Quote Originally Posted by QuadraticGish View Post
Magic seems kind of hit or miss mostly; I'm not that much of a fan of the potential warp stuff personally and I'm disappointed at the lameness of Magic Missile and the lack of being able to combo with itself means no fun magic machine gun.
It is hit or miss. This was all written by one guy as a joke/dare causing the editing to be distinctly spotty and showing a definite lack of play testing. Magic missile is sad when you face resilience 7 targets and want more than a point or two of damage, but each missile will do an unavoidable wound to a resilience 5 target 84% of the time. If you're throwing grenades at a resilience 5 with 10 armor (common flak doubles versus explosions) you'll only do 2 wounds with 29% of the grenades and zero wounds 37% of the time, you can run out of ammo, plus you risk the occasional stunt where they whack it back at you before it goes off. Don't combo magic missile, combo energy burst, ray, ball, and lightning ring. You'd be level 4 trying for a DC 45 cast, burst and ball just need to be close to do 3k2+8 plus 8k4 plus two straight ballistic attacks at 5k3 and 5k2. Expect 22 & 34 & 23 & 17 damage, to 15 wounds on a resilience 5 target or 9 on a resilience 7 target. That's more than half the hit points of a greater incarnate daemon in one shot and it will frag a lich or chaos marine no questions asked (well the chaos marine is out of HP and taking crits if the DM wants to track those of an NPC).

That said I think the only real issue with the warp stuff is how repetitive the given tables get if you have an unrestrained over-caster like we did. Because there are no limits to trying you can assume that the non-combat spells get cast fettered (no warp at all, ever) if you have 15 to 30 minutes to keep trying. Fettered casting is always safe so at some point (generally 6-8 dice rolled) the lower level spells get pretty reliable. Since you choose which dice to keep you can drop 10s to avoid the warp when casting unfettered. That raises the likelihood of failing to get the spell off, but it's still safe (-ish, 6k3 is safer than 6k5 in that case, but even 6k5 only has a 1/100 chance of forcing you to keep a 10). The real danger is unsanctioned sorcerers pushing spells, which is what my group had (he burned a hero point once on surviving a warp roll, but it was the mounting insanity that finally did him in). That +40 on the perils roll puts it on the AoE warp danger table 2/3 of the time.

It won't come up until the artifacts but you can get a warp effects reroll & choose for Artifact 4 background. Combo with the atlantean exalt for effectively "roll three warps and choose one or two".

Next magic school...

Illusion, uses intelligence.

Image -> full action combo-ok somatic spell that creates an image up to 3m on a side within 10m of you. You have to use a half action to maintain it every round but if you spend a full round action to maintain it you can make it move. It still has to stay within it's 3m cube though. Wisdom + perception... save? Or maybe you have to check. I think you have to check unless it's something that should move but doesn't. Does not become translucent if you know it's an illusion, so always useful to create concealment.
Disguise -> non-combat spell. Use the casting check result in place of a disguise check and requires your reaction every round to maintain it.
Blur -> combo-ok, somatic, concentration using up your reaction to maintain it. Oh. That's crap. +3 static defense. The errata hammer cometh.
Invisibility -> everyone's favourite. Combo-ok & subtle, lasts a minute per level. Use the casting check in place of stealth rolls for visibility based stealth stuff. Ends if you make an attack of course.
Ghost sounds -> combo-ok & subtle. Make sounds from a source within line of sight up to 20m away. Get a raise and you can get understandable speech. Two raises and you can mimic someone's voice. Whisper to shout volume. Hm, instant duration so it doesn't continue on after casting.
Illusionary script -> subtle, non-combat, indefinite duration. Create a written message that has one set of content for most viewers but different content for "intended recipients". Takes as long as writing the messages to cast. So a quick marker graffiti on a wall is fast but a full book could take months. Indefinite duration and indefinite mechanics.
Silence -> combo-ok, somatic, lasts a minute per level. Touched object or person radiates silence out to 5m. Sound based stealth automatically succeeds. Sounds from outside stop at the edge. Negates sonic cannons. Not that any are in the book, but still...
Mirror image -> full action cast, combo-ok, verbal and somatic, DC 25, lasts for an entire scene until expended. One image plus one per raise up to your level. Anything hitting you checks randomly to see if it hits an image, hits pop images. Standard.
Dream -> non-combat spell. Send a message in a dream to someone. Or a nightmare that denies them the benefit of bed rest (mostly healing). No range, can cross crystal spheres. No targeting restrictions either. No mention of if it waits until they're asleep or just fails if they're awake. No save. So... cast nightmare on the person in the green car who cut you off in traffic last week? Get a bunch of friends together and troll Lucifer? Ok, there's easier ways to die a hideous death, but still...
Improved invisibility -> full action, the only key word is subtle, only lasts a minute. As invisibility but attacking is allowed.
Programmed image -> non-combat spell. For an hour per level it works like the image spell but you can program it to react to a number of stimuli/situations equal to your intelligence. Includes sounds and understandable speech. So, do you have to spend the half action to maintain it still?
Mislead -> combo-ok, subtle, somatic. For a round per level you have an illusionary duplicate of yourself and you turn invisible, you move and it doesn't. When you attack or the image is attacked the spell ends.
Permanent Image -> somatic & verbal. As image but no need to spend actions maintaining it. Hmmm... No mention of movement or animation, still no sound.
Screen -> DC 25 cast (most level 5s are 35) non-combat spell with a glass prism as a focus. For 24 hours you dictate what will or will not be observed in the spell's area (undefined). Scrying and remote viewing (cameras and satellites are called out) "automatically detect the image selected by you". Direct personal viewing and interaction may allow a saving throw (undefined) "if there is cause to disbelieve what is seen".

Issues: "as Image" is really really restricting. Image doesn't have a duration limit, just the concentration restriction. Programmed image apparently has both. Permanent image has no sound and you may or may not need to spend full round actions making it move. Oh, yeah, blur is crap while dream and screen need more definition.

Personal picks as written:
image, invisibility, silence, mislead, <disappointed sigh>.

Personal picks with personal errata:
L1: Touch choices because blur now adds +3 static defense and another +3 per raise in addition to perception penalties at long ranges and functionally concealing most of your features.
L2: Still invisibility.
L3: Probably still silence. Dream however needs a physical link or at least having personally met and interacted with the person. Plus an arcana + composure save, but failure gives them a level of fatigue plus lose a point of resolve per two checks (fail the save by 10 and gain fatigue & -1 resolve, 20 = 2 fatigue & -2 resolve). But you have to cast while they're asleep & limit one per caster (or maybe make the casting take a couple hours).
L4: Programmed image is still a 3m per side cube but it can move within 10m per caster level of the casting point. Does not require any concentration. Mislead includes a personal silence effect to make the stealth roll usually completely unnecessary. Now it's a harder choice (although programmed image is still probably not the preferred spell).
L5: Permanent image's effect is as programmed image but without a time limit and double size & range (permanent image can be cast in combat since it's not marked as social). Screen explicitly includes adding and removing stuff/people, covers four 5x5x5 meter cubes per dot in the illusion school, includes full surround sound (but not sound negation of any sort) and limited tactile (real pressure like lifting an illusionary glass of water will go through), the prism has to stay within the area and cannot be concealed (but can be under a chair or behind a free standing video screen, out of sight but not covered with or in something else), save is [greater of perception or arcana] + [lesser of intelligence or wisdom] on entry into the area, serious physical collision reveals automatically, does not become translucent when revealed as an illusion (has to be dispelled). Now it's a hard choice because you can sow serious confusion in combat with permanent image, but you can also 'edit out' 30 people with rocket launchers inside of screen or fill it with strobe lights.