SG: Approaches to Magic

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Magic ultimately comes from either within the character, drawing upon the power of a character’s soul, or it comes from an external source. Choose your character’s approach to magic from the options below. Note there are specific benefits to having each approach in an aspect. Passive benefits are always available. Special functions an invoke or compel can create are also listed, but these are not the only way the aspects can be used. They certainly all can be used to gain a bonus to using magic skills that are listed with the spell-craft approach.


Learning Out-of-Path Magic[edit]

Some students of the occult have powers that seem to cross the boundaries between the various disciplines. This is certainly acceptable. However, note that you can have only one Spell-craft Approach indicated in your High Concept. This means that while you can learn any magic skill, only those skills listed under your Spell-craft Approach can gain a bonus by invoking your High Concept aspect, and you can access the passive benefits of only one Approach.


Changing Your Spell-craft Approach[edit]

A change in the high concept aspect is a very significant event, altering how your character sees his or her world. It should not be done lightly, but it is possible where dramatically appropriate to the story.


Alchemy[edit]

Alchemy describes transformation and the interaction of the classic elements. Elements as concepts of air earth, fire and water describe the different states of creation. Alchemists use their knowledge into order to transform the world around them in useful ways. Transmutation is a skill advanced practitioners learn after mastering some of the basics of the Elements. Translocation, which is a type of transformation in which a person’s location is transformed into another location, is also quite advanced. Both Transmutation and Translocation rely on intimate knowledge of the elements. The aspect isn’t limited to the following invoke and compel uses, but they are special to the aspect.

Passive Benefit: Alchemists gain a special insight into the world around them. An alchemist can compensate for the lack of one sense by relying more heavily on his remaining senses. For example, if it is too dark to see, the alchemist can sense motion and dimension with little more than hearing and scent. If another alchemist is deaf (or temporarily deafened), she can “feel” sound via a hypersensitive touch.

Invoke: Superlative Senses.To change one thing into another, even when not using a magic skill to do so.

Compel: Distractions. An alchemist is fascinated by transformative processes, whether it is fuel into energy or a caterpillar into a butterfly. Sometimes, such distractions may delay an Alchemist’s action.


Alchemists can use the following skills:

  • Air
  • Earth
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Transmutation Requires two of Air, Earth, Fire or Water.
  • Translocation Requires two of Air, Earth, Fire or Water as well as Transmutation.


Black Magic[edit]

This kind of magic is dangerous, deadly, and corruptive. It focuses on the worst kinds of abuse of magical power for the purpose of personal gain. Black Magic practitioners might call themselves, or be called, black witches, hoodoo witch doctors, sorcerers, or warlocks.

Passive Benefit: You are able to sense innocence. It is suspected that people who are truly good are anathema to warlocks and other black practitioners, and they can sense it. The sense offers few details, save for relative innocence — and virginity.

Invoke: Corruption. Invoke your Black Magic aspect for a bonus whenever you attempt to corrupt or tempt someone, be it with magic or otherwise.

Compel: Sign of the Witch. Compel to have milk sour, candle flames burn blue, and have the scent of sulfur hang on the air. These are all signs that a master of the darkest sort of magic is near.


Black Magic practitioners use:

  • Affliction
  • Craft
  • Darkness
  • Mind Requires two other magic skills first.
  • Passion
  • Transformation Requires Darkness or Nature.


High Magic[edit]

Practitioners of this sort of magic often refer to themselves as thaumaturgists, Kabbalists, wizards or a member of a variety of other highly structured magical systems. Practitioners view magic as something they channel from their higher self (or perhaps from angels).

Passive Benefit: Using Investigation or other appropriate skills, these practitioners can sense the residue of magic left behind in objects, or in objects that have been enchanted in some way (often with use of an aspect placed on the item by magic).

Invoke: Ritual. When creating ritual spaces, perhaps to create aspects you can then invoke to aid in spell casting, you gain a bonus to the skill roll involved.

Compel: Delay. Your magical style is highly ritualistic. When in a hurry, your High Magic aspect can be compelled to cause you to slow down and take your time. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.


High Magic practitioners use:

  • Air
  • Blessing
  • Divining
  • Earth
  • Fire
  • Water


Spiritualism[edit]

Spiritualists believe in natural magic and magic inherent in their own higher being. Tapping into this magic allows them access to exceptional feats of perception, healing and psychic power. They might refer to themselves as a shaman, a pyschic, or a medium depending on his or her speciality.

Passive Benefit: Spiritualists can see auras with little more effort than a moment’s concentration and an Empathy roll. This lets them learn general things about a subject, such as if they are healthy or ill, or if they have some kind of supernatural power.

Invoke: Healer. Invoke your Spiritualism aspect for a bonus to detect sickness or injury, or a bonus to read someone’s current emotional state.

Compel: Psychic Sensitive. You are finely tuned such that the presence of corruption or monstrous supernatural beings can disturb you to distraction.


Spiritualists use:

  • Blessing
  • Craft
  • Curing Requires one other magic skill first.
  • Mind Requires two other magic skills first.
  • Nature
  • Necromancy


Witchcraft[edit]

Witchcraft taps into old lore and often, a hybrid of old pagan and modern views of the world and how it works. They can be written off as New Age nuts as often as insightful and powerful sages. Most witches of this tradition will describe themselves as “white witches” in order to clearly differentiate themselves from practitioners of Black Magic. Other terms for a spellslinger using this approach to magic include priest or priestess, and even druid.

Passive Benefit: Creatures great and small never begin with a hostile reaction to the character. At worst, they will react to the character in a neutral way.

Invoke: Animal Magnetism. As a sensual being, actions that can make use of a witch’s mystical allure can gain a bonus.

Compel: Too Much Attention. The fact the character is a witch, even a good witch, can mean she gets the wrong sort of attention.


Witches use:

  • Blessing
  • Craft
  • Divining
  • Nature
  • Passion
  • Transformation Requires Nature or Darkness.


Next: Magic Use