Fantasy Class: Mage (System)

Devoted scholars, philosophers, and ascetics, mages have dedicated their lives to understanding and harnessing the power of arcane magic: hidden energy that flows within all things. Characters with the mage class have learned to manipulate this omnipresent magical energy source to create miraculous—and often destructive—effects.

Mages summon and channel arcane magic to create unique effects (an action the uninitiated call “spellcasting”) via a combination of intense concentration, bodily contortions, and material components. In the game, the cinematic means by which individual mages cast spells often vary widely, subject to Narrator approval. Some mages cast spells by brandishing their oaken wands and chanting complicated Hermetic incantations learned from ancient spellbooks. Other mages cast spells by drawing arcane energy from magical stones from a forgotten age, the petrified hearts of extinct dragons, or tiny fragments of dead gods. Still other mages summon arcane energy from deep within themselves, using little more than a channeling staff and hand contortions to safely focus that raw energy into spells.

A mage channels arcane energy by the force of his will. Unfortunately, the human body is far too weak to safely channel these powerful energies, so every mage wields an arcane focus—a magically fortified physical symbol of the mage’s power—through which he channels arcane magic. In order to perform mage class gimmicks, a mage must be holding or wearing his arcane focus. A mage without his arcane focus cannot use any of his mage gimmicks.

Mechanically, an arcane focus is a physical object no smaller than size one. An arcane focus does not have to possess great monetary value, but it cannot be created on the spur of the moment. In order to create an arcane focus, the mage (or someone else) must actually construct the focus, a process that typically takes several hours to several days. After the object is created, the mage casts any spell he knows into the focus; doing so transfers the spell energy directly into the focus and binds the focus to the mage. At that point, the mage may use the object as his arcane focus. Mages often carry several arcane focuses.

Note that many beginning mages do not possess the Cast Spell gimmick. If these mages lose their arcane focus, they must seek out another mage who can cast a spell into their arcane focus for them.

Learning New Spells
Mages do not learn new spells like they learn new gimmicks. Unlike new gimmicks which are purchased with Style Points, new spells must either be found or learned through the course of the game, depending on the cinematic way in which spellcasting operates in a given game setting. In a game in which mages draw arcane energy from magical stones, for example, a mage might simply need to study a newly discovered magic stone for a few hours to a few days in order to learn its stored spell. In a game where mages learn spells from ancient spellbooks from lost civilizations, a mage must study a new spell and perhaps roll an Occult check each day until he finally understands the spell. The Narrator decides on the method by which mages in his game learn new spells. It’s also the Narrator’s job to provide mages with opportunities to learn new spells (and more powerful versions of spells they already know) through the course of the game.

Tiered Spells
Many spells have multiple levels of power that are organized into three tiers. Tier 1 spells are the most common and weakest spells that a mage is will encounter. Tier 2 spells are specialized spells or more powerful versions of tier 1 spells. Tier 3 spells are unique spells with mighty effects or more powerful versions of tier 2 spells. If a spell has multiple tiers, the tier number is listed as part of the spell name. For example, there are three tiers of the Fire spell: Fire 1, Fire 2, and Fire 3.
All mages with the Cast Spell gimmick may learn and cast tier 1 spells. Mages must spend additional GP on the Cast Spell gimmick to learn to cast tier 2 and tier 3 spells. However, every mage must undergo some sort of cinematically appropriate training or trial in order to gain the knowledge required to cast higher tiered spells. At appropriate times during the course of the game, the Narrator should provide training events that appropriately test the mage’s abilities before allowing the mage to spend additional GP on increasing his Cast Spell gimmick’s tier allowance.

Mage Gimmicks

Sense Magic (6GP/0PP/A)
By spending a full turn to visually scan a small area (up to about 20’ x 20’, such as a living room or a king’s burial chamber), you automatically detect all magical items, magical characters, magical creatures, and active spells therein and learn their approximate power, direction, and approximate distance from you. Spending additional turns on this action allows you to detect magical sources within larger areas.

When you initially detect a magical source, you learn only that it is magical; you do not learn its function. That is, if you detect magic within a small treasure chest, you do not learn if that magic emanates from a valuable magical object contained within the chest, a magical trap placed on the chest, or both. Spending additional time studying the magical source, however, provides you with more information. For each full turn you spend studying a magical source, you learn another of its magical properties. Thus, studying the chest for a second turn shows that only the chest itself is magical. A third turn of study shows that the chest has a Fire 2 spell placed on it. A fourth turn of study shows that the Fire Blast spell was altered through Metamagic to operate whenever the chest is opened. The Narrator has the final say on the type of information you receive each turn you study a magical source.
Prerequisite: None

Abjuration Aura (4GP/3PP/S)
When you activate this gimmick, you surround yourself with a weightless suit of magical armor for the entire scene. While protected by this armor, you gain a +3 bonus to your Resistance Factor against all attacks. This armor even protects against attacks that normally ignore armor, though the armor does not protect against attacks that cannot be Resisted. Activating this gimmick counts as a normal action.

In addition, while the aura is active, you may spend 3 PP as a defensive action to create a temporary magical shield to parry incoming brawling, melee, firearm, and energy-based attacks. When you do so, you use your Resolve +9 as your Defense Total against the attack. If you successfully parry the incoming attack, the shield absorbs the damage and you remain unharmed. Regardless of whether or not you successfully parry the attack, the shield instantly vanishes after it’s used. Creating a shield is an act of will, so you may perform this action without penalty even while being grappled or pinned.

You may create shields as often as you like to parry multiple incoming attacks, though you may not attempt to parry a given incoming attack more than once. You must be aware of an attack in order to use the shield against it. The shield may not be used to defend anyone other than yourself, nor can the shield parry attacks with large areas of effect (such as explosions, hailstorms, or landslides). This gimmick does not operate if you are wearing armor. If you don armor while this gimmick is active, the gimmick instantly ends.
Prerequisite: Sense Magic, Occult 3

Cast Spell (6GP+/0PP/A)
You are able to learn and cast tier 1 spells. By spending an additional 3 GP on this gimmick (9 GP total), you may learn and cast tier 2 spells. By spending yet another 3 GP on this gimmick (12 GP total), you may learn and cast tier 3 spells. To cast a spell you know, you must wield your focus and spend the PP cost of the spell. Casting a spell takes up your entire turn.
Prerequisite: Sense Magic, Occult 3

Telekinesis (6GP/0PP/A)
Through an act of will, you can manipulate and move physical objects without touching them in any way. When you use this gimmick, you may choose to perform one of the following effects.

Remote Manipulation: You can grab, pull, push, turn, tie, untie, throw, and otherwise physically manipulate one or more objects within 25 feet whose total weight does not exceed 100 pounds per point of your Resolve as if your own two hands were upon them. This allows you to grapple opponents, make brawling attacks, shove or trip others, turn doorknobs, and press buttons and flip switches from up to 25 feet away. When you use remote manipulation to grab or grapple with an opponent, you use your Resolve score to resolve any required ability checks. When you use remote manipulation to move heavy objects, you may move those objects at up to your Normal Move as an instant action or your Max Move as a full-turn action.

Performing an attack via remote manipulation counts as a standard action and requires you to roll a Brawling check to strike. A successful attack inflicts an amount of damage equal to your Resolve +3 (plus the result of the Luck Die). A remote manipulation attack is a physical attack, so a defender may attempt to parry or dodge the attack normally and situational modifiers (range, cover, etc.) always apply.

You must maintain concentration to perform remote manipulation. If you are damaged by an attack while using remote manipulation, your manipulation automatically ends and you cannot use it again until a full round has passed. Actions taken via remote manipulation count as if you have taken them yourself. Thus, remote manipulation attacks count as standard actions, using remote manipulation to parry an incoming attack (this uses your Brawling Defense Total) counts as an instant action, using remote manipulation to lift and carry yourself over long distances will take up your entire turn, and so on. The Narrator has the final say on what sorts of actions can be performed via remote manipulation.

When you use remote manipulation, a physical manifestation appears that can be seen by others. Cinematically, this manifestation can appear however you desire, though it typically takes a form appropriate to the action it is being used to perform. When remote manipulation is used to strike others or press buttons, its manifestation might take the form of a glowing ghostly hand or a rippling wave of "force." When remote manipulation is used to grab or pin others, its manifestation might take the form of an animated pair of handcuffs or a powerful claw. When remote manipulation is used to carry you aloft, its manifestation might take the form of a horizontal floating disk or a chariot made of clouds. The Narrator has the final say regarding the appearance of the manifestation.

Concussion: During your turn, you may create a spherical blast of force radiating outward from yourself that pushes nearby objects up to 10 feet away. Unattended objects that weigh no more than 100 pounds per point of your Resolve are automatically thrown 10 feet from you. Characters within 10 feet of you who weigh no more than 100 pounds per point of your Resolve are knocked off their feet and shoved up to 10 feet away from you unless they beat you in a Strength check contested against your Resolve check. If there are multiple characters in the concussion area, you roll only one Resolve check against which all characters within the area contest their Strength checks. Characters knocked into a hazard (such as off a ledge or onto a bed of spikes) by the concussion may roll a Reflexes check with a –2 penalty to avoid the full effects of the hazard. Using concussion takes up your full turn.
Prerequisite: Sense Magic, Occult 3

Metamagic (6GP/0PP/A)
You have learned to augment the power of the spells you cast. As an instant action, you may spend additional PP as you cast a spell to increase the spell’s damage, range, duration, and other statistics. The ways in which you can alter your spells’ statistics are described below.

Additional Damage: You may spend additional PP to increase a spell’s damage. The spell must already inflict damage in order to have its damage increased. Every 1 PP you spend increases the spell’s damage by two points. A spell’s damage may be increased by no more than six points through the use of this gimmick. Note that this aspect of Metamagic may also be used to increase the damage of your Telekinesis attacks.

Range Increase: You may spend an additional 2 PP to double a spell’s normal range. The spell must already a range of at least 10 feet in order to have its range increased. A spell’s range may be increased no more than double its normal range through the use of this gimmick. Note that this aspect of metamagic may also be used to increase the range of the remote manipulation ability of the Telekinesis gimmick.

Duration Increase: You may spend additional PP to increase a spell’s normal duration. The spell must already have a duration greater than one round but less than one scene in order to have its duration increased. Every 2 PP you spend increases the duration of a spell by one round. A spell’s duration may be increased by no more than four additional rounds through the use of this gimmick.

Area Increase: You may spend an additional 2 PP to double an area effect spell’s normal area of effect. The spell must already affect an area in order to have its area of effect increased. A spell’s range may be increased no more than double its normal range through the use of this gimmick. Note that this aspect of Metamagic may also be used to increase the area of the concussion ability of the Telekinesis gimmick.

Concentration: You may spend additional PP to allow a focused spell to remain in effect for a short period of time after you end concentration. Each additional 2 PP you spend allows the focused spell to remain in effect for one round after you end concentration, to a maximum of five rounds. If the focused spell has not yet ended, you may spend a full turn to regain concentration without losing the spell. If you again end concentration, the focused spell again will remain in effect for the full additional duration you purchased.

Intensity: You may spend additional PP to increase the effectiveness of your spells. Each additional 2 PP you spend grants you a +1 bonus to strike with a directed spell, a +1 bonus to your Resolve check when you cast an invoked spell, or it imposes a –1 penalty on the defender’s Reflexes check to evade when you cast an area effect spell. You may spend no more than 4 PP on this aspect of Metamagic. Note that this aspect of metamagic may also grant you a bonus to strike when you perform attacks via the remote manipulation ability of the Telekinesis gimmick.
Prerequisite: Cast Spell, Occult 4

MultiSpell (6GP+/0PP/S)
Cast any spell twice during your turn. These spells may be cast on the same or different targets. The attack roll for each spell (if required) is rolled separately. You do not suffer the multiple action penalty when casting these spells. If you strike a target with multiple damage spells, each successful attack after the first adds an additional two points of damage to the damage inflicted by the first spell.

By spending an additional 3 GP on this gimmick (9 GP total), you may cast a spell up to three times during your turn. By spending yet another 3 GP on this gimmick (12 GP total), you may cast a spell up to four times during your turn. When casting these spells, you pay the casting cost of the spell (once) and spend 1 PP for each additional time you cast the spell that turn. Using this gimmick takes up your full turn.

Spending an additional 5 GP on this gimmick allows you to cast different spells when you use MultiSpell. The GP you spend on this option are spent separately from any GP you spend to increase the number of spells you can cast when you use MultiSpell. When you cast different spells, you pay the casting cost of the spell with the highest casting cost plus 1 PP for each additional spell you cast that turn. If you strike a target with different damage spells, the target suffers damage equal to that of the most damaging spell plus two points of damage for each additional damage spell that successfully strikes.

Note that, even if you possesses MultiSpell, some spells (like Command and Invisibility) cannot be cast more than once on the same target in a single turn. In addition, some spells (like area effect spells) cannot be cast more than once in a single turn. Refer to a spell’s description for additional information regarding how it may be cast.
Prerequisite: Cast Spell, Occult 4

Enchantment (5GP/0PP/A)
You have learned to temporarily and permanently enchant creatures and objects with your spells. The types of enchantments you can create are described below.

Contingency: When you cast a spell, you may spend an additional 10 PP as an instant action to make a spell (or MultiSpell group of spells) take effect only when a certain physical condition is met. The contingent spell remains dormant until the condition is met, though it can be detected through the use of Sense Magic. When the condition is met, the spell is instantly cast in the area or on the target you chose when you originally cast the spell. After a year and a day, an unused contingent spell fades from its target and no longer operates.

Contingent spells have nearly limitless uses. More than one mage has used a contingent Teleport to escape to a friendly healer when reduced to 0 HP. Some of the more paranoid mages have been known to place multiple contingent attack spells around their sleeping areas in the hopes of killing would-be assassins. The Narrator has the final say on what sorts of effects you may create with contingent spells.

You may place up to three contingent spells on an object or area, but a character may have only one beneficial contingent spell placed on himself at a time. Casting a second beneficial contingent spell on a character forces him to drop one of the contingent spells (his choice).

Contingent Charges: You may spend PP to allow a contingent spell to function more than once before being expended. Each additional 3 PP you spend increases the contingent spell’s “charges”—the number of times the spell can be activated—by one, to a maximum of five charges. Adding charges (or restoring spent charges) to a contingent spell requires you to spend at least one hour channeling arcane energy into the spell for each charge you want to add. If the spell uses up all its charges before you “recharge” it, however, you must recast the original contingent spell and spend additional time adding charges.

Permanency: You may spend your own Style Points to create contingent spells that are permanently in operation. It costs 12 Style Points per spell tier to make a spell permanent. Thus, by casting a contingent Fire 2 spell on a wand and spending 24 Style Points to make the spell permanent, you can create a “Wand of Fire 2.” Alternatively, you could spend 24 Style Points to put a permanent contingent Fire 2 spell on a chest that would activate any time the chest is opened by anyone who does not first speak a secret password. Only contingent spells cast on areas and objects can be made permanent. Contingent spells cast on living (or animated) creatures can never be made permanent. Any permanent contingent spell on an area or object that becomes animated (such as via the Animate spell) automatically deactivates until the area or object becomes inanimate. The Narrator has the final say on exactly which spells can be permanently added to an area or object and what effects the permanent spells will have.
Prerequisite: Cast Spell, three Mage gimmicks, Occult 5

Spell Specialization (3GP+/0PP/A)
You have learned to cast a specific spell more efficiently. At initial purchase, choose one spell that you know in which to specialize. The casting cost for that spell is permanently reduced by half its base cost (rounding up). In addition, for each additional 1 PP you spend on this gimmick beyond its initial cost, you further reduce the casting cost of the specialized spell by 1 PP. You may reduce the casting cost of the spell to as low as 1 PP in this way.

You may purchase this gimmick multiple times to specialize in additional spells. Each specialized spell must have its casting cost reduced individually. However, if a spell you specialize in has multiple tiers, you gain specialization benefits for all tiers of that spell. Thus, if you specialize in Fire 1, reducing its casting cost by half, you also reduce the casting cost of Fire 2 and Fire 3 similarly, provided that you eventually learn those spells.
Prerequisite: Cast Spell, three Mage gimmicks, Occult 5

Spellstorm (15GP/10PP/S/Limit)
Cast 10 spells this turn. These spells have a casting cost of 0 PP and may be cast on the same or different targets. You do not suffer the multiple action penalty when casting these spells. If you use Metamagic to increase the statistics of any of your spells, you must spend the normal Metamagic PP cost to do so. Using this gimmick takes up your full turn.
Prerequisite: Cast Spell, five Mage gimmicks, Occult 6

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