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Author Topic: A New Sorcery System (Long, Multiple)  (Read 4731 times)

Posts: 172

« on: June 25, 2004, 08:59:31 AM »


This is a revised version of the sorcery system originally written by Rick McCann, designed to do the following things:

1)  Create a more traditional system of terminology and description, getting away from the “quasi-scientific” feel of the original system;
2)  Expand the scope of sorcery’s abilities to include more traditional RPG magics (e.g. fireballs and resurrection), give sorcerers a few more direct-combat options, and make low-power “casual” sorcery more viable;
3)  Resolve some of the issues debated about in the original system, such as whether Glamour magic should produce actual physical light, or how much damage one can do with a Movement 3 spell.

This system significantly expands the scope and power of sorcery beyond its already considerable range.  As a result, the SA costs for improving sorcery have been increased, and it is recommended that this system not be used if you are already having trouble controlling sorcerer PCs in your game.  It also changes the “feel” of TROS magic considerably, and people who like the original atmosphere better should definitely stick to it.

To keep the posts to controllable lengths without crashing the Forum, and for ease of reading, the posts are broken up into separate sections.


Sorcerous Attributes

Four attributes are possessed by all sorcerers:

Power (POW):  The raw force a sorcerer can channel.  Power determines the exact numerical effect of your castings and your magic, ranging from the amount of SP dice recovered by refreshment castings to the damage done by combat castings.  Formula:  POW = WP + (HT/2).

Sight (SGT):  The sorcerer’s intuitive magic sense, his ability to perceive magical force, spells, and magical beings.  A sorcerer can roll SGT/Ritual Magic or SGT/Arcane Theory to analyze an active casting or empowered item; he can also roll SGT/8 to detect active magic, or use SGT in a Resistance Roll against Glamour-based magic.  (These are not active castings in themselves, and require no SP dice to cast or resist Strain.)  Formula:  SGT = (Per+MA)/2.

Art (ART):  The sorcerer’s conscious ability to control and direct magic through formal procedures.  A sorcerer must roll ART/Arcane Theory to Formalize Cantrips and Spells, or ART/Symbol Drawing to correctly draw the runes and glyphs for Rituals.  Formula:  ART = MA + (AG/2).

Capacity (CAP):  The sorcerer’s ability to withstand magical strain without prematurely aging his body.  Capacity acts as a “buffer” of  points (see below) that a sorcerer can take from failed Strain rolls before suffering the effects of aging and knockout.  Formula:  CAP = HT + (WP/2).

DESIGN NOTE:  The Attributes were rewritten to make their function more intuitively obvious from their name, to give them more things to do independent of their role as “building blocks” for the Sorcery Pool, and to make the Sorcerous Attributes less dependent on the Temporal Stats.

In addition, especially advanced, powerful, or corrupted sorcerers may possess one or two unique attributes that allow sorcerers to become truly terrifying:

Apotheosis (APT):  The degree to which a sorcerer has mastered magic beyond Strain, becoming almost godlike in his power.  Every level of Apotheosis gives a sorcerer one automatic success on all Strain rolls.  APT starts at 0 for Gifted humans, Siehe or halflings, and at 3 for Fey, and costs 25 SA points per level to improve.

Monstrosity (MNS):  The degree to which a sorcerer has been warped and mutated by his overuse of magic.  Like Apotheosis, every level of Monstrosity gives a sorcerer one automatic success on his Strain rolls, but each level also imposes a crippling Flaw upon the sorcerer.  MNS starts at 0 for Gifted humans; halflings, Fey and Siehe cannot buy Monstrosity.  Each level of Monstrosity costs 15 SA points, and inflicts a flaw or handicap selected randomly by d10 roll as follows:

1 – Withering:  The sorcerer loses a point each from ST, EN and TO.
2 – Twisting:  The sorcerer acquires the Ugly Flaw at Major level.
3 – Fury:  The sorcerer acquires the Rage Flaw.
4 – The Hunger:  The sorcerer acquires an Addiction to an exotic drug (requiring the expenditure of 5 gold pieces weekly to acquire) or unsanitary practice (e.g. blood-drinking or cannibalism), and is at -1d to all action pools or Tests for every week he goes without indulging (up to a maximum of -6d).
5 – Obese:  The sorcerer acquires the Obese Flaw at Major level.
6 – Torment:  The sorcerer acquires the Tormented Flaw at Minor level; if rolled again, this increases to Major.
7 – Unsleeping:  The sorcerer acquires the Light Sleeper Flaw.  
8 – Flint-Hearted:  The sorcerer becomes utterly self-obsessed and callous.  He can no longer possess the SAs of Conscience or Faith, and can only possess Passion SAs dedicated to hatred.
9 – Power-Lust:  The sorcerer becomes maddened for more power.  He can no longer possess any Drive SA except those related to increasing his own power (either sorcerous or political) or destroying competitors.
0 – Mutation:  The sorcerer undergoes a physical change into something Other Than Human: his eyes may turn blood-red and featureless, his skin may develop scales or turn jet black, his fingers may become crustaceanlike talons, etc.  These mutations are devised by the Seneschal; they may have minor in-game effects, but are always more problem than hindrance (taloned fingers might add +1 DR to barehanded swinging attacks, but will increase the CTN of Gesture-using castings by 1); in addition, they usually make it impossible for the sorcerer to pass among normal society without disguising himself.

Withering and Mutation can strike a sorcerer again and again; most other effects happen only once, and the sorcerer should roll again if he rolls something that has already happened to him.

A human sorcerer can buy both APT and MNS, and the two scores are summed to determine how many automatic Strain successes he receives, but once a sorcerer buys even one level of MNS, he can no longer buy any levels of APT beyond what he has already bought.  Once you start down the dark path of sorcerous corruption, forever will it dominate your destiny….

DESIGN NOTE:  These Attributes were added to open up a development pathway for sorcerers that lets them become truly gods on earth, and to give even master sorcerer PCs foes to fear.  Seneschals are under no obligation to include these Attributes as options for their PCs!

Sorcerous Gifts and Flaws

These Gifts and Flaws can be taken only by sorcerers.  Some Seneschals may state that once a Sorcerous Flaw is taken it can never be “bought off”; others may allow it at twice normal SA cost.  The Seneschal should choose for each campaign.

Amulet (Minor/Major Gift):  You possess an item that provides an additional reservoir of magical power, in the form of bonus SP dice, for key castings.  Minor Amulets add 1 SP to your Sorcery Pool; major Amulets add 2 SP.  Up to three Amulets may be used on a single casting (though there’s no guarantee of ever finding that many!).

DESIGN NOTE:  This is the Talisman Gift renamed, to avoid confusion, as the term “Talisman” is used for something quite different in these rules.

Artifact (Major Gift):  You possess that rarest of things, a truly enchanted item – an object with a specific casting permanently Infused within.  The nature of this artifact can be whatever you determine or the Seneschal is willing to permit, but the rarity of “magic items” at all in TROS means that the more powerful the artifact, the more attention – unwelcome and otherwise – you will attract for possessing it….  (This Gift need only be bought if you want to start with an Artifact, and can be bought by non-sorcerers if their story explains it.)

Blood of the Ancients (Minor/Major Gift):  Your Gift is stronger than normal, perhaps betraying descent from one of the Nine themselves….  Increase your POW Attribute (and thus your Sorcery Pool) by 1 for the minor version of this Gift, 3 for the major version.

Born to Mastery (Minor/Major Gift):  You have an intuitive talent for the complexities of advanced magic and ritual.  The minor version of this Gift raises your ART Attribute by 1, the major version by 3, adding to your SP for Spells and Rituals and aiding Formalization.

Familiar (Minor Gift):  You begin play with a familiar, a spirit bound to you who takes the shape of a small animal (ferret, frog, cat, owl, bat, etc.).  The familiar gives you 1 automatic success on all Strain rolls, and by entering a trance you may “ride” your familiar, sharing its thoughts and feelings, seeing through its eyes and directing its movements.  However, you experience the Shock and Pain of any wounds dealt to your familiar!

Haunted (Minor/Major Flaw):  You have attracted the attention of an entity of the Otherworld, a ghost, spirit or spectre which only you can see.  This entity constantly torments and interferes with you by distracting you at key moments, keeping you awake at night, and generally making your life miserable.  In the minor version of this Flaw, your tormentor is more mischievous than hostile, and only troubles you intermittently; in the major version, the Haunt truly despises you and wants to see you destroyed or dead.  The Seneschal will improvise the actions of your Haunter and their effects; the Haunter will generally take care not to reveal itself to anyone but you, and the more frustrated and angry you get at your “invisible enemy”, the madder some may think you….

Inept (Minor/Major Flaw):  Through your power may be mighty, your ability to master it is not; for whatever reason, you simply cannot consciously control or understand complex magics very well.  Your ART Attribute is reduced by 1 for the minor version of this Flaw, and by 3 for the major version, reducing the Sorcery Pool for Spells and Rituals and making Formalization much more difficult.

Procedural Dependence (Minor/Major Flaw):  Whether from psychological insecurity or gap in your training, you are less flexible in your Procedures than other sorcerers.  For the minor version of this Flaw, all your Cantrips and Spells must include the same preset element – you choose from Incantations, Gestures, or your Talisman – and inability to use that element prevents you from casting; all Formalized castings must include that element for you to use them.  For the major version, you are so restricted that you must use Procedure 0 (Slowcast) for all Cantrips and Spells that are not Formalized.

Sensitive (Major Gift):  Your Sight is more acute and piercing even than most sorcerers’.  Not only is your SGT Attribute increased by 2 dice (which also increases your Sorcery Pool), but you can roll SGT/8 to read living beings’ auras, the field of psychic energy that surrounds them.  Each success can reveal one vital fact about the target’s emotional state to you.  A success can also reveal the presence of any Infused castings (1 success per casting), or the level of the target’s Sorcery Pool if it has one.  Clever use can help you determine if the target is lying, by spotting discrepancies between emotional response and verbal statements.

Spirit Ally (Minor/Major Gift):  Like Haunted, but your invisible companion is benevolent rather than malicious.  It may or may not communicate overtly with you, or explain why it has chosen to help you, but the spirit entity will nonetheless provide assistance at key moments.  A minor Spirit Ally provides only intermittent and partial help; a major Ally can accomplish significant tasks at your behest, and will do so frequently.  The Seneschal will roleplay its interaction with you and its exact powers.

Strenuous Magic (Minor/Major Flaw):  Some sorcerers simply cannot channel the force of magic properly or safely.  For the minor version of this Flaw, all castings inflict at least 1 Strain point automatically, regardless of Strain roll successes; for the major version, all castings inflict at least one month’s aging automatically, regardless of Strain resistance successes (remember to roll Knockout!).  In addition, possession of either version of this Flaw means you cannot buy levels in either Apotheosis or Monstrosity until the Flaw is bought off.

Volatile Magic (Major Flaw):  Some styles or talents of sorcery are more dangerous than others.  Your particular arts are more unstable even than normal.  Whenever you fail or fumble any Casting Roll, the magic escapes your grasp in a destructive outburst!  You receive 1d10 – TO electrical Wounds (from the Generic Damage Table) applied randomly across your body, as for a fall.

Weak-Blooded (Minor/Major Flaw):  The potency of your Gift is diluted and weakened.  For the minor version, reduce your POW Attribute (and the Sorcery Pool) by 1; for the major version, reduce POW and the Sorcery Pool by 3.

Improving Sorcerous Ability

Because this revised system makes sorcery considerably more powerful, the SA costs for improvement are increased, as follows:

To buy Level 1 in a new School costs 5 SA points.
To increase an existing School from Level 1 to Level 2 costs 10 SA points.
To increase an existing School from Level 2 to Level 3 costs 15 SA points.
 Add 5 points to these costs if working without a teacher or extensive library.

Acquiring a new Sorcerous Gift or buying off a Sorcerous Flaw (with Seneschal permission for either) costs 15 SA points for a Minor Gift or Flaw, 25 SA points for a Major one.

Levels in Apotheosis cost 25 SA points each.
Levels in Monstrosity cost 15 SA points each.

Even Gollum may yet have something to do. -- Gandalf

Posts: 172

« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2004, 09:00:37 AM »



This is the generic term for all types of active magical workings.  Castings are divided into three types, which determine the base Sorcery Pool available for them, their base casting time, and the maximum number of Schools [Vagaries] that can be incorporated into them:

Cantrips:  A hasty impromptu magic of minimal elegance.
-- Base Sorcery Pool: POW + SGT
-- Base Casting Time:  (CTN) seconds
-- Maximum Schools:  1

Spells:  More complex and controlled castings, though slower.
-- Base Sorcery Pool: POW + SGT + ART
-- Base Casting Time:  (CTN x 10) seconds
-- Maximum Schools:  3

Rituals:  Extended, hugely complex and powerful workings.
-- Base Sorcery Pool: POW + SGT + ART + CAP
-- Base Casting Time:  (CTN) hours
-- Maximum Schools:  9

DESIGN NOTE:  As should be obvious, a Cantrip is what used to be called a Spell of One, a Spell is what was called a Spell of Three, and a Ritual is, well, a Ritual, or Spell of Many.  The names were changed simply to provide a little more classic magical “atmosphere”.


The Casting TN, or CTN, is set by the sum of five parameters, each ranging from 0 to 3:  Level, Range, Scope, Duration, and Procedure.  These parameters, called Definitions, set the effects and difficulty of the casting.

Level:  The highest School level (Apprentice, Journeyman, or Master) in the Casting, plus (for Spells and Rituals) 1 for every additional School after the highest.  In addition to the specific effects determined by School (see below), Level also determines the Force of the spell: the number used to determine damage, resistance difficulty, and other numerically measurable aspects.
1 – Force of casting equals 1/2 caster's POW (rounded down).
2 – Force equals caster's POW.
3 – Force equals caster's POW x 2.

Range:  The distance between caster and subject at which the casting will function.
0 – Self only.
1 – Touch.
2 – Line of sight.
3 – Beyond line of normal sight.  This requires a sympathetic link (an image or portion) of the subject to find, or incorporated Divination magic to scry.

Scope:  The area, volume, or number of subjects the casting affects.
0 – A small creature or volume of mass or space, less than 1 cubic yard.
1 – A single person, or volume/mass equivalent to a single human.
2 – 10 people, or equivalent volume/mass.
3 – 100 people, or equivalent volume/mass.

Duration:  The time for which the casting lasts.  Cantrips cannot have a Duration longer than 0, as the Conjuration School is required to fuel a self-enduring casting.
0 – Instantaneous or Sustained (the SP dice used in casting do not refresh until the casting is dropped).
1 – 1 hour per Casting Success.
2 – 1 day per Casting Success.
3 – 1 week per Casting Success, or Permanent (see below).

At Duration 3, Castings can be made permanent by spending SA points equal to the CTNx2 (for castings with CTN 13-15, the caster must spend 25 SA points, the maximum available at any one time).  This means that the spell will operate indefinitely and continuously until forcibly dispelled, either by the caster or another sorcerer (the caster cannot “drop” the casting at will once made permanent).  By including a Spellbreaker Condition, the SA cost for permanency can be halved; this sets up a specific action or situation which will end the spell (e.g. the kiss of a handsome prince, the presence of a specific object, person or type of person, the saying aloud of a keyword, etc.).

Procedure:  This Definition means something slightly different for each casting type; it defines the time and material elements required for casting.  For Cantrips and Spells, the material requirements are:

Incantations (I):  A word or words pronounced clearly enough to be easily audible in earshot.  Cannot be used by gagged or magically silenced spellcasters; casters can whisper at a +1 to CTN.
Gestures (G):  Movements of a hand or hands.  Cannot be used  by bound (or worse, amputee) spellcasters.
Talisman (T):  A physical object unique to the spellcaster -- ring, staff, wand, etc.  Must be worn or held by caster during casting; if it's taken from the caster or knocked out of his hand during casting, the magic is disrupted.

Incantations, gestures and a Talisman are required for all levels of Ritual.  In addition, the following material elements are typically used in Rituals:

Runes and Symbols (RS):  Glyphs, symbols and patterns must be drawn on the floor, walls, or subject (if present); a successful ART/Symbol Drawing roll is required.  (5 successes or more on this roll will lower CTN by 1.)
Meditation (MD):  The caster must meditate for (CTN/2) hours beforehand.  This is separate  from the actual casting time.
Place of Power (PP):  The caster must be in either his home lab or a place of sacred/mystic power.
Time of Power (TP):  The ritual must be cast at a propitious time: dawn, high noon, sunset or midnight, depending on the nature of the ritual (healing magics work best at dawn, angelic evocations at noon, necromancy or demonic conjurations at midnight, etc.).  If a specific holy or seasonal day is waited for, CTN is lowered by 1.
Ceremonial Followers (CF):  Different from sorcerous cooperation – these people simply help create the atmosphere of the ritual by chanting, holding candles, etc.  Harder to obtain than one might think, as it requires the assistance of non-sorcerers who know what's going on and don’t want to kill the sorcerers involved!  This is why so many sorcerers wind up as cultic priests of one type or another; religion is (sadly) a very good way to get people to do frightening things they don’t understand….

The various levels of Procedure change the casting time, and impose the following requirements, as follows for each type of Casting:

0 – Slowcast:  Casting Time takes 10x normal (CTN x 10 seconds).  Requirements:  I, G, T.
1 – Casting time normal.  Requirements:  I, G, T.
2 – Casting time normal.  Requirements:  Any two elements from I, G or T.
3 – Fastcast:  Casting is instant (1 second).  Any one element from I, G or T.

0 – Slowcast:  Casting Time takes (CTN) minutes.  Requirements:  I, G, T.
1 – Casting time normal. Requirements:  I, G, T.
2 – Casting time normal.  Requirements:  Any two elements from I, G or T.
3 – Fastcast:  Casting takes (CTN) secs.  Requirements: Any one element from I, G or T.

0 – Slowcast:  Casting Time takes (CTN) days.  Requirements:  Any three elements from RS, MD, PP, TP or CF.  A fourth element reduces CTN by 1; a fifth (the maximum) reduces CTN by 2.
1 -- Casting time normal.  Requirements:  Any three elements from RS, MD, PP, TP or CF.  A fourth element reduces CTN by 1; a fifth (the maximum) reduces CTN by 2.
2 -- Casting time normal.  Requirements:  Any two elements from RS, MD, PP, TP or CF.    A third element reduces CTN by 1, a fourth by 2, a fifth (the maximum) by 3.
3 – Fastcast:  Ritual is cast in  (CTN) minutes.   Any one element from RS, PP, TP or CF.  Additional elements cannot be used.

DESIGN NOTE:  The Procedure Definition replaces the Target variable in the original system, and goes into much more detail as to how the material elements work.  I did this in order to give sorcerers a few options in melee combat besides the one-shot last-ditch “Spells of None”, or embedded spells, which for all their speed are generally weaker than active spells, deprive a sorcerer of needed SPs, and (if self-embedded) double-hit him for aging – once at casting and once at usage.  Because Fastcast Cantrips – the only magic quick enough to work in combat – automatically have a Procedure of 3, CTN difficulties are still balanced with the original system.

Additional Casting Options

Formalization:  Only Cantrips and Spells can be Formalized.  Formalizing a Cantrip or Spell requires an Extended Test of ART/Arcane Theory, with each roll representing a week of research and testing.  Once the Extended Test has accumulated as many successes as the CTN of the casting (Procedure is always set at 2 for this purpose), a Skill Test of Per/Read+Write allows the sorcerer to transcribe the casting successfully.

A Formalized Casting requires two elements from Incantations, Gestures or Talisman to cast, and is cast at normal speed for its type – (CTN) seconds for Cantrips, (CTN x 10) seconds for Spells – but has an effective Procedure Definition of 0.  It requires the same two elements every time it is cast: a Cantrip that is Formalized to require Incantations and Talisman cannot be cast using Incantations and Gestures.  In addition, the Definitions of a Formalized casting are set and cannot be changed; if you Formalize a casting of Level 2, it cannot be “powered up” to Level 3 or “pulled back” to Level 1 – its effect is set and static.

Sacrifice:  This option is only useable for Rituals.  Through the destruction of a living being, you can add the lifeforce of that being to your Sorcery Pool for the Ritual.  Differing sacrifices provide differing amounts of SP, as follows:
- Burning freshly harvested plants adds 1 SP.
- Sacrificing a small animal (a cat, dog, chicken, etc.) adds 2 SP.
- Sacrificing a large animal (a bull, a horse, etc.) adds 3 SP – 4 SP if the animal is particularly fine or healthy.
- Sacrificing a human being adds 6 SP – 8 SP if that human being has a Gift of Beauty or is a virgin, 10 SP if the human has both.  This is, needless to say, the blackest of magic, and will incur horror and rage from almost anyone who discovers the practice….

Cooperative Magic:  This option is only useable for Rituals.  Additional sorcerers participating in a Ritual can contribute their SP dice to the overall Pool as follows: the first two sorcerers can add their ART dice, and every sorcerer after that adds 1 die.  The leader makes both Casting and Strain rolls, and suffers all effects from any incurred Strain; as sorcerers can withdraw from the Ritual at any time up to its completion, depriving the leader of the SP dice contributed, this is generally only used by sorcerers who trust each other implicitly (a hard thing to come by!).

Casting Rolls and  Strain Rolls

Divide your Sorcery Pool between Casting and Strain rolls.  (If SAs are applying, they can be added to both rolls, not just to SP.)  Each is vs. the same CTN.  Every die used on the Casting Roll is temporarily expended, and will return at a rate of 1 die per hour.  Dice allocated to the Strain Roll remain in the Pool and can be further used if necessary.

Strain, Capacity and Aging

A casting inflicts Strain points equal to its CTN.  This can be reduced either by levels in Apotheosis or Monstrosity (every level reduces Strain by 1) or by successes on the Strain Roll (every success reduces Strain by 1).  A sorcerer can accumulate Strain points equal to his CAP before the magic begins to eat away at his flesh and lifeforce, effectively aging him; every Strain point taken above CAP ages the sorcerer by a month, requiring him to roll Knockout vs. a TN equal to 5 plus the months aged.  Strain will disappear naturally at the rate of 1 point per day.  At the Seneschal’s option, every 2 points of Strain may inflict 1 level of Fatigue (see main rulebook) which cannot be recovered from until the Strain goes away.

(Note that neither APT nor MNS change the TN of the Strain roll itself; they merely reduce the number of successes required to avoid Strain and aging.)

By entering a meditative trance (WP/Meditation roll required), a sorcerer can accelerate his recovery rates both for the Sorcery Pool and for Strain.  Every success on the WP/Meditation roll allows the sorcerer to meditate for an hour, either recovering 2 SP dice or eliminating 1 point of Strain, per hour spent in trance.

DESIGN NOTE:  The concepts of Strain and Capacity were added to give sorcerers some margin of error before they begin to burn their vital lifeforce, thus making “casual” sorcery a little more viable.  To reduce the utility of the CAP Attribute, the “recovery rate” from Strain can be lengthened as necessary – 1 point per 2 days, week, or even month – so that the “margin of safety” becomes less frequently available.

Resistance Rolls

If a casting’s target can Resist, he may roll ST, EN or HT (for castings with a physical effect) or WP (for castings with a mental effect) against the casting’s CTN.  Every success on the Resistance Roll reduces the Casting Successes by 1; if he rolls as many or more successes than the caster, the casting is negated without effect.  Spells that take the form of projectiles or bolts may also be Evaded, as in combat; the target may use his Reflex Attribute or his CP to perform a Full Evade.

Even Gollum may yet have something to do. -- Gandalf

Posts: 172

« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2004, 09:01:24 AM »


Each School (the new name for Vagaries) has three effects, and three levels in each effect.  The Schools themselves have been rewritten and expanded to increase the scope of sorcery’s effects and options.

Temporal Schools

Transfiguration – The School of altering the shape or nature of things.  To significantly increase or reduce a target object’s mass, Conjuration is required.

Transmutation - Changing one type of matter into another.
1 - From one type to a similar type – lead/gold, water/wine, etc.
2 - From one type to a very different type -- earth/air, steel/glass, etc.
3 - Intermixing properties -- make stone liquid, air solid, armour intangible, etc.

Sculpture – The power to reshape matter's physical form.
1 - Crude and blocky, without fine detail.
2 - Can reshape in fine detail (Craft rolls may be required).
3 - Can reshape on cellular/molecular level (Divination or Genesis may be required)

Integration - Assembling, dividing or combining elements, weakening or strengthening
1 - Divide into two, fuse two into one, or minor structural increase/decrease.
2 - Divide into ten, fuse ten into one, or major structural increase/decrease.
3 - Disintegrate, assemble from fragments, or critical structural increase/decrease.

Evocation – The School of summoning and releasing raw energy.

Kinesis – The power of physical movement, inertia and telekinetic force.
1 - Slow straightline movement (1 m/s), halve speed, clumsy animation.
2 - Fast, complex movement (50 m/s), 1/10th speed, human-level animation.
3 - Bullet-fast, inertialess movement, total immobilization, superhuman grace.

Pyrosis – The power of heat and fire.
1 - Ignite or extinguish a flame on candles, torches, kindling or oil, or any readily flammable surface.
2 - Ignite or extinguish fire on wood, flesh or fabric.
3 - Melt stone or metal, cool lava or molten metal, or heat air to plasma.

Electris – The power of electricity, light and magnetism.
1 - Generate or exclude light within an area or from a point.  This light is bright enough to illuminate a radius of (1/2 POW + Casting Successes) yards; an equal area can be blacked out completely.
2 - Manipulate electrical charges, generating/earthing sparks or lightning bolts.
3 - Manipulate magnetic force, affecting metal, compasses, lodestones etc.

Genesis – The School of manipulating living organisms.

Alteration – The power of improving or weakening Temporal Attributes.
1 - Increase or reduce Temporal Attributes by (POW/2) points (total) – a sorcerer with a POW of 7 could take 3 points off the target’s ST, add 2 points to HT and one to TO, or any other combination.
2 - Increase or reduce Temporal Attributes by (POW) points total.
3 - Increase or reduce Temporal Attributes by (2xPOW) points total.

Fleshsculpting – The power of changing a living creature’s shape.  These effects will cause agonizing pain (equal to Force – target’s WP) to any creature with a nervous system unless Mentalism is included, and will inflict Bludgeoning damage with a DR of (Force + Casting Successes) unless Divination is included, so that the sorcerer can keep the target’s systems intact.  To significantly increase or reduce target mass, Conjuration is required.
1 - Make minor cosmetic changes or tissue shifting.
2 - Make major structural changes and tissue reallocation.
3 - Completely reshape body and mass.

Metabolism – The power of controlling a creature’s biosystems and life processes.
1 - Suspend metabolism to appear dead (and survive lack of oxygen).
2 - Alter metabolism to breathe water, cure disease, purify poison, etc.
3 - Suspend aging (except for sorcery), or enter a hibernative trance that reverses aging (this requires Conjuration 3 and Wyrd 3 (Entropics) as well).

Mental Schools

Divination – The School of acquiring knowledge and information through magic.

Scrying – Projecting one’s vision far away, or magnifying it.  If using a scrying glass (any reflective surface or tool), Range can be set at 1; it must otherwise be 2, or 3 for Level 3.
1 - Can see places/events within a mile, or magnify vision detail/range by 10x.
2 - Can see places/events within 100 miles, or magnify vision detail/range by 100x.
3 - Can see places/events anywhere in the world (with sympathetic link to subject), or see on cellular/molecular level.

Prophecy – Foretelling the future.  To tie the prophecy to a specific subject, Transfiguration (for places or objects) or Genesis (for people) must be used, otherwise the prophecy will be of a random event.
1 - The sorcerer can make minor prophecies for the next day.
2 - The sorcerer can make major prophecies for the next year.
3 - The sorcerer can make prophecies of great import ranging into the far future.

Psychometry – Reading the past of places or objects.
1 - The sorcerer can read the past of places/items within (1/2 POW) hours.
2 - The sorcerer can read the past of places/items within (POW) years.
3 - The sorcerer can read the past of places/items within (2x POW) centuries.

Mentalism – The School of reading and affecting living minds.  All Mentalism effects can be resisted with a WP roll.

Telepathy – Mental communication and perception.
1 - Read/project surface thoughts, perceptions or feelings, including sensory taps.
2 - Read/project complex information or memories.
3 - Read/project subconcious, forgotten or erased memories.

Domination – Controlling a target’s actions by mental force.
1 - Can give the subject a reasonable or harmless-seeming order.
2 - Can compel behaviour, but subject remembers and can resist.
3 - Can force the subject to do anything, without memory.  Subject can only resist if the command contradicts a current SA, but then gets WP plus any SAs to resist.

Memory – Erasing or rewriting a target’s memories.  This can be targeted to affect either the subject’s memories of his life (people, places, events), or the subject’s practical knowledge (Skills and Proficiencies), but not both at once in a single casting.
1 - Can rewrite or erase memories within the past day.
2 - Can rewrite or erase all memories of up to the past year.
3 - Can rewrite or erase all memories of one's life.

Glamour – The School of illusion and phantasmetry.  Glamour can be resisted with a WP roll, but only if the target is given reason to suspect illusion!  Sorcerers resist Glamour magic automatically with a SGT roll.

Animation – The mobility and mutability of the illusion.
1 - Static and unchanging.
2 - Free animation by concentrating, or programmed responses.
3 - Independent behaviour, convincing reaction and change.

Conviction – The sensory weight of the illusion, its ability to convince the target of its reality.    Glamours can cause physical pain (equal to Force + Casting Successes – target’s WP) but no actual wounds.  Only Master-level glamours can fool the sense of touch.
1 - One sense only: vision, sound, heat/cold, taste/smell, pain, etc. – but not physical tangibility.
2 - Multiple senses, all except tangibility.
3 - Complete tactile tangibility, delusional induction.

Resolution – The detail and realism of the illusion.
1 - Crude and simple shapes, on/off sensory control.
2 - Fine detail, but may not fool a close or expert examination.
3 - Exact mimicry or appearance of reality.  This requires the caster to have actually seen the illusory subject in person; if Mentalism is included and the target has seen the illusory subject, this is not necessary (the Mentalism taps the target’s memories to complete the illusion).

Spiritual Schools

Conjuration – The School of summoning forces or beings from outside space and time, and of manipulating the spatiotemporal fabric.  This School is required to refresh your Sorcery Pool or to create castings with a Duration of longer than 0; your Level in Conjuration must equal or exceed the Level of the casting’s highest School.

Continuum – The manipulation of space and time.
1 - Shrink/expand space by up to (1/2 POW) times, or halve or double time's flow (this effectively halves a living target’s Combat Pool, or doubles it and allows four actions instead of 2 per exchange).
2 - Teleport through space.  For ranges beyond line of sight, you must include Divination, or succeed at an MA roll (TN based on how well you know the location) for visualization.
3 - Stop the flow of time around you. You are not affected, but you must include Transfiguration to affect objects frozen by the spell, or Genesis to affect people so frozen.

Invocation/Exorcism – The summoning and banishment of transdimensional beings, ranging from demons and devils, to the spirits of the dead, to whatever other Outsiders may exist in your campaign….
1 - Summon or banish a lesser entity.
2 - Summon or banish a greater entity.
3 - Summon or banish a High entity.

Mana – The summoning or dispersal of raw magical force.
1 - Summon/dispel power equal (in SP) to 1/2 POW, or fuel an Apprentice-level casting.
2 - Summon/dispel power equal (in SP) to POW, or fuel a Journeyman-level casting.
3 - Summon/dispel power equal (in SP) to 2 x POW, or fuel a Master-level casting.

Eidolon – The School that studies the interaction of magical force and spirit with physical reality: imbuing objects or other people with power, projecting yourself into other dimensions astrally or physically, or endowing a plant, animal or object with spiritual awareness.

Infusion – Placing a casting into an object, or another person, from which it may be discharged at will at a later date (this takes only 1 second).  The bearer of the casting gains a temporary “Sorcery Pool” as shown for each level, which functions as a sorcerer’s normal Sorcery Pool for the Infused casting only – all dice in the temporary Pool must be used (either for casting or Strain resistance) when the casting is discharged.  These dice will only refresh if the Infusion casting is made permanent, and will then refresh at the standard rate (1 die per hour).  The sorcerer must be able to cast the Infused casting, and sets its Definitions at the time of Infusion; the Definitions cannot be changed thereafter.  Any Strain suffered by the bearer from casting translates directly into months aged, if the bearer has no CAP Attribute; objects can withstand 3d10 “months” of aging before crumbling to dust.
1 - Infuse an item or person with an Apprentice-level casting, with a “Pool” of (1/2 POW + Casting Successes) dice.
2 - Infuse an item or person with a Journeyman-level casting, with a “Pool” of (POW + Casting Successes) dice.
3 - Infuse an item or person with a Master-level casting, with a “Pool” of (2xPOW + Casting Successes) dice.

Transcension – Transferring your spirit or your body to dimensions beyond the mortal plane.
1 - Project your spirit sideways into the Etheric plane.  Etheric projections can pass through physical objects and are invisible (but can be affected as if material by certain spirits or entities…).  Your body is left behind in deep trance; if your body is killed, your spirit has nowhere to return to, and its fate is highly uncertain….
2 - Step physically into the Etheric plane, or send your spirit to the Beyond Planes.  The Beyond Planes are whatever lies outside mundane reality in your campaign.
3 - Travel physically to the Beyond Planes.

Awakening – Combining magical force with a nonsentient creature or object to Awaken it – give it self-awareness and will, allowing you to communicate with it, bargain with it, or compel it to your service.  In game terms, you endow the target with Mental Attributes or enhance its existing Attributes.  This magic will not work upon creatures who are already conscious or self-aware.
1 - Awaken the spirit of a plant or tree, or enhance an animal's Mental Attributes.  Add up to (1/2 POW + Casting Successes) points to recipient’s Mental Attributes, divided among Per, Wit, MA, Soc or WP at your choice.  At least 1 point must always go to WP.
2 - Awaken the spirit of a structure, object (including a dead body), or place.  Add up to (POW +  Casting Successes) points to recipient’s Mental Attributes, divided among Per, Wit, MA, Soc or WP at your choice.  At least 1 point must go to WP.
3 - Awaken the spirit of a mountain, forest, storm or other natural force.  Add up to (2 x POW +  Casting Successes) points to recipient’s Mental Attributes, divided among Per, Wit, MA, Soc or WP at your choice.  At least 1 point must go to WP.

Wyrd – The School of fate, fortune, destiny and entropy.

Coincidence - Twisting fortune in your favour.
1 - Adjust a TN (except for sorcery) up or down by 1, or increase/reduce the target’s Luck SA (if any) by 1.
2 - Adjust a TN up or down by 2, or increase/reduce the target’s Luck SA (if any) by 2.
3 - Adjust a TN up or down by 3, or increase/reduce the target’s Luck SA (if any) by 3.

Entropics -- Controlling aging and decay.
1 -  Double aging rate or halve it.
2 - Increase aging to 10x normal or reduce it to 1/10 normal.
3 - Accelerate aging to 100x normal or halt it completely for spell duration.

Fateshaper – Blessing or cursing someone by bestowing or removing a Destiny SA.  Interestingly, castings of this type cannot be made fully permanent – maximum duration is Conditional Permanence.  It seems Fate must always leave a loophole which even the mightiest sorcerer cannot close….
1 - Impose, alter or remove a minor Destiny.
2 - Impose, alter or remove a major Destiny.
3 - Impose, alter or remove a world-changing Destiny.

Even Gollum may yet have something to do. -- Gandalf

Posts: 172

« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2004, 09:02:05 AM »


Some sample spells showcasing the new range of options in this system.

Combat Spells

BLAST OF POWER (Cantrip, CTN 8, casting time 1 s)
L: 2 (Evocation 2, base DR = POW)
R: 2 (Line of sight)
S: 1 (One target)
D: 0 (Instantaneous)
P: 3 (Fastcast: G)

This Cantrip fires a bolt of power doing (POW + Casting Successes) DR to the target.  The form of the energy may be specified by the caster – e.g. kinetic bursts, fire, cold, or lightning – with appropriate side-effects as described by the Seneschal.  The target may resist by using CP dice to Evade.  By increasing the Level to 3 (and the CTN to 9), DR is increased to POW x2.

ELEMENTAL STRIKE (Formalized Cantrip, CTN 5, casting time 5 s)
L: 2 (Evocation 2)
R: 2 (Line of sight)
S: 1 (One target)
D: 0 (Instantaneous)
P: 0 (Formalized: G, T)

Like the Blast of Power, this Cantrip fires a bolt of energy doing (POW + Casting Successes) DR.  However, the Formalization means the casting requires the full five seconds to fire; this Cantrip is thus more useful as a form of artillery than in melee combat.  In addition, the type of energy emitted (fire, lightning, cold, kinetic force) must be specified at time of Formalization, and cannot be thereafter changed.

SORCERER'S FIST (Cantrip, CTN 7, casting time 1 s)
L: 2 (Evocation 2, base DR = POW + Casting Successes)
R: 1 (Touch)
S: 1 (One target)
D: 0 (Instantaneous)
P: 3 (Fastcast: G)

The hand-to-hand version of the Blast of Power; the sorcerer's hand delivers a burst of magic that causes (POW + Casting Successes) DR on a successful unarmed melee attack.  The Casting Roll is integrated into the attack; the caster suffers no penalty to CP, but damage is not increased by additional attack successes – only by the original Casting Successes.

HALT! (Cantrip, CTN 8, casting time 1 sec)
L: 3 (Conjuration 3)
R: 0 (Self)
S: 2 (a small group)
D: 0 (Sustained)
P: 3 (Fastcast: I)

The sorcerer shouts a word and freezes Time for a few seconds in his immediate area, usually enough for him to step calmly out of the way of a descending blow; he cannot affect frozen subjects, however.

SHIMMERING VAMBRACES (Formalized Cantrip, CTN 2, casting time 2 seconds)
L: 2 (Evocation 2, provides AV equal to POW + Casting Successes on forearms)
R: 0 (Self)
S: 0 (The sorcerer’s arms)
D: 0 (Sustained)
P:  0 (Formalized:  I, G)

This Cantrip hardens and freezes the air around the sorcerer’s forearms, giving them an AV equal to the sorcerer’s POW plus his Casting Successes.  This allows him to use his arms to parry incoming blows.  The name comes from the appearance of the sorcerer’s arms while so protected, as if encased in gleaming, cloudy, vaguely liquid glass.

ARMOR OF AIR (Formalized Spell, CTN 5, casting time 50 s)
L:  3 (Evocation 2, provides AV equal to POW + Casting Successes over body, Conjuration 2)
R:  0 (Self)
S:  1 (Single person)
D:  1 (1 hour per Casting Success)
P:  0 (Formalized:  I, G)

As for Shimmering Vambraces, but this spell affects the sorcerer’s entire body, saving only the face (otherwise the sorcerer would not be able to breathe).  The sorcerer appears to be clad in a cloudy garment of shimmering liquid.

Utility Spells

MASK OF FLESH (Formalized Spell, CTN 4, casting time 40 s)
L:  2 (Genesis 1, Mentalism 1)
R:  1 (Touch)
S:  1 (One target)
D:  0 (Sustained)
P:  0 (Formalized:  I, G)

This Spell reshapes the subject's face to look different, usually to disguise him or for impersonation.  An AG/Artist roll is necessary to make the face look like a specific target's.  The Mentalism is necessary to keep the process from hurting agonizingly.  This changes only the face; height, weight, build, voice, body and other physical aspects are not affected.  The subject's face will metamorphose back to normal when the spell is dropped in an instant of blinding pain; take a temporary Pain penalty of 8-WP to all action pools for the next 15 seconds.

ASSUMPTION OF BEING (Formalized Spell, CTN 7, casting time 70 s)
L:  5 (Divination 3, Genesis 2, Mentalism 2)
R:  1 (Touch)
S:  1 (One target)
D:  0 (Sustained)
P:  0 (Formalized: G, T)

A more powerful version of the Mask of Flesh.  By increasing the Genesis to 2, adding a Divination of 3, and obtaining a drop of the target's blood (the Talisman for this casting), the subject becomes physically identical to the target in every way -- height, weight, voice, even Temporal Stats!  The spell will persist as long as the sorcerer allows it, and will not lapse if he goes to sleep, but will lapse if he is knocked out.

MICROSCOPIC STUDY (Formalized Cantrip, CTN 4-8, casting time 4-8 s)
L: 3 (Divination 3)
R: 1-2 (Touch / Line of Sight)
S: 0-3 (depending on size of studied area or object)
D:  0 (Sustained)
P:  0 (Formalized:  I, G)

This casting allows a sorcerer to view and analyze the subvisible structure of objects and people, perceiving the nature of their being and any hidden weaknesses or flaws that may be present.  A sorcerer using this spell could tell where the weakest place was in a castle wall or door, see tumours or old breaks in a human body, get a  rough idea of how old an item is (effectively "carbon-dating" it), etc.

EXCAVATION (Formalized Cantrip, CTN 4-5, Casting Time 4-5 seconds)
L: 1 (Transfiguration 1)
R: 1 (Touch)
S: 2-3 (depending on size of area)
D: 0 (instantaneous or sustained)
P: 0 (Formalized: I, G)

This Cantrip reshapes a volume of inanimate matter into a new, very crude shape; it essentially causes a pit to open in earth, or makes a great ragged hole in stone.  If done beneath an enemy's feet, the target must roll more successes on a Full Evasion than the Cantrip's Force (1/2 caster’s POW) to jump clear of the pit before it finishes opening.  It can be used to tunnel through earth or stone, but the tunnel must be stable (successful tests on MA/Craftwork[Mining]), or it will collapse behind the sorcerer when the spell ends.

SUMMON (Cantrip, CTN 7, Casting Time 1 s)
L: 1 (Evocation 1)
R: 2 (Line of sight)
S: 1 (Small object)
D: 0 (Instant)
P: 3 (Fastcast: G)

This Cantrip pulls any small object the caster can see directly to the caster's hand.  The object does not move particularly fast, travelling only at a metre per second, so it can be grabbed out of the air by anyone sufficiently close; if the caster and a grabber get into a "tug of war" as a result, roll a Contest of ST/6 vs. 1/2 POW/6.

APPRENTICE’S REFRESHMENT (Formalized Cantrip, CTN 2, casting time 2 s)
L: 1 (Conjuration 1, refreshes SP by POW/2 dice)
R: 0 (Self)
S: 1 (The sorcerer)
D: 0 (Instant)
P:  0 (Formalized: I, T)

This Cantrip immediately adds half the sorcerer’s POW Attribute in dice (rounded down) to the Sorcery Pool.  If these dice are not used within (POW) minutes, they vanish.  This Cantrip automatically causes 2 Strain points which cannot be resisted, even by sorcerers with Apotheosis or Monstrosity.

JOURNEYMAN’S REFRESHMENT (Formalized Cantrip, CTN 3, casting time 3 s)
L: 2 (Conjuration 2, refreshes SP by POW dice)
R: 0 (Self)
S: 1 (The sorcerer)
D: 0 (Instant)
P:  0 (Formalized: I, T)

As the Apprentice’s Refreshment, save that the Cantrip adds the sorcerer’s POW in SP dice and causes 3 automatic and irresistible Strain points.

MASTER’S REFRESHMENT (Formalized Cantrip, CTN 4, casting time 4 s)
L: 3 (Conjuration 3, refreshes SP by (POW x 2) dice)
R: 0 (Self)
S: 1 (The sorcerer)
D: 0 (Instant)
P:  0 (Formalized: I, T)

As the Apprentice’s Refreshment, save that the Cantrip adds twice the sorcerer’s POW in SP dice, and causes 4 automatic and irresistible Strain points.

VANQUISH (Cantrip, CTN 3-9, casting time 3-9 secs)
L: 1-3 (Conjuration 1-3, depending on target)
R: 1-2 (Touch / Line of sight)
S: 0-3 (depending on size or area of target)
D: 0 (Instant)
P: 1 (I, G, T)

This Cantrip is used to dispel magic – either the active magic of a working casting, or the internal power of a sorcerer’s Sorcery Pool.  The Level of the Cantrip must be equal either to the highest School in the casting, or the highest School possessed by the target sorcerer.  Sorcerers may resist this spell by allocating and rolling SP dice against the same TN as the Vanquish Cantrip’s CTN; this is not an active casting, so these dice are not expended.  If the caster of Vanquish scores more Casting Successes than were originally achieved for the target spell, or more successes than the resisting sorcerer, the target spell’s Force – or target sorcerer’s SP – is immediately reduced by an amount equal to the Force of the Cantrip.  If this reduces the spell’s Force to 0 or less, the spell vanishes and is broken.  SP dice lost by being the target of this spell will return at the normal rate.

Healing Spells

SEAL LESSER WOUNDS (Spell, CTN 3, Casting Time 30 secs)
L: 2 (Genesis 1, Mentalism 1)
R: 1 (Touch)
S: 0 (Part of a human body)
D: 0 (Instant)
P: 0 (Formalized: G, T)

This spell closes and eliminates the pain and blood loss of a level 1 or 2 wound.  The Mentalism School is required to eliminate the pain of the process.

SEAL GREATER WOUNDS (Formalized Spell, CTN 6, Casting Time 60 seconds)
L: 4 (Genesis 2, Mentalism 2, Divination 2)
R: 1 (Touch)
S: 1 (Affects most of metabolism)
D: 0 (Instantaneous)
P: 0 (Formalized: G, T)

As for Seal Lesser Wounds, but heals a level 3 or 4 wound.  It will not regenerate amputations or destroyed organs, however.  The Divination School is required to see the full extent of the damage, and ensure the healing is done properly.

HEAL MORTAL WOUNDS (Formalized Spell, CTN 7, Casting Time 70 s)
L: 5 (Genesis 3, Mentalism 3, Divination 3)
R: 1 (Touch)
S: 1 (Affects all metabolism)
D: 0 (Instantaneous)
P: 0 (Formalized:  I, G)

As for Seal Lesser or Greater Wounds, but heals a level 5 wound.  It will not regenerate amputations or destroyed organs.

DEFIANCE OF DEATH (Spell, CTN 10, Casting Time 10 s)
L: 5 (Genesis 3, Mentalism 3, Divination 3)
R: 1 (Touch)
S: 1 (Affects all metabolism)
D: 0 (Instantaneous)
P: 3 (Fastcast: I)

As for Heal Mortal Wounds, but much faster, to be used in those situations where seconds mean the difference between life and death.

TIMELESS YOUTH (Ritual, CTN 9 for oneself, 10 for another: casting time 9-10 days)
L: 5 (Conjuration 3, Genesis 3, Wyrd 3)
R: 0-1 (Self or Touch)
S: 1 (1 person)
D: 3 (Made Permanent)
P: 0 (Slowcast: 3 elements needed from RS, MD, PP, TP or CF)

This ritual halts the subject's aging permanently, except for unnatural aging inflicted by further sorcery.  The sorcerer must spend 18 or 20 SA points to seal the spell.  By spending only half that amount, he can make the spell's permanence Conditional – but if the spell is broken by violating the Condition, the subject will immediately begin to age to his full chronological age, at the rate of a year per hour!  If the subject has lived beyond the natural span of his species, hasty recasting of this spell, or of the Rejuvenation Ritual, is the only way to save his life.

REJUVENATION (Ritual, CTN 10 for oneself, 11 for another: Casting Time 10 or 11 hrs)
L:  5 (Conjuration 3, Genesis 3, Wyrd 3)
R:  0-1 (Self or Touch)
S: 1 (1 person)
D: 3 (1 week per success)
P:  1 (3 elements needed from RS, MD, PP, TP or CF)

This spell puts the subject into a trance for a week per Casting Success.  Each week in the trance makes the subject a month younger.  The sorcerer can use this spell on himself to undo his age, but any aging incurred from casting this Ritual is undone first; if the sorcerer ages more months from casting the Ritual than is undone by the Ritual, he will still come out of the trance older than he went in!  The sorcerer will appear dead to all while in his hibernation, and is utterly vulnerable; he cannot move, act, react or perceive anything.

By spending SAs equal to 2x CTN, the sorcerer can achieve Full Rejuvenation -- aging backwards, at a rate of 1 week real time per year of age, until he has returned to a physical age of 25.  This allows the sorcerer to regain his youth, but takes the character out of play for whatever length of time is necessary for the rejuvenation (usually a minimum of 15 weeks and often far longer, depending on the sorcerer’s age going into the trance).

Classic/Mythic Spells

BANE OF TIMELESSNESS (Ritual, CTN 14, casting time 14 hrs)
L:  5 (Conjuration 3, Genesis 3, Transfiguration 3)
R:  2 (Line of Sight)
S:  3 (100 people or equivalent mass/area)
D: 3 (made Conditionally Permanent: costs 7 SAs)
P:  1 (Three elements needed from RS, MD, PP, TP or CF)

This Ritual freezes time permanently over a small area.  The Genesis and Transfiguration Schools keep the persons and objects within from being injured or killed by the deferred aging when the spell elapses.  The spellbreaker condition is typically set by the caster as a punishment or malicious joke against the subjects: "Sleeping Beauty" is the classic example.  People who enter the area of Timelessness must make a WP roll against the caster’s POW x 2 as a TN; failure means they are caught in the spell and frozen in time, but even one success allows them to move around the area and affect things normally.

CURSE OF DOOM (Spell, CTN 13, casting time 13 secs.)
L: 4 (Conjuration 3, Wyrd 3)
R: 2 (Line of sight)
S: 1 (single target)
D: 3 (Conditionally Permanent: spend 7 SAs)
P:  3 (Fastcast:  I)

The sorcerer bestows a baneful Destiny SA upon the target, typically of a horrifying or ignominious death, defeat or loss (“Your seed shall wither in the womb, you shall die alone and friendless, and none shall remember your name!” is a typical example).  This Destiny SA immediately overwrites any existing Destiny the character may have, and can only be eliminated by fulfilling the Condition set to break the curse.

RESURRECTION (Ritual, CTN 12, casting time 12 days)
L:  7 (Genesis 3, Divination 3, Mentalism 3, Conjuration 3, Eidolon 3)
R:  1 (Touch)
S:  1 (Single subject)
D:  3 (Permanent: spend 24 SAs)
P:  0 (Slowcast: 3 elements from RS, MD, PP, TP or CF)

This Ritual, one of the most legendary and powerful known (and one of the most blasphemous, according to many churches), calls back a soul from death (Conjuration), reawakens it to its memories of its former life (Mentalism), heals and restores the body it once inhabited (Divination and Genesis), and infuses the soul into the renewed body (Eidolon).  It is often seen as the blackest of necromancy, and may encounter unexpected hindrance from any Powers charged with overseeing the natural course of life and death in your campaign world – resurrecting someone who has died of old age, or in fulfillment of a Destiny SA, is usually not possible, for example.  (Resurrecting someone who has died before they could fulfill their Destiny SA, on the other hand, may be easier than one expects….)

Even Gollum may yet have something to do. -- Gandalf

Posts: 37

« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2004, 01:18:56 PM »

Well done!  

I like it, not all of it is my cup of tea, but I whole heartedly agree with your new attributes!!  I always HATED how the figured attributes for magic were too heavily based on Temporal attributes.  It goes against every intuitive notion of how all we geeks imagine wizards.  So I like the new revised four attributes (5 is just too many).  The two new optional ones are cool too.

I have fiddled with a few things, but still can't come to any conclusions or decisions.  For now, I would take your attributes, but use the original Vagaries, maybe that's just my personal taste.

Also, to answer to the desire (which I share) to have either more powerful spells or more powerful casters increase their sorcery pool based on vagary level:

I would make Power be (WP+HT)/2, then make your base sorcery pool equal to Power+Sight+ (total combined vagary levels/5).  So, a starting sorcerer might get Power+Sight+1 or +0 if he was really only a dabbler.  Someone who "maxed out" would get a Power+Sight+5.  (that's the 9 original vagaries, level 3 vagary, 9*3=27, 27/5 = 5 rounded down, in case my verbal explanation sucked).

Is anyone implementing something similar to reflect raw vagary "experience" in their sorcery pools?

But otherwise, Stephen, the rest of it I need more time to absorb.  These comments are just first impressions.

Great effort, and thanks!


Posts: 37

« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2004, 01:34:28 PM »

actually, minor revision to what I said earlier:

I was thinking the calculation of Power+Sight+(total vagaries/5).

Then I thought: well, a powerful wizard with 27 vagaries should have an edge over someone with only say 21.  An edge seems to be defined universally in TROS as 2 CP.  So, I think total vagary/3 should be an appropriate bonus to the sorcery pool.  Keeps powerful wizards always itching for a little bit more, just to compete...

And I definitely think that bonus is more like adding your Prof. level to your CP.

Would this make Sorcerer's too powerful?  Would you use a higher number for the division?

Posts: 172

« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2004, 01:45:30 PM »

Hmm.  The problem here is that designing a sorcerer this way gives him the ability to have up to 4 additional dice in the SP (14 max. starting Vagaries/3 = 4), over and above his inborn POW + SGT.  That may be too much of a starting edge, even given the comparative power of sorcerers.

Myself I'm not in favour of Vagary-mastery increasing the base SP.  The entire point of using all the options, tricks and techniques of spells, rituals, formalization, procedures, tools, cooperation and sacrifices is that you should need to do that in order to get the SP dice you need for the really powerful castings.  Even the strongest of sorcerers is at a disadvantage when caught by surprise with his pants down.

If you can get anywhere from 1 to 9 extra SP dice simply by "levelling up" your Vagaries, it significantly reduces the drive to use what are (to me anyway) dramatically some of the coolest elements of the system:  the need to choose, on a case-by-case basis, between speed and power.  It also weakens the need to bring SAs into play for the most crucial uses of magic, since steady improvement to your Vagaries will boost your SP anyway.

(And in my revised system, it's actually easier to use SAs to boost your Temporal and Mental attributes -- thus improving the Sorcerous Attributes based upon them -- than to gain levels in Schools anyway.)

Even Gollum may yet have something to do. -- Gandalf

Posts: 19

« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2004, 07:42:32 PM »

Hi!  I am new to this forum, in fact I just now registered for an indie-rpg handle, though I have been lurking on these boards for some time.  I recently acquired TROS and have at least two campaigns that I am going to use this amazing system for.  I just wanted to say that I *love* your alternate magic system presented here, and intend to use it.  I just recently got to the point in reading through the core book where I came to the Sorcery "book," and, while I like the premise, I find it somewhat confusing and unclear in places.  A few questions for you, however:

The original system places certain limits on Sorcery:  matter cannot be created from nothing, aging cannot be reversed, etc.  Are there *any* such limits in your system?  I ask not to criticize, but simply so I can understand better.

Also, after you've used this system awhile, can you tell me:  does it simply make Sorcerers "better" (always more powerful and versatile than their counterparts in the old system, taking into account the higher SA cost to buy into new Schools or increase your Mastery)?

Is there any limit on the number of people participating in a Ritual?  (I didn't see one, but maybe I missed it.)  I felt that the base system's limit of the head Sorcerer's Willpower was rather silly, as that made it nigh impossible to ever get the bonus from having 9 in the Circle, because who has a WP that high?  (Or even 8, really.)


The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory.

-Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Posts: 9

« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2004, 10:43:50 PM »

Wow, Great Work!

I'm currently making a new Magic System because the mage in my group is dissatisfied with the current one and I will definitively use some of your Ideas (if you don't mind).

Have FUN!

Posts: 172

« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2004, 05:56:22 AM »

Quote from: Deliverator
Hi!  I am new to this forum, in fact I just now registered for an indie-rpg handle, though I have been lurking on these boards for some time.  I recently acquired TROS and have at least two campaigns that I am going to use this amazing system for.  I just wanted to say that I *love* your alternate magic system presented here, and intend to use it.

Many thanks!  But you may wish to try out the original as well; lots of folks have used the system as written with no complaints, and many find it more to their taste for exactly the reasons I didn't (the lack of stereotyped RPG magics, the utter ruthlessness of its cost, etc.).  This isn't by any means intended to be a "better" system, just a different one.

The original system places certain limits on Sorcery:  matter cannot be created from nothing, aging cannot be reversed, etc.  Are there *any* such limits in your system?  I ask not to criticize, but simply so I can understand better.

There are a couple of minor ones.  Time travel isn't possible, at least in the current conception, and the Fateshaper effect of Wyrd can't inflict truly permanent Destiny changes.  In my original conception as well, spells or rituals of CTN 13 or higher could never be made fully permanent, as well (you'd have to spend 26+ SA points and the maximum anyone can have at once is 25), but I ended up changing that at the last minute; you may wish to switch it back.  Remember, this is for public consumption and tinkering.

Also, after you've used this system awhile, can you tell me:  does it simply make Sorcerers "better" (always more powerful and versatile than their counterparts in the old system, taking into account the higher SA cost to buy into new Schools or increase your Mastery)?

You'll have to tell me.  I haven't actually gamed in years; this is all based on theory, tinkering and odds-calculation.  That's the other cautionary note about using this system:  IT HAS NOT BEEN PLAYTESTED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.  Caveat lictor -- let the reader beware.

It makes sorcerers more versatile and powerful; whether that's "better" for your game or not is a question only you can answer.

Is there any limit on the number of people participating in a Ritual?  (I didn't see one, but maybe I missed it.)  I felt that the base system's limit of the head Sorcerer's Willpower was rather silly, as that made it nigh impossible to ever get the bonus from having 9 in the Circle, because who has a WP that high?  (Or even 8, really.)

No limit in my system, but I didn't realize there was one in the old system!  (I can't read every word in the book, you know...)  :)


Even Gollum may yet have something to do. -- Gandalf

Posts: 69

« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2004, 07:07:38 AM »

Well, I have printed the stuff out and am slowly going through it. I have been working on a few changes to Magic myself, and will let you know my impressions.

And in a few months I may get to playtest the rules for you....

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