Gramarye version 1.0, Copyright © 1997 by Carl D. Cravens.
Thanks to: Karen Cravens, Michael Feldhusen, Jason Knight, Scott Raun, and the users of the fudge-l mailing list.
Note: The original version of The Gramarye was first published in A Magical Medley by Grey Ghost Press, Inc. See http://fudge.phoenyx.net/gramarye/license.html for information on reproducing The Gramarye.
gramarye (GRAM-uh-re) n. [Archaic] magic; occult knowledge
The magic system presented here represents the pseudo-scientific approach of a mythical medieval alchemy. Many GMs running games in pseudo-medieval European settings will find this system adequate for their uses with little modification.
The world this system is designed for is similar to a mythical medieval Europe. The typical sorcerer sees magic as a scientific force to be manipulated through scientific (to him) means. He divides the world into four basic realms -- solids, liquids, gases, and energy -- which he calls earth, water, air, and fire. All things are made up of one or more of these elements. (A man's flesh is made of earth, his blood of water, his breath of air, and his spirit of fire.) He divides living things into three different realms as well -- body, mind, and spirit. This world-view governs the way a sorcerer approaches magic.
The basic elements of magic are divided up into Realms (areas of control, such as Fire, Water, Spirit, and Body) and Colleges (types of control, such as Control, Healing, Creation, and Transformation). In order to cast spells that manipulate one of these Realms, a character must have a skill for that Realm and a skill for the College that he desires an effect from.
To cast a spell, the character chooses a College and a Realm and combines them for the desired effect. The character's effective skill level for the spell is that of the lowest skill he is using. If a character has more than one Realm that would affect the spell (e.g. Transform Body to Stone when the caster has both Body and Earth), use the higher Realm skill with a +1 level bonus to the skill.
The character must have a knowledge skill (Easy) of his type of magic -- such as Rune Lore, Sorcery, Elven Shamanism, Gypsy Dance Magic, etc. -- which is equal to or greater than his highest magic skill. This skill represents the background knowledge that the mage must have before learning to cast spells.
At the GM's option, a character may take only a sub-College or sub-Realm for a decrease in the difficulty of the skill.
Example: The Animal Realm allows the caster to affect all animals and is an Average skill. A character could take Animal/Birds as an Easy skill and be able to affect only birds. (The Animal Realm is optional; the GM may require the purchase of sub-Realms of Body/Animal, Mind/Animal, and Spirit/Animal -- all Easy skills -- to replace it.)
These Colleges and Realms are based on the world-view of the setting. See Modifying the System, p. 95, for a discussion on altering the Colleges and Realms available in a given campaign.
Breaking (e.g. weaken, harm, dispel)
Breaking is destruction and undoing. Almost anything can be broken, though some things are harder to break than others.
Communication (e.g. speak, read)
Communication is about willing communication. Thought Speech (Communicate with Mind) is okay, but Read Minds is a Knowledge spell instead (Knowledge of Mind).
Control (H) (e.g. bind)
Control is making something perform an action that it could perform of its own volition or through natural events. It cannot make a stream of water flow up-hill, for example. Control can, if the GM allows, influence natural events, such as causing an earthquake along a fault line or causing a fire to spread more quickly.
Creation is making things. Create combined with any of the life-based Realms will be off-limits in most campaigns. Create Spirit (or any other life) is usually something restricted to the gods, for instance.
Enhancement (e.g. strengthen, repair)
Enhancement is making something better. It can repair broken items, make a man stronger or faster, or grant a "blessing" that gives the party an edge in combat. Enhancement is usually temporary.
Healing (H) (e.g. fertility, growth)
Healing is the repair, growth, and reproduction of living things.
Knowledge (H) (e.g. see, hear, find)
Knowledge is learning things that are unknown. It allows the caster to see things across long distances, read minds, or learn the history of an object or the true name of a dragon.
Movement is the transportation of things through space. Examples are psychokinesis, flying, moving faster than normal, and teleportation.
Protection is preventing the intrusion of damaging objects, spying spells, unwanted visitors, the weather, etc.
Transformation (H) (e.g. shape, transmute)
Transformation is changing the size, shape, or chemical composition of something. The GM should keep strict control over the Transformation College; it should not be able to do things that are the domains of other Colleges. It cannot heal, hurt, control, or otherwise change anything but the physical nature of the target. Transformation is usually permanent. The more you transform something from its original state, the harder the spell. Transforming a man into a goblin is fairly easy; they're both living humanoids. Transforming a man into a mouse is harder, requiring both a mass and form change. Transforming the man into a statue is even harder, requiring an element change. Transforming the man's body into stone while leaving him mobile is harder yet because this is a natural state for neither man nor stone.
Air (e.g. gas)
Air is any gaseous substance.
Animal is any non-intelligent living creature. It overlaps with Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Body is the physical body of any living creature.
Earth (H) (e.g. solid)
Earth is any solid, non-living substance.
Fire (e.g. energy)
Fire is any form of energy.
Illusion (H) (e.g. images, light, darkness, sound)
Illusion is any form of sensory or mental illusion.
Magic (H) (e.g. mana)
Magic is pure mystical force. If it can't be done with any other Realm, it can be done with Magic. Beyond the obvious (Detect Magic, Dispel Magic), Magic is a catch-all area. If a mage wants to affect something and that something isn't one of the Realms, the mage probably needs to use Magic. A Telekinesis spell that can move anything is Move with Magic. The Magic Realm is flexible and can reproduce effects from other Realms (although with slightly different results). For instance, Create Dog using Create Animal will produce a real dog while Create Magical Dog using Create Magic will produce a magical dog with magical properties. (See Guardian Beast in the sample spells.) Spells created through the Magic Realm that reproduce effects from other Realms should cost more mana, be more difficult, and/or have radically different effects. The Magic Realm should not be a general substitute for other Realms.
Mind is the mind of any living creature.
Plant is any plant matter, living or dead.
Spirit is the life-force of any living creature. The Spirit College works well for creating zombies, golems, or any other animated thing, provided the setting allows for summoning and binding a spirit to animate it.
Time (H) (e.g. past, future, history)
Time is the past, present, and future. The GM should keep careful control over this Realm.
Water (e.g. liquid)
Water is any liquid substance.
It is assumed that characters (or at least mages) have a Mana attribute or gift which has a numerical value and represents the amount of mana the character has available at one time (excluding magical devices). The character's mana is used up as he casts spells, and it recovers at a moderate rate. (In most cases, a wizard who exhausted his mana supply would recover it in a matter of minutes.) The recommended method for this system is a Mana attribute, with Terrible = 1 mana and Superb = 7 mana, and a recovery rate of 1 mana every 25 seconds (5 combat rounds).
The basic system presented here assumes a certain level of power and frequency of magic. These levels can be easily adjusted by changing the base difficulty of spells, changing the cost of magical skills, making a gift of Magical Aptitude a prerequisite to buying magical skill, or changing the availability and recharge rate of mana.
Adjusting the amount of available mana is the GM's primary tool for adjusting the overall power level of the system. For example, if the GM wants to eliminate the need for props and lower the average casting times of spells, she simply needs to raise the amount of mana available.
The player first determines what he wants the spell to do, then looks at the lists of Colleges and Realms for a pair that describes (very roughly) the desired effect. The player should realize that not all spell effects can be wrangled out of a limited set of Colleges and Realms. For example, Create Animal is not a substitute for Locate (Know) Animal followed by Control Animal; Create creates things.
There are times when more than one Realm may produce the desired effect. Ice is a solid and therefore affected by Earth, but it is also water and affected by Water. It's up to the GM to decide where she'll let this overlap occur. Some GMs might decide that ice is only water and is unaffected by Earth spells, or that ice is no longer a liquid and unaffected by Water spells.
Also note that Move Body, for example, is not a spell; it is a combination of a College and Realm. The player should name the spell he desires before telling the GM which elements he will use. A Haste spell, which makes the target act faster, would require Move Body. The player would say, "I cast Haste using Move Body," not "I cast Move Body."
The player may want to keep a "spell book" of the spells his character uses often, and to give a copy to the GM. This way the spell doesn't have to be described every time the character casts it. This will also save the time of recalculating the spell's casting parameters.
The GM may require more than one Realm for certain effects (e.g., Transform Body to Stone may require both the Body and Earth Realms). Sometimes a spell will consist of two or more spell effects strung together. A Summon Wolf spell might require two separate skill rolls -- Locate (Know) Wolf and Control Wolf.
Example: Baldor the Brilliant wants to cast a huge ball of fire at a group of advancing warriors. He combines his knowledge of Creation with his knowledge of Fire to throw a Fireball spell.
A basic spell has close range, does zero damage or some other minor effect, affects one man-sized target or one cubic meter of material, takes five seconds to cast, lasts for five seconds (if appropriate), costs zero mana, has a Difficulty of Fair, and requires the caster to make magical gestures or incantations.
The final cost, Difficulty, and casting time of a spell is determined by the GM. See Spell Effects, below and right, for rough guidelines. (These are guidelines to help choose basic costs and casting times; they are not strict rules.) The GM should not allow any spell that she thinks may be unbalancing. The GM may declare that certain spells' Difficulty Levels may not be lowered below a certain point for game balance purposes. For example, the GM may declare that Knowledge spells can never be easier than Fair, regardless of the time or mana spent casting them. Likewise, the GM may decide that certain spells require a certain length of casting time or a certain amount of mana regardless of resources available to the caster.
It's difficult to give detailed guidelines for determining a spell's basic level of power. The best way to do so is to compare the desired effect with an existing spell or the suggested Spell Effects. (Note that the level of effect of a particular spell is influenced by the world. For example, if talking to spirits is a common occurrence in your world, it probably shouldn't be of Great Difficulty.)
Once the GM determines the basic cost for a desired effect, see the Modifiers table (p. 90) to refine the cost, duration, exact spell effect, etc. of a specific spell.
Example: Back to Baldor's Fireball spell. Since he wants to incapacitate these goons, he figures the fireball will need to do 10 damage. According to the Modifiers chart, that's +5 mana. He's in a hurry, so he won't mess with the casting time, but it's long range (+2 mana) and will affect several targets (+2 mana). The base Difficulty is Fair. Total mana required: 9. Since Baldor only has a Great Mana (6), he needs to come up with three more mana to help him cast the spell.
|Cost||Spell Effect Is:|
|Breaking: Shatter fragile material (crystal). Cause minor discomfort.|
|Communication: Speak local dialect of known language. Empathy.|
|Control: Cause target to sneeze or itch.|
|Creation: Simple illusion (simple stationary image or sound).|
|Enhancement: Amplify voice. Make a person beautiful. Repair fragile material.|
|Healing: Relieve minor fatigue or Scratches. Heal minor infection.|
|Knowledge: Provide information obtainable through simple observation.|
|Movement: Cause fire to spread more rapidly.|
|Protection: Shield from weather. Act as cloth armor.|
|Transformation: Make a man look like another man.|
|Breaking: Shatter or tear soft material (leather, wood).|
|Communication: Speak unknown language. Telepathy with like mind.|
|Control: Cause target to do something it's inclined to do.|
|Creation: Detailed illusion (stationary person).|
|Enhancement: Temporarily increase one of target's attributes by one level..Repair soft material.|
|Healing: Cure major infection or minor disease.|
|Knowledge: Provide information obtainable through simple mundane means.|
|Movement: Move something telekinetically. Allow target to levitate. Allow target to cling to walls like a spider. Cause target to travel faster.|
|Protection: Shield from severe storm and light weapons.|
|Transformation: Turn a man into a goblin.|
|Breaking: Shatter resistant material (stone, bone, fragile metal).|
|Communication: Speak with being with no language (animals). Telepathy with alien mind.|
|Control: Cause target to do something it's mildly against.|
|Creation: Complex illusion (person or dragon fighting).|
|Enhancement: Temporarily increase one of target's attributes by two levels. Repair resistant material.|
|Healing: Cure major disease or poison.|
|Knowledge: Provide information the caster could have obtained through complex, lengthy, or dangerous mundane means.|
|Movement: Allow target to fly. Allow target to walk through walls.|
|Protection: Shield from heavy weapons.|
|Transformation: Turn a man into a mouse.|
|Breaking: Shatter hard material (hardened metal).|
|Communication: Speak with spirits, trees, or rocks.|
|Control: Cause target to do something it's strongly against.|
|Creation: Very complex illusion (band of knights fighting a dragon).|
|Enhancement: Temporarily increase one of target's attributes by three levels. Repair hard material.|
|Healing: Reattach severed limbs.|
|Knowledge: Provide information the caster could not have obtained otherwise.|
|Movement: Allow target to move from one location to another instantly.|
|Protection: Shield from most weapons.|
|Transformation: Turn a man into stone.|
|Breaking: Shatter mythical material (mithral).|
|Communication: Speak with extra-planar being|
|Control: Cause target to do something it would never do under its own will.|
|Creation: World-altering illusion (change entire setting).|
|Enhancement: Temporarily increase one of target's attributes by four levels. Repair mythical material.|
|Healing: Regrow severed limbs.|
|Knowledge: Provide information no one could have obtained otherwise.|
|Movement: Allow target to move from one plane to another.|
|Protection: Shield from most magical effects.|
|Transformation: Turn a man into living stone.|
|These spells are earth-shaking and rare. They destroy powerful entities, wreck nations, sink continents, and unleash terrible evils on the world.|
(add all that apply to specific spell's mana cost)Change the number of targets or area covered:
Note: A spell that affects multiple targets should not be selective; it affects everyone in the area in which it is cast. In other words, the mage shouldn't get to selectively shoot multiple targets for +1 mana to avoid casting the spell once for each target.
Each level of the Time Chart is a rough approximation of five times the previous level. Use this chart to determine time modifiers both for spell duration and casting time.
1 level = 2 mana or 1 Difficulty Level.
Extending the duration of a spell is at the GM's option; some spells are too powerful or make no sense if they last longer than a moment.
Props are things the mage does or uses to help make the spell work. Props may take the form of rituals, invocations, and gestures; or they may be physical props that apply the magical laws of Similarity, Contact, or Sacrifice to provide the caster with mana bonuses.
Physical props are normally consumed in the casting of the spell. To create a prop that is not consumed by the casting, the mage must enchant it. (See Making Sources of Power and other Wizard Tools.)
A ritual is something the caster does to cast the spell before he actually begins casting. Sample portions of rituals include fasting, special cleansing or confession, performing a special service or quest, praying at a specific location, etc. A simple ritual grants the mage a +1 mana bonus. The more involved and inconvenient the ritual, the greater the bonus the GM should award.
Invocations are magical words or prayers spoken aloud during casting. Gestures are magical signs or motions made by the caster with his hands or body during casting. To cast a spell with neither gestures nor invocations doubles the mana cost. (Casting a spell with both provides no bonus.)
The mana cost of a spell can be paid for, in part or whole, by applying the Laws of Similarity, Contact, and Sacrifice. The Law of Similarity says that similar things affect each other, like produces like, or effect resembles cause. The Law of Contact says that things once in contact with each other still have an effect on each other when they are separated. The Law of Sacrifice says that giving up something of value to the caster or the target makes the magic more likely.
To apply the Law of Similarity, one must use material components that are similar to the desired effect. Examples are a feather for a flight spell, a bit of sulfur for create flame, a drawing of a wolf to summon a real wolf, a twig to be broken during casting for a spell that breaks down the wooden castle gate, etc.
The Law of Similarity depends completely on world-view. If the mage does not view a particular item as being relevant to his spell, then that item is not Similar, regardless of the knowledge the player has. For instance, the player may know that sulfur burns readily, but if his character knows nothing of this, a pinch of sulfur will do nothing for his flame spells.
To apply the Law of Contact, one must use material components that have once been in contact with the target of the spell; the longer or more personal the contact, the better. Examples are the victim's hair and nail parings used in a death spell, a piece of jewelry worn by an enemy in a spell of defense to protect the mage from that enemy, a piece of the castle gate to be broken with a spell, etc.
To apply the Law of Sacrifice, the component must be of personal value to either the caster or the target of the spell and fulfill one of the other Laws. Examples are a family ring, a lover's lock of hair, the tooth of a dragon, etc. (A dragon's tooth is valuable to the caster if he had to go to great pains to get it. It is hardly valuable if he walked down to the corner store and picked one out of a bowl full of them.)
The same object may meet the requirements of both of the first Laws, such as hair clippings used on a voodoo doll. The hair of the victim fulfills the Law of Contact while the doll itself fulfills the Law of Similarity. Using props will provide extra mana for the spell. The caster may use as many different props as the GM feels reasonable, but duplicates (props that serve identical functions) are generally disallowed.
Base value: Similar prop (Law of Similarity): +1 mana Contagious prop (Law of Contact): +2 mana Value multiplier (multiply by base value): Worthless: x 1 (the feather of a sparrow) Minor value: x 2 (the feather of an eagle) Major value: x 3 (the feather of a gryphon) Priceless: x 4 (the feather of unique creature) Personal meaning bonus (add to multiplier): Meaningless to owner: +0 (hair clippings) Minor meaning to owner: +1 (a ring) Major meaning to owner: +2 (a ring given by a lover) Priceless to owner: +3 (a hand, severed)
Example: Using a gold chain stolen from the target, given to him by his wife on their wedding night, a mage casts a spell of Binding (mind control) on his target. Since the mage is binding (chaining) the target to his will, the chain is Similar (+1); since the target wore it, it is Contagious (+2). The chain is of minor value but has major meaning to the owner (x 4). The total value of the chain is 3 x 4 = 12 (the amount of mana it contributes to the spell -- a powerful prop!). If the chain has been enchanted properly, it can be used more than once; otherwise it is destroyed (or made magically worthless).
Example: As previously stated, Baldor needs 9 mana to cast his Fireball spell, but he has only 6. Luckily, he has with him a supply of small balls of bat guano mixed with sulfur, made just for this purpose. These are Similar (they burn readily) and gain him +1 mana. But he is still 2 mana short and cannot cast the spell without finding another source of mana. Fortunately for Baldor, he has a 2-point mana stone (see Making Sources of Power, p. 93) to make up the difference.
To begin casting a spell, the mage must have the desired components at hand, be able to recite or perform any incantations or gestures, and have the necessary mana available.
Once he has started casting the spell, an unintentional interruption of the spell results in failure as though he had failed his skill roll. If the mage is wounded, he should make a Willpower (or similar) check to avoid interruption (wound penalties apply; -1 for Hurt, -2 for Very Hurt). The mage may voluntarily release the spell at any time before actually finishing it at no penalty. The source of mana -- whether the mage himself or some other source -- does not recover mana while casting a spell. When the spell is complete, the player must make a skill check against the Difficulty of the spell for the spell to succeed.
Once cast, the mage may "hold" the spell and not release it right away. It costs 1 mana every five combat rounds to hold a spell, during which time the mage may cast no other spells and he, or any device providing him mana, regains no mana.
Spells normally do not require a to-hit roll and get no bonuses to damage for relative degree of success, that being the nature of magic. A spell either does its damage or it does not. If the GM desires, she may require to-hit rolls for all targeted spells and may allow increased damage based on the relative degree.
If a spell may have an extended duration, the mage may continue to maintain that spell at a cost of one mana per base time unit of the spell. The base time unit is the amount of time the spell was set to last when cast. There is no limit to the number of spells a mage can maintain except his available mana. The mage does recover mana while maintaining spells.
The game master may use penalties for spell failure as a means to control the more powerful spells. A player who would risk a 90% chance of failure on an extremely powerful spell would be more reluctant if failure probably meant the death of his character . Spell failure penalties are optional. If it is extremely dangerous to use magic, this can greatly change the tone of the campaign. If the GM wishes to use penalties for spell failure, the risks that their characters may take should be made clear to the players.
Generally, the more powerful the spell, the greater the penalty for failure. Examples of penalties are loss of mana, loss of consciousness, temporary loss of magical ability, damage, unexpected spell effects, etc. The penalty should be related to the type of spell cast.
A character gets no defensive roll against a spell; whether or not he gets hit is a function of the mage's success at casting it. A character may take multiple levels of the gift Magic Resistance, which acts like armor against magical damage and reduces the effects of other magic at the GM's discretion. (The GM may allow Magic Resistance to reduce the mage's chances of success with some spells.)
This magic item creation system is simply a suggestion. The GM is encouraged to modify or replace the system as necessary to adapt it to her own campaign and personal preferences.
To create a magic item, the mage must perform lengthy rituals involving the Colleges and Realms necessary for the effects he wants the item to have. For instance, to create a sword that increases the wielder's skill would require Enhancement and Body.
A good guideline for item creation time is to take the mana cost of the desired spell and square it. The mana needed at the end of creation is the mana cost of the spell doubled. (If the final mana cost of the desired spell is 5, it would take 25 days to create a magic item that could cast that spell and would cost 10 mana.) This produces a magical item that allows a person to cast the item's spell at the same casting time, mana cost, and other requirements as normal. Essentially, it grants the user the ability to cast that particular spell as if he were a mage with the proper skills, even if he isn't. To create an item that requires no mana, double the creation time.
To create an item that requires no skill roll, double it again. If the player suggests limitations on the item, such as single-use, the GM is encouraged to reduce the creation time and mana requirements.
When the character has reached the end of the creation period, the chance of successfully finishing the item is the same for successfully casting the basic spell. If the item has more than one spell, roll for each spell as it is enchanted into the item. To increase the chance of success, the caster can modify the casting cost of the creation in the same ways as an ordinary spell.
Mana stones and other items that store mana are important tools. They provide the mana necessary to cast large spells, or to cast a large number of spells in a short time. The suggested average for a mana stone is three mana.
Creating a mana stone usable with any form of magic requires Control and Magic for a Bind Mana spell. The more mana the stone can hold, the more mana the Bind Mana spell will require. To create a mana stone that works with a specific kind of magic require s only that particular College or Realm. (Thus a character with only Plant and Animal magic could create a "mana stone" useable only with the Plant and Animal Realms.)
A mana stone recharges at the same rate as the caster's personal mana. A character may carry any number of mana stones, but can use only one at a time. The user will recover all of his mana before any of his stones recharge, and when in close proximity to other stones, only one mana stone will recharge at a time, largest to smallest.
Another important tool is the item which reduces the mana cost of every spell of a specific type. Generally, these are enchanted props. Their mana value is calculated as normal for a prop, but being enchanted they are not consumed in the casting of the sp ell. Enchanted props are made in the same way mana stones are, but enchanted props do not contain mana; they reduce the mana cost of any spell they apply to.
To create a mana stone or enchanted prop requires a number of days equal to the mana bonus plus one for every College or Realm it can be used with, doubled. The mana cost of the enchantment is equal to the number of days required to cast it. Sample Spells All sample spells have a base Difficulty of Fair. Most of them are low in detail; it's up to the GM to decide exactly what happens. Remember that props are always consumed unless they have been enchanted.
Create Fire, Good effect (+5), long range (+2), several targets (+2). Total mana: 9.
Creates a ball of flame, which streaks toward a point defined by the caster and explodes, causing 10 damage to all in its area.
Sample prop: Small ball of bat guano and sulfur (-1).
Create Magic beast, Good effect (+4), lasts 1 day (+6), small area (+1).Total mana: 11.
Creates an invisible guardian to guard an item or area. If anything enters the area and moves toward the guarded item, the Beast will begin barking as a warning. If someone touches the item, the Beast will attack with the abilities of a powerful dog, with a fighting ability of Good due to being invisible. The Beast will not stray more than a couple feet from the guarded item. For +1 mana, the Beast can guard (and roam) an entire room.
Sample prop: A crystal figurine of a dog or similar beast (-3).
Find (Know) Spirit, Great effect (+8), long range (+2), takes 1 hour (-8). Total mana: 2.
Move Spirit, Good effect (+4), long range (+2), takes 10 minutes (-6). Total mana: 0.
Control Spirit, Great effect (+8), lasts one day (+6), takes 1 hour (-8). Total mana: 6.
Causes a dead body, skeleton, or sculpture to be imbued with the spirit of a dead man and come under the control of the caster.
A three-part ritual magic, each part must be completed successfully before the next part can begin, and the parts must be cast in immediate succession with no recovery of mana in between. It is best to cast the spell in an area where a spirit is expected to be found, otherwise the range of the spell will need to be increased.
This spell assumes the use of spirits (tormented souls that have not left this realm for one reason or another) to animate non-animate objects and is a combination of three spell effects. (To animate things purely by magical force, the addition of an Animation College may be useful. Otherwise Move with Magic (a Superb effect) should suffice.)
If the GM wants to control the use of this spell, requiring valuable props (such as a body part of the spirit being captured) or simply raising the basic cost of the spells should be effective.
Control Body, Mediocre effect (+1). Total mana: 1.
Causes target to stumble and possibly fall.
Sample prop: An ounce of strong drink (11).
Know with Magic, Good effect (+4), small room (+2), extreme range (+4). Total mana: 10.
Allows the caster to see things at a distance and through mundane obstacles as though he were standing at another place.
Sample prop: A small magnifying crystal which the mage looks through (-2).
Break Magic or Protect from Magic, Fair effect (+3), small room (+2), lasts one hour (+4). Total mana: 9.
Prevents spying by magical means anywhere inside its area. Treat attempts to spy through the shield as opposed actions, spell skill vs. spell skill.
Sample props: A human eyeball pierced with an iron nail (-6), or a gem coated in lead (-2).
Move with Magic, Fair effect (+2), small target (-1), short range (+1), lasts 2 minutes (+2). Total mana: 4.
Allows the caster to move a small amount of any substance without touching it.
Move Body, Great effect (+8), extreme range (+4), lasts 10 minutes (+3),
takes 1 hour (-8). Total mana: 7.
Move with Magic, Great effect (+15), extreme range (+4), lasts 10 minutes (+3), takes 1 hour (-8). Total mana: 14.
(Note: Move with Magic is a more costly spell because it can move anything. Move Body can move only a person or animal with personal possessions.)
Creates a gate to anywhere the caster knows well, which anyone may pass through, one person at a time.
Sample prop: A doorway or appropriate passageway to pass through (-1), or if the target location is in a forest, a branch from a tree of that forest (-2).
Control Mind, Great effect (+8), extreme range (+4), lasts 1 season (+9), takes 5 hours (-10). Total mana: 11.
Allows the caster to bind the target to his will. The target will carry out the caster's commands at all times, even when out of sight of the caster. The target may break the control when told to do something he is strongly against if a Willpower or simil ar attribute check is successful.
Sample prop: A gold chain, of great personal value, given to the target by a loved one on a very special occasion (-12).
Communicate with Body, Fair effect (+2), lasts 1 hour (+4). Total mana: 6.
Allows target to speak to any living being that has a formal language. (To speak to creatures without a formal language is a Good effect.)
Control Mind, Good effect (+4), lasts 2 minutes (+2). Total mana: 6.
Causes the target to believe he is being attacked by a huge swarm of stinging insects. Unless target passes a Willpower or similar attribute check or would normally be immune to stinging insects, he will take one Scratch of psychic damage every round. (Psychic damage disappears at the end of the spell duration, and cannot cause death, but in all other respects acts as normal damage.) A critical success at the attribute check (+4 on the dice, or a result beyond Superb) will cancel the spell prematurely.
Sample prop: A hornets' nest with larvae inside (-4).
Communicate with Mind, Fair effect (+2). Total mana: 2.
Allows caster to mentally communicate with another intelligent humanoid.Note that it works only at Close range for five seconds if the caster doesn't add more mana to increase range and duration.
Sample prop: A garment stained with the target's blood (-3).
The way magic works in a particular setting is a function of that setting and how its populace views the world. If magic in one world is a "scientific" skill, requiring careful research and experimentation, a sorcerer in that world would have a different world-view than a sorcerer in a world where all magic is done by petitioning spirits to carry out the sorcerer's task. The "scientific" sorcerer might see the world divided into the classic elements of earth, air, fire, and water, while the "spirit" sorcerer sees only animal, man, and divine spirits. Another sorcerer might petition his deity for magic and be able to cast only spells that fall into his deity's domain.
Before the GM can customize this system to his setting, she must first decide on a world-view and a "philosophy" of magic to base the system on. Basically, she must decide how or why magic works and how the sorcerers of the world think magic and the rest of the world works. This world-view need not be universal. Just because the humans think in terms of written spell formulas, laboratories, and specific steps doesn't mean the elves do. Feel free to create different magic systems for different cultures and ways of thinking in your campaign.
One of the drastic modifications to the system is to change the set of words available. The following are examples of words that the GM might find useful in his campaign.
Animate - If binding spirits to inanimate objects to animate them doesn't work, you might need this College.
Matter, Energy - If you need to manipulate generic matter and energy directly but want the element Realms to be specific, these Realms might be necessary.
Demonic, Divine - If these supernatural elements are a big part of your campaign, you might want these as separate Realms.
Food - This Realm is an example of just how specific the words can get.
Language - Another specific Realm that is currently covered under the catch-all Magic Realm.
Machine - If you're playing cyberfantasy, this is an important Realm.