Magic is the manipulation of forces in the universe through rituals, incantations, or sheer willpower. From the sorcerer transporting across realms to the warrior wielding enchanted weapons, there are a variety of ways that magic manifests itself.
Organization of Magic
Magic can be defined and organized in multiple ways. One way is by looking at the source of the power. The three major spheres of magic, or sources, are Elemental, Spiritual, and Mental. Each sphere draws its power from a different source: the unceasing conflict between the elements that shapes the natural world, the powers shared by the spirits and deities of Elanthia with their followers, and the innate psychic energies of the mind.
Another way to think about magic is through categorization as either flow magic or rote magic. The most powerful applications of magical power are known as flow magic, requiring very rare skill and knowledge. By comparison, rote magic that has been repeatedly practiced and codified is much more commonly seen and used. This rote magic is represented by the spell circles available to adventurers (player characters). These collections of rote incantations, known as spells, are designed to evoke specific changes in the world. Each spell circle belongs to at least one of the spheres, and there are hybrid circles that mix two of the spheres.
Through the lens of game mechanics, spells are organized by a spell number which consists of a reference to the circle it belongs to and the rank of the spell within that circle. For example, the spell Minor Shock has the spell number 901, because it is the 1st spell of the Wizard spell circle and all Wizard spells have a '9' prefix. (For this reason, the Wizard spell circle is commonly referred to as the '900s'.) Each spell also has a mnemonic phrase that may optionally aid in casting it: for example, for the aforementioned Minor Shock spell, the mnemonic is 'MINORSHOCK'.
To learn a spell, one must train in one of that profession's available spell circles. Each skill rank in a spell circle gives access to additional spells, up to the character's level. For example, a level 6 Wizard with 5 ranks in Minor Elemental (400s) and 7 ranks in Wizard Base (900s) will be able to cast spells 401 through 405, as well as 901 through 906, but not 406 (because rank is not high enough) or 907 (because level is not high enough).
|Total Circles Available
|Max Ranks Per Level
To activate a spell, one must first have learned it by training in the appropriate spell circle and must be of the appropriate level. The list of known spells can be viewed with SPELL ALL.
One must also be able to harness enough magical energy, known as mana. The more powerful a spell, the more mana that must be harnessed to use it. Increasing one's mana is achieved by training in Harness Power. Attempting to activate a spell without sufficient mana can cause injury or death.
There are two ways to activate a spell: either through the use of PREPARE followed by an activation verb such as CAST, CHANNEL, SUMMON, or EVOKE, or through the use of INCANT which prepares and activates in one command.
PREPARE and Activation
Use the PREPARE verb with the spell number, mnemonic, or full spell name to ready the spell. For example, a wizard can PREPARE 901, PREPARE MINORSHOCK, or PREPARE MINOR SHOCK to ready the Minor Shock (901) spell. The spell will stay prepared for 30 seconds or until using an activation verb on a viable target, for example: CAST RODENT. Using an activation verb without a specified TARGET may activate the spell with the caster as the target. Be careful not to do this with attack spells. To cancel a readied spell without activating it, use the RELEASE verb.
- CAST - This is the default activation verb.
- CHANNEL - Some offensive spells use this activation verb to deal additional damage or may have other effects.
- EVOKE - Some spells have an additional use that may be accessed using this activation verb. With multi-target spells, EVOKE will cast a player-unfriendly version of the spell.
- SUMMON - This activation verb is typically used in order to choose a specific object, item, or animal.
INCANT prepares and activates a spell with a single command. For example, INCANT 901 or INCANT MINORSHOCK to prepare and cast Minor Shock. INCANT automatically selects a target, unless the target has been set with the TARGET verb. It is possible set up INCANT to always use one of the relevant activation verbs (such as: INCANT SET CHANNEL 1115) or to change the verb for one activation only (such as: INCANT 1700 EVOKE). See the INCANT article for more details.
Types of Spells
Spell types can be categorized in different ways. One way to categorize them is by looking at how they change the world. Attack spells are used to harm or disable a target or targets. Enhancement spells (or "buff spells") are used to enhance defensive or offensive combat ability, weapons, or stats. Healing spells mitigate or remove health loss, injuries, or scars. Utility skills enhance non-combat skills or change the environment. Another way to think about them is by categorizing them as single target, multi-target, or area of effect.
- Main article: Category:Attack Spells
Combat spells additionally have various effects based on several different combat resolution systems.
Bolt spells produce magical projectiles, such as a fireball or a bolt of lightning. An attack roll is made to determine whether a bolt spell hits or misses.
An example of a bolt spell:
You hurl a powerful lightning bolt at a shadow mare! AS: +297 vs DS: +116 with AvD: +37 + d100 roll: +97 = +315 ... and hit for 134 points of damage!
Attack roll factors:
- Attack strength (AS) is primarily determined by the caster's stance and Spell Aiming skill.
- Defense strength (DS) is primarily determined by the target's stance and general ability to dodge or block ranged attacks.
- Attack-vs-Defense (AvD) is determined by how well the target's armor protects from the specific type of bolt.
- d100 is a random number from 1 to 100.
If these factors add up to a number greater than 100, then the attack hits.
Maneuver spells alter the environment and require the target to make a quick physical reaction using the standard maneuver roll system.
An example of a maneuver spell:
[SMR result: 147 (Open d100: 32, Bonus: 48)] Fiery debris explodes from the ground beneath a small cheese-filled rat! ... 40 points of damage! The lower half of a small cheese-filled rat's right leg is almost completely burned away.
Maneuver spell factors:
- Open d100 is an open roll, usually between 1 and 100 but with a small chance to exceed the range.
- Bonus is based on certain conditions evaluated at the time of the cast, such as active buffs and debuffs. For example if the target is immobilized then there will be a large bonus to the maneuver attack.
- SMR result is the Open d100 plus the Bonus plus a skills-based modifier called "Spell Power". The Spell Power is not directly shown in the messaging, but is implied by the calculation - in the example above: 147 (result) - 32 (open roll) - 48 (bonus) = 67 (spell power).
- The caster's skill ranks in the spell circle is taken into account in Spell Power.
- The caster's level (specifically the level difference between caster and target) is often taken into account.
- If the spell involves a projectile then the caster's Spell Aiming skill is often taken into account.
- If the spell does not involve a projectile then the caster's Mana Control skills are often taken into account.
If the SMR result is above 100 then the maneuver attack hits; typically the higher the result is, the more severe the final effect will be.
Warding spells directly focus on the target, attempting to breach its magical defenses. A warding roll is made to determine whether a warding spell successfully affects the target.
An example of a warding spell:
You gesture at a krolvin warfarer. CS: +204 - TD: +88 + CvA: +19 + d100: +88 == +223 Warding failed! A dull grey beam snakes out toward the krolvin warfarer! ... 80 points of damage! ... 30 points of damage!
Warding roll factors:
- Casting strength (CS) is primarily determined by the caster's level and Spell Research.
- Target defense (TD) is primarily determined by the target's level and defensive magics.
- Cast-vs-Armor (CvA) is determined by how well the target's armor generally protects against spells.
- d100 is a random number from 1 to 100.
If these factors add up to a number greater than 100, then the spell will affect the target.
Warding spells that do not cause damage but instead hinder the target in some way are considered disabling spells.
There is a 1% chance when casting any attack spell that the caster will fumble and fail to cast it properly.
You gesture at a raving lunatic. d100 == 1 FUMBLE!
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- Main article: Category:Defensive Spells
- Main article: Category:Offensive Spells
- Main article: Category:Healing Spells
- Main article: Category:Utility Spells
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- Main article: Spell hindrance
Wearing heavier armors can interfere with casting and cause spells to fail. The chance can be reduced with training in Armor Use.
- Main article: Magic item
Spells and other enchantments are often embedded into various items that can be found as treasure or created by skilled artificers.
- Common magic items
- Common magic items include a number of types of wands, as well as the commonly found items in the treasure system such as small statues, white crystals, black crystals and ruby amulets.
- Uncommon magic items
- Occasionally one finds items in the treasure system that are magic items. Brooches, statues, rings, and buckles are examples of some that may be found. These may contain spells already, or may be able to have a spell imbedded into them using Magic Item Creation (420). Additionally, some of these may be able to be recharged by a wizard using the Charge Item (517) spell. The spells found in these items generally will not exceed 20th level spells, and certain spells (such as Call Familiar (920)) will not be found in such items.
- Created magic items
- Some professions create magic items. Rangers can create rods, amulets, and wands which may be imbedded by any other profession capable of learning the Magic Item Creation (420) spell. Wizards can enchant weapons and armor to make them more effective in combat, and sorcerers are capable of creating crimson salt crystals that can be used to animate dead creatures or characters.
- Gems that have been properly purified, or are simply previously orb gems are magic items, and may have spells imbedded them using Magic Item Creation (420) if treated with a grot t'kel potion; additionally, they may be turned into orbs for use with the Charge Item (517) spell or treated with the Holy Receptacle (325) spell that can bless deity powers into gems.
- Scrolls are printed materials with the magic of one or more spells written upon them. Success with scrolls is increased with training in Arcane Symbols.