Thera: Magical Basics

   Theran Magic involves three basic factors; raw mystical energy, the occult lore to forge and maintain psychic spell-constructs through which to channel it, and the skill to direct it properly. Since everyone uses magic to some extent in daily life, each class provides a contribution to a characters Base Caster Level, as listed under BCL. That works like a character’s Base Attack Bonus or Saving Throws: you simply add up the contributions from each class. Each class also provides independent access to spells – although, for classes that do not deal much in magic, such access is fairly limited. For that, use the “Spells” column, the first number indicates the maximum level of spell which can be used, the number after the slash indicates the total number of spells which the character may keep readied at any given moment. Class-A spellcasters include Clerics, Druids, Shamans and Sorcerers. Class-B spellcasters include Bards, Monks, Adepts, and Witches. Class C spellcasters include Barbarians, Fighters, Rangers, Rogues and Paladins.

   Thus a Cleric 3/Bard 6/Fighter 5 has a base caster level of 3+4+2 = 9 and a total level of 14. He or she can also ready ten clerical spells of up to level two and eight bardic spells of (coincidentally) up to level two.

Character

Level

BCL

CL-A

BCL

CL-B

BCL

CL-C

Spells

CL-A

Spells

CL-B

Spells

CL-C

01

1

0

0

1/08

0/04

–/—

02

2

1

1

1/08

1/06

–/—

03

3

2

1

2/10

1/06

0/02

04

4

3

2

2/10

2/08

0/02

05

5

3

2

3/12

2/08

0/02

06

6

4

3

3/12

2/08

1/04

07

7

5

3

4/14

3/10

1/04

08

8

6

4

4/14

3/10

1/04

09

9

6

4

5/16

3/10

2/06

10

10

7

5

5/16

4/12

2/06

11

11

8

5

6/18

4/12

2/06

12

12

9

6

6/18

4/12

3/08

13

13

9

6

7/20

5/14

3/08

14

14

10

7

7/20

5/14

3/08

15

15

11

7

8/22

5/14

4/10

16

16

12

8

8/22

6/16

4/10

17

17

12

8

9/24

6/16

4/10

18

18

13

9

9/24

6/16

4/10

19

19

14

9

9/24

6/16

4/10

20

20

15

10

10/25

7/17

5/11

   A reserve of Mana can be developed in several different ways. Mana derived from particular attributes “pools” with any other mana derived from that attribute, and can be pooled with mana from any “unaligned” source.

  Clerics (Wis), Druids (Con), Shamans (Chr) and Sorcerers / Wizards (Int) gain 2x their relevant attribute modifier mana “points” per level, with a minimum of one point per level.

   Bards (Chr), Monks (Wis), Adepts (Con) and Witches (Int) get their relevant attribute modifier mana points per level, with a minimum of one point per level.

   All other character classes gain one point of mana per level, plus one-half of whichever attribute modifier is applicable.

   Other methods of acquiring mana include accepting any of a variety of vows, geasa, or other “special restrictions” (6 points each), giving up attribute points (12 points per two points off a given attribute), and learning the Runecraft skill (QV).

   Temporary methods include Manastones (Cost of (Points Squared)x100 GP [x.25 if not self- charging], they do not take up an item slot), potions (250 GP, provides 3D4 Mana but cannot supply more then 24 in any one day), places and times of power (GMO), and sacrifices (generally 1-2 mana per HD of the most powerful creature sacrificed during a ritual).

The Rule of Three:

   The limitation on Manastones is due to the Rule Of Three; No more then three magic items and/or effects may be applied to a characters ability, attribute, or quality, at a time. No known item or effect evades this restriction; it appears to be a law of nature.

Mana Costs:

   The Mana Cost of casting various spells is straightforward: in general, it depends on the school and level of the spell being used.

Spell Level /

Spell School

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Div, Enc, Ill

1

3

4

6

8

10

12

15

18

21

Abj, Nec, Tra

1

2

4

5

8

10

13

16

20

24

30

Con and Evo

1

3

5

8

10

13

16

20

24

30

40

   Especially “Handy” spells, such as Healing and True Strike, usually cost +1-2 mana points. Narrowly-applicable spells usually cost 1-2 points less mana than the chart would indicate. This is apparently a result of the influence of the Primal Powers.

   Specialists must give up two schools – but may cast spells of their speciality school at one-half the base mana cost.

The Runecraft Skill:

   Runecraft (Dex, Trained Only, In-Class for everyone) is the art of focusing very limited amounts of ambient Mana through gestures and/or magical symbols. Character’s with this skill gain a Mana bonus equal to their skill score, and can cast lesser spells related to whichever runes they’ve mastered in this fashion.

   Any character may “attune themselves” to a single rune, those with a Runecraft skill of 8+, or an Int, Wis or Chr of 14+, may acquire a second attunement. Those who qualify in both fashions may have a third attunement. Per the Rule of Three, no one may possess more than three attunements.

   The runes themselves vary immensely. There are runes of War, Healing, Beasts, Lightning, Earth, Stealth, Fire, Smithcraft, and Plants. There are runes for creatures, themes, ideas, crafts, and professions. While they must be reasonably specific, if you want a particular rune, it’s probably available.

   Runes, at least theoretically, can be used to create any effect within their domains. In practice, of course, things aren’t so simple; using runecraft requires one minute, whatever mana expenditure is appropriate to the effect produced, and a skill check at DC 15 for L0, 25 for L1, 35 for L2, and 45 for L3. Character’s may, however, take 20 at twice the base cost.

   There are – of course – ways to improve on matters. Skill enhancing items can be used, although the skill must be boosted seperately for each rune. Doubling the mana expenditure provides a +5 bonus. Arcane Lore and Spellcraft skills at 5+ provide +2 synergy bonuses

   Runespells can also be engraved, reducing the time required to use a specific effect to one action, or even “quickened” for +5 mana and +5 DC. Sadly, engraved effects are subject to the rule of three; choose them carefully.

Spells And Spell Formula :

   Sorcerous “Spell Formulas” are simply very complicated how-to articles; they may contain weird diagrams, occult notations, and obscure references, and so require skill (Knowledges, “Spellcraft”, etc) to understand, but they’re merely words. Some, just like articles on how to make nuclear weaponry, are banned or other wise restricted, while others are lost, exist only in theory, or are simply impractical. A book of spells is expensive, but it’s the way that specialized or rare books are expensive.

   On the other hand of course, the secret of a rare, lost, or unique, spell formula can be worth a great deal.

   Druids find their magic in the wild places of the world, Shamans in communion with weird spirits, and Clerics in holy tomes and sacred places. In any case, some spell formulas are simple enough to be committed to memory quite easily – while others require the expenditure of a portion of a would-be user’s life force, just as creating a magical item would.

   Once acquired, spell formulas must be prepared for use – transformed from formula into spell.

   Spells are psychic constructs, forged by a trained will as channels for mystic energies. Even the most powerful magi can only maintain a limited selection of spells ready for use – and changing one requires both knowledge of the spell to be prepared, and hours or days of deep meditation. Still, once prepared, a spell is ready for use whenever the user channels mana through it – and it can be re-prepared just a bit more quickly at a later date. Unless some item is a necessary part of a spell – such as the gem required to entrap a jinn – they don’t generally require material components. Many do not require words, and a few don’t require any gestures – although these are rare.

Lesser Circle Magic:

   Lesser Circle Magic employs Runecraft to focus and enhance magical power. It requires a special Feat (Circle Master) or Spell (L4 – “Empower Circle”. This spell is considered a military secret of the Imperium) to use. Some common applications include;

  • Circle Of Protection from “X”: DC 15
  • Circle Of Containing “X”: DC 25
  • Boosting your Base Caster Level
    • For a single spell: DC (10+5x Boost)
    • While within the circle: DC (15+5x Boost)
    • For 24 hours: DC (20+10x Boost)
  • Focusing Mana from ritual participants
    • From up to three people: DC 15
    • From up to seven people: DC 20
    • From up to twenty-seven people: DC 25
    • From up to 210 people: DC 30
    • To store for later use. Such pools dissipate in three days: DC +1/5
  • Distributing EP costs over participants
    • Over up to three people: DC 20
    • Over up to seven people: DC 25
    • Over up to twenty-seven people: DC 30
    • Over up to 210 people: DC 35
  • Acquiring Temporary Metamagic Feats
    • Maximum 3, each costs 20 Mana: DC 25

Item Notes:

   Wands and Staves recharge themselves – but the process is slow; They regain 21 / (Caster Level x Spell Level) charges each week. Wands can be quickly recharged by spellcasters with the Craft Wand feat and the appropriate spell to put in them at half their base price times the (Number of charges restored/50). A staff can be recharged similarily, but at only one- tenth of the base cost. Sadly, the skills to create a staff are very rare and are – at least officially – a military secret of some of the major countries.

   Metamagic can be added to wands and staves by either increasing the spell level – or via building the Feat into the wand / stave, at a cost of 1000 GP + 500/prerequisite and spending the appropriate number of extra charges while using the device.

   Items which grant Feats are special cases; Feats cost anywhere from 4000-8000 GP + 2000-4000 GP per prerequisite, with the exact cost depending on the feat(s) in question… Like Manastones, bestowed feats are subject to the Rule Of Three.

   No device can grant spell resistance. Only living things may possess this quality. Even artifacts do not appear to be exceptions.

   “Bonus Spell” items aren’t – ordinarily – available. See “Manastones”, above.

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