Reference: Models of Magic.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 4 posts
 The Narrator
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 02:20
Reference: Models of Magic
The Fundamentals

   Reality is pliable. Every reality is pliable, in fact. It responds to consciousness like water rippling under the wind. However, reality is also very, very big with many, many moving parts. So, for the vast majority of living things, the effect of consciousness upon reality is virtually undetectable.

   Magic is the study of reality and the effect of consciousness upon it. Because shaping reality seems absurd and impossible, magi are very rare; few people want to dedicate their lives to something that appears at best preposterous, at worst, damning.

   (Stealing this idea from Mage) Also, because reality responds to consciousness, in many ways, the conditions of reality are based upon the consensus of the people. Though their influence is weak, thousands of weak wills can overwhelm a single great one. Magi face an uphill battle to develop their magical power in cultures where the majority doubt the existence of magic.

   Then there's the Church. Historically, the Christian Church has stood vehemently against witches and sorcerers. This hostility has over the centuries expanded to include all users of magic, including their own. With each generation, fewer clergy study the ancient art of theurgy, or miracle-working.


GURPS Rules
   Thaumatology p9

   Conception of Magic: Magic as Reality-Shaping
      - Reality has an extra dimension: fluidity. When reality is soft, it's easy to manipulate, even random thoughts can manifest. Conversely, when reality is hard, it resists change, the physical laws dominate.
      - GURPS already has a system for this: Mana (B235) and Sanctity (Th68)
      - Spirits interpret this as existential fluidity
      - Wizards interpret this as metaphysical energy (mana, chi, ley)
      - Clergy recognize where gods or demons have shaped reality in their favour (sanctity)

   Sources of Magic
      - Magical power runs the spectrum from personal power to cosmic power
      - Some magicians gain their power from a higher being using Power Investiture
      - Others develop their own inner power using Magery

   Magical Advantages
      - There are two advantages that act as gatekeepers and talents: Magery and Power Investiture
      - Both advantages have mandatory subtypes or specializations.
         - Power Investiture is specialized by being.  ie. Power Investiture (Jehovah) is a different advantage than Power Investiture (Zeus)
         - Magery is specialized by magical system.  ie. Magery (Ritual Path) has no effect on Syntactic spells, and vice versa, Magery (Syntactic) doesn't aid in Ritual Magic.
         - All subtypes of either advantage are available to humans and dwarves. However, as expected, Cosmic Magery is an extremely rare talent in mortals.
         - Incarnata are completely restricted, in that they already have Cosmic Magery as part of their racial template and Power Investiture is taboo.
      - Magery and Power Investiture offer some basic effects
         1. The Sight
           - basic magical awareness, such as described under Magery 0
         2. Mana Reserve
           - each advantage provides a mana reserve equal to its level x 3
         3. Unlocked Advantages
           - Power Investiture, depending upon the being involved, unlocks access to the following advantages: Blessed (B40 and F128), True Faith (B94), and Divine Favour (see supplement)
           - Magery can be purchased as an alternate ability of another subtype of Magery at 1/5th the cost. Thus, a mage with Ritual Magery 1 could purchase Syntactic Magery 1 for 3 points
           - Cosmic Magery is exempt from Magery Varieties; it applies equally to all forms of arcane magic. Purchasing other forms of Magery as alternates of Cosmic Magery is redundant and disallowed.

   Talent Levels 1-3
        Each level of Magery or Power Investiture has a base cost of 10 points but requires the purchase of an Unusual Feature or other magical Disadvantage
        Through dueling, misadventure, hunters, or fear, most magi never exceed Magery 1. Likewise, many priests give up the challenging pursuit of magic in favour of politics.

   Talent Levels 4+
        The cost of levels of Magery and Power Investiture increases to 20 points and requires the purchase of an Unusual Feature or other magical Disadvantage
        This increase in cost is broken down in two ways:
         - Thau pg 20, Magery: 10pt/lvl + Unusual Background (Archmage): 10pt/lvl
         - In canon, the gods strengthen reality, making it less susceptible to magicians. Some see it as a just measure, to restrain mortals until they grow in wisdom. Others, the god of Christians and Muslims, for instance, oppose magic and strive to see magicians exterminated.
        In this rank are grand wizards who have sacrificed their humanity for power and wisdom.

   The Core Skills
      - Honestly, this is partly a note for me to keep the skills sorted
      - Ritual Magic IQ/VH B218: invocation, spirit-based
      - Thaumatology IQ/VH B225: fantasy magic, mana-based

   The Cost of Magic
      - The vast majority of magicians have only 1 level of a magical talent. Going beyond that means confronting the opposing force of gods who denounce magic and millions of people who belief magic is a myth.
      - Every level of the magical advantages (Magery, Power Investiture) above 0 requires taking a magical disadvantage. The player does receive points for these disadvantage. Partly, to ease the injury of a mandatory disadvantage. But also, to make the pursuit of power cheaper and more tempting but at a cost to their humanity.
      - If the disadvantage is ever lost or removed, the associated level of magical advantage may fade as well unless a new disadvantage is chosen to replace it.
      - The development of these disciplines can take the form of an ordeal. Taking on a magical disadvantage is giving it 110% like Odin plucking his eye out. Raising Magery to 2 is a "Big Cojones" moment for a mage and many chicken out.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:55, Sat 28 Nov 2020.

GM
 GM, 35 posts
 The Narrator
Sun 2 Aug 2020
at 06:21
Reference: Models of Magic
Ritual Magic
    Everything is connected

     The system of magic which has taken hold in European culture is Ritual Path Magic. Through the study of mana, the magician learns to slowly gather it and shape it to their desired ends.

Arcane Magic
   Faith in one's self
     Game Terms: Ritual Path Magic, see supplement Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic
     Magical Talent: Not required but without Magery 0 (Ritual Path), all rituals are cast at -5
     Advantages: Ritual Adept (RPM6) [40]
     Core Skill: Thaumatology IQ/VH (B225)
     Summary: Anyone can cast Ritual Path Magic
                     Paths are IQ/VH skills that default to Thaumatology - 6
                     Ritual Magery does not add its level to learning path skills. However, it does add three benefits
                     1. Path skills are double-capped and cannot exceed either (12 + Ritual Magery) or Thaumatology
                     2. Ritual Magery provides a mana reserve equal to 3 x its level
                     3. A magician can have (Thaumatology skill + Ritual Magery level) active conditional spells at any time

   A Taste of the Arcane
     Experienced through the Sight, arcane magic produces very rich mirages. As intellectual constructs, its effects appear as complex diagrams of alien words and sigils encased within geometric shapes, along with a sensation of dryness or hidden intelligence. A mage who hears magic might experience orchestral music, with each instrument representing a symbolic connection to thing or essence, combining in complexity to play out the drama of power.

   Arcane Disadvantages
     Disadvantages taken to increase Magery must follow a magical theme. One cannot channel magic without being changed by it.
     Arcane magic tends to cause physical and psychological disadvantages. Examples include Odin's missing eye, Raistlin's nosebleeds, and Stephen Strange's mangled hands.
     Supernatural Features or Unnatural Features are less common - meaningful scars and birthmarks, strange eye colours, etc.

Divine Magic
   Faith in a higher power
     Game Terms: Ritual Path Magic, see supplement Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic
     Magical Talent: Not required but without Power Investiture, all rituals are cast at -5
     Advantages: Ritual Adept (RPM6) [40]
     Core Skill: Ritual Magic IQ/VH (B218)
     Summary: Anyone can cast Ritual Path Magic
                     Paths are IQ/VH skills that default to Ritual Magic - 6
                     Power Investiture does not add its level to learning spells. However, it does add three benefits
                     1. Path skills are double-capped and cannot exceed either (12 + Power Investiture) or Ritual Magic
                     2. Power Investiture provides a mana reserve equal to 3 x its level
                     3. A magician can have (Ritual Magic skill + Power Investiture level) active conditional spells at any time

   A Taste of the Divine
     Theurgy is, by far, the most obvious art. The theurgist makes a request of her patron and backs it up with a powerful burst of emotion, whether that be hatred of an enemy or compassion for a patient. The response, coming as it does from a powerful spirit, is big and undeniable. Theurgic effects are bold. To even the uninitiated, divine spells produce a powerful presence, the essence of which is a sense of the sacred or profane with an undertone of the deity's purview.

     Impressive as they are, these displays of power pale in comparison to how they manifest to those with the Sight. Along with the obvious displays, theurgic spells echo with the emotional state of the priest as well as an overwhelming sense of the presence of an impossibly powerful being. The overall effect is quite like standing near ground zero of an explosion of supernatural power.

   Divine Disadvantages
     Disadvantages taken to increase Power Investiture must follow a theme of a holy person growing closer to their deity, beyond that of their peers. This is the path of the saint.
     Disciplines of Faith, Fanaticism, Vow (taboo) are good examples

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:50, Thu 26 Nov 2020.

GM
 GM, 36 posts
 The Narrator
Sun 2 Aug 2020
at 08:21
Reference: Models of Magic
Conjuration

   Many magi cast few or no spells at all, preferring to employ spirits to achieve their ends. Likewise, many dedicated casters study conjuration, some only to summon a familiar.

   Core Rules
     Required Advantages: Magery (any) or Power Investiture (any)
      - Pact (B113) is a common limitation

   Boons
     Fantasy 130
      - Modular Ability (any mental or physical ability +100%), 12pt base + 8pt/point of abilities
      - each slot is a minor spirit that provides a boon (advantage), spell, or knowledge (skill)

   Familiars
     - Allies (Summonable +100%; B78)
     - Special Abilities +50% and Sympathy -25% are common modifiers

   Patron
     - Patron [demon, angel, god, or other supernatural being] (Special Abilities +100%; B72)

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:17, Sat 28 Nov 2020.

GM
 GM, 37 posts
 The Narrator
Sun 2 Aug 2020
at 08:48
Reference: Models of Magic
Sorcery
   For most, magic is a complex topic of study that after much practice can provide fantastic effects. For a rare few, magic is effortless and intuitive.

   Incarnata enjoy sorcery. With Cosmic Power 2 and Cosmic Magery 0, immortals can cast virtually any spell that they have memorized and requires no prerequisites. For example, Keen Vision has no prerequisites but is the prerequisite for Night Vision. An immortal could place 1 point in each for IQ-2.
   So, elves don't have keen sight and night vision because their host bodies (humans) don't have night vision. They do have keen sight and night vision because they are simple common spells they can recall and cast in moments.

   Note: Stroke of genius (or just a stroke). Instead of learning how to craft and perform rituals as wizards and priests do, sorcerers learn how to create very specific magical effects (individual college spells). They can't "do anything" but find that their magic unfolds naturally (meeting the prerequisites for higher spells)

     Game Terms: The magic system from the core rulebook and GURPS Magic
     Magical Talent: Magery 0 (Innate) is required
     Optional Skill: Thaumatology IQ/VH (B225)
     Summary: Learn individual spells as skills according to Chapter 5 of core rulebook
                     Innate Magery adds its level to Thaumatology and spells
                     Innate Magery reduces time to learn a new spell by 10% / level

   A Taste of the Eldritch
   Sorcery sits snugly in between the boldness of divine magic and the subtlety of the arcane. Since they are the result of direct reality manipulation, eldritch effects are noticeable by non-magi. However, they're backed not by gods or demons but by beings on the mortal scale so these effects are weak, dreamlike, as much hallucination as actual phenomenon.

   To those with the Sight, eldritch effects are less complex or artificial than arcane effects. Since these are more innate than the structured, learned nature of arcane magic, eldritch effects may seem more artistic or irrational.

Eldritch Disadvantages
   - Supernatural Features (B157) and Unnatural Features (B22) are common disadvantages for sorcerers as evidence of their powers manifests as draconic features, perpetual elemental effects, and other oddities. See also Visible Magical Gifts (Thaumatology 25)

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:16, Thu 26 Nov 2020.

GM
 GM, 38 posts
 The Narrator
Sun 2 Aug 2020
at 20:55
Reference: Models of Magic
Linguistic Magic
   Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha
   Magical alphabets, divine languages, words of power

The Lesser Form
     Game Terms: Using the Symbol Magic system as described in Magic 205 and Thaumatology 168. Symbol Magic is a system of magic for non-magicians, using the power inherent in magical or divine languages to cause magical effects.
     Magical Talent: None required!
     Required Skills: Symbol Drawing IQ/H (B224), Symbol Drawing requires a specialization, which is an esoteric language (see below).
     Summary: Magical Languages are inherently powerful - No Magery or other magical advantage required
                     Symbol skills from a coherent system such as a language or astrological system are purchased as IQ/H or IQ/VH
                     Create the symbols for a chosen effect by writing, finger-tracing, or tokens
                     Roll against the lower of Symbol Drawing and the skills of the symbols involved to successfully draw
                     Roll again and spend fatigue to activate
                     Though not required to use Symbol Magic, Syntactic Magery adds its level to activate symbols

The Greater Form
     Game Terms: Using the Syntactic Noun-Verb system as described from page 179 of Thaumatology. This system combines the power of a magical language with the power of a magician.
     Canon: Magicians who study magical languages go beyond the basic symbol set to connect to the cosmic principles they represent.
     Magical Talent: Syntactic Magery
     Core Skill: Thaumatology  IQ/VH ; no word skill can exceed this core skill
     Summary: Verb and Nouns skills associated with a known esoteric language are purchased as IQ/VH skills
                     Add Syntactic Magery to Thaumatology and word skills


Esoteric Languages

   There are three categories of esoteric language. Astral languages are used to communicate with divine spirits, such as angels, demons and devils. The Ethereal languages are the forms of communication with elemental and natural spirits. Finally, Ethnic languages are those which have been discovered or given to people.

   Gods and other greater spirits can be addressed in any of the languages. However, just as mortals can have multifaceted personalities, great spirits can be even more so. For example, a theurgist may pray to the Lady of the Dawn for wisdom regarding a forthcoming debate; which language he uses will determine which of her aspects responds. If he uses Q'zhaeraq, he may receive a vision of his rival's darker secrets while using Enochian may convince his goddess to offer him wisdom of how best to find a harmonious compromise.

Game Rules
   Instead of standard language rules, such as 3 for spoken, 3 for written in GURPS, perhaps magical languages require the actual word skills. Each word skill includes spoken and written forms unless one doesn't exist, such as Ogham which has no spoken form.
   The standard verb/noun system has 24 skills (Th185), 10 verbs and 14 nouns. To function as a native in a magical language requires at least 1 point in every word. So, 24 pts to speak and write like a native instead of 6 for a mundane language.
   Equivalent in cost to Language (Native; Cosmic +300%) [24]


Astral
   The languages of Heaven and Hell are spoken by beings who come from the very heart of what it is to be mortal. The words from these languages are very powerful both in spoken and written form.

   Enochian · 24 points
   The Hallowed Tongue of Heaven is the tongue of the angels, the servants of the gods; it’s a language rarely seen or heard by mortals. Though the written form of Enochian is even more rare than the spoken, items with its words written upon them are made holy.
     Required Traits: Charitable [-15]
     Taboo Traits: Blessed [non-celestial], Callous [-5], Sadism [-15]
     Feature: Magicians gain a +1 to their margin of success when the intent is to heal or create

   Q’zhaeraq · 24 points
   The Tongue of Serpents is rumoured to be older than the gods themselves. It is the language of the devils, connivers of the Abyss, and to hear it is to risk corruption. Speaking it ensures damnation. Fortunately, use of the language requires at least a little bit of poison in the heart. The innocent cannot learn or speak its words.
     Required Traits: Callous [-5]
     Taboo Traits: Charitable [-15], Selfless [-5], Truthfulness [-5]
     Feature: Magicians gain a +1 to their margin of success when the intent is to transform or manipulate (too vague?)

   Xyzoruj · 24 points
   This is the tongue of murderers and blasphemers, spoken by demons and the damned souls of the Abyss. It is believed that only a mortal with a black heart could even conceive of attempting to speak it. Like Q’zhaeraq, Xyzoruji words cannot be formed on the tongues of innocent speakers. For those who can speak it, it’s a powerful ally.
     Required Traits: Bloodlust [-10]
     Taboo Traits: Blessed [celestial], Charitable [-15], Pacifism (any)
     Feature: Magicians gain a +1 to their margin of success when the intent is to cause destruction or chaos


Ethereal
   Khaa’rahkaung · 24 points
   Khaa’rahkaung is another tongue from the planes beyond. This language is used in the Courts of Fire of the Elemental Kings. Taught only by the Azer, a race native to that realm, it has both a written and spoken form. When spoken, it sounds much like the hissing and cracking of a white-hot fire and its words produce the side effect of wisps of flame exiting the mouth. These flames are natural and may harm the speaker if he is not immune to fire. The written form cannot be used on a flammable surface for its words will ignite.
     Feature: Magicians gain a +1 to their margin of success when the Fire noun is used

   Aauaska · 24 points
   The Courts of Air speak the language of breezes and gales. This language is called Aauaska and it’s spoken by elementals and djinn. It consists of long inhalations and exhalations, broken by rumblings reminiscent of thunder. When spoken, the words invoke a light breeze to wrap around the speaker causing her hair and clothes to flutter as if caught in a wind. Items carrying Aauaskan text float gently above any surface they’re laid upon.
     Feature: Magicians gain a +1 to their margin of success when the Air noun is used

   Ska’shaaul · 24 points
   The secret tongue of Water is named Ska’shaaul. Like the other elemental languages, it consists of sounds, intentions and shifts in the speaker’s aura. It also produces odd side effects when used. The spoken word fills the surrounding area with mist while written letters are always wet though they, surprisingly, never harm the object they’re written on.
     Feature: Magicians gain a +1 to their margin of success when the Water noun is used

   Mrog · 24 points
   The true language of Earth is Mrog. To mortals, it sounds like rocks grinding together with long periods of silence. When spoken, slight tremors radiate from the speaker. Adept speakers can influence the tremors to add an undertone to his communication. Letters in Mrog carry the weight of stone and items carrying them can be almost double their own weight.
     Feature: Magicians gain a +1 to their margin of success when the Earth noun is used


Ethnic
   Futhark · 25 points · Th170 / Ma209
   Revealed to Odin as he hung from the World Tree and gifted to mankind.

   Ogham · 20 points · Th170 / Ma209
   Developed by the druids of the British Isles in the 3rd century

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:44, Tue 08 Dec 2020.

GM
 GM, 39 posts
 The Narrator
Sun 2 Aug 2020
at 21:17
Reference: Models of Magic
Mysticism


Psionics
   blerb
     Game Terms:
     Magical Talent:
     Required Advantages:
     Optional Advantages:
     Core Skill:
     Cinematic Skills:
     Summary:

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:07, Thu 26 Nov 2020.

GM
 GM, 40 posts
 The Narrator
Mon 3 Aug 2020
at 20:23
Reference: Models of Magic
Outliers


Bardic Magic
   Faith in music
     Game Terms: not sure if bards should use ritual magic or sorcery
     Magical Talent: Song Magery (Song -40%; can only cast spells through song), which cannot exceed IQ-10
     Required Advantages: Talent 1 [musical ability] (B91)
     Optional Advantages: Channeling (use Singing instead of Will +20%) (B41/F156)
     Core Skill: Singing HT/E (B220), Thaumatology IQ/VH (B225)
     Cinematic Skills: Enthrallment Wil/H (B191), Musical Influence IQ/VH (B210)
     Summary: Double cap - no spell can exceed either Singing or Thaumatology
                     Song Magery adds its level to musical skills, Thaumatology, and spells

Druidic Magic
   Faith in nature
     Game Terms: Ritual Path Magic, see supplement Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic
     Magical Talent: Natural Magery, which cannot exceed IQ-10
     Advantages: Morph (B84) [100], Ritual Adept (RPM6) [40]
     Core Skill: Naturalist IQ/H (B211), Ritual Magic IQ/VH (B218)
     Summary: Anyone can cast Ritual Path Magic
                     Paths are IQ/VH skills that default to Ritual Magic - 6
                     Natural Magery does not add its level to learning path skills. However, it does add three benefits
                     1. Path skills are double-capped and cannot exceed either (12 + Natural Magery) or Ritual Magic
                     2. Natural Magery provides a mana reserve equal to 3 x its level
                     3. A magician can have (Ritual Magic skill + Natural Magery level) active conditional spells at any time

War Magic
   Faith in arms
     Game Terms: see Power-Ups 1: Imbuements
     Magical Talent: Magery or Power Investiture (see below)
     Required Advantages: Imbue - choose Power Source (see below)
     Summary: Imbue skills gain a bonus from magical talents of the same power source.
     
Imbue Descriptor   Power Modifier (P26)          Associated Talent         
ChiChi -10%Chi Talent (DFA30) or Forceful Chi (MA47)     
CosmicCosmic +50%Cosmic Magery     
DivineDivine -10%Power Investiture (any)     
MagicMagical -10%Magery (any)     
PsionicPsionic -10%not sure yet

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:24, Fri 27 Nov 2020.

GM
 GM, 46 posts
 The Narrator
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 02:45
Reference: Models of Magic
High Magick

   Not sold on the name but Awakened Magick would have White Wolf &/or its fans harassing me.

GURPS Rules
   Faith in the cosmos
     Game Terms: Realm-based Syntactic Magic as described in Thaumatology p188
     Magical Talent: any Magery or Power Investiture with the enhancement Access to realm magic, +50%
     Required Advantages: At least one Realm Lore 1 [20]
     Core Skill: At least one Realm skill  IQ/VH  IQ-3 [1]
     Summary: Reality is described as 6 grand elements
                     Mastery of each grand element is broken down into an advantage and a skill. Both must have one of the elements as a specialization
                       1. Realm Lore - an advantage with 6 levels, 20 points/level, which represents how much control the mage has over the element
                       2. Realm Skill - an IQ/VH skill, which represents how much fine control the mage has
                     Use Realm Lores to define an effect. As example on p191, Yova turning his gull into a boat would requires Life Lore 4 (to transform the gull) and Creation Lore 3 (to shape him into a functional boat)
                     Roll the lowest of the Realm skills involved to achieve the effect and determine energy costs
                     The Realm Talent (whether Magery or Power Investiture) adds its level to Thaumatology and Realm skills but it caps Realm Lores. No Realm Lore can exceed 10 + the Realm Talent

The Grand Elements
   I went with 6 elements, largely to match all of the different kinds of elves and gnomes, not to mimic the Infinity Gauntlet but the idea is similar. Mage has 9 spheres. It's all relative.
   One important note is that while Mage separates subtle forces (Mind, Prime, and Spirit) into their own spheres, I left them as subtler aspects of existing elements. Life isn't just technically living things but beings as a whole. Creation includes ideas, belief systems, and other mental constructs.

   Creation - inert things, created things and the creation of things, matter, ideas, the world

   Darkness - darkness (lack of energy), death (lack of life), entropy, destruction

   Life - all life, including spirits. As a sphere, it's Life with a bit of Mind and Spirit

   Light - forces, energy, emotion, activity

   Space - self-explanatory but includes other worlds, alternate dimensions (taking world-crossing from the Spirit sphere)

   Time - self-explanatory

   6 elements, 5 ranks for each element. Since Realm-based is inspired by Mage, I'll just steal the basics from M20, as follows:

   • Rank 1: Perception – the ability to perceive and observe the forces in question. With such basic (yet useful) understanding, a character can sense things that few mortals ever recognize.

   •• Rank 2: Manipulation – the ability to do small things with those forces. At this point, the mage begins to exert minor control over the phenomena she sees, and may use it to work small changes upon herself.

   ••• Rank 3: Control – the ability to alter reality in noticeable ways, though these are usually restricted to the mage’s self. In most cases, the Sphere begins inflicting damage at this level, and allows the character to work small alterations on other characters.

   •••• Rank 4: Command – the ability to perform major acts of alteration through the principles of that Sphere. Generally, this level allows the mage to make significant changes to the Patterns of other characters.

   ••••• Rank 5: Mastery – the ability to command vast forces in connection with that element of reality. By now, the mage knows almost everything there is to know about the principles of that Sphere and can perform godlike deeds with them.

   (Higher degrees of Sphere mastery might exist, but those are rare and optional so we’re not exploring them in this book.)

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:03, Wed 02 Dec 2020.

GM
 GM, 87 posts
 The Narrator
Tue 17 Nov 2020
at 08:35
Reference: Models of Magic
GM Note

 (6 levels/realm [as per Thaumatology pg189]; cost varies)

  Level 1: Detection and Measurement.
   The magician can determine the presence or absence of anything the Realm encompasses, with considerable precision, and can analyze it. For example, level 1 ability with the Realm of Stone – usually recorded as “Stone/1” – would let the magician detect gold, and identify types of gemstones or rocks. Many Realms can effectively be manipulated, a little, by anyone who’s sensitive to them. For instance, Luck/1 might enable the magician to tell what actions would be lucky or unlucky – and by choosing the former and avoiding the latter, he’ll usually enjoy good luck. In fact, the magician can probably “nudge” the Realm in various ways.

  Level 2: Control and Diversion.
   The magician has limited control over anything that falls within the Realm. This includes the ability to encourage its natural growth and to calm it, but not to create it or suppress it much below its natural level. Weather/2 might allow a ship’s wizard to save the vessel from being blown onto rocks by turning the winds around a few points, and maybe stopping them from growing much worse, but the ship would still have to run before the wind until it blows itself out. Objects can only be reshaped within their natural limits, although perhaps a little faster than usual; wood warps naturally, so Plants/2 could make a door twist loose from its frame in a few minutes.
   Likewise, ghosts are always bound by rules and restrictions, so it’s not hard for a wizard with Necromancy/2 to create a barrier that prevents them from entering a room. If a force or a power permeates the entire universe, then level 2 in the associated Realm permits its exploitation in straightforward ways. The magician’s person and identity may be easier to manipulate than something external; Health/2 might, with GM permission, let the user heal his own minor wounds, but not regenerate lost limbs or help others.

Level 3: Command and Simple Creation.
   With substantial control over the Realm on a local level, the magician can call up things that might exist, make them go away, repair them, or change their appearance or capabilities. This also permits the creation of simple manifestations of the Realm.
   The GM decides what’s “simple,” but while a lightning bolt or a rock should qualify, and a tree or an insect might, a living person certainly won’t. Humanity/3 might, however, grant the ability to heal (or inflict) wounds, influence someone else’s emotions and thoughts, and cause the nearest human beings to approach. Likewise, Motion/3 could grant the power of flight, or Magic/3 could enable the user to dispel most other magics by suppressing their magical nature.

Level 4: Authority.
   Anything that lies within the Realm is open to command, and the magician can create all but the most complex manifestations of this aspect of reality. He can also negate use of lesser levels of the same Realm by commanding that working’s subject not to be affected. Decay/4 might let him not only cause the destruction of anything that’s subject to decline (living or not), but also make something that has already decayed work “as new” by suppressing all consequences of the decay. Biology/4 might enable him to change the sex of living things, make them physically older or younger, or grant them special abilities borrowed from other, similar species.

Level 5: Complete Power.
   At this level, the magician’s control of the Realm appears more-or-less complete. He can turn it off or on, perform the most radical transformations (although he may need access to another Realm for this; e.g., turning a tree into a horse might require not only Plant/5 but also Animal/4), or create the most complex forms from nothing (albeit still subject to any fundamental rules of magic concerning permanent creations).
   He can also remove or change individual features of the target, often in complex ways. For example, Image/5 might permit him to make someone appear to be a man to one observer, a horse to another, and invisible to a third – simultaneously.

Level 6: Transcend Limitations
   This is a legendary level of power over the Realm, achieved by few mortals. It could be nothing more than a wild rumor, or achieving it may be the lifetime ambition of every wizard. The GM is free to require large Unusual Backgrounds for PCs who wish to attain it.
   Essentially, an expert can adjust the nature of the Realm itself, at least locally. Energy/6 might permit a magician to turn electricity into a purple liquid, while Love/6 might make indifference into the highest expression of love. Primarily, though, level 6 in a Realm is the point at which anything is possible – temporarily, and if the GM approves. The potential dangers of such power are as great as the benefits.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:35, Fri 27 Nov 2020.