Parent Pages: Rules : Advantages

Magery

Variable
You're magically adept. For this campaign setting, this replaces the version from the Basic Set, though you can still take Magery 0 from the Basic Set separately.

For more information on how spells work, visit the page on Spells. For a collection of spells that work with this version of Magery, visit one of the Spells by College, Spells by Name or Spells by Rarity pages.

Standard Magery

1 point + 1 point per level
You have a pool of points (like Modular Abilities on B71) to cast spells from, but those points have to be allocated ahead of time. You may allocate them to as many spells as you like, so long as you allocate no more than your Magery level. This involves an hour for meditation and study, along with a Meditation roll. Failing indicates that you were unable to create the proper state of mind and/or something distracted you from your studies, but only wastes ten minutes. This wasted time mostly represents study time before actual meditation. Repeated attempts carry the usual penalty (see p. B348).

This requires reading materials describing the spells you wish to prepare. This will usually take the form of some kind of spell book. Eidetic Memory or Photographic Memory may be used as a substitute for reading materials. Eidetic Memory allows an IQ roll to remember the spells. Photographic Memory allows you to prepare any spell you've ever read and understood, without rolling to remember.

Keeping spells prepared requires daily preparation, as above, with two exceptions. Eidetic Memory allows an IQ roll to skip this extra work. Photographic Memory allows you to skip this entirely. Without this, you lose the highest value spell you have prepared each day.

The major exception to this requirement for reading materials is any spell that you've spent points on for a Technique (see the Magic Skill for more information). These spells are known to you so well that you'll never forget how they work.

Once a spell is cast, it will have to be prepared again before use. You may prepare any given spell multiple times, if desired.

To cast a spell, you must make a skill roll against an appropriate Magic specialty for the spell. Unless the activation roll was a critical failure, failure to activate the spell does not cause your spell to become unprepared. In the case of a critical failure, all your preparation work instead went into something bad happening. This requires a roll on the Critical Spell Failure Table (p. B236), just like the regular GURPS magic system.

Critical success casting a spell means it stays prepared.

Fatigue Magery

1 point + 1 point per level
This works rather different compared to the way Standard Magery functions.

You have a pool of points, again, similar to the Modular Abilities Advantage. However, you require no preparation time to cast spells. Any spell you've read and understood in the past day is available to cast. Eidetic Memory allows casting any spell you've ever read and understood on a successful IQ roll. Photographic Memory lets you do the same without the IQ roll. For those with that Advantage, they rarely bother with keeping a personal spell book.

The level of this Advantage directly determines the maximum point value of spell you can cast. The point value of a spell determines how many FP are required to cast it, as well.

Casting a spell costs 20 FP for your maximum-sized spell, but this scales according to the size of an individual spell. Always round the final cost up.

For example, you've got this Advantage at level 80 and you're casting a 45 point spell. This is (45/80) * 20 = 11.25 FP, which rounds up to 12 FP. For a more detailed explanation of this, see p. P101 under the heading, Costs Fatigue. If you wish to keep the cost easy to calculate, always buy levels of this in nice, round numbers, such as 10 or 20 at a time. This will greatly simplify things for you.

Spells may be maintained by paying half the original fatigue cost when the duration of the spell would naturally expire (round FP cost up). You must be conscious to maintain your spells.

For spells with high casting times, you may choose to spread the FP cost over the entire casting process. However, on a failed casting, you've spent the FP on nothing. On a critical success, you regain all fatigue spent on this as the spell goes off.

The FP required per second is the total FP of the spell divided by the number of seconds it takes to cast. For example, a spell that takes eight FP and eight seconds to cast is one FP per second.

This becomes useful for spells that have casting times measured in minutes or hours, because with certain advantages, the caster may regain FP while casting! Any Energy Reserve or Regeneration (Fatigue Only, +0%) allows this. Normally, this isn't worth the extra book keeping.

Spell casting itself is the same as Standard Magery, requiring a roll against an appropriate specialty of the Magic skill.

Failing to activate a spell uses no fatigue. Critical failure uses the fatigue and requires a roll on the Critical Spell Failure Table (p. B236). Critical success casting a spell uses no fatigue and maintaining it only costs 1 FP.

Threshold-Limited Magery

1 point + 1 point per level
This functions as Fatigue Magery, only you aren't fatigued by casting spells. Add the number of FP you would have spent using Fatigue Magery to your tally using the rules for Threshold-Limited Magery from GURPS Thaumatology (p. 76-79).

This setting uses a threshold of 30 and recovery rate of 1 tally point every 3 hours (8 tally points a day).

In this campaign setting, only witches and warlocks use this method of spell-casting, but a witch or warlock could be trained in both wizardry and witchcraft, allowing the purchase of the Variable Energy Access Advantage along with Fatigue Magery. This would also require the Unusual Methods (Witchcraft) Enhancement at the +20% level, instead of the 0% level.

Those practicing witchcraft get a choice between Shadow and one of the four basic elements (Air, Earth, Fire and Water) to use as a source of energy for their spells. Each has a custom calamity table on the GM's version of the witches page.

Please follow the rules laid out on the page for witches when building such characters.

Special Enhancements

  • All Spells Available (Common): You have no need of a spell book, at least when it comes to any common spell. However, any uncommon, rare, very rare or unique spell still requires you to keep a spell book. This Enhancement is normally off-limits to all but priestly spell-casters. +30%
  • All Spells Available (Uncommon): As All Spells Available (Common), only it includes uncommon spells, as well. +60%.
  • No Foot Components: You do not have to make any kind of foot movements to cast spells. +10%.
  • No Facial Components: You do not have to make facial expressions to cast spells. +5%.
  • No Gesture Components: You do not have to make hand gestures to cast spells. +10%.
  • No Material Components: You do not require material components to cast spells. +30%.
  • No Speech Components: You do not have to speak to cast spells. +20%.
  • No Spell Components: This is just all the enhancements to remove spell components added together, for your convenience. +75%.
  • Unusual Methods: You learn and cast your spells in an unorthodox manner. You cannot learn spells from traditional sources, but neither can the average wizard learn anything by studying your spell book or studying under your tutelage. Please specify how your magic differs from the norm, as others with the same methods can teach you spells and/or learn from you. If you only know your own methods, this is worth +0%. This becomes +20% per additional method if you know your own and other ways.

Special Limitations

  • Can't Maintain Spells: You cannot maintain your spells past their initial duration. You may not side-step this in any manner. This may not be applied to Standard Magery. -30%.
  • Dance: You must dance to cast all of your spells. -40%.
  • Dark-Aspected: See p. B67. Time of day is irrelevant, but any light greater than candlelight or starlight causes your spells to immediately fail. This does not affect permanent spells. -50%.
  • Day-Aspected: See p. B67. If the sun isn't up, your spells immediately fail. This does not affect permanent spells. -40%.
  • Musical: You must play a musical instrument to cast spells. -50%.
  • Night-Aspected: see p. B67. Your spells immediately fail while the sun is up. This does not affect permanent spells. -40%.
  • No Armor: For some reason, you're unable to wear armor and cast spells at the same time. Gloves, boots and anything DR 1 or less is fine. Anything more will prevent you from casting spells. -45%.
  • One College Only: You may only cast spells from a single college. Mages that specialize in a specific college of magic often take additional levels of Magery with this Limitation. Any Hard college is -40%. Any Average college is -50%. An Easy college is -60%.
  • Requires Talisman: You require a special object attuned to the purpose to cast your spells. These cannot normally be bought and must be found or made specifically for you. This object can be almost anything, but must be in contact with your skin for you to cast spells. Common choices for a talisman are wands or jewelry. Without your talisman, you cast and prepare spells at -10. Enhanced talismans that provide bonuses to spell-casting may be available at the GM's option. Some mages have been known to build their homes as a massive talisman. Having a talisman with a positive SM gives an equal bonus to skill at both casting and the meditation rolls to prepare spells. The GM is the determiner of how a talisman is found or made, but it should always be personalized to the character. -30% if you must touch your talisman with any bare skin of your body. -40% if you must touch it with your bare hand.
  • Solitary: See p. B67. -40%.
  • Song: You must sing to cast your spells. If a spell has verbal components, then you must sing them. If it doesn't, then you'll have to sing a single, clear note for a short spell or an actual tune for anything long. -40%.
  • Spells Require Consciousness: You must stay conscious for your spells to continue working. If you lose consciousness for any reason, all of your spells immediately fail. This doesn't affect permanent spells. -20%.
  • Spells Require Sight: You must be able to see your spells or the targets of your spells for them to continue working. If they get out of your sight or you close your eyes for any reason, they immediately fail. This does not affect permanent spells. -35%.
  • Wild Magic: You cast your spells in a very non-traditional and dangerous manner. Please read the section on Wild Magic, below, for more information. -40%.

Many of the Magery modifiers from GURPS Thaumatology are also quite appropriate.

Group Spell-Casting

Multiple spell-casters can combine their abilities to cast more powerful spells than they could manage on their own. This uses the rules for Combining Powers (see p. P170-P172). Attempting to combine Fatigue Magery with Threshold Limited Magery without Variable Energy Access imposes an additional -2 penalty on attempts to link for the odd duck(s) out. Casters using different methods (see the Unusual Methods Enhancement, above) suffer a further -2 penalty to linking.

Standard Magery cannot be combined with the other forms, but users of it can work together. This requires an extended period of linking, while the leader prepares the intended spell(s). If this process is interrupted by unlinked before the spell(s) are cast, then the effort was wasted and all the leader's spells become unprepared. This is really only useful outside combat.

Priests cannot normally combine with wizards for groups casting. One of the notable exceptions are priests of gods of magic.

Mana

Mana Level General Notes Standard Magery Fatigue Magery
Threshold-Limited Magery
Other Effects
Very High Regular failures are critical failures

Critical failures become spectacular disasters
Spells can be cast without becoming unprepared As High Mana Level and energy spent on magic is recovered at the start of the mage's next turn This much Mana can affect creatures born in it, giving them magical abilities or deformities

Roll against the mother's HT when an egg is laid or during birth

Success gives the offspring some magical gift and critical success fundamentally alters it in a beneficial, inheritable way

Failure indicates a deformity while critical failure gives a deformity so bad that the offspring will die without medical aid
High As Normal As Normal Spells cost half the usual energy to cast Make a roll as above, but success grants a magical perk and failure gives a magical quirk

Critical success or critical failure does nothing special
Normal Rules work as-is Rules work as-is Rules work as-is Rules work as-is
Low -5 penalty to activate any spell or magic item As Normal As Normal As Normal
No No magic works

On-going spell effects cease

Spells and magic items built using the +150% level of Extended Duration without a terminal condition specified end

Other permanent spells and magic items (+300% level and those with a terminal condition specified) cease to function for the duration
No magic works No magic works Creatures with Dependency (Mana) take damage

Spells

All spells fall under at least one of the following colleges:

College Name Explanation
Charm Spells that imbue magical properties on an item or a creature without changing the target itself or how it functions. These may be beneficial or detrimental.
Creation Spells that create matter or energy, possibly by transforming energy into the desired form. Many of the attack spells are in this college, making a mage that specializes in it very dangerous.
Divination Spells that detect, analyze and predict things. These can reveal mysteries from the past, present and future.
Illusion Spells that deceive the senses, usually by creating illusions. Invisibility and a few other effects belong here, as well.
Life Spells that affect living/dead/undead processes. Healing spells are here, as well as necromantic magic.
Meta Spells that alter and attack magical effects themselves.
Protection Spells that protect creatures, objects, etc.
Summoning Spells for summoning objects, creatures and energy.
Transmutation Spells that directly alter the properties of objects and creatures. This includes spells that make one object into another, that change single properties of an object, make a creature into another creature, turn matter into energy, etc. Also involved here is the magic of moving things around, including transportation magic.

Unusual Spell-Casters

There are many types of spell-casters and each is somewhat different from the rest.

Alienists

Alienists cast spells by working with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know or tapping dangerous alien energies from beyond known dimensions. This can have mind-altering effects on the caster and incautious users of it tend to end up hopelessly insane.

This is merely Threshold-Limited Magery using the Awe and Confusion Check Table from p. P85 instead of the usual calamity table, treating results as confusion. These calamities take place just after the spell goes off and may prevent the caster from properly controlling it. Instantaneous spells will always work properly, but those that require additional attention (like Divination spells) might lapse before they can be used.

Using the Fright Check table (p. B360-361) or treating the results as awe could be used to represent other kinds of energies.

The Fright Check table is particularly appropriate for demon-inspired magic. Necromancers are often drawn to it.

Defilers and Preservers

Defilers and Preservers are a rare form of spell-caster that draw on life energy to cast their spells. They use the following collection of advantages: Fatigue Magery (Energy Reserve Only, -5%), Leech (Accelerated Healing, +25%; Contact Agent, -30%; Plants Only, -40%; Only Heals Energy Reserve, -20%; Magical, -10%) and Energy Reserve (Magic; Special Recharge, -70%), but levels and modifiers vary. One level of Leech is normally all that's required and energy is banked in advance.

Defilers drain the life of plants without worrying about consequences, while preservers will try not to do any lasting damage. Trees are the most common energy source for these spell-casters.

Desperate individuals with the right modifiers on Leech sometimes siphon off their own life energy to cast spells.

Druids are sometimes Preservers, but don't have to be.

Priests

This section describes how to modify Magery for priests, holy warriors, unholy warriors, shamans, etc. It should be noted that the priests of the Cult of Profit with spell-casting abilities are simply mages with a Pact for their standard Vow.

Power Modifier

First off, you'll need a power modifier (see GURPS Powers). This can be Divine, Nature, Moral or Spirit. Nature is particularly appropriate for druids. Spirit is most appropriate for shamans.

Some kind of additional Pact (B113) is also quite appropriate.

Any priest's spells are still themselves magical (and thus, still affected by mana). It's just the ability to prepare or ready them that's affected by the power modifier. For Standard Magery, this affects your ability to prepare spells. For Fatigue Magery or Threshold-Limited Magery, this affects your ability to actually cast the spell, but not it's continuing effects, once cast. It's a subtle difference, but it's an important one.

Spell Selection

Depending on what you worship (Divine, Nature and Moral) or what spirits you call upon, you may not be allowed to use whatever spell you want or you might have to give clear justification for what you're planning to do with “inappropriate” spells. This sphere of influence should be included as a Limitation comparable in value to the Limited Limitation of Modular Abilities (see p. P63).

For example, a god of magic isn't going to be picky, but a god of healing might object to you using deadly combat spells.

Being restricted from using a single Hard college is a -5% Limitation.

Being limited to four Hard colleges is worth -20%, but a Hard college may be traded for two Easy colleges or two Hard colleges may be traded for three Average colleges.

The One College Only Limitation can be used to represent more restrictive spheres of influence.

However, these Limitations don't have to be based on colleges. They can be stated in more broad terms, such as “non-damaging spells only” for -20%.

Either of the All Spells Available Enhancements are the norm for priests, rather than the exception.

Magic Skill

Aside from priests of gods of magic, who are just like wizards in this respect, all priests base the Magic Skill on Ritual Magic.

Combining Priestly and Wizard Magic

If you're to be both a wizard and a priest, then buying Magery twice is required. You'll have to keep two separate spell lists and take versions of the Magic Skill for each, as understanding of wizard magic normally has no bearing on priestly magic and vice-versa.

Unusual Methods

Finally, nearly all priests use Unusual Methods (Religious) Modifier. One notable exception is any priest that worships a god of magic. They use the same methods as regular Wizards, but may optionally take Unusual Methods (Religious and Wizardly) for +20%.

Shamans use Unusual Methods (Shamanistic) instead. This has the advantage of not requiring a written language, as shamans carry on from one generation to the next through oral tradition. Eidetic Memory is quite helpful and apprentice shamans are usually selected for this (which they demonstrate by memorizing stories about the tribe's history), but less gifted individuals will instead spend points for techniques in each individual spell they know. Any given shaman's spells are often unique.

Holy Symbols

If you must have a holy symbol to cast spells, then treat this as a halved version of Requires Talisman, due to the ease of replacement.

Wild Magic

We'll start by comparing magic to drinking from a faucet.

When normal mages cast a spell, they turn the handle, get exactly what they need in their glass and then turn it off. When you cast a spell, you run up to the faucet, smash it with a hammer as hard as you can and let the water fly everywhere, hoping to fill your glass. Once you've gotten what you want, you frantically repair the damaged pipes and then walk off with your water.

Normal mages have little trouble. You (and everything around you) tend to get rather drenched in the process. When you attempt to cast a spell, you roll an extra 3d on this table:

3 Spell is influenced in a beneficial manner as below and a wild surge occurs.
4-8 Spell is influenced in a minor, beneficial manner (no more than a 10% difference), as determined by the GM.
9 Spell has it's normal effects and a wild surge occurs.
10-11 Spell has it's normal effects.
12 Spell has it's normal effects and a wild surge occurs.
13-17 Spell is influenced in a minor, baneful manner (no more than a 10% difference), as determined by the GM.
18 Spell is influenced in a baneful manner as above and a wild surge occurs.

The GM should use an appropriate table to randomly determine what happens when a wild surge occurs. I suggest using the Net Libram of Random Magical Effects (do a web search). NOTE: When a wild surge is rolled, it occurs regardless of the outcome of the spell that was being cast. You can fail the activation roll and still be affected by a surge.

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