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Thumper

Rhûne: Magic Systems

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BACKGROUND

On August 14th, 1983 Antoni "Tony" Biagiotti, a 17 year old heavy metal enthusiast and avid AD&D player, stepped off a curb and into the path of an oncoming car while leaving the Richfield Coliseum after attending a performance by the band Iron Maiden.  Critically injured, Tony was rushed to the Community Hospital of Bedford and stabilized, but his injuries left him in a coma, hovering in the liminal space life and death.  This internal struggle, the choice to live or die, gave birth to World of Rhûne.  

 

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The World of Rhûne

 

Rhûne is a fantastic, multi-dimensional world of magic where the forces of Good and Evil are locked in a titanic struggle to determine Tony's ultimate fate.  The World of Rhûne itself exists alongside the four Elemental Planes inside the "multidimensional core" of the Aetherial Plane, with each Elemental Plane manifesting as a moon-like sphere that orbits the World of Rhûne (Rhûne has no sun, it's heat and light are provided by the Fire Moon).  "Outside" the Aetherial Plane, wrapped around it like the layers of an onion, are the Outer Planes of the Celestial Realms and the Endless Abyss, which are themselves contained within the Astral Plane.  This whole "Cosmic Onion" is polarized, with a positive pole (Source) and negative pole (Oblivion). 

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A cosmological map of Rhûne

 

If one travels "down" through the dimensional layers from Rhûne, one arrives in the Endless Abyss.  Each successive layer of the Abyss is worse and more inhospitable to life, until one reaches Oblivion itself, which nullifies the existence of anything that comes into contact with it.  In addition to housing the souls of the damned, the Abyss is home to numerous terrifying beings, Demons, that exist to inflict pain and suffering, to bring ruination to the works of man, and to corrupt souls to darkness.  They are lead by the powerful Demon Princes, and their ultimate agenda is to drag the planet Rhûne into the Endless Abyss, causing the world to plunge into Oblivion.  This will result in Tony dying.

 

Meanwhile, if one travels "upwards," one finds oneself in the increasing idyllic Celestial Realms, which is final resting place of uncorrupted souls, as well home tocelestial beings known as Angels. Existing on the uppermost levels of the Celestial Realms requires great purity, and the impure will find themselves burning with holy fire.  The Source itself burns away everything, reducing all who try to explore this realm to beings of pure, motiveless light.  The beings of the Celestial Realms are lead by the wise Archangels, whose ultimate agenda is to raise the planet Rhûne into the Celestial Realms, transforming the world and all the souls who reside upon it into a massive burst of light which will wake Tony from his coma.

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An alternate way of mapping Rhûne's cosmology

 

It is also possible to travel into Rhûne's "interior dimensions," known variously as Arborea, Avonlea, etc.  At the very core is the Verdant Place, world where life energy is so abundant that any who travel to it find themselves instantly consumed by the hyper-efficient kudzu that dominates the entire plane.  These Inner Planes Like the humans of Rhûne, and unlike the Angels and Demons, the Fey have moral freedom and are not bound to either good nor evil, and thus are a far more morally ambiguous faction  Their agenda is to prevent the destruction of Rhûne and maintain Tony's coma indefinitely.   

 

Together the Verdant Place, the Source, and Oblivion are the Pure Realms, projecting outward and creating the other planes through the interaction of their cosmic energies. 

 

MAGIC

The cosmic motion of the Pure Realms generates a form of cosmic energy known as Mana.  There are three "colors" of Mana, depending on the Pure Realm from which they emanate.  Mana emanating from the Source is "white," mana from the Verdant Place is "green," and mana (technically anti-mana) from Oblivion is "black."

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Magical effects are accomplished through the manipulation of Mana, which generally takes the form of spellcasting.  Spells can be divided into categories based on the nature of mana they manipulate, i.e. White Magic, Green Magic and Black Magic.  Regardless of the magic type used, all spells are built with the following limitations:

  • Concentration (1/2 DCV, -1/4)
  • Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4)
  • Gestures (-1/4)
  • Incantations (-1/4) 
  • Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2)
  • Side Effects (-1/4)
  • Real Spells (-1/4)

 

The Real Spells limitation changes how the power interacts with Dispel effects.  A power built with the Real Spells limitation uses it's Real Cost rather than its Active Points when calculating the effect of a Dispel.  Real Spells may also be used in conjunction with Spellcasting Maneuvers.  Spells with the Real Spell limitation may also be identified with a successful Analyze Magic roll.  A successful roll identifies both the Spell, the School the spell originates (see below), and the type of Mana that powers the spell.

 

The Side Effect is determine by the type of Mana used:

  • White Magic (Spellburn):  Caster takes 3D6 STUN Only Damage for which there is no defense.  If the spellcaster has any Corruption, this becomes 1D6 Killing Damage and deals BODY up to the amount of Corruption the spellcaster has.  Each BODY taken from Spellburn removes 1 point of Corruption.
  • Green Magic (Feycurse):  Caster immediately rolls 3D6 Unluck.  For each one (1) rolled, the spellcaster must roll on the Feycurse Table. Curses last for 1D6+1 days.
  • Black Magic (Corruption): Caster gains 3D6+1 Corruption (Cosmetic Partial Transform Damage) with no defense.   Corruption transforms the spellcaster into a demonic entity. If the spellcasters gains Corruption equal to 2xBODY, they are fully transformed into a demonic entity, however any amount of Corruption will affect a visible transformation in the caster.  Corruption heals as BODY damage (fades at a rate of REC per month).  Roll on the Mutation Table to determine the Spellcasters final form.

 

To gain spellcasting ability, a character must first purchase the Spellcaster talent.  The Spellcaster talent is built as a VPP, and may be bought at the following levels:

  • Apprentice (7 Points):  VPP, 5 base + 15 control cost,  (13 Active Points); all slots Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Side Effects (-1/4), Real Spells (-1/4)
  • Journeyman (15 Points):  VPP, 10 base + 30 control cost,  (25 Active Points); all slots Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Side Effects (-1/4), Real Spells (-1/4)
  • Master (22 Points):  VPP, 15 base + 45 control cost,  (38 Active Points); all slots Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Side Effects (-1/4), Real Spells (-1/4)
  • Grand Master (30 Points):  VPP, 20 base + 60 control cost,  (50 Active Points); all slots Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Side Effects (-1/4), Real Spells (-1/4)
  • Archmage (37 Points):  VPP, 25 base + 75 control cost,  (63 Active Points);  all slots Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Side Effects (-1/4), Real Spells (-1/4)

 

This VPP gains the Cosmic (+2) advantage for free, and spellcasters may change their VPP as a free action without a skill roll.

 

In addition, Spells are divided into discrete Schools of magic.  Access to a school of magic requires the Arcane Training (School) perk, which costs 5 Points per school.  Purchasing the Spellcaster talent grants the Arcane Training (School) perk in a single school.  The schools and their associate mana type and Characteristic are:

  • Astrology (White/INT)
  • Black Magic (Black/PRE)
  • Divine Magic (White/PRE)
  • Elemental Magic (Green/PRE)
  • Enchantment (Green/PRE)
  • High Magic (White/INT)
  • Low Magic (Green/PRE)
  • Mysticism (White/EGO)
  • Sorcery (Any/INT) 

 

All Spells are bought as individual skills.  Spell Skills cost 3 points for a base roll of 9+(CHA/5), with the CHA determine by the Spell's School.  Spellcasters may purchase Skill Levels with magic at the following prices:

  • +1 with a single Spell is 2 points.
  • +1 with all Spells of a Single School is 6 points.
  • +1 with all Spells is 10 points.

 

Thoughts and feedback welcome.

Edited by Thumper

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Here is an example of one the schools of magic and a few spells.

 

ASTROLOGICAL MAGIC

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Astrological Magic is a form of White Magic that requires significant training and education to master.  Practitioners of Astrological Magic are called Astromancers.  Astromancers call upon the power of the stars themselves to create magical effects.  When casting, the Astromancer must call out complex strings of astrological correspondences, binding the powers of the Moons, Planets and Zodiac and causing them to converge on, while tracing their corresponding signs in the air with their fingers.  Astromancy is famous for its powerful divinatory abilities, and many people are unaware that these stargazers can call upon cosmic energies to vanquish the most powerful of foes.  The signature ability of Astromancers is Astrology.

 

Astrology 

By spending an hour studying the relative position of Rhûne's moons and stars, the Astromancer can perform any one of the following divinations:

  • Fate: The condition or general whereabouts of any once individual may be divined. The Astromancer may divine if the individual in question is "safe," "in great danger," "nearby," "faraway," etc. If desired, the general direction in which an individual may be found can also be discerned.
  • Wisdom: The wisdom or advisibility of a single course of action may be determined in advance; i.e. "is it safe to cross the swamp by day," "is it wise to offer a bribe to the city magistrate," etc. Only "yes" or "no" answers may be determined through this type of divination.
  • Destiny: The caster may determine whether a given event or circumstance will occur in the near future; i.e. "will the wizard be in his tower tomorrow night," "will we encounter goblins as we pass through the forest," etc. Only "yes" or "no" answers may be determined through this type of divination.

Use of this ability requires a clear night sky, telescope and astrolabe and one hour.  Astrology is a form of magic but is not a spell, rather it is is a magical talent.  Spellcasters who choose Astrological Magic as their free School gain the Astrology talent for free, but must still purchase the Astrology skill.  Otherwise, Astrology costs 5 points.

 

Astrology: Precognitive Clairsentience (Sight Group) (40 Active Points); Extra Time (1 Hour, Only to Activate, Character May Take No Other Actions, -1 3/4), OAF Bulky Fragile (Telescope and Astrolabe; -1 3/4), Precognition Only (-1), Concentration, Must Concentrate throughout use of Constant Power (1/2 DCV; -1/2), Conditional Power: Stars Must Be Visible (-1/4), Limited Power: Fate, Wisdom, Destiny Only (-1/2), Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2); Real Cost: 5

 

SPELLS

All of the following spells have the standard spell limitations (Requires A Roll (Skill roll, -1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Real Spell (-1/4), Side Effects (-1/4)) in addition to any listed Limitations.  Constant powers and Skills bought as spells also have Cost Endurance (Only to Activate, -1/4) limitation and Time Limit (varies) advantage.

 

Astral Bolt

This spell allows the Astromancer to hurl a shimmering bolt of silver light crafted from pure cosmic energy from his hand.  This astral energy affects all forms of intangible and ethereal creatures, whether they be ethereal, air elementals, spirits, etc. 

  • Apprentice: Blast 2d6, Affects Desolid (Any); Beam (-1/4); Skill -1, END 1, Range 150m
  • Journeyman: Blast 4d6, Affects Desolid (Any); Beam (-1/4); Skill -3, END 3, Range 300m
  • Master: Blast 6d6, Affects Desolid (Any); Beam (-1/4); Skill -4, END 4, Range 450m
  • Grandmaster: Blast 8d6, Affects Desolid (Any); Beam (-1/4); Skill -6, END 6, Range 600m
  • Archmage: Blast 10d6, Affects Desolid (Any); Beam (-1/4); Skill -7, END 7, Range 750m

 

Fortune

This spells allows the Astromancer to protect her allies from magical attacks for 24 hours.  While under the influence of this spell,  the target gains a bonus to their DCV against any Real Spell that requires a To Hit roll.

  • Apprentice: +1 DCV, Usable By Other (+1/4), Time Limit (1 Day; +1 3/4); Only Against Real Spells (-1 1/2); Skill -1, END 1, Range Touch
  • Journeyman: +2 DCV, Usable By Other (+1/4), Time Limit (1 Day; +1 3/4); Only Against Real Spells (-1 1/2); Skill -3, END 3, Range Touch
  • Master: +3 DCV, Usable By Other (+1/4), Time Limit (1 Day; +1 3/4); Only Against Real Spells (-1 1/2); Skill -4, END 4, Range Touch
  • Grand Master: +4 DCV, Usable By Other (+1/4), Time Limit (1 Day; +1 3/4); Only Against Real Spells (-1 1/2); Skill -6, END 6, Range Touch
  • Archmage: +5 DCV, Usable By Other (+1/4), Time Limit (1 Day; +1 3/4); Only Against Real Spells (-1 1/2); Skill -7, END 7, Range Touch

*The Only Against Real Spells (-1 1/2) limitation may seem excessive, and for some campaigns it may be,  however I rarely use villainous spellcasters as enemies.  In my last campaign, less than 3% of enemies used Real Spells in combat.

Lesser Incantation of Mars

The Astromancer calls upon the martial power of the planet Mars to grant himself proficiency with melee weapons and skill in combat for a few minutes.

  • Apprentice: +1 with HTH Combat plus WF: Common Melee Weapons, Time Limit (1 Minute; +1/2); Skill -2, END 2, Range Self
  • Journeyman: +2 with HTH Combat plus WF: Common Melee Weapons, Time Limit (2 Minutes; +1/2); Skill -3, END 3, Range Self
  • Master: +3 with HTH Combat plus WF: Common Melee Weapons, Time Limit (3 Minutes; +1/2); Skill -5, END 5, Range Self
  • Grand Master: +4 with HTH Combat plus WF: Common Melee Weapons, Time Limit (4 Minutes; +1/2); Skill -6, END 6, Range Self
  • Archmage: +5 with HTH Combat plus WF: Common Melee Weapons, Time Limit (5 Minutes; +3/4); Skill -8, END 8, Range Self

Lesser Incantation of Sagittarius

The Astromancer calls upon the unerring aim of the Zodiac Sagittarius to grant herself proficiency with missile weapons and skill in combat for a few minutes.

  • Apprentice: +1 with Ranged Combat plus WF: Common Missile Weapons, Time Limit (1 Minute; +1/2); Skill -2, END 2, Range Self
  • Journeyman: +2 with Ranged Combat plus WF: Common Missile Weapons, Time Limit (2 Minutes; +1/2); Skill -3, END 3, Range Self
  • Master: +3 with Ranged Combat plus WF: Common Missile Weapons, Time Limit (3 Minutes; +1/2); Skill -5, END 5, Range Self
  • Grand Master: +4 with Ranged Combat plus WF: Common Missile Weapons, Time Limit (4 Minutes; +1/2); Skill -6, END 6, Range Self
  • Archmage: +5 with Ranged Combat plus WF: Common Missile Weapons, Time Limit (5 Minutes; +3/4); Skill -8, END 8, Range Self

 

Air Sign

Mastery of the Air Sign allows the Astromancer to call upon the powers of Zephyrion, the Air Moon, to summon and control winds, bending them to a number of purposes:

  • Wild Wind creates a swirling ball of winds that the caster can hurl at targets, where it explodes in a powerful burst of intensely strong winds that will hurl every human-sized targets in a random direction.  Depending on the terrain, this can deal devastating damage as targets are thrown into walls or each other.
  • Wind Wings creates miniature tornado around the caster, lifting them off the ground and propelling them through the air.
  • Dispel Barriers counters and dispels magical barriers of earth and stone.

The Astromancer may only activate one of these 3 powers with each casting of the spell.

 

Apprentice (Multipower, 15-point reserve); Skill -1, END 1, Range 150m or Self

  • Wild Wind :  Blast 1d6, Area Of Effect (4m Radius; +1/4), Knockback x8 (+1 1/2); Does No Damage (-1)
  • Wind Wings:  Flight 6m, Time Limit (20 Minutes; +1)
  • Dispel Barriers:  Dispel Magical Earth/Stone Walls 5d6

Journeyman (Multipower, 30-point reserve); Skill -3, END 3, Range 300m or Self

  • Wild Wind :  Blast 2d6, Area Of Effect (6m Radius; +1/4), Knockback x8 (+1 1/2); Does No Damage (-1)
  • Wind Wings:  Flight 12m, Time Limit (20 Minutes; +1)
  • Dispel Barriers:  Dispel Magical Earth/Stone Walls 10d6

Master (Multipower, 45-point reserve); Skill -4, END 4, Range 450m or Self

  • Wild Wind :  Blast 3d6, Area Of Effect (8m Radius; +1/2), Knockback x8 (+1 1/2); Does No Damage (-1)
  • Wind Wings:  Flight 20m, Time Limit (20 Minutes; +1)
  • Dispel Barriers:  Dispel Magical Earth/Stone Walls 15d6

Grand Master (Multipower, 60-point reserve); Skill -6, END 6, Range 600m or Self

  • Wild Wind :  Blast 3 1/2d6, Area Of Effect (16m Radius; +3/4), Knockback x8 (+1 1/2); Does No Damage (-1)
  • Wind Wings:  Flight 20m, Time Limit (1 Hour; +1 1/4)
  • Dispel Barriers:  Dispel Magical Earth/Stone Walls 20d6

Archmage (Multipower, 75-point reserve); Skill -7, END 7, Range 750m or Self

  • Wild Wind :  Blast 4d6, Area Of Effect (24m Radius; +1), Knockback x8 (+1 1/2); Does No Damage (-1)
  • Wind Wings:  Flight 20m,  x8 Noncombat, Time Limit (1 Hour; +1 1/4)
  • Dispel Barriers:  Dispel Magical Earth/Stone Walls 25d6

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