- 1 Out with the Old
- 2 Wizardry
- 3 Sorcery
- 4 Priestcraft
- 5 Druids
- 6 Witchcraft
- 7 Schools of Magic
- 8 Requirements
- 9 Wizardry Stunts
- 10 Priestcraft Stunts
- 11 Sorcery Stunts
- 12 Witchcraft Stunts
- 13 General Magic-related Stunts
- 14 Wizardry and Priestcraft
- 15 Other Kinds of Spell-slingers
- 16 Notes
Out with the Old
When the world was Shattered, even magic had been affected. With some exceptions, magic operated differently for male spell-slingers than for female spell-slingers. As the world had been sundered, so had magic been divided into Primal Magic, Wizardry, Sorcery and Sponsored Magic.
Wizards manipulated the free magic of their environment using a focus to as a symbolic guide while a sorceress used magic descended from fae ancestors that was channeled from their own magical natures. Sponsored magic came from deities, typically, and was lent to their chosen priests or priestesses. Primal Magic was granted by powerful elemental spirits.
But when the world was made whole by a mysterious lunar elf named Fina of Blackwell along with her companions, many of whom now make up the reigning pantheon of Erandor. Even magic was healed. And it changed.
Wizards found themselves unable to call upon magic as they once did. Magic no longer floated free but invisible throughout the realm. It had been restructured to enable the world to come together again. Wizards then soon discovered that by carefully preparing a focus, they could unlock spells they formulated, freeing magic to perform various actions in the world. Not only that, they noticed that the magic worked for female wizards as well. For the first time in centuries, women were beginning to use wizardry.
Sorcery is fae magic that was accessible also to female humans as well as elves. Although the ability to perform sorcery only ran in bloodlines descended from fae beings, only women were able to focus it and manipulate it to cast spells. While this is still usually the case, there are now several examples of males with fae blood capable of wielding sorcery.
Sorcerous ability is not only a mark upon the soul of a sorceress; it also marks her body. Tattoo-like patterns appear upon the skin of a sorceress. Thus marked, a sorceress will always stand out and GMs should feel free to compel the aspect related to her sorcery any time standing out in this way could be a disadvantage.
But the greatest change was for sponsored magic. This magic described the powers granted by gods to priests and priestess. Since the old pantheon left a new one was raised by the powerful elemental world spirit of Erandor to godhood. Once mortals themselves, this pantheon was not born of the gods nor of the Titans. Thus, their existence and extent of their power was not dependent upon the faith of their worshippers. They exist whether or not people believe and are fully capable of granting power. Their only limitation is that the great spirit of Erandor will not permit any god to set foot upon this world again. As the great spirit has appointed the gods, it can unmake them as well — if they come to Erandor in the flesh.
So after the Healing took place and the world was made whole, the ones most deeply affected were the faithful of the old pantheon. They had to choose another to follow or abandon their faith. None of the magic granted by the old gods remained with their followers. Many found their temples abandoned, their powers wiped away and their service forgotten.
But those whom the new gods felt embodied their values were contacted by dream or messenger. Those who accepted them became the new priesthood. These chosen few could pray to their god or goddess for specific spells, and the gods would grant them -- or not. Because the magic is not bound to the priest or priestess, it is dependent upon the cleric’s faith. This means that if a priest strays from the values of his god, he could be cut off from the source of his power.
Because it requires prayer, priestcraft works very similarly to wizardry in terms of game mechanics.
Sometimes the Great Spirit of Erandor will select a caretaker or champion and bless him or her with powers. This spirit does not dictate what its druids do, but instead expects him or her to behave in a way true to their own character, or even basic natures. Chosen druids are those that realize that all are part of nature and not above it.
Druids are very similar to priests of the gods in that they promote the ideals of a greater being. In their case, it is not a god, but the elemental spirit of Erandor itself. In so doing, they protect and nurture the natural places and creatures of the world. Druids must pray for their magic, as do priests. Therefore, they use the same priestcraft rules and have access to schools of magic that the Great Spirit of Erandor favors for its followers.
Witches have made a pact with a great power such as a demon, devil or fae lord. In exchange for doing their master's bidding, they are granted power as per the sorcery stunt, though they carry some mark, usually hidden, that represents this infernal pact. See the sidebar for details. GMs should feel free to compel the stunt describing the character's pact or source of power whenever their master so chooses.
Mechanically, witchcraft works the the same as sorcery.
Schools of Magic
Schools of wizardry in Erandor usually promote a particular philosophy. Some organize magic into a group of elemental schools, and many organize them into arcane schools. But these aren’t the only schools of magic. Evil spell-slingers will teach necromancy and entropy. Magical power channeled through the faithful from gods also doesn’t necessarily fall neatly into categories wizards like to define.
- Aether/Spirit: Command of life essence (chi, vital power, or emotional energy). Also covers manipulating light, gravity, and both physical and mental healing. Spells of sympathetic magic and distance (teleporting) also falls in this group.
- Air: Manipulating air, which includes sound, vibration and electricity through air. Spells relating to speed, flight, weather control, and illusions of sight and sound fall under this domain. Controlling and summoning temporary elementals of air (Sylphs) falls under this domain as well. Alchemical gaseous state.
- Earth: Manipulating earth. Spells of defense, strengthening, stability, animating artificial constructs and summoning and controlling temporary earth elementals (Gnomes). Alchemical solid state.
- Fire: Manipulating fire. Spells of violence and consuming things, manipulating energy including that of living beings. Summoning and commanding elementals of fire (Salamanders). Alchemical plasma state.
- Water: Manipulating water. Spells of changing shape, cleansing, motion and divination. Summoning and commanding elementals of water (Nereids). Alchemical liquid state.
- Energies: Controlling and creating energetic elements, affecting temperature, energy attacks, defense against such attacks, and telekinetics.
- Phantasm: Phantasms or illusions either mental or visual, spells of mental domination and influence, and spells of mental attack and defense.
- Scrying: Precognition, post cognition, scrying other places. Also includes spells of lore and communicating. This is also used to defend against scrying.
- Summoning: Calling and banishing creatures and things, including temporary elementals. Banishing and warding living or undead creatures and powers, commanding constructs like golems.
- Transformation: Changing subjects physically, emotionally, or mentally. Shapeshifting and healing magic also falls into this area.
- Entropy: Instant death, disintegration or destruction spells. Annihilation of magic or life is included here. Cooling effects are easily achieved with this type of magic as well.
- Necromancy: Animation of dead things, interaction with the dead, causing disease and decay effects. This power may also summon creatures. Since there is no specific land of the dead in Erandor, summoning usually means calling the dead spirit or animated undead beings to the necromancer that are present in the world of Erandor.
Priests of the gods can call upon domains of magic specific to the deity they serve, and sometimes also schools of elemental or arcane magic. They tend not to be quite as broad as the elemental or arcane schools of magic. These types of spells are available only to priest or druid characters. See the gods section for which spells a diety will grant its chosen priests and priestesses.
- Blessing: Use this domain to grant beneficial aspects relating to luck, health, and fate.
- Defense: This domain of magic focuses on using magic to protect. Use this to provide physical or mental defense and to create aspects that bar magic from passing or contain magic.
- Glory: You can surround yourself in divine radiance to become a weapon against the undead. You can channel sunlight, boost morale, and influence allies to great feats of courage.
- Healing: This domain focuses specifically on the use of magic to perform all forms of healing, be it mental or physical. It can also remove debilitating aspects such those related to poison and disease. You can also use it to inflict damage upon undead targets.
- Nature: You can cast spells that affect plants and natural animals. You can heal them, bless them, and even call them to act to defend you, attack your enemies or inhibit them, even if the plant is not normally an animated one. You can also cast spells that enhance your natural abilities.
- Shadow: Use Shadow magic to manipulate darkness, cloud the sight of others, sense or see in the dark, summon creatures of darkness and shadows (shades), step from shadow to shadow.
- Strength: You can grant strength to yourself or others and cast other spells that grasp, pummel or crush your enemies.
- Travel: Spells to increase mobility, make life on the road more convenient or safer, and spells of teleportation. Note that to teleport to a place, the priest needs to know the location well, or see it.
- War: You can cast spells enhancing the damage-dealing capability of allies or engines of war. You can enhance defensive works, create deadly barriers out of weapons, imbue normal weapons with magical power. The most powerful spells can blind, stun or kill a single opponent outright, but usually requires a stunt to the effect that if stress is done, a Fate point may be spent to inflict a consequence instead.
A magic-using profession must be described in the character’s High Concept aspect. The character must also purchase a stunt which gives access to schools of magic. Additionally, wizards require a magical focus of some type. A magical focus is a specially prepared item that allows the wizard to unlock his prepared spells.
Priests and druids, while not requiring a focus to cast their magic, usually carry some symbol or idol that represents their faith or their god. They pray to this symbol or idol when preparing their magic.
Wizardry. Requires a High Concept reflecting your connection to magic. Your character knows spells from up to three schools of magic. Jot them down along with this stunt. You use the Wizardry type of magic and so must prepare your spells. However, successful preparation grants powerful dividends when it comes time to cast the spell. Use Lore when you prepare spells, and any appropriate skill to cast them later.
You can prepare a number of spells up to Lore +2, as noted elsewhere. Attempts to cast magic that is not prepared properly results in a casting difficulties increasing by +2 for any non-cantrip spell. You can recover your spells by taking the time to perform spell preparation.
Adept Wizardry. Requires Wizardry. You know magic from an additional two schools of magic for a total of up to five schools of magic. In addition, the number of spells you can prepare is increased by one. This stunt can be taken once.
Black Magic. Requires Wizardry or Chosen One. You know spells of either Entropy or Necromancy in addition to any other magic you have. This stunt can be taken twice.
Chosen One. Requires a High Concept reflecting your connection to your god, or the natural world. This grants you access to spells of three schools or domains that your deity favors. Note that many deities have unique domains. This affects the flavor of clerical magic, not the number or variety of spells. Priests don’t require a focus but carry a symbol of their god or goddess with them. These symbols might even be imbued with magical power and purchased with an aspect or one or more stunts. You can use stunts for Wizardry foci for inspiration when designing your own specially imbued holy symbol, or even use inspiration from D20 games. This stunt may be purchased by druids. Priests usually use Will to cast spells.
You can pray for a number of spells up to your Will +2, as noted elsewhere. Attempts to cast more than that is not possible to do on the fly, although cantrips (spells of Mediocre difficulty) will work. You must pray to prepare your spells again to regain those you have used.
Enlightenment. Requires Chosen One. This stunt grants you access to two additional schools of magic that your deity favors. In addition, the number of spells you can have prepared is increased by one. This stunt can be taken once. This may also be purchased by druids.
Sorcery. Requires a High Concept reflecting your connection to magic. You are imbued with magical power due to your heritage and know spells from up to two schools of magic. This stunt allows you to perform feats of magic using one skill. Choose the skill you’ll use when you take this stunt as that will color the kinds of things you do with magic, and put a star by it as a reminder. (Will is a common choice.) You do not need make a preparation roll to cast spells. You also do not require a magical focus, though you can still benefit from foci that have stunts or aspects built into them. However, this stunt manifests physically as an arcane marks located somewhere on your body — the telltale sign you perform sorcery. There is at least one mark for each school of magic you command.
Sorceresses can perform magic seemingly at will, but it does have its limits. A sorceress can cast a number of spells equal to her casting skill +2. After that, should she wish to cast yet more magic, she can but she is Magically Spent. This aspect increases the base difficulty of casting any spell that is not a cantrip by +2. A rest of at least four hours will remove the aspect and reset the number of spells the witch has cast to zero.
Advanced Sorcery. Requires Sorcery. You know spells of an additional school. In addition, the number of spells you can cast before becoming Magically Spent is increased by one. You can take this stunt multiple times.
Witchcraft. Requires a High Concept that reflects your connection to a powerful demon or fae lord. Through an unbreakable pact with a demon or fae lord, you have come into your own power. Your master has marked you somewhere on your body, usually in a hidden location, as his. This stunt allows you to perform feats of magic using one skill, which you choose when purchasing this stunt. Will is a common choice, but it might also be Lore or other skills; whatever matches best the way in which you cast your spells. Once chosen, you can't later chose to use a different skill to cast your magic. As with sorcery, you do not need to prepare your spells ahead of time, but instead prepare and cast all in the same roll. If you beat the difficulty, then the casting is considered successful whether or not you hit your target.
Witches can perform magic seemingly at will, but it does have its limits. A witch can cast a number of spells equal to her casting skill +2. Once out of "slots", the witch gains the Magically Spent aspect. So long as the witch has this aspect, the difficulties for any spell that has a difficulty higher than Mediocre (+0) are increased by +2. A rest of at least four hours will remove the aspect and reset the number of spells the witch has cast to zero.
Advanced Witchcraft. Requires Witchcraft. You know spells of an additional school. In addition, the number of spells you can cast before becoming Magically Spent is increased by one. You can take this stunt multiple times.
Battle Priest. Priest. You can prepare and cast defensive and healing spells in the same action, like sorcery.
Extend Spell. Once per scene, when a spell you cast would expire or be removed because it was overcome, you can extend the effect until the end of your next action. This does not apply to instant-effect spells.
Mastery. When you take this stunt, you gain the ability to add 2 to the number of spells you can prepare per day. Sorceresses and Witches add 2 to the number of spells they can cast before becoming Magically Spent.
Multiply Spell. Once per scene, a spell that normally targets one creature can affect up to three creatures of your choice, within the same zone.
Powerful Casting. Priest or Wizard. Once per scene, when you cast a prepared spell, you gain a +3 bonus instead of the usual +2 bonus.
Shape Changer. You gain a +2 to create aspects on yourself related to assuming another form. Does not apply to spell preparation.
Specialist. Priest or Wizard. Choose one school of magic. You gain a +1 to prepare magic from that school.
Wizardry and Priestcraft
To be able to cast spells, a wizard or priest must first prepare the spell. Often done after a period of rest, the wizard studies or concentrates on forming the magical pattern in his mind until he has it readied. In game terms this means making a Lore skill check (Will for priests) against a difficulty that is dependent upon the complexity of the spell. A wizard can prepare a number of spells this way equal to two plus his skill in Lore. It works similarly for priests. A priest can prepare a number of spells this way equal to two plus his skill in Will.
Maximum number of prepared spells = 2 + Lore + (any bonus from stunts)
Maximum number of prepared spells = 2 + Will + (any bonus from stunts)
A wizard can take the time to create advantages to assist his preparation. Each advantage he wishes to create adds an hour to the time spent preparing a spell. They may represent adding rare or magical ingredients (perhaps require Resources), concentration and meditation (perhaps using Will), or any number of other things. When invoked for spell preparation these aspects are used up, but can aid in overcoming the difficulties associated with powerful spells.
A priest or druid can do very similar things. Taking extra time for prayer, presenting offerings, and meditation can take an extra hour or require a Resources skill roll, but will place aspects that can be invoked to aid in preparing to receive the request spell from the gods.
Should success with style be achieved during spell preparation, the spell aspect created gains an additional free invocation. This can be spent for an extra bonus when casting the spell, or saved and used to get an extra casting out of the prepared spell. However the extra invocation might be spent, it does not count against the maximum number of prepared spells a wizard or priest may have.
If the preparation roll is failed, success at a cost is always assumed. On a tie with the difficulty, the spell-slinger must take a point of physical stress when he casts the spell as the power rips through their bodies, barely under control. When you choose to cast the spell, there are no free invocations of the prepared spell aspect so you must cast it without any bonus. The spell preparation aspect disappears once the spell is cast. On a failure of the preparation roll, it works the same but the consequences are more grand. The GM may stipulate that spending a Fate point is necessary, your character might have to take a consequence, or it may affect a target of the GM’s choosing. Generally, the GM should pick a cost on par with the spell preparation difficulty.
Success is always required, so on a tie or failed rolled you must purchase success at a cost.
Tie: Success at a minor cost is required. When cast, you take 1 physical stress and get no bonus to the casting roll.
Failure: Success at a significant cost is required.
- When cast the GM may require a Fate point, you take a consequence or the GM decides the target of the spell.
- The GM picks a cost on par with the preparation difficulty of the spell.
A prepared spell continues to take up a slot until cast, regardless.
Very simple spells with no or very little mechanical effect in the game can be regarded as “cantrips”, magic for which no separate preparation rolls are needed.
Ideas for spells can be borrowed from D20 game material. It should be a simple matter to match a school of magic to one for this game. Most of these old-school style games rate spells on a “spell level” scale of 0 (cantrip) to 9 (archmage spells). You can therefore usually use their given level as the difficulty for spell preparation.
You can also reference spells provided in the magic chapter of the Amethyst Destiny book. These are great examples of classic magic spells presented in Fate.
If a wizard or priest is in a desperate situation with no spells prepared, he can try to prepare and cast a spell on the fly. This requires an action and since combat is very distracting, all difficulties to prepare and cast a spell a spell increase by +2. These are much more likely to go awry when proper preparation is rushed.
Wizardry and Priestcraft Spellcasting
With spells prepared, a character using wizardry or priestcraft can release the spell whenever he chooses, using whatever skill is appropriate, including simply using Lore or Will again. This requires the use of a magical focus that he uses to channel the energy. This is typically specific to the kind of spell-slinger he is. Wizards most often use Tomes containing representations of their magic or Staffs covered in carved representations of their magic, but there are other types of spell-slinger that use Wizardry-style magic with different foci. Priests will use holy symbols of various sorts (see descriptions of gods for ideas). Druids will usually use a staff, dream catcher, or some symbol of his connection to the great spirit.
When the spell is released, the spell-slinger gains the benefit of invoking the spell aspect (a +2 bonus as invoking any aspect would provide). If success with style had been achieved when Preparing the spell, then the spell-slinger may use the extra free invocation to gain another bonus, or save it and use the spell an additional time.
Once free invocations of prepared spells have been used up, the spell aspect disappears. The spell-slinger must prepare it again to use it once more. Note that a wizard can prepare a spell during combat if he’s out of prepared magic. This takes an action, of course.
If the wizard is out of prepared spells, he can attempt combat preparation, as described above.
Note that a spell-slinger need only worry about beating a spell's difficulty during preparation, not spell-casting.
A wizard’s magical focus allows him to unleash prepared spells and thus he or she must be in contact with it at the time he casts his spell. Foci can take on many forms, with the most popular being the Tome and Staff. A wizard attunes with just one focus. Should she lose it, the wizard must work a fortnight (two weeks) to inscribe and attune another. Because they are so important to a wizard, some will invest additional powers, purchased as stunts, in their focus in order to gain an even greater benefit when casting spells.
Possible foci include:
Purchasing a stunt for your focus is optional, but can be useful. A focus stunt can be purchased as an Extra. All of the following stunts require the wizard to have the focus with them, preferably in physical contact.
- Amulet of Energetic Defense
- When wearing this amulet, you gain a Magical Shielding aspect that provides you a free invoke for a defend action against any magical attack, be it a spell or magical ability used by a magical creature. This amulet recharges itself, so you can use that free invocation once per scene.
- Amulet of Obscurement
- So long as you wear this amulet, you gain a +2 to defend against any attempt to use Scrying magic to detect you or locate you. If you are unaware of the scrying attempt against you, then you sense the attempt and can actively defend against it, assuming you have access to the Scrying school of magic. If you do not, then the passive difficulty is still increased by +2.
These foci are most often taken by musically-oriented magic users, often referred to as bards.
- Lute of Fantastic Focus
- When you use Phantasm to cast spells that place aspects related to enhancing morale or influencing moods, you gain a +2 to the spell casting roll.
- Orb of Phantasmal Power
- When you succeed with style on a mental attack using a spell from the Phantasm school of magic, you can force your target to take a mental consequence instead of stress.
- Orb of Domination
- When you use Phantasm to cast spells that place aspects related to mind control, they have a Good (+3) difficulty to remove instead of the default Fair (+2).
- Staff of (Element)
- You channel elemental magic especially well. Choose Aether, Earth, Air, Fire or Water. You can prepare 2 more spells than normal, provided those spells are from that school.
- (Element) Channeler
- Requires Staff of (Element). The "Element" should match the element you selected for the Staff of (Element) stunt. You can prepare and cast spells from that single school of magic in one action. However, note that this means you do not gain the benefit of a preparation aspect -- so you don't get a +2 bonus to cast.
- Book of Arcane Lore
- When you need to take an overcome action using Lore (usually for recalling bits of magical knowledge), you gaint a +2 bonus.
- Arcane Mastery
- Requires Book of Arcane Lore. You can prepare 2 more spells than the normal. You may purchase this stunt multiple times.
- Weapon of Magical Might
- By invoking your aspect related to using magic, you can inflict a 2-stress physical hit. This is an attack action but requires no roll and it might be of any Energies school type of attack spell.
- Call to Hand
- Requires Weapon of Magical Might. As long as your weapon is somewhere within line of sight, you can call it to hand. This requires an overcome action, and is the only spell you can cast without use of a focus (if you are a wizard). If the weapon is in someone else's hand, the overcome action might be actively opposed.
Other Kinds of Spell-slingers
Sorcery and Witchcraft
Those who are imbued with magical power due to a hereditary gift are considered to be a sorceress or sorcerer. (Females are far more likely to manifest sorcerous powers than males are, of any race.) Witches have made infernal pacts or made an oath to a fae overlord.
All these kinds of spell-slinger operate differently than wizards. They do not need to perform Spell Preparation; they simply manifest their power and cast their spells using Will. They still must beat the base difficulty. The casting is considered successful even if the target manages to defend successfully. Note that this means they have no invocations from spell preparation to invoke, either. This means that while they are more flexible in how much and how often they can cast spells, their results can be much more unpredictable. Sorceresses and clerics performing difficult spells are therefore wise to take precautions and create some aspects they can invoke to aid the casting, be it use of lengthy rituals, rare ingredients, or sacrifice.
Failure for this type of magic is handled the same as for failure for spell preparation for wizardry. In other words, success at a cost is always required. So on a tie, the caster takes a point of physical stress. On a failed roll, then the GM may require the character to pay a Fate point, take a consequence or the GM might get to decide the target of the spell. Whatever the GM chooses, the cost should be on par with the base difficulty of the spell attempted.
Sorcery and Witchcraft Spellcasting
- Use the same difficulties as that for wizardry spell preparation. The spell is still considered successful even if the target resists the effect.
- Success at a cost is always required should the spell fail to meet the base difficulty for the spell. The cost is the same as for wizardry preparation spells. Note that this means the spell will still work and if there is active opposition, the target still must successfully defend or resist in order to not be affected by a spell.
- A number of spells equal to casting skill +2 (though stunts may increase this total) can be cast before the witch or sorceress becomes Magically Spent. Exhaustion causes all spell difficulties for spells higher than Mediocre (cantrips), to increase by 2. This limitation remains in effect until the sorceress or witch has a chance to rest for at least four hours.
- Amethyst Destiny by Dias Ex Machina Games is available on DrivethruRPG.com.