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  1. In my previous post, the creation of magic items was addressed. Various mechanisms were looked at, from the use of the sorcery skill Enchant (Object) through to the creation of religious artefacts and relics, and spirit fetishes. This blog looks at the magic items themselves, and the impact they have in game. Significance No enchanted artefact should ever be insignificant. Every artefact carries with it the power to affect the outcome of an Adventurer's skill checks, if not the storyline of the scenario. Even if the artefact carries some sort of minor "skill buff," such as automatically augmenting a mundane CHA-based skill check such as a musical instrument which offers an enhancement to Musicianship checks, it must never be discounted or glossed over, or traded up for a more powerful artefact in the next session. Every supernatural enhancement counts. Investment Enchanted items are never two-a-penny. Every artefact probably had a significant energy investment behind it, on the part of the creator. Enchanted items rarely, if ever, look like something rolled off a mass production line. They often bear marks, or artistic stylings, which identify their creators - makers' marks. This often makes enchanted artefacts unique, identifiable, and frequently irreplaceable. Cultural Impact Each enchanted artefact is the product of somebody's culture, shaped by that culture, fashioned from materials significant to that culture, and bearing the hallmarks of, and symbols of, that culture. A Barbarian might fashion a pair of boots to allow them to travel for miles non-stop, augmenting their predilections for wandering through wildernesses. A Nomad from a riverine tribe could fashion a spirit fetish from an ocarina (see? I had to bring in ocarinas somewhere!) to whistle up fair weather or to appease hostile river spirits, Loreleis, Sirens and other predatory supernatural entities which, according to the Lore, would lurk around the more sluggish stretches of the river. A Civilised sorcerer might enchant a cap and charge it with Enhance (POW) to boost their Magic Points supply, and another might create a mask which bestows the Change Gender Gift from page 202 of Mythras to whomsoever wears it. Magic swords, axes and armour are not the only artefacts of significance to a culture. The real world historical Beaker Culture of Bronze Age Europe were characterised by the beakers with which they were buried, for instance. The Mold Gold Cape, another artefact dating back to the Bronze Age, is an artefact of huge cultural significance even to the modern day, due to the mystery of its manufacture - it is a mystery even to modern archaeologists, who still only have a general idea of how such a thing could be made, but can only guess at what tools they used. Artefacts include relics, the remains of saints, or objects which are reputed to have been in contact with someone supposedly blessed by a deity. Śarīra, for example, are pearl-like spheres which have been found among the ashes of Buddhist saints who attained Mahasamadhi (the ultimate Samadhi - death). Relics have cultural significance, since they are held to be tangible reminders that those who came before, whose lives and deaths shaped the contemporary religion, actually existed - they were real, not merely the products of storytellers' imaginations. Expectation The name of Sheffield Steel, or Clogau Gold, is a brand. There is an expectation of sublime quality to any item forged from such materials. In fantasy, a blade made from obsidian, or a cutting blade forged from meteoric iron, usually has some expected power of supreme sharpness and durability. Such blades are supposedly unbreakable, never dulling or losing their edge; or they may require the spilling of blood before they can be resheathed, once drawn. Another, more modern example was the so-called "Welsh Blade" created during The Great War, when England wanted to terrify the Germans with their deadliest weaponised force ... er, Welsh people. To add to the propaganda, Welsh infantry units were issued with "Welsh Blades," on which the words "DROS URDDAS CYMRU" were etched or stamped. The propaganda painted the Welsh as some sort of mainland British Gurkha force, armed with savagely sharp "trench swords." The main power of these items was expectation. When the hero brings out their prized enchanted item, there is an expectation that the hero will surely prevail; the magic of the artefact unleashed is expected to overwhelm anything the enemy can bring to bear against the hero and their people. This has a historical precedent going back to Roman Emperor Constantine, who conquered with a sign, the Labarum, also called a vexillum or Chi-Ro, which was emblazoned on a war banner as a symbol of Constantine's divine power. Even if, like the inscriptions on "Welsh Blades," that "divine power" was merely well-distributed propaganda spread in the enemy camps to prime the pumps. The power of expectation can extend far beyond the reach of any powers an enchanted artefact may possess. A theist could possess some item, such as a Śarīra, reputed to have belonged to a Great Soul who spread peace during her life. The theist could prominently display this relic, signalling their desire for peace to the representatives of two warring nations brought to the table to sue for an end to the war. A magic mailed gauntlet worn by a king in your setting, for instance, could be endowed with the power to heal plagues with a touch, or to cause wrongdoers to crumble into ashes. A theist could indeed embody a healing Miracle, or a sorcerer Enchant the glove with Transmogrify (to Ash) - but simple rumours, propaganda, and expectation can give an artefact a blessed, or cursed air, even if the Adventurers never get to see the artefact, or suffer its touch - though if an Adventurer does come into contact with the mailed gauntlet and survive, it could work to the advantage of the character: they were not turned to ashes, therefore they are not wrongdoers, and so on. Enchantment In the end, the nature of enchantment is as much the product of rumour, legend, and the Lore skill as it is the product of skill, craftspersonship and prowess with sorcery or other form of magic. A blade crafted by a mystic swordsmaster, whose Talent of Augment (Craft) allows them to fashion master-level blades, can be held with huge fear and respect, even if it is just mundane with a few ordinary Enhancements from the manufacturing process. A violin created by your setting's answer to Stradivarius, for example, can acquire a legend through association with stories of a devilish creature bargaining for the soul of some youngster in a contest of musical skill. It all boils down to the concept of enchantments and artefacts being desiderata - objects which spark desire in those who see them. Mythras games are about the characters, and their achievements; but the existence of enchanted artefacts and relics, their legends and histories, can weave the characters into the items' stories and legends, allowing the characters to exploit those legends in an adventure, even if those items turn out to have no discernible magic powers whatsoever, but merely an association with something legendary within the setting.
  2. [Image is "Summoning," by Joseph Springborg] Here is how Mythras, page 113, defines sorcery:- Sorcery is the manipulation of underlying laws that directly control the very fabric of creation. These formulae are complex equations: a mixture of mathematical, psychological, existential, and supernatural principals [sic] that allow the sorcerer to grasp a portion of reality and bend it to his will. Sorcerers do not need to rely on gods for their powers; nor do they need to engage with spirits to achieve their effects. Their manipulation of these metaphysical equations makes sorcery very powerful and very flexible. The powers of sorcery are potentially vast, and they are terrifying. They can remove the very souls from people, topple palaces, and summon freakish forces, all at the whim of an individual's will. The most powerful sorcerers can unleash dreadful storms, spy on people kilometres away, or weave phantasms to confuse and beguile even the wisest of people. Oh, and they could also turn people into frogs, pillars of salt, blocks of ice, or into solid gold at a touch. But what is it like to be a sorcerer in Mythras? Viewed With Suspicion The Mythras Core Rulebook outlines one possible downside to sorcery, namely that society does not approve of them:- However, it also means sorcerers are viewed with suspicion, and even fear and hatred by those who come by their magic through less direct means. And, because sorcerers have little need for gods or spirits, it is not uncommon for them to develop a certain degree of arrogance and disdain for those who choose to venerate such entities. That is one way of viewing sorcerers. There are others. You are not, as a GM, forced to consider this as canon. Your setting's views on sorcery do not have to be the same as they are in anybody else's settings. Solitary Calling Your Adventurer could be called to perform sorcery as a Solitary - without the aid of a group, Order, Tradition, or cult. Solitaries are, by definition, leaders of their own Traditions, and as such they are beholden to no higher authority within the group. Your Adventurer is free to define their own Tradition, its Vision, and its Methods. That means that, in effect, they are writing their own Grimoire, including inventing their own spells. As a GM, you can work with the Player to establish which new spells your Adventurer character invents, usually during down time, and then let them spend the requisite Experience Rolls to inscribe their new spell into their Grimoire. In some settings, these spells may be new and unique: nobody else may have access to them. Similarly, the sorcerer may be responsible for developing their spells' Intensity and broadening their access to Shaping Points, as well as creating the Shaping factors for use with their spells - Duration, Magnitude, Range, and so on. Initially, they may only know how to extend the Durations of their spells, and be forced to have to operate at Touch Range until they learn how to apply Range to their spells, and so on. Later on, they can learn how to Combine spells to take advantage of the Range and Duration - and then discover how to use Targets on more than one object or person. The life of a Solitary could be one of experimentation and exploration. They can bring in the Alternate Shaping Components from page 165 of Mythras, inventing and developing them as if they were brand new - and they may indeed be, in the setting. Found Objects The sorcerer-to-be may discover their talent for sorcery through a Grimoire, a found object covered in a strange inscription, even a book of magic squares or a text like the Codex Seraphinianus or Voynich Manuscript. Studying the object can turn out to be the catalyst which awakens the Adventurer's abilities as a sorcerer (in other words, they can spend a single Experience Roll to unlock each of Invocation and Shaping during down time, rather than the usual heavy toll as described in Mythras, pages 118 and 119). Guided to Power Animists are not the only beings who are touched by the spirit. Spiritual beings may recognise their fleshly brethren and guide the fledgling sorcerer through dreams and visitations until they discover the Willworker within and unleash their Legacy of sorcery. Such beings are as much spirit as flesh, and are highly likely to learn, stumble across, or even invent Evoke as their first sorcery spell - along with Imprison, Protective Ward, and Spirit Resistance. Peer Recognition The Adventurer may be approached by a member of an existing sorcery Cult, and presented with an offer. The Adventurer may be plagued with terrifying dreams, signs of their impending Awakening. Perhaps they belong to the group through a family connection - The Legacy may have skipped a generation or three, but the Adventurer's so-called Black Sheep from two or three generations past might have been a prominent member of their Order, and your Adventurer stands to inherit the Grandmaster's ceremonial sash, though they'd have a long journey to obtain it. And perhaps they may be drawn to the Cult through the symbols in their dreams ... just as their counterparts within the Cult may be drawn to the newcomer and potential Initiate through strange, symbolic dreams of their own. Tolerance By The Community Your sorcerer Adventurer may also be involved in some way with the community of ordinary people in which they live during down time. They may have an acceptance of, and tolerance for, sorcerers in their midst, and call upon them to heal wounds through their healing magics, or to protect individuals from harm. Some sorcerers may only have a limited repertoire of sorcery spells, or low levels of Invocation and/ or Shaping; but what they lack in magical power, they may well more than make up for with knowledge of a vast range of Lore, Culture, Language and Literacy skills. Because Knowledge is Power, and not all knowledge needs to be magical - a sorcerer with sensory spells (see below) can be called upon to seek out missing children, lost herd animals, or even sources of water in a drought; and a mage with Transmogrify (to Water) can likewise prove to be a lifesaver if they can transform barrels of dry dirt into lifegiving water during the same drought. Birth of A Cult Your Adventurer may, given sufficient Charisma and experience in Influence skill, advance both in power and in leadership in the community. If they come from a Solitary Tradition, they can develop their mundane Influence, Insight, and Teach skills to begin to teach others the power of sorcery, imparting their wisdom (or their folly) on fresh minds, and spreading The Word abroad. And not just Invocation, Shaping, and spells - that Teach skill can help impart the Adventurer's experiences with Lore, Languages, Customs, Locale, Culture, Insight and so many other skills at which the Adventurer excels. Your sorcerer can become a great teacher, and if their teachings include spreading messages of love, light, tolerance, and community, their reputation for enlightenment might spread further than their sorcery prowess. Craft of The Wise Magic is called "The Craft of The Wise" for a reason, and the Adventurer's career delving into ancient tombs and infiltrating rival mages' towers can pay off in their later years as new Adventurers approach the former tomb delver for wisdom and advice. If the sorcerer emeritus has learned anything, it is that some cultures need to be approached with respect and treated with dignity, lest they turn on the arrogant and tear their souls to pieces. The Four Pillars The real world's practitioners of magic each learn of The Four Pillars long before they are exposed to their first workings. The Four Pillars are:- To Know; To Will; To Dare; and To Be Silent. In a Mythras game, often enough those Four Pillars are never mentioned, or even heard of, and sorcerers fling their fire spells willy nilly, in the street, in front of crowds. The average Games Master and Player may not have heard of the Four Pillars, and sometimes come away feeling that their showboating lacked something. Here's a clue: showboating lacks something, all right - mystique. The Fourth Pillar, the caution to remain silent, is there for a reason. It is through subtle means that a sorcerer can exercise their greatest power. People respect what they fear; and when they do not know what a sorcerer is capable of, they can learn to greatly fear that sorcerer - but also to respect them, because of their experiences and because of their reputation for having done so many things normal people can never do. Respect is the most effective form of protection a sorcerer can possess. If they show wisdom in their actions, and kindness, and empathy, and their philosophy is honourable, the sorcerer will be viewed as one who is above suspicion in the community. The Most Useful Spells What are the most useful spells a sorcerer can learn - or invent? Damage Resistance / Spell Resistance / Spirit Resistance - This suite of spells can easily and quickly be cast, or enchanted into a sorcerer's magical tools for instant casting, first thing every morning. They can be given an extended Duration to last all day, or - with sufficient Shaping factors - be extended to last for a number of days, requiring that the caster only need to recast them once a week or so. Banish - Useful to cleanse a possessed person, or an animal, object, or place which houses an unwanted spirit. Banish has its limitations, so exorcisms must be creative and occasionally involve deception and trickery to convince the possessing spirit to let go of its host. Acting and Deceit are highly recommended. Phantom (Sense) can be invaluable. Mark - So useful in many ways. The sorcerer may Mark someone and track them down over the Mark's Range, summon them, or target them at a distance. Mark can target the focus of Project (Sense) so the sorcerer can sense what is happening in and around the vicinity of the Marked person or object; and Mark can, of course, be used as the destination for a Portal spell to allow the sorcerer to safely travel immense distances in the blink of an eye. Sensory Spells - In my settings, sensory spells are among the first to be taught to any sorcerer, even before the trio of protectve spells of Damage Resistance, Spell Resistance, and Spirit Resistance. Four of the five kinds of sensory spells are Mystic (Sense), Perceive (Sense), Project (Sense), and Sense (Object or Substance). Each, in their own way, expands the sorcerer's perceptions beyond the mundane, allowing them access to knowledge they could not possibly know if they were mundanes. Sensory spells can be combined with Mark to discern the vicinity of Marked objects or people, or selected areas - a sorcerer who has enchanted a Mark on top of a mountain, for instance, can Project (Sense) and scout the horizon for distant changes in the weather; an urban sorcerer can similarly Mark the top of a tall tower and scan the streets of the city below, or Mark a trained bird and use Project (Sense) and Project (Sense) to see the world below through the literal eyes of a hawk. And the fifth sensory spell is possibly the most profoundly useful spell of them all. Intuition. This spell functionally enhances Insight skill to the point where a sorcerer can instantly, immediately, and accurately, gauge a person's feelings, motivations, Passions, even their flaws, hubris, and hamartia. Something they can learn through building up their regular Insight skill to mastery, but which can be done in a few seconds through this spell. The effect of this spell can be described as kind of like the flashback scenes in a detective drama, where the lead character explains how the killer did the crime, only the spell more or less grants the vision without the need for the target to make any kind of a confession - it is all laid out before them like clues before a Poirot or a Horatio Caine: scuff marks, stains on clothing, a quaver in the voice, a sudden dilation of the pupils, a shift in epidermal capillary blood distribution and body posture, laying the target's soul bare before the sorcerer's eyes. The sorcerer can use this along with Project (Sense) or Mark to read people long before they ever meet the sorcerer, granting the sorcerer an advantage for when they do meet. Forces Beyond Mortal Ken Besides the sensory spells, of course, sorcerers can learn spells from Animate (Substance) and Sculpt (Substance), to terrible spells such as Transmogrify (to Substance), Suffocate, Palsy, Shapechange (to Creature), Dominate (Creatures), Enslave (Creatures) and so on. There are several gamebreaking spells listed in Mythras Core Rulebook, and I do not mean Wrack. The spells include Trap Soul, Switch Body, and Hide Life. They are among the darkest spells one can encounter, because of their potential for use. A dying sorcerer may use Switch Body to swap out their own soul for their enemy; or they may escape death by temporarily hiding within an amulet, only to return to life in a new body some time down the line. A sorcerer may send one of their minions into an enemy's establishment, riding along in the body of some servant or similar minor character, to perceive what they perceive. Though they can use Mark and Project (Sense) to do the same, turning the hapless functionary into an unwitting, unwilling, moving surveillance device. Another spell to fear is Tap (Characteristic), which is not as efficient as Enhance (Characteristic) but which can be devastating enough to a group of enemies, because Tap temporarily drains the enemies of their targeted Characteristic. Again, not as efficient as Diminish (Characteristic), but a half-decent sorcerer can use either to reduce a team of bad guys to helplessness by depriving them of their STR, or DEX, or POW, or make them look like fools by suppressing their INT and/or CHA in a social setting. Undeniable Power The true power of sorcery is not the spells they learn, but rather what they do with those spells. Sorcerers are agents of change, wherever they go; and the more powerful the sorcerer, the less likely they are to show off what they can do - or even to feel the need to show that they are sorcerers at all. The currency of sorcery is enigma. The more enigmatic they are, the greater their command of the powers, both real and imagined. It is this currency which marks the Art of sorcery as the most profound of the magical Arts, if not the most feared. But if the Art is handled with bravery, and courage, and subtlety; and if the sorcerer always remembers their roots, and keeps their connections with their humble, mundane origins and community, they can be treated not with suspicion and fear, but with deep respect and loyalty, as Bringers of Wonder to their people - the meaning of the word thaumaturge.
  3. As you know, not all spells are equal, and some are more effective than others. I made this list so that Keepers and Players can have a rough idea on how useful a given spell is likely to be to PCs. I've only included spells in the Keeper's Guide, and omitted spells found in the Grand Grimoire and other sources. Note that of course, Keepers are free to modify spells in any way they wish. The ratings assume that the spell are used as described in the rulebook. I use the following color scheme: Sky Blue: AmazingBlue: GoodBlack: DecentPurple: BadRed: Horrible Combat Spells Breath of the Deep: Good combat spell against creatures that need to breath and have low POW & CON. Best used for stealthy assassinations - can be cast from far away and without sound. Unfortunately 8 magic and 1d6 sanity is rather high. Clutch of Nyogtha: Requires concentration, does slow damage (1d3 a turn), has a high magic cost, & require a POW roll each turn. The 1D20 sanity cost kills it. Create Mist of R'lyeh: Smoke bombs that only cost a mere 2 magic points, no sanity, and can be cast instantaneously! Black if actual smoke bombs are readily available Death Spell: Absolutely awful spell that's pretty much strictly worse than Breath of the Deep. Absurd magic & sanity cost, high casting time, constant POW rolls, ridiculously low range. It's junk, and possibly unusable because of the 24 mp cost. Dominate: "Shoot/stab yourself" make great commands. An instantaneous casting time, a mere 1 sanity & 1 mp cost makes this amazing. Dust of Suleiman: Powerful spell against planar beings - but the main difficulty is locating the Egyptian mummies. Dread Curse of Azathoth: The 4 mp cost & 1d6 sanity cost is high - it's probably best to outright cast a combat spell instead of merely reducing the POW of a target. Sky Blue if used to setup a Mind Transfer spell. Enthrall Victim: The main issue is that the enthralled creatures is easily relieved of the trance. Low magic (2mp ) but high sanity (1d6) cost make this ok. Evil Eye: Excellent debuff, especially against enemies using firearms. Can't be resisted, but making the caster bleed breaks the spell. Wonderful combo with Flesh Ward. Fist of Yog-Sothoth: Best used to knock off enemies into environmental hazard or out of cover. Decent change for a knock-out if 10+ mps are used and the target isn't heavy. The high mp & sanity costs make this difficult to use regularly, though. Implant Fear: The lack of save makes this quite useful. Keeper may determine that determinant opponents can overcome their fear. Too bad it takes 12 mp and 1d6 sanity to cast Mindblast: Bouts of insanity are unpredictable, and cultists & mythos creatures can't experience bouts of madness. Costs 10mp & 1d3 sanity Melt Flesh: 5 rounds casting kills the spell. Red Sign of Shddle M'ell: Could potentially paralyze multiple creatures and do damage to many more, but high (1d8) sanity cost. Best used against melee enemies or while under heavy cover. Separate Binding: Amazing if facing the corresponding horror that is unbounded - the 1 sanity cost is super cheap. The odds of finding the corresponding creature unbounded is low, though. Shriveling: Good damage to mp ratio but high sanity cost makes this only usable in very dire circumstances. Song of Hastur: Takes 3 turn to cast. 1d4 sanity each round is really harsh - I would only use this defensively Wither Limb: Does 1d8 damage for 1d6 sanity, and presumably impairs the affected limb. If not, Shriveling is better. Wrack: Paralyzing spell that disables a target for at least 3 minutes, and costs a mere 3 mp & 1 sanity. Buffing Spells Apportion Ka: Makes you unkillable - until someone figures out they can destroy your brain. With this on, you'll likely survive all fights unless your party straight up abandon you once you fall unconscious. The lungs are probably best to remove so to become invulnerable to suffocation - you'll be able to spam toxic gases, smoke, and the like on your enemies. Easily worth 5 POW and 2D10 sanity. Body Warping of Gorgoroth: Useful for a disguise, but the 5 POW & 2d6 sanity cost discourages its routine usage Bless Blade: Niche spell, but highly useful if facing enemies that can't be harmed by mundane weapons. Chant of Thoth: Occasionally helpful when soling an intellectual problem, but the 1d4 sanity cost discourages its use Consume Likeness: The 5 POW cost and especially 1d20 sanity cost means you should only cast this if the identity is desperately needed. Even then, the illusion is broken if you lose any hitpoint. Flesh Ward: Amazing! 1d4 sanity is nothing for a spell that can possibly quadruple your effective hp. Plus, you don't actually take damage while under this spell's protection, so no CON roll to stay conscious. Voorish Sign: Highly dependent on Keeper, but I would assume the effect to generally be worth at least 1 sanity. Utility Spells Brew Space-Mead: How much do you want to journey through space? For almost all campaigns, not at all, but for a few that might be the whole point. Cause/Cure Blindness: Cure Blindness is invaluable if you do face the condition. Cause Blindness can impair a tough enemy, at any range. High casting time and sanity cost discourage routine use. Cloud Memory: Low cost spell best used to infiltrate or steal without raising an alarm Create Barrier of Naach-Tith: High sanity cost (1d10 to each caster) and high casting time (1 minute) make this situational. Curse of the Putrid Husk: Let me get this straight - you lose 10 sanity, for a chance to make the victim lose 1d10 sanity?! Elder Sign: Probably the best way to close a portal, but the 10 POW cost is going to hurt. Green Decay: Highly dependent on the Keeper letting the target accept the green leaf willingly. With a 10 POW cost, it's hard to justify this unless absolutely needed. Mental Suggestion: Creative suggestions can bring a lot of value, and unthreatening suggestions are cheap. 3 rounds casting time means it is best used out of combat. Mind Exchange: The 1d3 sanity cost to both the caster & target kills the spell. Mind Transfer: Good if you can capture a physically strong creature with low POW and steal their body. The chance of losing the character outright make this best used by very old or maimed characters. Sky Blue if Dread Curse of Azathoth can be used to lower the target's sanity first, Red if the caster is too moral to make use of it. Mirror of Tarkhun Atep: Could be used to gain clues on where the target is hidden. Cost is mercifully low. Powder of Ibn-Ghazi: Amazing against invisible creatures, but the availability of the ingredients is fully dictated by the Keeper. Resurrection: Bringing back someone to life is invaluable, and almost always worth more than 1d10 sanity. Warding: Really neat spell that let you set up all kinds of remote alerts for a few mps and no sanity. Wave of Oblivion: Require being near the ocean, a casting time of 1 hour, and 1d8 sanity per caster. Super niche, and most Mythos creatures don't care much about being undersea. Words of Power: Used creatively, can be extremely powerful. You can incite mass riots or convince a group of cops to help you. Unfortunately, using this spell may bring unwanted attention to yourself, and the targets may retaliate if they understand they have been manipulated. Summoning/Contact/Banishment Spells Banishment of Yde Etad: Cheap spell, and can be cast far from the target to straight up banish it permanently. Won't work on high POW creatures, and low POW creatures may not be worth the hassle. Call Deity: Leave it to the cultists. Contact Spell: Low cost spell, but require substantial research & resources to strike a proper bargain Contact Deity Spells: Leave it to the cultists Create Zombie: High magic cost makes this impossible to cast for most characters; the zombie is dumb, does low damage, and has low brawl skill. Not sure how you can make any use of it. Enchantment Spells: Highly dependent on the usefulness of the related summoning spell. If a POW roll is required, the character who enhance the object should give it to another character with full POW. Dismiss Deity: Highly effective provide you can teach this to a large group. No checks except a flat % percentile roll that increases with magic point spent. No sanity cost as well! Prinn's Crux Ansata: Powerful ankh that can banish creatures with an opposed POW roll for 1 mp, or for more mps with the possibility of getting an extra dice for the POW check. The required 3 round chants to use the ankh is unfortunate, however. Summoning Spells: Highly dependent on how many POW rolls the Keeper requires - excellent if the Keeper doesn't require any. Value also depends on the specific creature summoned, how it behaves, and if the corresponding Enhancement spell is available.
  4. Hello, I would like to dedicate this topic to a more-or-less classic BRP solution related to Toughness and Readiness present in Revolution D100. That is, the usage of unified Hit Points (or Hit Locations Hit Points for those preferring the localised damage), as well as Action Points in general. I have been considering tweaking Action Points into my own game, as I am currently running on Mythras and seeing a lot of interesting things in Revolution D100. Perhaps it is the slight unfamiliarity of mine on how the Readiness (SR) functions in general as I didn't get to try it just yet. I would probably assign a unified 2 (or 3) Action Point value per round for every Player Character regardless of their species. Basic movement would be a free action if used to engage an opponent within the non-running/non-sprinting range. Every Action and Reaction would cost a single Action Point, meanwhile various Spells would have Action Point (and Effort, also known as Exertion Points) cost relative to their casting time. What about the rest of you, have you devised your own alternative of the rules, or perhaps the author himself has some alternative rules in store for us? I'd be very curious to read your input on this matter!
  5. Hi! I have a question, some magic have the effect of making players loosing POW. What happens when the investigator is loosing POW, what is the effect? Dread Curse of Azathoth for example, the investigator meets a cultist who is casting the spell, player rolls dice and looses 18 points of POW, should something more happen here? or is the investigator just continuing doing it's round like nothing happened. I told the player to make a CON/SAN roll to make sure he is still standing or? Loosing POW must feel like hell. I'm just curious how you people are game mastering this?
  6. Version 1.0.2


    A collated list of the Magic World and Advanced Sorcery spells. Arranged alphabetically by category (Sorcery, Necromancy, Rune Magic, etc. MP cost Effects Range Source and page number. There is a field for "Type" that you are free to use or ignore which is for a house-rule I use for keeping track of Black Magic, and affects to Allegiance through spell-casting. The .docx file can be used to add/delete whatever want .
  7. I've seen the Red Book of Magic mentioned in the FB group as a sorcery magic expansion. Is there more information about it or a shelf date?
  8. Hey all, I just uploaded the latest version of The Second Way freeform magic rules to this site. There are lot of small change that came about during playtest. You can get it at the link below or from the download section.
  9. Version 2.1


    The Second Way (TSW) is a set of homebrew freeform magic rules for Chaosium’s Magic World setting. The goal of TSW is to provide a definitive yet flexible way for crafting and scaling spells. Inspired by Chaosium’s Deep Magic and Atlas Game’s Ars Magica, TSW changes Deep Magic’s spheres and glyphs and adds rules for specifying spell range, area of effect and duration as well as for affecting mass, affecting character condition and casting spells against multiple targets. For maximum benefit readers will want to purchase Chaosium’s excellent Advanced Sorcery book.
  10. I searched for and found another thread related to this topic, but it was almost a year old. I just want to clarify and make sure I understand the interactions between "regular" spirit binding (RQG p249) and POW storing crystals (GM Adventure Book p121). POW storing crystals may be used to either store magic points or store a spirit. The owner may select what the crystal is storing (magic or spirit) and change it. POW storing crystals are natural objects, not created via enchantments, but through mythic processes (dead gods). To store magic points, the user must only concentrate (like casting a spell) to inject the desired magic into the crystal. To store a spirit, the user must use either Spirit Binding or an appropriate Command [Spirit] spell to force the spirit into the crystal. Unlike normal binding enchantments (RQG p249) which may allow the user to use the spells and knowledge (but not magic points) of the bound spirit while it still remains within the binding enchantment [the rules fuzzy here], the spirit within a POW storage crystal can only provide magic points to the user, not cast spells or provide any useful intelligence (GMAB p122) while it remains within the crystal, although the user may release the spirit to perform one action (and depart) or use a Command spell to order it to perform several actions and return to the crystal (just like a normal binding enchantment). Spirits in normal binding enchantments and POW storage crystals count against the users CHA limits for bound entities and all such entities are released when the user dies.
  11. Hello, The situation is: my player misunderstood spell casting recipe. The effect of his reading failure was adding his own hairs, nails etc to recipe. By original, it was "Cage of Kind" spell, in Horror's Heart. What logic consequences would occur in this case, according to Cthulhu's magic manner? edit: I didn't add one important thing. It's about undoing spell. So, player was trying to undo spell which was never cast on him.
  12. Draconic magic has been something as bit of mystery to me when researching it. I only found some base spells but never on how to cast them. I understand it is Taboo for those that aren't of Dragon Kin to use but the EWF (Empire of Wyrm Friends) and Some select Groups of Humans have figured it out. My main question is how is it casted and how does one become gifted or cursed to cast them. Some sources say it dampens the Dragonewt cycle but how does this effect those who cast it that are Human? Any help or points would be gratefully appreciated. GeminniRed
  13. My players were nipping across the Donalf Flat when they encounter a random dinosaur. A brachiosaurus, a large, lumbering, but ultimately inoffensive beast that it would be easy to avoid. I should have known better. In true PC fashion they decide that this would be the ultimate Beast of Burden! A discussion followed about how long it would take to tame a beast that is too thick-skinned and slow witted to even notice a bunch of humans in its path. Suddenly the wannabe shaman pipes up: "I know Discorporation! Can I possess it?" Sure, but you'll lose your old body since you don't return to it before the spell is up. "It might be worth it. Can I still cast magic when in the new body?" And that question stumped me. A brontosaur body is incapable of speech and of gestures, any familiar to a human at least. Does that preclude use of magic? Spirits can cast spells without a body of any form, but... What say you, the collected sages?
  14. This is the first of three videos delving into the spirit world of the Animist. In this video, I look at the concept of the animist, how they fit into your existing campaigns and which skills they need to invest in. Further videos will look at spirits, spirit combat and how the animists operate within adventures. https://youtu.be/-wmwHNcPfTk
  15. Hi, Do the Magic Points stored in a Sorcerer's Staff count alongside the Sorcerer's own MP when making Resistance Table rolls. e.g. a Sorcerer with POW 17 has 17 MP and a fully charged Staff containing 16 MP. Does this mean the Sorcerer's MP equals (17+16=) 33 on the Resistance Table? I can't find any reference to this in Magic World, SB5 or the BGB. Any suggestions or house-rules for this would be very useful. Thanks, Colin
  16. So I've been fiddling a bit with the Summon Ancestor spell in our RQG game (and to a lesser extent with its adjacent spells) and it seems both powerful and fun to use, but also a bit incomplete. Thus I figured it might be interesting to see how others have used the spell, and if y'all feel similar holes exist in the description, and how they've been filled. One of the first things I've done is, at the start of play, let an adventurer who knows Summon Ancestor have D6 ancestors generated using the charts on p. 342-343 of the Core. To my mind this represents past use of the Summon Ancestor spell, which can then be called up if Summon Ancestor is stacked with Summon Specific Ancestor per those spell rules. For me, generating some of these random ancestors was a big revelation. Over time, even just an initiate of Daka Fal generates a huge pool of different ancestors they can call upon, giving access to a wide variety of spirit magic spells for 2 RP (well, for friendly ancestors). Although there are some limitations involved, often substantial, it still introduces a great deal of strategic flexibility for the adventurer. That being said, there are several gaps in the spell's material as written: Ancestors are described as being able to engage in spirit combat, but have neither a skill percentage assigned nor a CHA characteristic to roll for determining SC damage. INT can sometimes be relevant too--for instance, ancestors probably possess INT and therefore require a 3-POW Binding Enchantment to be contained--but this isn't as important for spirit mechanics. My solution was to approximate the ancestor's POW roll on the Ancestral Summons table to the POW and CHA rolls for random spirits on p.165 of the Bestiary in order to determine the ancestor's CHA, and then determine SC damage as usual. Additionally, there's no Spirit Combat skill rating attributed to ancestor spirits. I assigned such spirits a Spirit Combat skill of POWx3% because they're the spirits of random mortals from stickpickers to shaman-priests. A POWerful ancestor (5D6+6, average 23-24, SC 69-72%) still maybe doesn't have the high percentage it ought, but this felt more representative than using POWx5% for unremarkable Uncle Joe who's spirit has POW 12 (max of 1D6+6). As far as I can tell, there's no actual generic entry for ancestor spirits in the Bestiary. Ghosts have a flat Spirit Combat 70%, but that didn't feel right as an approximation of an ancestor spirit due to a ghost's malign nature. I'm not certain what to do if a randomized ancestor's spirit magic is rolled twice. My solution, for variable spells, was to roll 2D6-5 again and add the new points atop the old. In one case, this resulted in a spirit which knew Heal 9 (which was interesting, but is basically fine). I think I've been rerolling non-variable spells. I'm not certain how to handle ancestral spirits which know enchantment spells (like the Magic Point Enchantment, random spell 52-54 on the D100 table). For the moment if a player brings it up, I'm thinking to handle it that if the caster sacrifices POW in worship of the summoned ancestor, the ancestor would then use some or all of that POW casting the relevant enchantment. Alternately I suppose you could use Control Ancestor Spirit on one, and force it to cast the enchantment, but even doing this on a malign ancestor feels super sketchy and Chaotic to me... Finally, ancestor spirits who have Rune points only know Daka Fal Rune magic; but most Daka Fal rune magic deals with summoning more ancestors, or manipulating ancestor spirits. This feels... odd, to me? For the moment, I'm ruling that such an ancestor can use spells like Spirit Guardian and Spirit Melding upon its summoner, and the result is effectively as if the summoner had cast the spell himself. Or maybe an ancestor's Discorporation can target willing mortals, to bring them into the Spirit World? I could see myself varying up the cult from just Daka Fal, depending on the caster's culture. For example, a Bison Tribe worshiper of Daka Fal might call forth an ancestor who worshiped Waha, Eiritha, Storm Bull, or even perhaps Orlanth. Does anyone else have tips for utilizing ancestor spirits? Felt there are gaps in the spell description too, and filled them another way?
  17. Version 1.0.0


    This is a short text I wrote a long time ago in order to provide an "in world" explanation of how sorcerers believed magic worked. The knowledgeable reader will recognize most of the ideas in the text, because they are not new. It did fit into the project I had at the time, which I now, after many years have picked up again: to create a magic system for d100 systems that would make it easy to port d20 OGL spells into the d100 eco-system. Hopefully this text will find some use. /Peter Brink
  18. I have submitted a monograph set in the Southern Reaches -- and Nick thought it might be out by Gen Con... Back text: Is Horsechester a typical village of the Southern Reaches? Hardly. Built around an ancient wall, or chester, the village is home to Equerry of Drumhold, the noble charged with maintaining Barron Drum’s fighting horses. Not the great warhorses of the knights, but rather the hundreds of horses used to wage the barons wars. The horse market in the village attracts wealth, and wealth attracts adventurers. And all of this is built on top of ancient sites dating to the time when the Fey ruled the Southern Reaches. This Magic World monograph details the village of Horsechester, several of its institutions, and has three loosely coupled adventures all starting in Horsechester and ending in trouble. The adventures work for beginning characters, and the first can be used to bring to either bring adventurers together, or with an existing group. In Horsechester adventurers will encounter scheming ogres, raiding orcs, swarms of undead, and a lot of bad weather. And I have added two of the maps to the download section: Magic World Monograph Maps -- Horsechester - Downloads - Basic Roleplaying Central
  19. Greetings MW-Users, My queries concern spell levels and memory. A 16 INT spell-caster wants to add Sorcerer's Talons (1-4) @ level-three to her repertoire, taking up three slots in her memory "...book shelf...". She now has 13 levels/slots left (16-3=13). All well and good, but then with narrowed eyes she asks, "I'll also be able to cast this spell at level one and two. I mean, I know it at level one and two...right?" Blink Can she...or to know all three levels of the spell, does she have to dedicate a slot for ST (1), two slots for ST (2), AND three for ST (3)...meaning she'd have had to dedicate SIX INT slots rather than three? Cheers, mates, and thanks for the replies.
  20. Version 1.2.1


    Hello fellow gamers! Unified Powers is Akerbakk's first contribution to BRP Central. This is a document that brings all powers from the BGB together in one place, eliminates redundancies, and assigns separate rulesets called 'Power Origins' to differentiate how characters use them. The ruleset is based on BRP from the BGB with some houserules. Most significant is that I added a characteristic, Awareness (AWA), and all Characteristic rolls are replaced with Attributes - this is to promote opposed roll mechanics wherever possible: Attributes are percentile scores determined by a combination of two characteristics each. They collectively quantify your character’s mental, emotional, and physical resilience. 1. Willpower =2(INT+POW)+10: Determines if the character’s mental focus will hold up. Use to resist mental probes and attacks and to avoid distractions. 2. Composure =2(AWA+AFF)+10: Determines if the character will startle or balk under pressure or fear. Used when calm or levelheadedness is needed. 3. Physique =2(STR+CON)+10: Measures the character’s overall health and fortitude. Used to resist injury, poisons, and diseases or for prolonged physical exertion or hardship. Unified Powers is a draft, and comments/ideas are welcome!
  21. View File Magic World & Advanced Sorcery Spell Index A collated list of the Magic World and Advanced Sorcery spells. Arranged alphabetically by category (Sorcery, Necromancy, Rune Magic, etc. MP cost Effects Range Source and page number. There is a field for "Type" that you are free to use or ignore which is for a house-rule I use for keeping track of Black Magic, and affects to Allegiance through spell-casting. The .docx file can be used to add/delete whatever want . Submitter Nick J. Submitted 10/19/2016 Category Magic World  
  22. Over at d-Infinity.net I have written up the beginnings of Witchcraft and witches - a system of magic that is neither sorcery nor cultic in nature. Instead, witches make temporary pacts with eldritch entities such as spirit lords, Elemental Elders, even dragons, or demons, and gain magic from their pact of service or POWer. There are some ready advantages to having a witch PC in the group. Diverse magic, a charismatic face, and a constant source of quests (the witch's service) are among them. But there would also be a downside: Witchcraft probably threatens the fabric of Gloranthan culture. Witches can gain power without continual prayer. This makes them outsiders of society, and charismatics ones at that. They might be driven out, they might be targeted for bigotry and violence, but they might also be tolerated because of their expertise in the unusual. The write up so far only has the system notes, and a handful of spells. But I am intending to add to them over time. http://d-infinity.net/game-content/runequest-thursday-103-witchcraft
  23. Hello fellow gamers! I have uploaded my first contribution to BRP Central. It is a document entitled Unified Powers, and can be found here http://basicroleplaying.org/files/file/516-brp-unified-powers/ Unified Powers was born out of a desire to have all powers in one place. I've played GURPS. I've played Savage Worlds. I like the way they do powers, but I prefer BRP/ D100 as a system. I want my players (and myself as a GM) to have as many options available for powering characters, and I feel that the different power categories with separate spells/powers/etc is too confining for my tastes. In Unified Powers, powered characters choose a 'Power Origin', a ruleset that governs how their powers work systemically and narratively in the game. Then they choose their powers from a generic list, flavor it all to fit the game, and voila! Your [wizard, sorcerer, priest, psi, super] is ready to go. Here is how I have set up my Power Origins, in quick bullet point format: WIZARDRY (Rote casting of magical formulae to create mystical effects.) -Moderate amount of starting Spells (INT/2) -Fast power progression: Buy a new spell with Experience (EXP) = PP Cost for one level. -Very skill dependent; Powers are split across 5 different skills (Spell Colleges) with an occupation required. -Access to a versatile craft skill that greatly expands the wizard's power and abilities (enables wizard to make staves, familiars, and scrolls). -Can increase skill percentile by increasing casting time. -Can cast spells silently with extra PP cost and successful simultaneous Stealth roll. SORCERY (Fantastic manipulation of reality through improvisatory enchantments.) -Lesser amount of starting spells (INT levels of spells) -Moderate power progression: Buy a new level with EXP = PP Cost -One skill (Sorcery), with disastrous fumble results. Armor penalizes skill. -Metamagic can alter the statistics (targets, range, damage, duration) or link spells. -Sorcerers can weave Power points into spell. Safely done with time, extremely risky if rushed. DIVINE MAGIC (Channeling the power of a deity into the world.) -Vast amount of starting powers, but limited PP to use (Deity Alignment = PP Cost limit) -Slow power progression: Increase Alignment or gain further blessings. -Less skill dependent: Faithcasting casts the powers, Knowledge (Religion) has supportive roles. -Blessing: a free power gifted by the deity that fits the individual cleric's calling. -Requires attention to the tenets of his faith for cleric to retain his powers. PSIONICS (Unlocking hidden powers of the mind.) -Small amount of starting powers (POW/5) -Expensive power progression: EXP cost = 5x Power Point cost of new power. -Skill dependent: Powers split across 3 Psionic categories. -Higher skill means greater Power Point efficiency. Can further extend Power Points by Rending (1 HP = 1 PP) -No limit to power level except Power Points available. SUPER POWERS (Extraordinary abilities from a myriad of sources.) -Moderate starting powers: Point-based budget from highest Characteristic to buy powers per level at outset. Power modifiers can increase budget. -Laterally increasing cost to upgrade powers. New powers typically unavailable. -Generally not skill nor Power Point dependent. -Power Stunts enable super to use powers in creative ways and temporarily mirror effects of other powers. Requires Power Points. Unified Powers is a draft, and comments/ideas are welcome.
  24. Hi all, I have uploaded rules that tweak Deep Magic's spheres and glyphs and adds rules for specifying spell range, area of effect and duration as well as for affecting mass, affecting character condition and casting spells against multiple targets. For maximum benefit readers will want to purchase Chaosium's excellent Advanced Sorcery book. You can download the file at Please message me if you find typos or unclear rules. Best regards, Ronnie Sanford
  25. So as I get to editing and tweaking the Spiral Magic section I realized the name was too arbitrary for no good reason. Spiral Magic spells are called weirds and so there is no reason not to call it Weird Magic. I will be re-writing some of the fluff and words and maybe even the mechanics of Weird Magic. It is still the most common magic and still deals with spiral tattoos that involve the magic. I feel pretty good with this change.
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