The first question that a budding young mage must consider is how he channels Akasha. There are three possibilities to consider, and each one requires equal amounts of time and effort: Study, Intuition, and Passion.
Mages who choose to study spend time pouring over ancient texts and arcane formulas trying to unlock the secrets of Akasha. They use their intelligence as their mystic attack die code.
Intuitive mages spend their time meditating and focusing their minds, and they use their wisdom for their mystic influence die code.
Passionate mages believe that they channel Akasha through being in touch with their feelings and by using strong emotions to gather Akasha. Passionate mages use their charisma as their mystic influence die code.
No matter what philosophy a mage follows, his mystic influence is always modified by willpower, and his mystic defense is always his willpower doubled.
The Laws of Magic
There are three universal laws that govern the use of magic:
- Mages have no power over life or death.
- Mages have no powers of creation or destruction.
- Mages cannot create permanent magical effects.
Mages cannot simply order a creature to die, nor can they return a creature to life. They cannot create objects from nothing, nor can they destroy existing objects. Finally, nothing lasts forever. All spells have a limited duration.
The force of a spell is the number of Akasha the mage spends to cast the spell. In most cases, the mage can choose how much Akasha he wants to spend.
Spell Duration and Targets
There are three possible durations for spells: Instant, channeled, and timed. Instant spells are fired, much like a bullet from a gun. The spell is cast, affects the target, and vanishes all within the blink of an eye. Channeled spells last for as long as the mage wishes them to, but he must pay the akasha cost each round to keep the spell running. Timed spells last for a number of hours equal to the force of the spell.
There are two possible targets for a spell: individual and area. By default, all spells affect one target at a time. However, the mage can change that to an area effect spell by doubling the akasha cost. The area of effect is a spherical area (force x5) feet in diameter. A force 6 fire bolt can be cast as a force 6 fire ball by spending 12 akasha instead of 6. The resulting spell will affect all creatures in a spherical area of 30 feet.
The Elemental Spheres
All spells fall into one of five categories, called the Elemental Spheres of Magic. Mages can access two of these spheres when they learn how to gather Akasha. Later in the game, they can spend karma points to access other spheres. The five spheres are:
Earth: Deals with transformation magic. The force of the spell determines how long the transformation lasts, in hours. The force of the spell is also added to the mystic defense die code if anyone tries to dispel the effect.
Air: Deals with illusions. The force of the spell determines how long the illusion lasts, in hours. The force of the spell is also added to the mystic attack die code if anyone attempts to disbelieve the illusion. Illusions that mimic the effects of Fire spells (an illusionary fireball, for example) do not damage health points, but damage mental health points instead. The target cannot use armor points to absorb this damage.
Fire: Deals damage. It doesn’t matter what form the spell takes; it can be fire, ice, lightning, poison, water, a rock…anything. It all comes from the Elemental Sphere of Fire. Spells do (force) d6 damage to a single target with a successful mystic attack. At the DM’s discretion, certain damage types might cause extra damage or special effects, based on the target’s vulnerabilities. For example, firing a silver bolt at a werewolf might cause extra damage.
Water: Heals damage and removes harmful effects. (Force)d6 damage healed, or mystic defense bonus to remove harmful effects. For game purposes, all harmful effects such as poison or disease are magical in nature. When they are created, the creationist rolls his mystic attack dice. The total becomes the target number to remove the effect. To remove the effect, the healer rolls (force d6) to try and roll higher than the target number.
Spirit: Spells that affect the mind. The force of the spell determines how many tasks will be performed, the number of questions answered, or simply the damage (force d6) to mental health points. Damage to mental health points cannot be assigned to armor.
Abraxis wants to fire a force-3 magical bolt of lightning at a goblin. His intelligence is 80 (2d10) and his wisdom is 90 (2d10), so his mystic influence roll is 4d10. The goblin has a willpower of 50 (2d6) which is used twice as the mystic defense roll, so 4d6 (2d6 + 2d6). Abraxis rolls a 22, and the goblin rolls a 12, so Abraxis rolls 3d6 (force d6) for damage. He rolls a 17, and the goblin falls over dead, fried to a crisp.
Enchantment is the art of creating magical scrolls, potions, and items. It allows mages to store Akasha for release at a later time. This is very popular with adventuring mages, because it allows them to spend Akasha in the relative peace and safety of their home, and then use the items in their next adventure while saving their daily ration of Akasha for emergencies and unforeseen complications.
Items are enchanted by inscribing magical runes on ordinary items or tattooing them upon the skin. Runic tattoos and inscriptions disappear when the Akasha is released from them, so most mages apply numerous identical copies so that the items may be used over and over again, with one rune activating (and disappearing) at a time. Magical potions are created by inscribing the runes upon a container, and then filling the container with any liquid. The magic is transferred from the rune into the liquid instantly, but the effects occur when the potion is consumed.
There are two types of runes used in Enchanting. The first type is a bonus rune that gives an enhancement to the item or person, temporarily giving them a +1 or better bonus to a characteristic or conflict code. The bonus is equal to the Force of the enchantment, and lasts for 24 hours after activated (by touching the rune with the intent to activate it). Applying runes of this nature does not require the mage to access any particular Elemental Sphere, which makes it a popular choice for mages who like to specialize in enchanting exclusively.
The second type of rune casts a spell when the rune is activated, and thus requires the mage to have access to the corresponding Elemental Sphere. In this way, spells can be prepared beforehand and then stored on scrolls or other items until needed.
Creating magical items requires one hour of uninterrupted concentration per akasha spent.