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    Mulletmanalive's Avatar

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    Default Skill based magic...

    I'm sure this has been done to death on the boards, but here goes.

    I rather liked the idea that magic was about preparing rituals, trafficking with gods and demons and doing a lot of hand waving. To that end, I came up with a system of magic based on skills. This was not an attempt to balance things, rather it actually made spellcasting a little more powerful [though a lot of spells had to be rewritten] but much less useful in battle. It has been playtested.

    I present them to you as peers. This first post concerns the core rules. I'll get to specific spells and a listing of the Cleric and Arcanist classes when i have the time. If anything is unclear, let me know and i'll see if i can't clear it up a little.

    These rules were made to replace the normal spellcasting rules for my Mecha Victoriana setting, a variant of Dragonmech by Goodman Games: Enjoy!


    "The invocation of magic, in the truest sense, the pure sense, rather than the incense waving of religious fools, is a purely rational process: In our universe, perception affects reality and by creating certain shapes or flows and observing them, the effect they represent is imposed on reality. In order to create these shapes, however, the human mind requires assistance; the drawing of invocation circles and the speaking of specific words are necessary to condense magical energy into the correct shape for these effects to occur, though those truly familiar with the arcane shapes can mentally impose them upon the energy flows that they accumulate and direct without assistance."

    Spellcasting Skills and Feats:
    Spoiler
    Show


    In order to cast spells, characters in the MV universe need specific feats and skills. These are as follows:

    Skills:
    General Notes: MV has two additional rules related to skills.
    Risks: Normally, rolling a 20 on an attack roll yields an automatic success and a 1 yields and automatic failure. This does not happen with skills but people have been known to push themselves beyond their limits for death or glory. When making a skill check with a skill that the character has at least one rank in and fewer than his maximum [3+level], he may increase his Threat and Error ranges by an amount of up to the maximum number of ranks allowed in skills for characters of his level, minus the number of ranks he has.
    Error ranges acrue from 1 up and if a roll is made in the error range, then the check fails automatically as if they had rolled 10 less than the DC of the check.
    Threat ranges acrue from 20 down and if a threat is rolled, [we usually use a 20 as a threat anyway and add to it], then 1d10 is rolled, with the '0' counting as a zero and added to the skill check.
    Specialisation: If a character has at least 2 ranks in a skill, he may pay 2 skill points to specialise in it. Doing so allows them to choose a single sub-category of the skill and gain a +5 bonus on checks made in the area [Actually a -5 adjustment to DCs but it makes little difference]. This does not effect ranks in any way and cannot be used on any check relating to magic.

    Knowledge (Arcana) [Int]:
    The depth of an individual's studies into the occult is measured by their ranks in Knowledge (Arcana). This skill covers things like myth and folklore and an understanding of the entities at work therein. It focuses mainly on the fantastic but also includes elements of Fae and the like. It is used for the following purposes:
    • Determining what a character knows about Alien [Pseudonatural], Fae [Fey] and Demonic [Evil Outsiders in general] entities and whether they can exploit weaknesses in the afforementioned.
    • The character's Arcane Caster Rank [CaR from here], effectively their caster level for determing spelle effects is based on their ranks in this skill.
    • The effects of certain spells [some run off skill checks]
    • Determining which arcane spell is being cast by another character in order to respond to it.


    Knowledge (Religion) [Int]:
    Knowledge and understanding of the divine and those things that are taught by religious organisations around the world. Often, a specialisation is taken in one specific religion such as Catholicism or Buddhism, either as a scholar or as a devotee and teacher. The study of religion comes with a surprising spread of information and the skill is used for the following:
    • Determining the details of religious ceremonies and customs produced by religion in the environment [Turbans for Sikhs, Shoes for Muslims, Fish on Fridays for Catholics etc].
    • Recognition of demonic [Evil Outsider], Angelic [Good Outsider] or possibly Fae [for pagan or 'ground' religions] entities and the identification of the weakness of such.
    • The character's Divine CaR is based on their Ranks in this skill.
    • Rolled to determine the effects of certain spells, most notably healing spells.
    • Determining which divine spell is being cast by another character in order to respond to it.


    Prayercraft [Cha]:
    Prayercraft is different to Knowledge [Religion] in that it is more connected to the divine on a direct level. This is a skill derived from direct experience of magic and checks are rolled to see if the character successfully calls upon his deity's favour each time he casts a spell.
    Retry: The ritual may be begun anew but if a check is failed all previous work is erased.
    Note: Failing at a Prayercraft check can have consequences for the character if it is failed by a margin of 5 or more. You may take 10 but not 20 with a Prayercraft check.

    Spellcraft [Int]:
    Actually drawing an invocation circle and forcing your mind to visualise the strange and often seemingly insane 4-dimensional shapes that arcane spellcasting requires calls for a completely different skill than mere academic study.
    Retry: The ritual may be begun anew but if a check is failed all previous work is erased.
    Note: Failing at a Spellcraft check can have consequences for the character if it is failed by a margin of 5 or more. You may take 10 but not 20 with a Spellcraft check.

    Feats:

    Divinist:
    You know how to call upon your deity in a manner that will cause them to respond.
    Description: You may use the Prayercraft skill to cast Divine spells. You must still have a Grimoire to cast spells.
    Note: Though it is not required to have a Religious feat when choosing this ability, tapping into the divine without true faith is a serious risk. All failures are punished rather than just significant casting mishaps and you will not be allowed near the prayerbooks or beads of any religious body.

    Occultist:
    You have learned the most basic levels of spellcasting in the true and 'rational' way [in reality, you understand what you're doing little better than priests do...]
    Description: You may use the Spellcraft skill to cast Arcane spells. You must still have a Grimoire to cast spells.
    Note: This feat is RARE. If you take it, your family will either be really rich and eccentric or you are a member of either the Royal Society or the Thule Society.

    Ancient Arcana:
    You have learned to unpick the mysteries of the past and determine what patterns were used in the spells told of in myths. You can use old stories and inscriptions on ruins as if they were a grimoire, though their content is somewhat random.
    Prerequisites: Occultist, Spellcraft 8 Ranks.
    Description: You may find spells in strange places connected to the past. This includes storybooks and ruins. You may make a DC 30 Search check to try to locate a suitable reference and work from there. The spell uncovered is determined by the GM [basically at random] but will have a DC 5 lower than it would normally for its level.

    Good examples of this might be decyphering what Merlin may have cast at some point or possibly how Moses parted the sea [the feat actually allows the Occultist a certain creative link to the insane logic of magic on a subconscious level rather than actually allowing them to repeat a spell from the book].

    Practiced Spellcaster:
    You have practiced long and hard with your spells and have the wounds and scars to prove it.
    Prerequisites: Divinist or Occultist
    Description: Your CaR with one type of magic is increased by +4, though no more than you level [if you are 3rd level when you take this, you only gain a +3 bonus].

    Spellcasting Preparation:
    Spoiler
    Show
    In most basic terms, magic is cast using incantation circles and candles and stuff. A spellcaster preforms a ritual, usually by rote, in order to summon and control a specific amount of power and direct it in a specific manner. Arcane and Divine magic are effectively from the same basic source and Psionic power uses a different set of mechanics [yes, I redid those as well, perhaps in another post].

    To cast a spell, one needs the following:
    • The spell's formula
    • A suitable space to draw the Invocation diagram
    • Materials to make the circle
    • Time enough to create the circle and cast the spell


    0-Level Spells:
    The exception to the above is 0-level spells, the so called Cantrips and Orisons. These do not require any preparation or buildup. Characters with the ability to cast spells gain a small number of these for free as noted in the feat descriptions. Additional 0-level spells can be carried in a Grimoire and take up half a page.

    The Formula:
    Getting hold of the formula for any given spell is not easy. They are usually held in a number of small private collections, often in places like the middle east. Formulae are written into 'Grimoires' a generic term for spellbooks, though this can include such things as scrolls, stone tablets, tattoos, table tops, Mosaics, prayer beads or strips of leather.

    Refer to Complete Arcane for a more detailed treatment of this, but in general, a Grimoire is a book the size of a library dictionary with 300 pages, each of which an carry one 'level' of spells. Note that certain spells are usually kept together because they are variations of each other. For instance, Monster Summoning spells [these are some of the spells that are refitted at the bottom of the section] would occupy about 247 pages of a grimoire once all 22 levels of the spell are taken into account and if the character is relying on their order to supply their books, then the grimoire is likely to be a training book and include them all.

    Most spellcasters prepare their own travelling grimoires but getting access to new spells requires diplomacy or Favours and should be roleplayed; spellcasters below a certain rank in their orders are usuallly kept away from the most powerful spells in an attempt to prevent delusions of godhood.

    Space for the Diagram:
    A casting circle is not just a diagram on the floor; it is a mechanism for creating and controlling ribbons of energy, keeping them inside a sort of shield while shaping them into the correct reality warping shapes.

    For divine casters, this is often more a case of writing a specific verse of scripture on the ground and concentrating on it, though Buddhists [some Buddhists anyway] use circular diagrams called mandalas.

    Drawing the Diagram and summoning the power necessary to activate it takes 1 Full round action per level of the spell being cast. This must be completed in one go and any action that causes the caster to fail a Concentration check ruins the process.

    Normally, a Diagram takes up one 5ft square. If a spell is being cast cooperatively [see later], then each character involved requires a straight side of the enclosure to stand at, hence:
    {table=head] Casters | Square
    up to 4 | 5ft
    Up to 8 | 10ft
    Up to 12 | 15ft
    Up to 22 | 25ft [/table]

    Attacks can be made to damage the diagram itself by breaking the lines and smearing the image. Any explosive attack that includes the circle in its area has a chance of damaging the diagram. The diagram must make a save based on its construction materials with a DC equal to the effects of the spell. It can be directly attacked as a Fine Immobile target using melee or ranged attacks.

    Diagram Materials:
    Making a diagram requires something to make it from. This can be as simply as drawing in the dirt with a stick to having the circle carved into the finest marble. The primary thing that this quality determines is the save DC it has against area attacks [though it certainly effects the mobility of the object in the case of engraved versions...]. All the below saves are limited by their surface. Use the more fragile material out of the medium and surface.
    {table=head] Material | Save
    Dirt and Stick | +0
    Powder [Dust, Salt, Gunpowder] | +0
    Chalk | +2
    Ink | +5
    Paint [dry] | +8
    Burned | +10
    Cut in Wood | +10
    Cut in Stone |+15
    Cut in Metal | +20[/table]

    Time:
    As previously mentioned, it takes time to draw the circle and pull together enough power to make the ritual succeed. A spell takes 1 round per level of the spell under normal circumstances.

    Precision Casting:
    When you have time, it is possible to put more theory into practice than you possibly could when hurrying. Though not a great deal of use in combat, extra time may be spent preparing the spell diagram and using an extended chant to make the spell more likely to succeed.

    For each minute spent on the diagram beyond the first, up to 30, the caster gains a +1 bonus on their Spell/Prayercraft check, to a maximum of their bonus in the relevant Knowledge. If their bonus is still higher, additional hours may be spent to gain a further +1 bonus each. The cap on the bonus remains the same.

    When used with cooperative casting, this bonus is applied automatically due to the incredible amount of time involved but is determined based on the average skill bonuses of the primary caster and his least competent assistant.

    Completing the Ritual:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Possibly the simplest part of casting the spell is the skill check that is made to ensure that the spell goes off as intended. Making this check takes an amount of time described in the 'Casting Time' section of the spell itself.

    The actual difference between the preparation time and the 'casting time' of a spell is that during this period, a selection of pyrotechnics occur, usually as waste products and side effects of the casting process. A spellcaster sheds light that is visible at some distance, roughly equal to a lantern at this time and becomes a magnet for fire. Most spellcasters avoid combat like crazy for this reason.

    Casting Difficulty:
    Each spell has a DC needed to cast it. This is calculated as follows:

    Casting DC = 10 + [Base Multiplier x Spell level]

    In most cases, the Base Multiplier is 5 so the formula actually looks like this:

    Casting DC = 10 + 5 per level

    The Base Multiplier is increased by Spell Resistance, Counterspelling attempts and reduced by feats such as Spell Focus. [See the sub-bars on Counterspelling and Advanced Spellcasting Feats respectively].

    Success on the Check:
    Passing the check means that the spell has been cast without a hitch. The spell is resolved as normal for the D&D game.

    Failure on the Check:
    If the check to cast a spell is missed by 4 or less, then the spell simply fails to occur or goes harmlessly awry. Perhaps a fireball speeds off into the sky or the mirror remains cloudy in a Scrying attempt.

    If the check is failed by 5 or more, a mishap has occurred and the caster will regret it [hopefully living to do so too]. The following are defaults but GMs should feel free to be creative:
    • Summoning spells summon something of comparable power to the intended creature, which then breaks free and goes after the caster. The creature remains for about 1d8 rounds or until it is slain.
    • Spells that alter physics [time distortion, creation of energy, teleportation] usually summon an Alien [Psuedonatural] being from beyond the stars somewhere near the caster, often on the other side of a barrier. This creature is neither enraged or friendly but generally hostile to life and usually avoids any sounds of fighting. Congratulations, you just made the world a little bit grimmer.
    • Augmenting spells send a disruptive surge through the target, causing Fatigue.
    • Sometimes spells go after different targets, flying off in a random direction or affecting the caster [5% per level of the spell involved in the mishap]. These results are mercifully rare [from the caster's PoV].
    • Non-aggressive Divine spells usually ruin the character's luck. They suffer a cumlative -1 penalty on all saves and their Psyche scores for the rest of the day.


    Adverse Conditions:
    Weather and the like can disrupt spells. Trying to cast even a cantrip in a violent storm, on the back of a violently moving mech while wearing armour and tangled in a net is next to impossible. The following conditions apply the following penalties to casting skill checks. They stack.
    {table=head] Condition | Penalty
    Blinding Winds, Rain or Sleet | -5
    Driven Hail or Dust | -10
    Vigourous Motion [moving mount or mech] | -5
    Violent Motion [Running mech, ship in storm] | -10
    Earthquake or equivilent | -15
    Wearing Armour | Armour check penalty[/table]

    These effects are in addition to any concentration checks needed while preparing the spell or if attacked while casting.

    Casting Without Diagrams:
    Nestled like a footnote is the ability to cast spells without drawing diagrams. In class level terms, easily enough achieved but actually very rare in the world because there are so few people sufficiently willing to cast spells with great frequency to gain them and far fewer people willing to teach the insane and reckless this complex art.

    Certain classes benefit from a supply of Æther [literally 'bread, fuel'] on a one per class level basis. These classes also grant a limited number of spells that the character learns sufficiently well that they can form the shapes/perform the chants in moments, without external aid.

    Only spells that are 'Known' in this manner can be cast with Æther, each Æther allowing one spell level to be cast; one could spend 3 Æther to cast a third level known spell for instance.

    Æther is held within the body and is refreshed each time that the character Ætherges to snatch 10 uninterupted minutes of rest. Æther cannot be combined with ritual diagrams, hence you could not pay for part of a spell's power cost in Æther, nor prepare a diagram beforehand and power it with Æther.

    Spell Resistance:
    Some beings, through accident or design, cause magic to go wrong, or at least more likely to go wrong, when it is directed at them. For instance, Demons have a Spell Resistance equal to their Charisma Modifier.

    Spell Resistance is added to the Base Modifier of the spell, effectively increasing the casting DC of the spell by the spell's level per point of Spell Resistance the creature has. Spell resistance can be somewhat overcome by certain feats [a blessing for would be demon hunters].

    Spell Resistance still applies to 0-level spells, increasing their DC by the value of the Resistance [i.e. a +4 resistance increases the DC by 4]

    Spell Effects:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells all have effects; there would be no point in casting them otherwise. In MV, however, the things that determine the power of spells are slightly different so normal D&D spells need to be converted slightly.

    Caster Rank:
    Each character with the ability to cast spells has a Caster Rank [CaR], equal to the number of ranks that they have in the relevant knowledge skill. This is used in place of the "Caster Level" of the spell.

    A CaR is equal to the characters Ranks [not bonus] plus possibly the bonus for the Practiced Spellcaster feat. This means that the limit on it is the character's level + 3 normally, +12 in the most extreme cases.

    Hence, a fireball has a range of 400ft + 40ft per point of CaR, while a character with a CaR of 9 could create a wall of force lasting 9 rounds.

    Saves:
    The MV game replaced the 'poor' save with one equal to half character level so spells became rather too easy to resist under the previous incarnation. Thus, the Basic Save is included. Most spells that do not produce poisons or Death effects use the basic save, which is calculated as follows:

    Basic Save DC = 10 + 1/2 CaD + Spell level

    Attack Rolls:
    Some spells require 'Touch Attacks' in order to make their effects stick. As MV uses level based defence adjustments, this is replaced with a 'Use Occult' check against the target's Defence.

    A Use Occult check has a bonus equal to the character's Character Level plus their Dexterity modifier.

    If the intention is that the spell hits anything that the character can see, then a Spot check against the target's defence or Hide [whichever is relevant] may be made instead.

    Armour Against Magic:

    Armour's Hardness bonuses apply against attacks made with spells. Remember that energy behaves in different ways when interacting with Hardness as follows:
    {table=header] Energy Type | Hardness
    Force | x1
    Fire | x2
    Lightning | x2
    Cold | x4
    Acid | x1
    Sonic | Ignored
    Holy | x1*
    Unholy | x1*[/table]
    * Holy and Unholy damages are special and carrying a holy/unholy symbol dedicated to the opponent of the damage's ultimate source [the sigil of Lucifer against Iahovah for instance] doubles the character's hardness against the damage type.

    Healing Spells:
    Though they will be covered in more detail later, Healing spells have an annoying weakness in their nature that must be kept in mind.

    Each time that an individual receives a Healing effect, they gain Healing Resistance +1. This resistance increases the Base Modifier of the spell [normally 5] by +1, effectively increasing the DC by the character's [Healing resistance x the spell level]. Thus, it is usually best to save healing magic for when people are at the limits of your ability to heal them.

    Counterspelling:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Counterspelling is a staple of fantasy stories. In MV, as magic is basically like building a house of extradimensional cards, jamming energy in in the wrong places can cause that whole house to come crashing down disasterously.

    Countering a spell has two stages, firstly, one must identify the spell being cast and then jam energy in the form of Æther, into the casting.

    A caster may attempt to identify a spell as a reaction that costs an Attack of Opportunity. If you have the Combat Reflexes feat, you could therefore logically attempt to disrupt more than one spell per round. Spending the Æther to actually make the disruption is a free action.

    Identifying a Spell:
    Actually recognising a spell is very difficult as without incredible amounts of practice, all circles look the same and all chants sound alike. Things can be even trickier if you're attempting to work on the fly when someone casts using Æther.

    A character who attempts to recognise a spell before it is cast must make a Knowledge [Arcana] check to identify Arcane spells or a Knowledge [Religion] check to identify Divine spells. Specialisations apply if the spell's school [for arcane] or divine patron [for divine] matches the character's area of expertise.

    The DCs are included in the table below. The observer starts in column D and makes one shift for each of the following that is true:
    1. The character is close enough to see the ribbons and light patterns produced by the spell's casting process [Spot DC 5, +1 per 10ft]
    2. The character is close enough to hear the words being spoken by the caster [Listen DC 15, +1 per 5ft]
    3. The character has the spell being cast in their grimoire.
    4. The character knows the spell being cast


    Note that it is possible for a spell to actually slide into the 'Spell Level' column; this is intentional.

    {table=header] Spell Level | A | B | C | D
    1 | 21| 22 | 23 | 25
    2 | 22 | 24 | 26 | 30
    3 | 23 | 26 | 29 | 35
    4 | 24 | 28 | 32 | 40
    5 | 25 | 30 | 35 | 45
    6 | 26 | 32 | 38 | 50
    7 | 27 | 34 | 41 | 55
    8 | 28 | 36 | 44 | 60
    9 | 29 | 38 | 47 | 65
    10 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 70
    11 | 31 | 42 | 53 | 75
    12 | 32 | 44 | 56 | 80
    13 | 33 | 46 | 59 | 85
    14 | 34 | 48 | 62 | 90
    15 | 35 | 50 | 65 | 95
    16 | 36 | 52 | 68 | 100
    17 | 37 | 54 | 71 | 105
    18 | 38 | 56 | 74 | 110
    19 | 39 | 58 | 77 | 115
    20 | 40 | 60 | 80 | 120[/table]

    Using Æther to Block spells:
    Once the spell has been identified, it comes to the actual task of intercepting it. This is done by expending Æther. For each Æther that is spent in this way, the spell's DC is increased as if the target has +1 spell resistance.

    In other words, the spell's casting DC increases by the spell's level for each Æther spent.

    Advanced Spellcasting Feats:
    Spoiler
    Show
    There is little point in including these in the initial feats section because they refer to mechanics that had yet to be explained. This section contains the following:
    1. A treatment of Metamagic Feats
    2. A treatment of Reserve Feats
    3. Some new or revamped Feats to fit with the new system


    Metamagic Feats:
    Metamagic feats function much like they do in conventional D&D 3.5. When they are applied to a spell, the effective level of the spell is increased. This increases the DC to cast the spell, the amount of time and effort needed to create the diagram and/or the amount of Æther needed to cast the spell.

    One notable exception is that the new level of the spell is used to determine the Base Save of the spell.

    The casting time of the spell is unchanged.

    Empower Spell [Metamagic]:
    Description: All numerical effects discussed only in the text description such as damage, bonuses and miss chances are increased by 50%. For damage dice, increase the number of dice by this many, rounding up. If an effect is derived from a d20 based check of some sort, add 1d10 [0 counting as 0] to the roll.
    Using this feat increases the affected spell's level by 2.

    Reserve Feats:
    Reserve feats are minor abilities that produce effects based on the amount of Æther a character has left in their body. They are basically the result of certain spells leaving burnt pathways in the character's body.

    Where a Reserve Feat refers to having a 'spell available' the character must have at least that much Æther remaining in their body and have known a suitably typed spell to begin with. From there, they can invoke the feat by making a Spell/Prayercraft check with a DC of 10 x the level of spell you are simulating.

    For example, a mage has Fiery Burst, knows Fireball and has 6 Æther left. He could throw a 2 dice Fiery Blast by making a DC 20 Spellcraft check or, say, a 4 dice blast by making a DC 40 check. Note that he could not throw a 1 dice blast because this is not a powerful enough spell to drive the feat.

    The caster level bonus from this Feat is replaced with a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to cast spells of the nominated school. These bonuses stack.

    New Feats:
    Note: MV uses different schools as a flavour thing [the Victorians were really keen on qualitative seperation]. I suggest keeping the normal ones here as they would take up loads of space to explain.

    Spell Focus:
    You are particularly good at casting a specific kind of spell.
    Prerequisites: Ability to cast at least 3 Spells from the chosen school
    Description: Choose a single school of spells from the MV spell categories, a single kind of energy or a single alignment descriptor. When casting spells from your chosen school, the Base Modifier for the spell's difficulty is reduced by one; normally this makes the DC of the spell 10 + 4 per level of the spell.
    Special: This spell may be taken multiple times, each time effecting a different school of spells.

    Spell Focus, Greater:
    You are a master of one type of magic.
    Prerequisites: 3 Spell Focuses. Ability to cast at least 12 spells from chosen school.
    Description: Choose a single school in which you already have Spell Focus. When casting spells from your chosen school, the Base Modifier for the spell's difficulty is reduced by a further one; normally this makes the DC of the spell 10 + 3 per level of the spell.
    Special: This spell may be taken multiple times, each time effecting a different school of spells.

    Spell Mastery:
    You know a handful of spells well enough that you don't need your grimoires to cast them.
    Prerequisites: Int 13+, Ability to cast spells
    Description: Select a number of spells equal to 1 + your Int modifier from your Grimoire. From this point on, you no longer need the grimoire in order to cast those spells. You must still create the diagram and complete the casting ritual to cast them.
    Special: If you have the Spells Known class feature, then spells gained from this feat are added to your Spells Known total.

    Spell Penetration:
    You have mastered the art of making spells stick to those that would reject them. Metaphysically, you could make oil stick to water.
    Prerequisites: Ability to Cast Spells, Spell/Prayercraft 4 ranks.
    Description:The Spell Resistance of creatures you target counts as being one lower for purposes of you casting spells.
    Special: You may take this feat multiple times, though each time you take it, the skill requirement of the next copy you take increases by +4.

    Master of Counterspelling:
    You have learned hundreds of spells and their signs; only truly canny spellcasters can slip a spell past you.
    Prerequisites: Spot 5 Ranks, Listen 5 Ranks, Æther
    Description: You are deeply gifted at recognising spells as they are cast. You may take 10 on Spot and Listen checks to determine which column you will use on the table and count as having all non-unique spells in your Grimoire for purposes of what you can recognise.

    Æther Surge:
    You have a secret reserve of power that you can tap allowing you to fling spells with abandon.
    Prerequites: Æther 3+
    Description: Once per Mission, you can enter a Surge state as a Full round aciton. When in this state, your Æther pool refills completely during the end phase of each turn [when the initiative stack runs to 0]. A surge lasts for one minute.
    Note: This may seem over powered but a Mission is the equivalent of an adventure in a military game, usually consisting of 3-8 encounters.

    Rough Casting:
    You can cast spells even under the most adverse conditions.
    Prerequisites: Ability to cast spells
    Description: Once all factors are taken into account, halve the penalty on casting checks, rounding down. In addition, you have mastered the art of drawing well enough with a knife that you can engrave at a normal rate of diagram preparation.

    Cooperative Casting:
    Spoiler
    Show
    One final thing of note in MV magic is that it is most often used to create grand spells of world shaking power when it is used at all. If nothing else, summoning and binding even a small demonic army is going to take spells of very great power indeed.

    Assistants to casting:
    Any character with ranks in the Spellcraft or Prayercraft skills can assist in a spellcasting. Setting up for an assisted spellcasting takes one hour per level of the spell being cast. Each additional character after the primary may make an Aid Another check to provide a bonus on the primary's spellcasting check. The downside of this is that if the check fails, the entire ritual is lost.

    Due to the massive amount of time that this kind of preparation requires, the casting always adds a further bonus equal to the average Knowledge skill between the primary and least adept assistant, rounded up.

    Every member of the ritual that is to participate, except, perhaps ironically, the primary, must be present throughout the entire rutual's preparation.

    Disrupting an Assisted Casting:
    Disrupting a ritual casting can be done just like disrupting a normal casting. Note that killing assistants won't affect the spell's competion unless they fall on the diagram and ruin it. Shooting the primary is the simplest manner of stopping such a spell.

    It is possible to counter a spell of this type though there is usually some redundancy built into the ritual [i.e. increasing the DC by less than 20 will have little effect on a spell cast by a competent group].


    Edit: Replaced Mana with the more Victorian sounding Æther.
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-08-27 at 05:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    Now, onto the unique Mecha Victoriana magic wielding classes. These are slightly different in format to true D&D classes as they have slightly better saves and have a level based defence bonus instead of relying on armour. I'm sure that folks are smart enough to ignore what is irrelivent to them.

    Advanced Classes:
    Spoiler
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    An advanced class is a hybrid of the ideas of a base and prestige class. They cannot be entered at first level but usually as the character's third or fourth level.

    As a rule, they should not have more than 2 feats amongst their prerequisites or skills costing more than a total of 15 skill points.

    The Arcanist:
    Spoiler
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    An Arcanist is the next step up in the development of the Occultist. Also known as a mage or wizard [or gob****e by the common soldier], an Arcanist has burned some of his spells firmly into his mind and his ritual diagram is his body itself.

    Arcanists are few in the world, mostly because actually gaining the skills needed to become one requires one to be taught by an existing mage. A wannabe Occultist with a book of spells is almost automatically doomed to try summoning something he cannot control and being killed by it. Were that our fortune had held and such had happened to all those who summoned Lucifer into the world on that hot summer's night in 1853...

    Prerequisites:
    In order toe enter the Arcanist advanced class, a character must meet the following requirements:
    Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks
    Feats: Occultist, Spell Mastery

    Arcanist/Mage:
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus| Defence Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Spells Known|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    3
    |Æther, Ritualist

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    5
    |-

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    7
    |Bonus Metamagic

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    9
    |-

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    11
    |Bonus Reserve

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    13
    |-

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    15
    |-

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    17
    |Bonus Metamagic

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    19
    |-

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    21
    |Bonus Reserve

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    23
    |-

    12th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    25
    |-

    13th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    27
    |Bonus Metamagic

    14th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    29
    |-

    15th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    31
    |Bonus Reserve

    16th|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    33
    |-

    17th|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    35
    |-

    18th|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    37
    |Bonus Metamagic[/table]

    Hit Dice: d4
    Class Skills: Appraise [Int], Concentration [Con], Decipher Script [Int], Knowledge [all skills, taken individually] [Int], Profession [Wis], Spellcraft [Int]
    Skill Points per level: 2 + Int modifier


    Weapons and Armour Proficiency: The Arcanist has no time and little temperment for such things. They gain no proficiency in weapons or armour.

    Spells Known: As indicated in the table, the Arcanist has a capacity for spells withing his mind based on his level. When such spells are gained, they must be chosen from those in his grimoire at the time and noted down. They cannot be changed. The spells known from the Spell Master feat are added to this total.

    These spells can be cast without setting up ritual diagrams and can be fueled either by chanting for a number of rounds equal the spell's level [an action that requires a Standard action each turn] or by using Æther to power the spell. In neither case is the spells casting DC affected.

    Æther: An Arcanist has a reserve of Æther equal to his class level. This pool refills whenever the character has at least 10 uninterupted minutes to rest himself and meditate. Each point of Æther can be used to power one spell level so one point could power a level 1 spell while six could power a level 6 spell. You may not pay part of a cost with Æther, nor power a premade ritual diagram with it.

    Ritualist: Practice has paid off and the Arcanist is very good at casting spells. He may add his class level as a bonus on all Spellcraft checks made to cast spells.

    Bonus Metamagic: At the noted levels, the Arcanist may select any one metamagic feat as a bonus feat. Alternatively, they may choose a Spell Focus feat if they meet the prerequisites for it.

    Bonus Reserve: At the noted levels, the Arcanist may choose one reserve feat as a bonus feat.

    Arcanists in the World:
    There is a marked seperation in the attitudes towards magic displayed by the two orders that are able to utilise it fully. The Royal Socity tends to view spellcasting as a science, preventing the majority of their members from entering this class for fear that they might devolve into megalomania. As a result, only field agents and those assigned to hunt both the Thule and things that go bump in the night tend to have any levels in this class at all.

    The Thule Society, on the other hand, seems to view magic as their birthright [being composed almost entirely of Bavarian nobles] and encourage even their least adept members to advance into this class. This has led to a surprising number of mages wandering the continent and an even more troubling number of unpleasant entities wandering the dark places of Europe.

    Adaption:
    A few spellcasters are more interested in the creation of items of power than they are in throwing energy around. These individuals are more notable amongst die Vorsprung [the secret German super-science academy, lit. the progress/advancement/advantage in the race].

    These individuals gain a bonus on all the Craft skills relating to magic items in place of their Ritualist bonus and gain the option to create 'Personal Æther' with each Æther counting as two when sacrificed to magic item creation but only if the device is intended solely for the character's own use. This variant will likely appear should I ever get around to demonstrating how the MV magic item system works


    Religion and the Cleric:
    Spoiler
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    Divine magic is generally not actually the province of heroic types and is most often found amongst small groups of faithful individuals. Unlike failures in Arcane spellcasting, the consequences of failed divine magic are usually just that a person's wounds get infected rather than them healing or that someone seems particularly unlucky for a while; hence it is slightly more common to be randomly manifest.

    One limitation is that divine magic usually needs strong faith to function and as this is a prerequisite of entry into the advanced class, we need to take a look at the feats representing devout believe in the tenants of a religion.

    Religious Feats:
    Representing religious belief as feats may seem crude but this isn't what is being described here. Membership and even stalwart belief in a faith can be had as part of the character's backgroud without taking a feat. Characters with religious feats take the core tenents of their faith and make them their own; they are paragons of what their faith represents and do their utmost to practice what they preach.

    A player taking a religious feat is obliged to look up the core beliefs of the church they are entering into [it isn't hard, it takes about 10 minutes and Wikipedia] and then should discuss with the GM to arrive at between 3 and 5 tenents that they must uphold. Failure to do so is detrimental, denying them access to all deity based benefits [feat abilities and spells etc] until amends are made.

    You may only have a single feat with the [Religious] descriptor [unsurprisingly really].

    Boilerplate:
    I have no strong opinions about any of these religions. I tried to balance the effects while keeping the flavours distinct. If anyone would like any specific religion to be included or feels that a feat here does not represent the 19th century version of that religion well, please comment. I have a Taoist feat but it doesn't translate out of MV very well so i left it out.


    Buddhist:
    You know well how the world is a place of constant change. You are or were probaly a monk and can aid those around you in weathering unpleasant change without hate.
    Description: You and all characters within 10ft gain a +2 bonus on saves against effects that cause Fear or Sanity loss [Wisdom damage in D&D, Depravity if you're using Heroes of Horror].

    Catholic:[Religious]
    Dogmatic in the extreme, you are an archetypal Catholic. On the plus side, what you lack in diplomacy, you make up for in your ability and willingness to stand before evil.
    Description: You gain a +4 bonus on saves and Intimidate checks made involving Demons or Undead while you have access to a cross. You also add this bonus on Paragon checks [if you have the feat].

    Hindu: [Religious]
    You know your way around the gods and spirits of the world and salute the sun. Be you a Brahmin or Pariah, you can unleash the Evil Eye on your foes.
    Description: Once per Mission, you may unleach the Evil Eye on a target. If they know you are able to do so, they may make a Will save, DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Cha to negate. Those effected by the Evil Eye suffer a -4 on all that they do for one day [until the next time sacred to your deity technically].
    Note: This represents a sort of crude, ground impression of Indian religion; I've studied it and there are virtually no generalisations to be made.

    Muslim: [Religious]
    Your faith in Allah and your knowledge of your path to heaven fortifies you. Death is nothing but a gateway to your reward; as long as you live with honour...
    Description: You receive a +4 bonus on saves against Fear. If you pass such a save, you may make full actions while disabled for the remainder of the encounter.

    Protestant: [Religious]
    You believe in rationalist Christianity. Your missions encounter many things they cannot explain but you have learned to brush of superstitions.
    Description: Your rationality provicdes you wiht a +4 bonus on saves against all effects originating with demons, angels or fae creatures but you sutter a -2 penalty on all perception checks to notice these creatures due to your unwillingness to acknowledge the possibility of their existance.

    Sikh: [Religious]
    You are the pattern of the finest Sikh traditions; slow to anger yet furious in the defence of what matters to you.
    Description: You gain a +4 bonus when resisting being provoked in combat and gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls made to defend women, children and figures of religious authority. Note this only applies when such parties are directly threatened.

    Athiest: [Religious]
    One has to admire a man who can maintain that gods don't exist in a world where they make their presence directly felt. Such is your denial that Divine magic slides off you like water.
    Description: The casting DCs of all divine spells that include you as a part of their target area is increased by an amount equal to your Charisma SCORE. If the spell fails because of this, no mishap occurs. Should a spell ever actually stick to you, you lose this resistance and become Dazed for 1d6 rounds as your ego and worldview is shaken to the core.
    Cleric:
    Beyond the Religions feats and the mighty representations that they provide, are those who can directly appeal to their gods on a moment's notice and expect a reply. These are the Clerics; those whose devotion goes beyond.


    Prerequisites:
    In order to enter the Cleric advanced class, a character must meet the following requirements:
    Skills: Knowledge (Religion) 5 ranks, Prayercraft 5 ranks
    Feats: Divinist, Any Religious feat

    Cleric:
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus| Defence Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Prayers Known|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    2
    |Æther, Ritualist

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    3
    |1st Domain

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    4
    |-

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    5
    |-

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    6
    |-

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    7
    |2nd Domain

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    8
    |-

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    9
    |-

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    10
    |-

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    11
    |3rd Domain

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    12
    |-

    12th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    13
    |-

    13th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    14
    |-

    14th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    15
    |4th Domain

    15th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    16
    |-

    16th|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    17
    |-

    17th|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    18
    |-

    18th|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    19
    |5th Domain[/table]

    Hit Dice: d6
    Class Skills: Concentration [Con], Diplomacy [Cha], Decipher Script [Int], Knowledge [all skills, taken individually] [Int], Perform [Cha], Prayercraft [Cha], Profession [Wis], Sense Motive [Wis]
    Skill Points per level: 2 + Int modifier


    Weapons and Armour Proficiency: Though one might not think it to look at their record, religions as a whole are against bloodshed. The Cleric gains no proficiencies with weapons or armour.

    Spells Known: As indicated in the table, the Cleric has a capacity for spells withing his mind based on his level. When such spells are gained, they must be chosen from those in his grimoire at the time and noted down. They cannot be changed. Spells known from the Spell Master feat are added to this total.

    These spells can be cast without setting up ritual diagrams and can be fueled either by chanting for a number of rounds equal the spell's level [an action that requires a Standard action each turn] or by using Æther to power the spell. In neither case is the spells casting DC affected.

    Æther: A Cleric has a reserve of Æther equal to his class level. This pool refills whenever the character has at least 10 uninterupted minutes to rest himself and meditate. Each point of Æther can be used to power one spell level so one point could power a level 1 spell while six could power a level 6 spell. You may not pay part of a cost with Æther, nor power a premade ritual diagram with it.

    Domains: At the indicated level, the Cleric gains access to one domain linked to their deity/pantheon/church chosen from the below lists. The Cleric gains the granted power of the Domain and adds all of the spells within that domain to their list of Spells Known.
    Buddhist: Community [CD], Healing, Law, Life, Meditation [CD], Mind [CD], Protection
    Catholic: Exorcism [CD], Glory [CD], Good, Healing, Inquisition [CD], Passion [Eberron], Protection, Sun
    Hindu: Any, at GM discretion
    Muslim: Celerity [CD], Domination [CD], Law, Liberation [CD], Strength, Travel, War
    Protestant: Commerce [Eberron], Community [CD], Knowledge, Mind [CD], Mysticism [CD], Oracle [CD], Protection
    Sikh: Community [CD], Competition [CD], Good, Law, Purification [CD], Strength, War

    Clerics in the World:
    Clerics in this sense are very rare [the word is actually the old generic for clergyman/priest] though more common than Arcanists. The largest concentration of them is currently held by the Vatican's private army and the current pope himself is a Cleric.

    Clerics can be found throughout the world and are a reasonably common fixture in India and China where devoted religious functionaries are numerous, though people with enough actual faith to invoke prayers are only a small percentage of these individuals.

    A surprising number of frontier preachers along the American Frontier [the seperation between Confederacy and Union in this case] have the abilities of a cleric to a low level: in fact, the only place where clerics are not found is in Japan, where almost all traces of actual religion were eliminated in 1856 due to the Japanification program which sought to replace Buddhism [to them, a Chinese religion] with the newly created Shinto [which is an agglomeration of beliefs too hazy and unfocused and many completely made up to actually carry a godhead for spellcasting purposes].

    Adaption:
    One possible variation of the Cleric is a modified version of the Spirit Shaman. At creation, a Shaman chooses two spirits to whom they are devoted, one a Greater spirit [Bear, Buffalo, Raven, Horse] and Lesser [an aspect of a creature such as Lughing Coyote]. They then assign three domains to the Greater Spirit and two to the Lesser and choose which domains they may have [equal numbers from each, favouring the Greater spirit] by spending an hour praying each morning.

    In exchange for this flexibility, half the value in the Spells Known column.


    About Prestige Classes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Mecha Victoriana itself has yet to provoke any unique spellcasting prestige classes; most things that one might want to do have already been covered. This section covers the adaptions that might be needed to make existing prestige classes function in this magic system and gives a few examples of things particularly suited to a Steampunk version of the real world.

    Adapting Prestige Classes:
    Prerequisite Issues:
    Some things are impossible in the MV magic system and others get messy when you try to keep them straight so here are a few clarifications:

    "Able to Cast X Level Spells"
    This is one of the simplest criteria to meet. To qualify, the character must have at least as many Æther as the stated value and must have a total Spell/Prayercraft bonus of at least the required level x5.

    "Caster Level X"
    For simplicity's sake, a character with this must have the feats necessary to cast spells, a character level of at least the nominated number and at least that many ranks in the Knowledge from which their CaR is derived.

    "Able to cast X spell"
    In general, in MV, a character is considered to be able to cast a spell if they can do so without carrying a tome around. This means that they must either have it as a Spell Known, or more commonly, have it tattoed on their body or memorised with the Spell Mastery feat.

    Effects of Prestige Class Features:
    Some prestige class features may take a little common sense to use with this magic system so here are a few basic guidelines:

    "+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class"
    This feature simply does what it normally does. Choose which of your classes you wish to enhance and do so. The Ritualist and Æther abilities of both the Arcanist and Cleric are increased by +1 for each copy of this ability possessed by the character. If the character is based on a Scholar [the MV 'smart' hero], then the character's Savant ability is increased by +1.

    This still has no effect on other features of the class like skill tricks or bonus feats.

    "Bonus Spell Slots"
    In this case, as no spell slots are used in the system, it is a little more unclear. Once per mission, the character may use up a special store of Æther to power a spell of the nominated type and level as described in the class provinding the ability. This does not affect the character's existing stock of Æther.

    "+1 to Caster Level"
    When this occurs in the listing, as with the bonus provided by Reserve Feats [and Domains when such occurs] a +2 bonus is applied to checks to cast spells, whether generally or when casting a specific type of spell.

    Free Metamagic
    When a class provides an ability along the lines of 'all abjuration spells cast by the character count as Extended as per the Metamagic feat' rejoice. This applies the metamagic effect without increasing the spell level, hence, the DC is not increased but then neither is the casting DC.

    Spell Resistance:
    If a class grants Spell Resistance, replace the figure given by the class with "Equal to one half your class level." This change is made to make it fit with the MV version of Spell Resistance.

    Defence Values:
    A worthy note is that if you're using the MV armour system, then a prestige class is going to need a defence value. Simply use the same score as the class' BAB.

    Increase the bonus of the 'poor' saves to the 'good' save -2.

    Ideal Prestige Classes:
    Some prestige classes are ideally suited to particular religious backgrounds in the real world and some are simply well suited to the Victorian views of magic in general.

    If you have any of the White Wolf Ravenloft supplements, the prestige classes therein are very good for this, except for the Archonite classes.

    Church Inquisitor [Complete Divine]:
    Though there have been many purges through history, the most renowned is the Catholic Inquisition. While this class is open to characters with any Religious feat, Catholics add their bonus against demons/undead to the DCs of all the abilities granted by this class.

    Contemplative [Complete Divine]:
    This is an excellent class for portraying aspirant Arhats and other enlightenment seekers. It is open to those with the Buddhist and Hindu feats.

    Mystic Knight [DMG]:
    Well suited to the somewhat hard edged Victorian ideal of manhood [think adventure journalists and the like], the improved combat abilities of the Eldritch Knight serves them well, though they are still somewhat hindered by the use of armour.

    Radiant Servant of Pelor [Complete Divine]:
    The radiant servant can serve fairly well to represent the light and healing themes of Christianity, though Protestants will probably baulk at the blind faith inherent in the class. In general, a character must have the Catholic and Paragon [grants the MV equivalent of Turning] feats to qualify

    Ur-Priest [Complete Divine]:
    The Ur-Priest represents the height of what can go wrong in a situation with gods answering formulaic prayers, stealing power like parasites while the attention of the divine is elsewhere.

    Ur-Priests gain Æther equal to their level, the Ritualist ability and the following benefit:
    Myth Theft: At the beginning of each day, an Ur-Priest spends one hour working to steal power from various divine entities. He may choose one domain, plus one additional domain per two leves he possesses in this class. He gains all granted powers and uses this pool of spells as his 'spells known' for the remainder of the day.

    Ur-Priests must be cautious because the gods are vengeful at best. They may choose no more than half of the domains they chose the previous day when they come to select them. In addition, their mishaps are more severe, leaving them with a cumulative -2 penalty on all saving throws for the rest of the day, in addition to any other consequences of the roll.


    Next time, Spells!
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-08-27 at 09:17 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    I might steal a few things from this for something... diagram-based magic is quite flavoursome. Incidentally, it doesn't rule out combat magic, although it does change how you do it considerably. You would need to cast ahead of time a spell that "sticks" to you until you discharge it later. Whether you want to allow that sort of carry-on in your world is another question.

    BTW, "mana" is a Maori term meaning something like "power"; it's completely unrelated to the Hebrew word "manna" which you seem to be alluding to by describing "mana" as "bread".
    "I think I just had an evilgasm."

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    I wouldn't allow sticking spells because the geometry in all of it's multidimensional glory would get altered by movement.

    Comparing the power difference between a fireball at CaR 9 [9d6, double armour hardness] and a bullet [2d10 normal armour hardness], 3 rounds of built up if you don't have mana to fuel it is a minor tradeoff.

    Besides, as you shall see in the modifed Summon spells, there are better ways to fight using magic than throwing pyrotechnics...

    I didn't know the Maori thing, but on reflection, i'm going to leave it as a stolen piece of Hebrew; it fits nicely with both the actual situation within divine magic [a given sufferance from God] and the arrogance of the average arcanist.

    edit: Scratch that, AEther was much more Victorian so i've swapped it out as the generic word for magical potential
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-08-27 at 04:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    Right, time for some spells! Some of this is somewhat pidgeonholed because of the nature of the setting but bear with it.

    Summoning:
    Spoiler
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    Summoning is the basic art of drawing beings from other areas of existence and then compelling them to fight for you or perform other services.

    The most basic expression of this type of magic is actually the ritual summoning used to draw demons into place in order to make deals with them; it is through pacts such as these that Warlocks gain their powers or much of the vast and dark lore of demonic sorcery was passed into the world of men.

    Call Forth the Unclean One
    MV: Summoning, D&D Conjuration (Summoning) [Evil]
    Level: Arcane X [See Description]
    Components: V, S, M, F
    Casting Time: 10 Minutes
    Range: Touch
    Target: One demon summoned inside a warding
    Duration: Concentration
    Saving Throw: Special
    Spell Resistance: Special

    This is not actually a single spell but an entire genre of specific spells that summon various demonic entities. Usually, they are keyed to a specific entity and are referred to as "The Ritual for Calling Forth the Unclean One, Tarkized, Lord of the Zethu High Tower and Scourge of Fallen Dis" or something equally as pompus. In many cases, when the goal is to summon a mere functionary, only the title portion of the true name is included in the spell, creating "The Rituatl for Calling Forth the Unclean One, Servant of the House Lictat of the Rank Daemon."

    Each spell is recorded seperately, using its own collection of grimoire pages each time.

    When summoned, the demon appears and cannot resist the call itself. Once it arrives however, it will attempt to break free of the binding diagram. It does this by making an opposed check with its summoners as follows:

    Demon = 1d20 + Will Save bonus + Rank Bonus + Charisma Modifier x2 [once for it's magical strength, again for its Spell Resistance]

    vs

    Summoner = d20 + Primary Caster Will save + 2 per assistant + the save modifier of the binding circle

    Note that demons have a rank system of their own: A demon will usually have a rank equal to his HD, though some may be higher or lower. The binding circle is a form of arcane diagram.

    Should it win, the demon is free, and possibly angry, unless it is more interested in trading: certainly a case if it is a Broker and suspects that there is a good deal on hand, though it's posture is Indifferent at best, usually Unfreindly.

    If it is bound then the demon understands that it can't leave until it completes its dealings with the summoner and will begin as Indifferent, Friendly if it has had previous satisfactory dealings with the summoner.

    From here, a Pact may be negotiated [This is in its own section below] and the binding is released once the transaction is completed, allowing the demon to either return to its place of origin or to go abroad into the world, varying with the wording of the contract.

    Material Components: Casting this spell requires Powdered Iron, Salt and blood. It usually includes all sorts of other paraphenalia but this is not essential so much as an attempt at posturing [+1 to +4 on the control check at GM's discretion].
    Focus: Unlike most spells, this ritual requires an arcane diagram and cannot be cast with Æther. Casters with any sense won't settle for anything less than a diagram carved in stone.

    Combat Summons:
    Making pacts with demons is all very well, but sometimes you just want to drag a few kicking and screaming from hell and send them after your enemies.

    Irresistable Summons
    MV: Summoning, D&D: Conjuration (Summoning) [Evil]
    Level: Arcanist X [See Decription]
    Components: V, S, M, F
    Casting Time: one full round action
    Range: Short [20ft + 5ft per 2 CaR]
    Target: one point within range
    Duration: Concentration
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    As with Call Forth the Unclean One, this is a general class of spells, all of which have different formulae, going from level one through to twenty.

    When cast, you summon a demon or fiendish creature of an type that you know of with a CR no greater than the level of the spell that you are casting. Each edition carries a short list of the true species names of beings that exist in the pit and its environs. There is no definative list as each version contains a different, politically motivated set of creatures.

    Creatures summoned obey your orders as you give them and can be commanded telepathically as part of the spell. The summoned creatures cannot move beyond the range of the spell, limiting its combat usefulness some of the time.
    Material Components: A handful of sand ground from a piece of a church

    Hark My Minions
    MV: Summoning, D&D: Conjuration (Summoning) [Evil]
    Level: Arcanist X [3+, See Description]
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: one full round action
    Range: Long [400ft + 40ft per CaR]
    Target: one point within range
    Duration: Concentration
    Saving Throw: Non
    Spell Resistance: No

    Yet another Genre spell, this includes variants that run between third and tenth level spells. These caps exist because even in hell, large regiments of intensely powerful entities do not exist. Vrocks are the most powerful troops that can be called with this spell.

    When cast, a unit of ten demonic [Evil Outsider]creatures with a CR 3 less than the level of the spell are summoned in formation to a point within range designated by the caster. If you are using the MV units system, you give them a full set of orders and can change their Course of Action as part of your concentration action. Otherwise, they attack where you direct and can be redirected as a Move action.

    If the spell would lead you to summon 0 CR creatures, then you summon creatures with 1/2 CR instead.

    Unique Feat: Touching the Other
    You have managed to achieve a more simplistic geometry in your summoning spells and instead of summoning things from the pit, you have summoned those things that dwell beyond the abyss of space itself; beings almost beyond your comprehension.
    Description: Though you risk your sanity in doing so, you reach out and summon beings that are alien [see the alien template in the creatures section] rather than demonic. You can summon any creature with the Alien type in place of those normally summoned by a spell. Your notes on casting these spells are so degenerate that others without this feat cannot copy your methods. Note that this feat renders you in no way immune to the sanity damaging effects of proximity to these creatures.
    Special: Members of the Alienist class gain this feat as a bonus feat at first level. They are also immune to the damage wrought by their presence through their own exposure to the 'truth' of reality as they see it.

    The Book of Ra:
    The Book of Ra contains a selection of light based spells and was discovered along with much technical knowledge in the Great Library of Alexandria.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Interestingly enough, many of the spells in modern times date back to the two previous occasions that magic has functioned in the world: Those of the Sumarians and the time of the Grecian heroes. A compilation of spells from both these periods recorded in Alexandria during the height of the Trojan War, this grimoire is a container of many of the more impressive spells in use.

    The actual identity of Ra is something of a point of concern for the Royal Society as the diagrams involved in casting these spells are not entirely consistent with conventional arcane drawings in that they have large amounts of text involved, while their geometric shapes make them inconsistent with normal divine mechanisms either. It is entirely possible that Ra was a character similar to the 'gods' of ancient Sumer.

    Light damage is a compound of the Holy and Positive Energy descriptors from D&D. It does not heal living creatures but deals +50% damage against Undead and creatures with the [Dark] subtype. Double Hardness applies against Light damage. Creatures that traditionally possess DR/Evil have a Light resistance of twice this amount.
    Ankh Darts
    Evocation [Light]
    Level: Arcanist 2, Divinist 3
    Components: V, S, DF
    Casting Time: 1 Standard action
    Range: Short [25ft + 5ft per 2 CaR
    Target: one creature per dart
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    From your outstretched hands fly a collection of luminous motes that fly with an almost lazy pace and strike a foe a piece. The attack is so named because of the Ankh shaped marks and their effectiveness in restoring the absolute nature of life and death

    This spell creates one dart per three points of the character's CaR. These darts fly and automatically strike their designated targets; multiple darts may be directed at a single creature. Each dart deals 2d6+Cha Light damage to the target [or 3d6+1.5 Cha against undead and Dark creatures].

    Blinding Sword of Ra
    Evocation [Light]
    Level: Arcanist 3, Divinist 4
    Components: V, S, DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium [200ft + 20ft per CaR]
    Target: one creature within range
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Fort half/Ref neg
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    The sword of Ra is a roaring, luminous torrent of light that flows like water and turns its target to dust. Those in its path are not save either; while the light does not harm their bodies, it's golden fury is much less kind to their eyes.

    When cast, a bold of light surges from the caster's hand or holy symbol, striking it's target. The target takes Light damage equal to a Knowledge [Religion] check [A standard Fortitude saves halves this] and is blinded [no save] for 1d6 rounds. While it is travelling, the Blinding Sword forms a 10ft wide beam; all those whose spaces are crossed by the beam must make a Reflex save or be blinded for 1 round.

    Brilliant Scarab of Ra
    MV: Evocation, D&D: Conjuration, Abjuration (Creation) [Force]
    Level: Arcanist 4
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Caster and one adjacent square
    Duration: 1 Round/2 CaR
    Saving Throw: None [Harmless]
    Spell Resistance: No

    Invoking the name of Ra, you conjure a majestic golden scarab of transparent force that protects you within its shell and strikes at those assailing you with its mandibles.

    As the spell is cast, you and an adjacent square of your choice are covered by a hollow armoured force construct. The scarab counts as a large creature, has a defence of 10 + your CaR, a Hardness of 6 and any hit that deals 15 points of damage after hardness shatters it. In its defence, the scarab can make up to three attacks of opportunity by snapping with its mandibles against foes that attack it [from the Scarabs point of view, this provokes such an attack]. Its attacks have the following profile (+10 Mandibles 2d4+2 [crit 19/x2]).

    Though it could be used to shield an ally, the primary purpose of the scarab is to allow you to cast spells unmolested, hence why it has space for a ritual diagram.
    Material Component: A dried scarab shell.

    Luminous Spear of Ra
    Evocation [Light]
    Level: Arcanist 6, Divinist 7
    Components: V, S, F
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Long [400ft + 40ft per CaR]
    Area: 10ft Cylinder, 30ft Burst
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Reflex partial
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    With a gesture with your spear point, a brilliant column of light emerges from the sun and falls upon the target before erupting outwards in a blast of brilliant yellow.

    The spear of Ra has two areas of effect. Inside the inner cylinder, each target takes 10d6 Light damage and is blinded for 1d6 rounds. Those in the outer blast suffer 4d6 Light damage and are blinded for one round. In both cases a successful Reflex save halves the damage and negates the blindness.

    Radiant War Barge of Ra
    MV: Geomancy, D&D: Conjuration (Creation) [Force]
    Level: Arcanist 7
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 full round action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Caster
    Duration: 1 minute per CaR
    Saving Throw: No [Harmless]
    Spell Resistance: No

    Upon completion of this spell, a large flat bottomed barge forms beneath the feet of the caster and bears him and those near him into the sky. The barge is roughly the same size as a small Nile barge and while the upper portion is seemingly made of wood, the outer hull seems forged from the very surface of the sun.

    When this spell is cast, a barge 20ft long and 10ft wide forms from magical force resembling wood in colour and lifts the caster into the air. It can ascend at a rate of 30ft per round and drifts along as the caster wills it to at a speed of 10ft per round.

    The barge has a defence of 14, a Hardness of 10 and any attack dealing 40 or more points of damage will shatter it. It is also vulnerable to Dark damage and any effect that is directly tied to the moon due to it's connection to the sun; all such attacks deal +50% damage to the barge. Looking at the barge to target it is difficult so all creatures attempting to attack it suffer a 20% miss chance unless they are already blind.

    The barge has one additional advantage for the spellcaster, aside from it's high vantage point, in that it can reduce it's hull to the opacity of yellow tinted glass, allowing them to use their attacking spells from a protected vantage.


    Appendix:

    Pacts?
    Spoiler
    Show
    A pact is the game term for making a deal with the devil. Yes, i know there are rules for these in Fiendish Codex 2 and they suck. Selling your entire soul for a measily +2 on a stat and a level one spell as a once per day ability? Please...

    Making a Pact Infernal:
    The pact Infernal is actually the lesser of the two possible deals that one can cut; it is a deal for property [admittedly, often the souls of others] and allows the character in question to gain such things as demonic soldiers, hell-forged equipment and even magic items. Other commodities that can be traded for are information, magical spells and tasks performed by the demon such as assassinations or thefts, things that specific kinds of demon can be impossibly good at.

    Payment:
    What on earth does one give to a demon that they don't already have? The answer is actually rather surprising if you don't understand the nature of Hell itself. In MV, the pit is very much like a cross between Dante's Inferno and Italy during the period of City-States. It is also, rather desolate. As a result, a great many things that are either curious or interesting have more value in hell than gold may do, which while shiny has a habit of sticking around and objects that are seen repeatedly quickly lose their value in the party driven court intruigues of hell.

    In MV, money has been replaced with an idea called 'Favour,' an indication of a person's influence without having to keep track of investments and the like [and believe me, the Victorians were BIG on that kind of thing]. In MV it's granted by class levels, certain feats, doing favours in downtime and by tearing down your social standing to get money for the family silver. Here's a quick patch for normal games:

    For every £1000 [that's 5000gp, the pound was originally based on the value of a pound of silver, which is 5gp by the PHB] that the character has in investments, he is able to access 1 point of favour. Once spent, Favour cannot be accessed until the end of the calander month.

    Favour can be spend roll checks based on 1d20 + Favour spent to access benefits. The GM sets the DC but here are a few examples:
    • DC 15 to influence the ountcome of a borough court, +5 for each increase in court influence [city, barony, county, king's court]
    • DC 10 + 1 per 1000gp of the cost of an item, loaned for one week
    • DC 20 to request a crime be committed [theft] +5 for beating, +10 for murder, +15 for vicious murder
    • DC 10 + CR of aid to get assistance in a fight


    As always, the GM is free to deny access to favours that would break his plot.


    Payment for services in Pacts Infernal are made using Favour.

    Additionally, there are a couple of other things that can be used in place of Favour [or simply represent Favour acquired in a different manner].

    First and foremost, there is Freedom. This does not mean complete release of the individual necessarily but it has certainly happened on one or two occasions. For Favour to be created by granting freedom, the demon must be released from its bindings for a total number of days equal to the cube of the favour being aped, so one Favour requires a day of freedom while two requires eight [2x2x2=8] and ten Favour would release the the beast for more than three years. Ten is the cap on favour gainable in this manner and anything more than three is likely to come back to bite you as the demon gets bored and comes back to mess with you.

    Similarly, highly corrupt souls can be bartered for service as these are a valuable source of fuel in hell. The most prized are those who commit incest, multiple murder, familiacide and grand betrayal. Again, the favour granted by a tribute of souls is equal to the cube root of the souls being traded. One favour requires one soul, three requires 27 and on. There is no theoretical upper limit to this source of favour but there are only so many truly bad people in the world.

    What's on offer?
    You've decided to make a pact infernal and have suitable tribute for the demon but what can you get for it? Below is a list of suggestions as to what can be bartered fore with a demon and roughly what they will cost; for a rule of thum, Helpful demons charge 1d3 favour less than the listed number and Indifferent and worse demons increase the cost by 1d3 per attitude below friendly.

    Service: Assassination._____Favour: Target's CR+
    Demanding that your foe be smote by the agency you summon is fairly common and relatively powerful. The demon will travel by its fastest means possible, often but not always teleportation or flight, to the location of the target and attempt to slay him by its preferred methods. Should he be fought off, the contract is technically fulfilled, though additional attempts can be included in the contract for a further 3 favour each.

    Increase the costs of the service by +1 for every hours worth of travel the demon will have to locate the target. You must have something of the target such as clothing, blood or hair or the demon will not take the contract on account of being unable to locate the target easily. Some demons wave this if you are including freedom in the deal.

    Service: Otherwise Impossible Theft_____Favour: CR of demon
    While not every demon will accept this mission, those that will are often amongst the most likely to succeed at the tast. The demon will make one attempt only to steal the target item, to the best of its ability, though the contract is voided if the demon is wounded in the pursuit. Imps are commonly summoned for this purpose.

    Service: Manipulation of the World_____Favour: New Rank
    Buying a demon off so that you end up the lord of the manor, married to a princess or commanding an army is fairly traditional. Applying this effect outside of MV is tricker but in a social contect there are 20 ranks between King [rank 20], Rich Merchants [Rank 10] and unlanded peasants [rank 1]. Estimate the rank being bought based on these relative positions. Military ranks or Guild status is rated between 1 and 10.

    Suffice to say, your new influence will have to be held onto by your own means and you inherit all the enemies that the new position comes with, though people generally accept that you somehow earned the position in the first place.

    Commodity: House Troops______Favour: Varies with Summoned troops
    In this agreement, one brokers a deal where the House the demon represents agrees to have some of their troops on standby awaiting the call of summoners. This is an expensive deal but it allows for creatures to be summoned more swiftly than usual. The broker pays into account any number of Favour that they desire and designate a number of those present up to 1 + the broker's Cha modifier. From that point on, the designated casters may reduce the effective level of a summoning spell used to call demonic soldiers by up to three by spending 1, 4 or 9 favour from the account. The spells level may not be reduced below 1 and adjustments of this type effect Æther cost, diagram building time and casting DC as normal.

    The GM is free to limit what kinds of demon can be summoned in this contract.

    Commodity: A Magic Item_____Favour: 1 per 1000gp of the requested item
    Bartering for magic items can be risky where demons are concerned because of their habit of fulfilling the letter of the contract and throwing in amusing little extras.

    The caster must know what they are asking for and how long they will be keeping it for. The item can only be held for seven days at most because hell attempts to reclaim its own [demons avoid this phenomenon by keeping moving but they rarely tell humans about it]. At the end of the contracted term, the item returns to hell. Anyone holding it is allowed a DC 20 Reflex save to avoid being pulled along with it.

    There is a 1 in 20 chance per Favour bartered that the item will turn out to be Intelligent on top of what you asked for. The item may be helpful, if you're lucky...

    Commodity: Hellish Equipment_____Favour: 1 per 50 units of equipment
    Demonic weaponry, even the non-magical kind, is powerful and deadly and while weapons like hellfire throwers cannot be used by humans, many of the other less savoury weapons available in hell are. See the section below for a few suggestions…

    Commodity: Information_____Favour: 1+
    Demons are surprisingly well informed by this point in time. Part of the reason for this is that every individual that makes a Pact Diabolic [see below], the greater pact, has all of their experiences from that point on written down in the miser's keep of their house.

    For each Favour spent in this way, the demon provides one Gather Information check's worth of information or one Knowledge check. More may be spent on an individual check, granting a +5 bonus per point spent.

    Uniquely, information may be traded for information, with each unique secret of someone in authority providing a bonus of 1 favour in the deal.

    Commodity: Infernal Thaumaturgy_____Favour: 1 per level of the spell
    One thing that is actually easy to barter from a demon is magic, though these spells may produce effects that fulfil the letter of the contract rather than your intent. Texts containing spells can be bartered from demons at a cost of one favour per level of spells they include.

    If an account has been made for Infernal Soldry then spells need to summon them are granted without guile. Otherwise, it might be somewhat random as to which demon of a given power level may be summoned by a given spell.

    Making a Pact Diabolic:
    The pact made by Faustus in the play would have been a Pact Diabolic. Only the most powerful demons, those of at least CR 18 will forge a Pact Diabolic and they will only forge such a pact if the petitioner looks like he will collapse down the path of evil once the power has been granted. That said, that is only to assure an accumulation of value in the pact-maker's soul as he uses these powers.

    It is technically possible for lesser demons to forge these contracts but after the imfamous case of David Spencer who slew the demon that came to collect, none are willing to do so.

    A Pact Diabolic costs 20 Favour and the pact maker's soul, which will be claimed after 1d8 years and a day. Demons do not take this sort of trade lightly and those who try to escape will find themselves hunted for the remainder of their lives by a powerful entity and everything it is capable of bullying into helping. Those that swear a pact diabolic cannot be raised, resurrected, called back by a miracle or brought back to the world of the living by any means short of bartering them back from their house, a costly process indeed.

    Possible Pacts Diabolic:
    Here are a few possible pacts, though others are possible and you might find that they are too powerful for your campaign.

    Army of Hell:
    The house of the demon supplies a small force of demons that serve the pact maker. They gain the Leadership feat with a Leadership score of double their level + Cha modifier. There is no limit on the level of the Cohort [the general of the force] and all Follower slots are filled by demons.

    Godly Power:
    Faust requested the power to reshape the world by his will, the absolute mastery of magic. The Pact doesn't actually go quite that far, but it does provide the ability to cast 12 Æther worth of spells each day, regardless of whether you know them or not, without having to make any casting checks or drawing any diagrams. The obvious downside is that the spells you cast in this way never work out quite as you'd wanted them to, especially the inevitable Wish spells...

    Lordly Might:
    A common wish is to be the best at what you do. This comes in the form of five character levels chosen from whatever classes you decide. Alternatively, the GM may assign levels to the character based on the request they made. Demons like this, basically transferring the skills of someone who previously made this bargin into the new petitioner.

    To Be Gifted:
    Such a wish is a risk but the simplest way of doing it from a demon's point of view is to raise one of your stats to 30. Trying to stop a character with a Charisma of 30 taking over a city is next to impossible and trying to outthink someone with an Intelligence of 30 is almost literally so.

    Unlimited Resources:
    It might sound silly, but infinite wealth is possible but not easy for a demon to provide, though it's actually mostly made up of very clever illusion and befuddlement magic. With this option, the character receives 1d10 Favour each day or 20,000gp per week, depending on which system you are using.

    It goes without saying that GM's should think carefully before allowing players to make a Pact Diabolic. Part of the reason for the existence of these rules is my preference for recording my ideas and looking them up when i need them rather than making things up on the fly; i've been accused of unfairness because or my poor memory for such decisions.

    Diabolic Weaponry:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The demons of the Infernum [the name of their society, some dwell outside this social order] have a somewhat grim ingenuity for weapons design and a selection of, at best, grim magics and alchemical methods at their disposal.

    Ranged Weapons:
    {table=head] Weapon | Size | Range | Ammo | Damage | Critical | Special?
    Bile Rifle | Large | 30ft | 10 | 1d4 | n/a | Yes
    Chatterskull | Small | 10ft | - | 1d10 | n/a | Yes
    Shattergun | Large | 80ft | 30 | 2d8 | x2 | Yes
    Shattercannon | Huge | 120ft | 200 | 3d8 | x2 | Yes[/table]

    Bile Rifle:Possibly one of the most disgusting devices ever conceived, the bile rifle uses a system of magically engineered helspawn stomachs to produce a sticky acidic substance inaccurately termed Black Bile. Creatures hit by Black Bile take 1d4 points of acid damage per round until it is scraped off. This damage is cumulative from multiple hits and if the acid is left in place for more than a minute, it begins to destroy the hardness of the target's armour at a rate of 1 point per minute per d4 of acid damage being dealt to the creature. This damage is permanent. Scraping off black bile requires a Full action but clears the victim completely.
    Chatterskull: A grim mixture of grenade and attack robot, the chatterskull is a clockwork creature built from a human skull. When thrown, the creature springs into life, biting its target repeatedly. Once in play, the skull continues to attack the target for a further 4 rounds, attacking each round with a +5 attack bonus. This occupies the target's square and is sufficiently distracting to provide Flanking bonuses to others.
    Shattergun: Somewhere between a machine gun and a meat grinder, the shattergun tears irregular chunks of metal from a fuelrod, coats them with liquid pain and hurls them down the barrel at the target. The weapon can either fire normally or on an Autofire setting. Any target wounded by a shattergun must make a Fortitude Save DC 14 or be stunned for one round by the intense pain flowing through their blood.
    Shattercannon: Essentially a larger shattergun, the cannon version is a rapid firing monstrosity capable of slaying humans with ease. A shattercannon may only be fired on Autofire. It has the same liquid pain save as a shattergun.

    Melee Weapons:
    {table=head] Weapon | Size | Reach | Damage | Critical | Special?
    Excruciators | Small | No | 1d6 | 19/x3 | Yes
    Memorial | Small | No | Special | n/a | Yes
    Pitchfork | Large | Yes | 2d8 | x3 | Min Str 13
    Ripsaw | Medium | No | 1d10 | x3 | Ignores 5 Hardness[/table]

    Excruciators: The excruciator is a sign of the true evil of demons. These weapons are a collection of barbed and fluted blades that are worn over the fingers and used to rip at the flesh of the demon's victims. They are used and sold in pairs. When a character wielding excruciators hits with both of their primary attacks, they roll to wound once as if they had scored a critical.
    Memorial: Demons are nothing if no connoisseurs of pain and suffering and the inability to kill someone multiple times frustrates them. To assuage this slightly, they developed the memorial, allowing them to at least inflict the same wound a second time. After a wound is dealt, an empty memorial can be touched to it within one round to save a copy of the wound. It can then be touched to another target at a later time to apply the same wound, damage et al to another target. A newly sold memorial contains a wound inflicted on one of the damned to a value of 4d10 damage [prerolled]. Memorials are expensive and count as 25 units of trade.
    Pitchfork: Though sharing a name with a common tool, the hellish pitchfork is something else entirely. Barbed and lethal, it is the preferred weapon of many demons and some of the more sadistic humans in our world have begun to appreciate them too.
    Ripsaws: Designed using a mixture of cloned flesh and technology, a ripsaw is a bad tempered device with a blade system similar to the workings of a jet engine side on. Rather than cutting materials, they flay them into shape, such is the demonic way of doing things. Ripsaws are excellent at getting through armour and ignore 5 points of hardness provided by armour.


    There's a beginning. It takes a phenomenal amount of work to copy these things out...surprises me anyway...
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-09-07 at 10:46 AM.

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    Thumbs up Re: Skill based magic...

    Hey, æther works even better with your setting, good move. I think its various meanings are along the lines of "air of the gods"/"starstuff"/"heavenly void"/"quintessence", or words to that effect.

    By the way, what I meant by "the spell sticks to you" was that you cast the spell and the effect of it is to "charge" you, akin to a regular D&D touch spell that you can hold the charge of in your finger until you successfully poke someone. As you say, though, Mecha Victoriana seems to be oriented around a more grandiose form of magic than the more casual stuff found in D&D, so it might not fit in too well anyway.

    This all looks great. I had a thought about the pacts; what about one to exchange your soul (or that of a victim) for that of an already-damned dead person, allowing them to be returned to life? Gotta be a catch, though. On the subject of pacts, is it possible to make a deal with an angel (of the non-fallen variety)? If so, what's the downside? Possibly you might need to wear sunglasses or goggles.


    EDIT: The colouring forum code at the end of the Summoning block is a bit off; you opened a [color] tag but closed with [/colour].
    Last edited by Grey Knight; 2009-09-07 at 09:45 AM.
    "I think I just had an evilgasm."

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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    It makes no sense that items would be immune to sonic energy. Vibrations that strong is likely to damage even metal plate armour.
    Planetkiller avatar by The Randomizer

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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Knight View Post
    Hey, æther works even better with your setting, good move. I think its various meanings are along the lines of "air of the gods"/"starstuff"/"heavenly void"/"quintessence", or words to that effect.

    By the way, what I meant by "the spell sticks to you" was that you cast the spell and the effect of it is to "charge" you, akin to a regular D&D touch spell that you can hold the charge of in your finger until you successfully poke someone. As you say, though, Mecha Victoriana seems to be oriented around a more grandiose form of magic than the more casual stuff found in D&D, so it might not fit in too well anyway.
    I assumed that was what you meant. Seemed silly that 4D geography would be able to be carried around with you.

    It's up to the GM if you could pact with an Angel but i don't think you could possibly have anything they'd want. Can't exactly sell your soul to them..."Yes, i'll agree to go to heaven to be eternally loved in exchange for power." I suppose you could manage a Pact Infernal equivalent by offering a period of ecstasy [where they possess your body and use you for their works], but that would be pretty big black patches in your life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charl View Post
    It makes no sense that items would be immune to sonic energy. Vibrations that strong is likely to damage even metal plate armour.
    If you read the column heading, it says Hardness; the "Ignored" reference is to the hardness of the object. Hence, sonic is the nastiest of the energy types as it ignores the armour of the target.

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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    If you read the column heading, it says Hardness; the "Ignored" reference is to the hardness of the object. Hence, sonic is the nastiest of the energy types as it ignores the armour of the target.
    Oh. I read it as "Ignore all damage". But yeah, the above makes a lot more sense.
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    Default Re: Skill based magic...

    Reworking a Classic:

    Ok, here's the deal; Magic Missile is either silly effective or completely useless in open warfare in MV depending on how you read it. That and the fact that it hits automatically has never really sat all that well with me. Anyway, yesterday, as i was walking back from the doctors, i began running a few number in my head and came up with this replaceent version of the spell. Enjoy.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Magical Missiles [Dolfs Calling of Projectile Anima]
    Evocation [Creation]
    Level: Arcane 1
    Components: V, S, F
    Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
    Range: As Projectile
    Target: Volley
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: AC Bonus

    You use tiny fragments of your essence as seed crystals to grow spiritual forms of a collection of arrows or bolts. these manifest as small glowing motes of light, similar in shape to squid. At a gesture, you send these flying at various targets.

    On casting this spell, you create one anima spirit similar to a Will'o'wisp per 2 points of your CaR, to a maximum of 10. These spirits are then directed to attack as a Volley [see sidebar], using the spell level of Magic Missile as the effective level of the Anima. Thus, the attack has a bonus of your CaR + 1/2 the number of anima.

    Anima deal damage equal to half that of a conventional projectile of their type but have their armour penetration improved by one grade [Arrows and Light Crossbow bolts 1d8, Heavy Crossbow Bolts 1d10].

    If this spell is Heightened, the effective level of the Anima increases to match the new level of the spell, each tie increasing the volley attack bonus by 1/2 the number of projectiles.

    If this spell is Widened, the number of Projectiles is increased by the number of Widenings applied. These additional projectiles become additional Volley attacks that can be placed as you wish.

    Focus: A number of Arrows or Bolts equal to the number of anima to be created [not increased if Widened, use the base].

    At GM's discretion, it is possible to research higher level versions of this spell adding MV approved weapon qualities to the anima for a cost equal to the cost of the weapon quality. The obvious example is Flaming Magic Missile as a level 2 spell.

    Sidebar: Volley Fire
    Spoiler
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    MV is a military game first and foremost so with the exception of the Player Characters and antagonists, most things occur at squad level. A volley attack is where a squad concentrates their fire on a single 10ft square target area and weight of fire makes up for individual inaccuracy.

    The unit leader or primary attacker's Attack bonus is used and half the level of additional firers is added as a to hit bonus. one attack roll is made for each volley [it is possible to fire several if you have Rapid Shot or the like] and compared to the Defence of all within the area. For every 5 points or part thereof that the attack hits by, one hit is dealt to the target, rolling damage once and multiplying.

    Against full units, such attacks are more dangerous and have their base damage increased to 250% of their basic dice, but their armour penetration value is reduced by one grade. In general, this makes less difference than one might expect because of the high Defence of squads.

    If a Volley rolls a Threat, it does not critical but responds like a Skill Threat, adding 1d10 [counting 0 as zero] to the attack roll and recalculating the number of hits scored.


    Looks needlessly complicated but you can calculate its effects and note it on a character sheet without difficulty.

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