Personal Magic Rules
All characters start play with magic points equal to their POW characteristic score. A character’s POW score also acts as a maximum limit to the number of magic points a character can store at any one time.
Magicians can have access to additional pools of magic points, via bound magic spirits (see Call Spirit) and magic items that act as magic point stores (see Create Magic Point Store). However, these pools regenerate, if at all, independently of the character’s natural rate (see below). Experienced Personal Magic users will have several magic point stores and bound magic spirits at their disposal, which allows them to cast many of their spells without using their precious pool of magic points.
A magician whose magic points fall to zero falls unconscious until they have regained one magic point.
Regaining Magic Points
Using magic points is a draining and exhausting activity that requires a significant effort from which the body needs to recover. Magic points regenerate once the character entirely rests, either by sitting down and taking it extremely easy or by having a good night’s sleep.
For every two hours that a character rests, they regain magic points equal to a quarter of their total POW.
If the character has a comfortable uninterrupted sleep of eight hours, they will regain their full magic points.
Characters may never exceed their original magic point total by resting.
Learning Personal Magic Casting
Personal Magic Casting is a skill. The base percentage is POW X 3. The Personal Magic Casting skill determines the success for casting all Personal Magic spells. Under the default rules, during character generation, all player characters gain Personal Magic Casting skill at the base level and 6 points of magnitude of spells.
Learning Personal Magic Spells
Characters can learn Personal Magic spells from other characters who know the spell. If the spell has a variable magnitude, the teacher must know it at the magnitude that the character wants to learn it or higher. It costs one growth point per magnitude point to learn a Personal Magic spell. If a character knows a spell at a lower magnitude, they only have to pay the difference in growth points to gain the spell at a higher magnitude.
Of all the approaches, Personal Magic is the least powerful, but it is the easiest to obtain.
Several sources teach Personal Magic.
- From local folklore and tradition. Families hand down spells, and the local Wise can teach healing spells and so on to good members of the community.
- From remote hermits and otherworldly Shamans, who commune with the Spirit World and learn its secrets.
- From local priests. Who teach Personal Magic associated with their gods’ mythological exploits.
In each case, the player character must be in good standing with the teacher before they teach them the spell. If the teacher is indifferent to the player character to start with, then they will first need to undertake some kind of service, which can be the focus of an adventure.
A character must be able to move their hands to make gestures and be able to chant to cast a spell and must be able to see their target.
When the character is casting a spell under duress, such as during combat, they must pass a Personal Magic Casting test to cast the spell successfully. In this regard, Personal Magic is like any other skill. If the character is relaxed and has all the time in the world, then no casting test is needed, the spell is automatically cast.
If the Personal Magic Casting test succeeds, the caster spends magic points equal to the magnitude of the spell. The spell then takes effect.
If the Personal Magic Casting test fails, the spell does not take effect, and the character loses one magic point.
A critical success on a Personal Magic Casting test means that the caster has been able to control the flow of the magic particularly effectively. The character loses one magic point instead of the normal cost of the spell.
A fumble on a Personal Magic Casting test means that the caster has been unable to control the flow of the Personal Magic. Rather than losing a single magic point for failing to cast the spell, the caster loses the full cost of the spell, as if they had cast it successfully.
Casting a spell is an action that requires full concentration, though the character may slowly walk up to half their movement during spell casting.
All spells take one combat round to cast.
Casting begins at the start of the combat round, and a spell’s effect happens on the caster’s Personal Magic Casting Skill.
Distractions, or attacks on the caster as they cast, will automatically ruin the spell, unless the caster successfully passes a Persistence test, thereby maintaining concentration on the spell. Examples of distraction include blinding, disarming, or wounding the caster.
Limits to Personal Magic
Maximum Known Spells
A character has a limit of their POW in magnitude in spells. So, for example, a character with a POW of 10 could learn Babel (which has a fixed magnitude of 2), Coordination 3 Disruption 3 and Heal 2, which is a total of ten points of magnitude.
Wises have double this limit, i.e. POW x 2, due to their affinity with this type of magic.
Limits to Variable Magic
Some Personal Magic spells are variable, which means that they can have a magnitude of anywhere from one to a maximum value of six.
The specialist caster, the Wise, because of their greater understanding of Personal Magic ignore this limit.
In a single combat round, a caster can dismiss any permanent spell(s) they have cast, as a free action. Ceasing to cast a spell being concentrated on is immediate and not an action.
Unless otherwise stated, all Personal Magic spells have the following traits.
- They have a variable magnitude, which means that the magnitude of the spell starts from the stated magnitude and then can be cast at a higher magnitude, if the caster knows it, giving an increase in the effect of the spell.
- Base magnitude is one.
- The range is equal to the caster’s POWx3 in metres.
- All spells, unless noted, have a duration of ten minutes.
Other traits used by spells are detailed below.
Area (X): The spell affects all targets within a radius specified in metres.
Concentration: The spell’s effects will remain in place so long as the character continues to concentrate on it. Concentrating on a spell is functionally identical to casting the spell, requiring the caster to continue to chant and ignore distractions.
Instant: The spell’s effects take place instantly. The spell itself then disappears.
Magnitude (X): The strength and power of the spell. Also, the minimum number of magic points required to cast it.
Non-Variable: The spell has a fixed magnitude.
Permanent: The spell’s effects remain in place until they are dispelled or dismissed.
Resist (Dodge/Persistence/Resilience): The spell’s intended effects do not succeed automatically. The target may make a Dodge, Persistence or Resilience test (as specified by the spell) to avoid the effect of the spell entirely. Note that Resist (Dodge) spells require the target to be able to use the Dodge reaction and are subject to the usual cumulative -20% modifier for taking previous reactions already in that combat round. In the case of spells with an area effect, the Resist (Dodge) trait needs the target to dive to avoid the spell’s effect.
Touch: These spells require the character to touch their target for the spell to take effect, using an Unarmed skill test to make contact. The caster must remain in physical contact with the target for the entire casting.