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This page provides a brief guide to casting spells and miracles. For more information, details on the skills required can be found here, details on the metaphysics of Elemental magick can be found here and details on the metaphysics of Spiritual theurgy can be found here.
Casting spells is the province of the Elementalist, who draws upon the power of the Elemental Planes to cast magick. Before casting spells, you must first learn the spells you wish to cast, which is done by purchasing levels in the Spell Casting skill. The more levels of the skill you purchase, the more powerful the spells you can cast - spell levels range from 1 to 10, and you can cast a selection of spells of levels up to your Spell Casting skill level. Most Elementalists concentrate on the spells associated with their own particular Element, (the Elements available to choose from being Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Light and Shadow,) but some may learn to cast spells from two or three different Elements.
Casting miracles is the province of the Lorewarden, who draws upon the power of the Spirits and the Spirit Planes to cast theurgy. Before casting miracles, you must first understand the miracles you wish to cast, which is done by purchasing levels in the Miracle Learning skill. The more levels of the skill you purchase, the more powerful the miracles you can cast - miracle levels range from 1 to 10, and you can cast a selection of miracles of levels up to your Miracle Learning skill level. Most Lorewardens concentrate on the miracles associated with their own particular Alignment, (the Alignments available to choose from being Fellowship, Natural and Court,) but some may learn to cast miracles from two or even three different Alignments, although learning miracles from an Alignment other than one's own is much more difficult to do.
All Elemental spells and Spiritual miracles require that a "verbal" is spoken when they are cast. This represents the casting method, and also serves to tell those around the caster what he is doing, and what effect it has - in the middle of a hectic FLRP, being able to easily work out what's going on is essential. Example verbals are given with the descriptions of all the spells and miracles, but you don't have to follow them word for word, they just provide a suggested basis from which you can improvise. Players and monsters are advised to be as expressive as possible with verbals, as they can really add flavour to the game and the characters! Generally, the more powerful the spell or miracle, (i.e. the higher its level,) the longer and more impressive the verbal should be.
The verbal for a spell should include the spell's name, a reference to the Element(s) being called upon, and if necessary information as to the spell's effects. For example, "By my power in the Element of Fire, I cast a Fire Dart! - Magick Through Single!" The last part isn't required IC, but serves to tell the target of the spell what its effects are, in this case how much damage has been inflicted upon them, and of what kind.
The verbal for a miracle should include the name of the miracle, references to the spirits of the caster's Alignment or the deity of their religion or both, and if necessary information as to the miracle's effects. For example, "By the holy power of the One God, I call upon the spirits of the Fellowship to heal this wound! - Heal 1 hit." The last part isn't required IC, but serves to tell the target of the miracle what its effects are, in this case how much they've been healed.
Verbals should be clearly spoken and fairly loud - if a spell's target can't hear what spell has been cast then they won't know what effect it is supposed to have had. Spells and miracles for which the verbal is mumbled, whispered or rushed through so fast as to be incomprehensible will be justifiably ignored. Also, detailed verbals are required, not just the name of the spell - someone merely saying "Fire Dart! Fire Dart! Fire Dart!" in an attempt to emulate a magickal machine-gun will generally find that only one of the spells went off, if that.
Most spells and miracles should also be accompanied by hand gestures, if possible. In addition to adding more flavour, this makes it easier to see who they've been cast at - saying "Fire Dart!" in front of half a dozen monsters and expecting them to know which one of them's been hit becomes much simpler when the caster says "Fire Dart!" and accompanies it by pointing clearly at the target in an exaggerated arm gesture, not to mention looking far more dramatic.
Some spells and miracles also require certain material components - these will always be mentioned in the individual description.
If a caster is hit while in the middle of speaking a verbal, then the spell or miracle they are attempting to cast will be disrupted, and they must spend twice the usual number of Mana or Spirit points if they wish to continue and successfully cast it. Alternatively, they can stop the casting at that point and not lose any power.
All spells require Elemental energy to cast, which is measured in the form of Mana points. Each Elementalist has a number of Mana points to draw from based on their level of the Enhanced Elemental Power skill. Each spell costs a number of Mana points to cast equal to its level, and you should remember what spells you have cast during an encounter so that you can tell the GM how many of your Mana points you have used at the next battle-board.
All miracles require Spiritual energy to cast, which is measured in the form of Spirit points. Each Lorewarden has a number of Spirit points to draw from based on their level of the Enhanced Spiritual Power skill. Each miracle costs a number of Spirit points to cast equal to its level, and you should remember what miracles you have cast during an encounter so that you can tell the GM how many of your Spirit points you have used at the next battle-board.
Mana points and Spirit points may be recovered by meditating (for those who have the Elemental Meditation or Spiritual Meditation skill), by drinking certain alchymycal potions and by getting a good night's sleep in a decent bed.
Each spell and miracle description includes an entry for range. For most, this will either be touch or a distance in feet. If you attempt to cast a spell or miracle at a target outside its range, then it will automatically fail.
Obviously we can't go around carefully measuring distances with a tape measure during the middle of a hectic fight, and some people are better at estimating distance than others, so a certain leeway is allowed. But you should try not to cast spells and miracles at people who you think might be outside their range.
Each spell and miracle description includes an entry for duration. For most, this will be an amount of time in minutes or seconds, often either instantaneous, 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 15 minutes.
Obviously we can't go around with stopwatches checking the time to the last second, and some people are better at estimating time than others, so a certain leeway is allowed. But try to be as honest as possible in your estimates.
For the sake of convenience, some spells and miracles have a duration listed as, for example, "1 encounter / 10 minutes". In these cases, to save on trying to remember how much time has passed, the effect is assumed to last from when it is cast until the end of the encounter, unless the encounter goes on for a particularly long time - if the encounter goes on for another twelve or thirteen minutes, then the effect can safely be assumed to last until the end, but if it has clearly been over quarter of an hour since the spell or miracle was cast then the effect will have finished.
Spells may be countered by Dispel Magick and Countermagick spells, and miracles may be countered by Despirit miracles.
A spell or miracle may be countered before it can take effect if its target begins casting a Dispel Magick or Despirit of equal or greater level immediately the casting of the spell or miracle being countered has been completed, or before. Delaying by even a few seconds will be too late to stop the effect from happening, although it can still be countered later if it lasts that long and if the person who wishes to counter it is still in a position to do so.
If someone wishes to counter an effect targetted at another person, they must begin casting a Dispel Magick or Despirit of equal or greater level before the casting of the spell or miracle being countered has been completed.
Countermagick spells must be cast either before the spell they are attempting to counter, or after it has taken effect.
Sooner or later, you will meet an NPC or group of NPCs casting a spell or miracle not listed on this website, and think "Why can't my character do that?". The basic answer is that sometimes NPCs need to pull off impressive or unusual effects for the sake of the story, and that if PCs were allowed to cast the same effect it would either unbalance the game or just prove too much of a headache and a hassle for the GMs, or all three, but these reasons also require an in-game justification.
So, maybe the spell or miracle being used requires a certain conjunction of the stars, or only works in one particular magickal or sacred site, or requires an extremely rare material component. Maybe it only works for members of a particular race or order or cult, or for worshippers of a particular deity or Spirit or Elemental being. Maybe it requires long months of dedicated study, meditation, preparation and purification before it can be cast. Maybe it requires a long ritual, or a series of rituals, lasting hours or even days. Maybe it requires a certain number or combination of casters working together, for example one Elementalist of each Element. Maybe the reason is a combination of some or even all of the above examples, or something else we haven't thought of here.
But what it all comes down to is, although NPCs should generally follow the same rules as the players, sometimes they're allowed to step outside them if it makes for a good game and a good story.
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