disquiet. Finally, Disquiet does not affect other mages although they are aware of its presence, allowing them to identify fellow mages within their presence.

Note: Marks do not affect the magic an individual can perform but does increase the potency of the supernatural traits they obtain.

--

Beyond these categories each Mark has an associated set of qualities: resonance, indicia, stigmata, ascending & descending energies, and supernatural traits.
  • A Resonance is a quality that is associated with your magic and manifests within your spells and enchantments. This helps to identity and differentiate the magic of individual mages.
  • An Indicia is a quality that improves or augments your magic while the inverse is true for Stigmata. Each mage has three of each of these qualities.
  • An Ascending energy is one that comes easily to you while a Descending energy is the inverse. Each Mark has two Ascending and two Descending energies representing a pair of Method and Form for each.
  • Supernatural Traits are powers, abilities, or phenomena that manifest outside of a mage's magic. Each mage has two supernatural traits whose potency is relative to the Mark's category.


Navigation: The Mark | Magic | Magic Mechanics | Example Spells

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:03, Fri 29 May 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 282 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:49
Magic
Magic is made by drawing energies from different planes through the Mark. What magic an individual can perform is largely dependent on the qualities of their Mark, their experience, and preparation. When these factors align then mages are capable of fantastic feats and when they are not then they are no better, or perhaps even worse off, then the mundane. Each spell requires at least two different energies to be used, one which represents the Form of the spell and the other to represent the Method.

Methods
  • Modus: Used to augment, change, or modify existing entities and phenomena. Modus is derived of the energy of Pandemonium, realm of change.
  • Ruina: Used to damage, decay, or otherwise destroy entities and phenomena. Ruina is derived of the energy of Gehenna, the realm of destruction.
  • Incepio: Used to create entities and phenomena from nothing. Incepio is derived of the energy of Orior, the realm of creation.
  • Ordo: Used to control or command entities and phenomena. Ordo is derived of the energy of Nirvana, realm of absolute control.
  • Elucidus: Used to gain insight or understanding into a situation, phenomena, or entity. Elucidus is derived of the energy of Binah, the realm of knowledge.

Form
  • Natura: Deals with the physical aspects of living things: animals, plants, and even humans. Natura is derived from the energy of Ecstasy, the realm of primordial nature and living forms.
  • Anima: Deals with the mental aspects of existence, concepts, and abstract phenomena. Anima is derived from the energy of Hypnos, the realm of the mind and concepts.
  • Materia: Deals with inert physical matter and machines. Materia is derived from the energy of Primus, the realm of machinations and physical matter.
  • Ephemera: Deals with metaphysical substances and energy. Ephemera is derived from the energy of Sephirot, the realm of spirits and energy.


Navigation: The Mark | Magic | Magic Mechanics | Example Spells

Sub-Navigation: Magic | Spellcasting and the Veil | Warping | Magical Resistance and Defense | Counterspells

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:06, Fri 29 May 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 283 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:49
Spellcasting and the Veil
Spellcasting

To cast a spell a mage has to meet a few requirements. The first and most basic is that their Method + Form total must be greater than 0 after any reductions. The second is that the mage must make the necessary gestures or speak the necessary invocations, unless otherwise stated. Finally, the mage must have a certain degree of focus. The more powerful a spell is, the greater focus required to cast successfully. In demanding situations the Concentration total of the mage must be greater than or equal to the spellcasting penalty for a given rank of spell. If these requirements are not met then they are incapable of casting spells or suffer a penalty to their attempts; whichever is more appropriate.

Ęthelwulf is a prodigious master of the elements but when he falls into an ambush he finds the volley of arrows too distracting (-2 concentration; 5 total) to call the full might of his magic down (R2+). Instead he relies on his quick wit to fell a tree (spontaneous RuNa 1) to provide much needed cover and a distraction.

The Veil

The Veil is a global ritual of unknown origin which polices magic and those who use it. To accomplish this the spell constantly observes the world, keeping account of magic in its varied forms. Those who use magic wisely never earn the ire of the Veil but those who disrupt the world often or to great degrees become the target of the Veil's agents. Agents who quickly work to dispose of the party in question or at the very least bring an end to their disruptions.

Reed fancies himself a conjurer and trickster, often swindling merchants and artisans with illusory or temporary coinage. One day he pushes his luck too far and the Veil alerts a group of goblins to his passing through a wooded thicket. Reed survives but his lost arm convinces him of the error of his ways.

Sub-Navigation: Magic | Spellcasting and the Veil | Warping | Magical Resistance and Defense | Counterspells

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:06, Fri 05 June 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 284 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:50
Warping
Magic is potent, far too potent for the mortals who wield it. Still this does not stop the ambitious, and mad, from using powers beyond their limits. Most notably are those magical effects which change the body or mind in an unnatural fashion but any magic of considerable power will leave its mark on the caster. These effects lead to pronounced changes in the mage known as Warping.

Warping differs between mages and often manifests in a way reflective of the magic that caused the warping and the mages resonance. A mage who becomes sufficiently Warped begins to be treated as a magical entity by the Veil and eventually their mere existence is intolerable leading them to be hunted down.

Lidia, the Fair has the resonance of heat and in pursuit of immortality performs a powerful ritual on herself to grant her body preternatural regeneration. In exchange her once hazel hair has become a brilliant crimson red and she exudes a passive aura of warmth which grows to an uncomfortable heat (-2 Concentration) anytime she must regenerate harm.

Sub-Navigation: Magic | Spellcasting and the Veil | Warping | Magical Resistance and Defense | Counterspells

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:07, Fri 29 May 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 285 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:50
Magical Resistance and Defense
To the mundane, a mage of any caliber is exceptionally lethal. This is because the average person largely lacks the means of negating or resisting magic used against them. For mages, however, this is not true. All mages have an innate resistance to magic which must be overcome before a spell may take hold of them. This magical resistance is equal to half the value of their Ascending combination, rounded up. However, even this resistance is not without its flaws. A mage does not benefit from their passive magical resistance against magic of their Descending combination.

Margret squares off against the senior apprentice of her master, Morgan. Morgan is a skilled conjurer (Ascending InMa) with her Incepio score at 8 and her Materia score at 4. This gives her a respectable magic resist of 6. When Margret spontaneously casts a bolt of fire (In 2 + Ep 3 = 5) against Morgan the spell breaks against her skin harmlessly. Instead Margret switches tactics and targets her descending combination, Ruina Ephemera, with a silencing spell. Now Morgan has to rely on her gesture based rote spells, of which she has few.

Note: For determining if a spell is potent enough to bypass magical resistance use the Method + Form total without any reductions due to Rank or qualities.

Spells that overcome a mage's innate resistance can then be subjected to appropriate defensive magics. For defensive magic the spell must match the assault. Physical or manifested energy spells can be blocked using similar means. Spells which directly alter the body or mind can similarly be resisted with counterspells. It is important to note that Modus and Ruina spells can be used to directly affect magic whose Form it matches.

Chase finds himself on the receiving end of a fire drake's magical breath. Due to a ring he found in the drake's den he is able to swiftly erect a dome of swirling energy (InEp) that blocks the breath's flames. Sadly it can do nothing for the heated air that is now billowing about, blistering his skin (-2 Concentration).

Dylan has angered a witch who looses a spell to turn him to a dog. Luckily Dylan is under the protection of his Ward of Foreign Polymorph (RuNa 2). The spell simply fails to reach him and he counters by striking the witch with his sword.

If the defensive spells total is higher or equal to the offensive spells then the effect does not take hold. If it is lower then the spell fails, as dictated by the circumstances, and the effect takes root. That said magical defenses can be overwhelmed through continuous assault. For each mundane or magical assault that is turned aside the defensive magic weakens. The amount of weakening is equal to the weapons equipment bonus or half the spells total, round down. The exception to this are those weapons and spells whose bonus or rank is 1 or more less than the defensive spell.

Justin is hunted by a mercenary group lead by the warmage Claire. Forced into a corner Justin erects a dome of burning light to protect himself (InEp 2, 8 total). The mercenaries fire on him with their shortbows (+1) but they prove ineffective against the magic. Claire, on the other hand, uses her multicast focus to lob three bolts of acid (InMa 2, 6 total) at the shield. The bolts overcome his magic resist and the shield shatters. Justin narrowly avoids a wad of acid as he begins running again. He'll have to think of something else now.

Sub-Navigation: Magic | Spellcasting and the Veil | Warping | Magical Resistance and Defense | Counterspells

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:40, Fri 29 May 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 286 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:51
Counterspells
Counterspelling is the act of destroying,disrupting or otherwise altering the magic of another spellcaster. Any magical effect can be targeted by a counterspell although enchanted items and ritual effects are simply suspended rather than destroyed outright, unless some other effect allows for this. To cast a counterspell the mage must be aware of the magic they are targeting and what Form the targeted magic is comprised of. The mage can then cast a Ruina or Modus spell of the matching Form and compare totals. If the counterspells total is higher than the spell ceases to exist or function as dictated by its nature. Otherwise the targeted spell is unaffected. Additionally counterspells can be used to target magic which was cast in a proceeding round.

Marrick corners their young rival Erwin in an abandoned barn. Marrick looses a bolt of sulfurous fire (InEp 1, 6 total) which ripped across the barn, intent on killing Erwin. Erwin knows that his defensive magic is not up to par with Marrick's attack magic and decides to counterspell (RuEp 1, 7 total). The two spells collide in the middle and Erwin's magic overwhelms his opponents. Erwin rushes out of the barn as Marrick howls in defiant rage.

Sub-Navigation: Magic | Spellcasting and the Veil | Warping | Magical Resistance and Defense | Counterspells

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:08, Fri 29 May 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 287 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:52
Magic Mechanics
Magic operates in a similar way to the basic mechanic but with a few modifications. The first is that in place of Attributes and Skills magic uses a score for the Method and Form, both of which have no upper limit. The score for a Method and Form are added together to generate a total which is used when determining spell effect and power. If the spell has multiple Methods and/or Forms the total is generated using the lowest combination of Method and Form. The second is that there are two varieties of spells, spontaneous and rote, which impose their own limits on spellcasting. The third is that spells are divided into 'ranks' which allow or bar certain effects from being produced. Each rank imposes an mandatory penalty to the spellcasting total that must be meet; representing the mental load necessary to cast the magic. Spellcasting totals are affected by bonuses and penalties given by the Mark's qualities and any enchanted items.

Spell Types

There are two types of spells: spontaneous or rote. A spontaneous spell is created on the fly in response to a sudden situation. In exchange for this flexibility they cannot benefit from spell qualities, meta-magic effects granted by foci, and gain only half, round down, (min. 1) any casting bonus provided by a foci. A rote spell is gained through dedicated practice and mastery, either earned during Downtime or through roleplaying. These spells have no such limits and grants a minor bonus (+2) to concentration when casting.

Spell Ranks

A spells Rank determines the scope of the effects it can produce. By default a spell of given Rank has no qualities associated with it but can obtain them by taking a cumulative -2 penalty (1st quality = -2 , 2nd = -6, etc.). Below is a list of ranks, their title, the spellcasting penalty imposed by rank, its base duration and rate, and a non-exhaustive list of possible effects.

Ranks in Brief

A list of descriptors which can be used to determine the Rank needed for a desired effect.
  • Rank 0: instantaneous duration, limited to single target attacks and personal defense.
  • Rank 1: short duration, single targets, small areas, short ranges, low complexity, small quantities, simple changes
  • Rank 2: moderate duration, complexity, quantities, and changes; medium areas, multiple targets, medium range,
  • Rank 3: long duration, high complexity, large quantities, large scale changes, sensory ranges, large area effects
  • Rank 4: extreme duration, very-high complexity, extreme range, massive quantities, massive scale.


Navigation: The Mark | Magic | Magic Mechanics | Example Spells

Sub-Navigation: Magic Mechanics | Rank Tables | Spell Qualities

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:42, Mon 31 Aug 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 288 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:52
Rank Tables
Rank0TitleQuick-SpellsPenalty0
Durationinstantaneous
Range60 ft.
Effects
  • deal damage against single target
  • personal shielding
QualitiesNone

Rank1TitleLow-TierPenalty3
Duration1 rd. per 2 total
Range120 ft.
Effects
  • deal damage against a single target
  • shield immediate vicinity (15 ft.)
  • alter the environment in immediate vicinity
  • create/destroy small amounts of substances/energies
  • conjure/create a weak/small entity or object
  • alter a single trait/single minor quality
  • grant up to a minor modifier (+/-2) to a skill
Qualities
  • shielded
  • penetrating
  • imbued

Rank2TitleMid-TierPenalty6
Duration1 rd per 1 total or 1 hr per 3
Rangesensory
Effects
  • deal damage against a target or targets
  • shield a small area (30 ft.)
  • altering the environment in a small area
  • create/destroy moderate amounts of substances/energies
  • conjure/create a moderate/medium entity or object
  • alter a set of minor traits/single major quality
  • grant up to a major modifier (+/-4) to skills
  • grant up to a minor modifier (+/-2) to attributes
Qualities
  • As Rank 1
  • reactive
  • linked
  • concentration
  • sympathetic

Rank3TitleHigh-TierPenalty9
Duration2 rds. per 1 score, 1 hr per 2, or 1 day per 5
Rangesensory
Effects
  • dealing damage against a target or targets
  • shield a moderate area (60 ft.)
  • alter the environment in a moderate area
  • create/destroy large amounts of substances or energies
  • conjure/create a strong/large entity or object
  • alter a set of major traits or qualities
  • grant up to a overwhelming modifier (+/-6) to skills
  • grant up to a major modifier (+/-4) to attributes
Qualities
  • As Rank 2
  • contingency
  • suspended

Rank4TitleGrand-SpellsPenalty12
Duration1 day per total or 1 year if total 10+
Range100 miles
Effects
  • dealing damage against a target or targets
  • shielding a massive area
  • altering the environment within massive area
  • create/destroy great amounts of substances or energies
  • conjure/create a powerful/huge entity/object
  • alter all traits or qualities
  • grant up to an overwhelming modifier (+/-6) to attributes
QualitiesNone

Note: Extended duration (<1 hr.) spells cannot inflict or remove damage over time.

Sub-Navigation: Magic Mechanics | Rank Tables | Spell Qualities

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:20, Mon 21 Dec 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 289 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:53
Spell Qualities
As detailed above spells rank two and above can have many qualities affixed to them that alter how the mage uses their magic. Detailed below is what these different qualities do mechanistically.
  • Shielded: This spell is resistant to counterspelling. Casting total is increased to 1.5x, round down, for the purposes of resisting counterspelling.
  • Penetrating: This spell is more effective at penetrating magical defenses. Casting total is increased to 1.5x, round down, for the purposes of overcoming magical resistance and defenses, including shielding against counterspelling.
  • Imbued: This spell can be imbued into an item, lasting a duration relative to its effect. Imbued spells are activated at will or when their duration elapses, whichever occurs first. The caster must be within a range set by rank to activate the spell.
  • Reactive: This spell has a condition that when meet causes its effect to manifest. The caster must be aware of this condition for it to manifest and must be in a situation where their magic is available to them.
  • Linked: This spell is linked to a second spell. This causes the spells activation or result to control some operation of the other spell. Linked spells may be chained although they cease functioning if any connecting spell is terminated or elapses.
  • Concentration: This spells effect lasts until the caster loses concentration. Minimum concentration total needed is 2 * Rank. Multiple concentration spells are additive (ex. 2 R1 spells = 4 Concentration).
  • Sympathetic: This spell may target a being that the caster has a strong sympathetic connection to. Replaces normal range limits although they must be in the same plane/realm.
  • Suspended: This spell can be cast and its effects can be made manifest at a later point. Suspended spells last for one day unless maintained. You may have a number of suspended spells whose rank total is less than your concentration total. Suspended spells impose a -1 penalty against concentration total for concentration based spells.
  • Contingency: This spell has a condition that when meet causes its effect to manifest. This occurs even if the caster is unaware that the condition has been meet such as when they are unconscious or denied their sensory awareness. A caster may have up to three contingency spells active at any given time.


Sub-Navigation: Magic Mechanics | Rank Tables | Spell Qualities

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:12, Mon 21 Dec 2020.

Storyteller
 GM, 290 posts
Fri 29 May 2020
at 17:53
Example Spells
To assist with character creation and gameplay there are a few spells listed for each combination of Form and Method. These spells are intended to give a starting ground for players but does not represent the total range of possibilities. For the sake of simplicity Rank will not be given for any spell effect meaning that additional qualities and limitations may apply when created by a player.


Elucidus

Anima
  • Read the memory of a target
  • Determine the nature of a mental phenomena
  • Identify illusions


Ephemera
  • Determine the nature of a spirit
  • Identify a type of energy
  • Identify a metaphysical substance


Materia
  • Determine the function of an object
  • Identify the composition of an object
  • Determine if the object is enchanted or not


Natura
  • Identify markings created by living beings
  • Identify living beings
  • Determine the presence of certain beings


Incepio

Anima
  • Create an area of altered time
  • Create an area of non-Euclidean space
  • Create a memory palace


Ephemera
  • Create a bonfire with no fuel or air
  • Create a spirit of light and ectoplasm
  • Create a ball of lightning


Materia
  • Create a longsword
  • Create a gold amulet
  • Create a wall of stone


Natura
  • Create a dire wolf
  • Heal a wound
  • Create an impossible fruit


Modus

Anima
  • Alter someones memory
  • Alter the passage of time
  • Change someones emotions


Ephemera
  • Change a spirits nature
  • Convert fire into lightning
  • Convert light into ectoplasm


Materia
  • Turn lead to gold
  • Turn stone to glass
  • Turn a steel door to sand


Natura
  • Become a bear
  • Turn a snake to a fish
  • Grow wings


Ordo

Anima
  • Become imperceptible
  • Control the mind of someone else
  • Cause someone to fall asleep


Ephemera
  • Make fire leap
  • Prevent liquids from touching you
  • Command a spirit to obey you


Materia
  • Operate a device indirectly
  • Control the movement of an object
  • Prevent a weapon from being drawn


Natura
  • Cause someone to drop an item
  • Make a living being flee
  • Suppress a reflex


Ruina

Anima
  • Destroy a memory
  • Ignore distance to a target
  • Temporarily remove a mental faculty


Ephemera
  • Cause fires to extinguish
  • Dampen sounds
  • Harm a spirit


Materia
  • Cause an object to break
  • Damage a structure
  • Reduce stone to dust


Natura
  • Damage a living body
  • Hinder a natural process
  • Remove infection


Navigation: The Mark | Magic | Magic Mechanics | Example Spells

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:04, Fri 29 May 2020.