Offensive magic can take the form of spells that add to the chances of success and damage that the character does in combat, such as the weapon enhancing spell Weapon Enhance, or that perform a direct magical attack on the target upon success, such as the spells Fear, Disruption or Sky Bolt.
Defensive magic either increases the character’s armour or chance to avoid harm, such as Protection which increases the characters armour points, or gives the character the ability to resist or ignore both physical and magical attacks, such as Countermagic.
There is a special type of magical combat, known as Spirit Combat which is detailed below.
Most offensive spells have the Resist trait, followed by the Resistance skill in brackets (which is used in a Skill Test to fully or partially avoid the effects of the spell). See the particular spell description for full details.
Not all spirits in the spirit world are friendly to the player characters. Some are guardian spirits placed over treasures and locations to guard them against intruders who they will attack when they enter their area.
Others are hostile spirits, unleashed in combat by enemy shamans. And some are malignant entities that a shaman encounters in their travels in the spirit world looking for beneficial spirits.
In such cases, spirit combat occurs. This takes the form of a clash of spiritual energies, each trying to overcome and dominate the other.
- Resolve spirit combat using an opposed skill test.
- If also part of physical combat, then spirit combat occurs instantaneously in real-time. Resolve the spirit combat in its entirety before continuing with the rest of the combat round.
- Use the spirit’s Spirit Combat skill as given in its description.
- Player characters use either Persistence, if they are untrained in the ways of Shamans, or the Shamanism skill, which is available to characters who have qualified as Shamans (see Personal Magic, Shamanism on page <?>).
- The combatant who loses the spirit combat test loses 1D6 magic points, minus the magnitude of any Spirit Shield or similar protective magic they may have cast upon them.
- The more powerful a spirit is, the more damage it does. For every ten points of POW above 20 a spirit combatant gains an extra +1D6 to the damage they do in spirit combat.
- If a combatant’s magic points are 0 or less, it loses the combat. If the opponent was using Persistence, the spirit is banished and flees into the depths of the Spirit World. If the victor was using a Shamanism skill and knows the appropriate Call spell for the spirit, then they may bind the spirit to their service for one action right there and then, or spend one improvement point either then or at the end of the gaming session to bind it into more permanent service. If the loser is a mortal with a body, and the winner is a spirit capable of possession, the loser becomes possessed by the spirit.
Possession is when a spirit steals or inhabits a physical body for its ends. All forms of possessing spirits can be driven out by the divine magic spell Exorcism, the Personal Magic spell Drive Out Spirits, or similar magic. There are two types of possession:
This type of possession has the spirit hiding in the victim’s body. It only assumes partial control of the victim when it needs to do something to the victim’s body. A form of possession typically used by most Spirits.
The spirit takes full control of the victim’s body and, in turn, the victim’s spirit is imprisoned in the body, unable to do anything until the hostile spirit is exorcised or leaves. A most dangerous form of possession, as the spirit often cares nothing for the body it inhabits, for once the body dies the spirit returns to its old existence, in most cases, and possession by a suicidal ghost or homicidal demon is never good for the body in question.