The Onland Campaign Guide - Chapter 8: Magic

MAGIC

PRINCIPLES OF MAGIC And when the student has mastered himself shall he then be taught the making of the receptacle into which the principle of power may be laid to impose upon the principle its form and nature. Only when the student has attained this knowledge may he learn the hidden incant wherewith he can call forth the principle itself. -Genin, On Learning the Art

Spells consist of two parts, Form and Principle. The Form may be thought of as a container which catches, contains, shapes, and channels the force or Principle(s) that drive the spell. The Form is a, usually invisible, product of the mage’s mental-emotional discipline and force of will. The Principle is the raw, elemental “metaforce”, the power that drives the spell. Common practice is for the spellcaster to “construct” a Form, and only when he has decided it is “good” (safe), to summon the Principle. The typical spell demands somewhat more energy to construct its Form than to summon its Principle. A mage could safely construct and discard Form after Form without any real danger, but summoning a Principle is another, far more dangerous matter.

In theory, any Principle could be summoned into any form, and some kind of spell would result. But in practice most Forms are Principle-specific and unable to contain or channel alien forces. A Form designed to channel light, for example, would likely leak if filled with water. Wild magic is the result when a Principle is summoned without a Form to contain and channel it.

Sometimes, if the Principle is a quiescent one, the results can be borne (survived), but many, if not most, Principles have profound, unexpected and unpleasant effects when they “slip their leashes” and get loose in the world. Total Release is generally regarded as the most devastating and dangerous variety of spell misfire possible.

CANT A verbal mode of focus for a spell is termed a Cant. Like the spell itself, it has two parts, Receptacle and Incant. The Receptacle describes the spell and its effect and is a model of the spell’s Form. The basic Incants are learned in apprenticeship. Invention of a unique Receptacle is part of the spell research process. Speaking, shouting, chanting, or whispering an Incant helps the mage attune himself to its associated Principle. The caster speaks the Receptacle, creates the Form, utters the Incant(s), and summons the Principle(s). If all goes well, the Principle pours into the Form and does as the caster intended.

The more complex the spell, the longer and more complex the Receptacle. A spell which employs multiple Principles has multiple Incants. Cants are aids to mentation which, as the caster develops mastery, may be reduced in degree and, even dispensed with.

In game terms, on starting any arcane spell, the caster declares which of the six degrees of Cant he is using. The degrees are distinguished by the volume/emphasis with which they are spoken, their effect on spellcraft DC, and the ease with which they can be detected.

Default: A caster who makes no declaration is presumed to be using a Cant of the Third Degree (normal speech).

Degree Vocalization Spellcraft Modifier Listen DC I Silent* -10 N/A II Whisper -5 -5 III Normal Speech 0 0 IV Raised Voice +2 +5 V Shout +4 +10 VI Enhanced Shout* +6 +20
  • Requires the Silent Spell feat
    • Requires the expenditure of an additional 0-level spell slot & the spell becomes a full-round action.

GESTURE Parallel with the verbal components, are gestural ones. Each spell has not only a Receptacle and Cant, but a pair of gestural routines. Gestural routines include movements of the fingers, hands, arms, head, legs and/or whole body.

Sixth degree Gestures involve a unique form of body movement, similar to enthusiastic dancing, or, an insane fit.

There are routines for each receptaclelform and one for each incantlprinciple. Like cants, gestures have degrees varying according to the amount of emphasis. Larger, more obvious motion is a greater aid to concentration, but far easier to detect. Before casting his spell, the Mage declares to the GM what degree of gesture he is using.

Default: A caster who makes no declaration is presumed to be using gestures of the third degree.

Degree Movement Spellcraft Check Spot DC I No Movement
-10 N/A II Small Hand Movements -5 0 III Hand Arm & Head Movement 0 +5 IV Full-Body Movement +2 +10 V Exagerated Full-Body Movement +4 +15 VI Epileptic Fit** +6 +20
  • Requires the Still Spell feat
    • Requires the expenditure of an additional 0-level spell slot & the spell becomes a full-round action.

DETECTION The inclination might be to use loud cants and large gestures to increase spellcraft all the time, but there are, of course, drawbacks. The larger the degree of cant or gesture, the more easily it is noticed. Such things are generally recognized as what they are. The more people notice the casting, the more likely someone will interrupt the caster and cause a misfire. Another consideration is pride. Mages who constantly use fourth degree (or higher) cants and gestures are deemed amateurish and scorned by more “professional” arcanists. This can cause a serious loss of reputation in a field where the respect of one’s peers is of vital importance.

KEEPING SECRETS Few mages commit their spells to vellum without taking precautions that they will not fall into the wrong hands. Some omit vital steps, or add incomplete/dangerous ones when they write their spells. There are thousands of methods, from recording mostly gibberish to positioning text and diagrams on the page in a meaningful way.

The commonest and simplest protective system is for the Mage to leave out key steps and/or to add false (often dangerous) ones. This amounts to rigging the work as a kind of booby trap. Even then, an experienced reader may detect and overcome the problem. Cadre magus often invent spells to translate, encrypt, or lock written works – an interesting area for original spell research. No such spells are in wide circulation since if such a spell were widely known it would be useless.

SYMBOLIZATION Over the centuries, mages have developed thousands of symbolic “scripts” for recording spells. These are glyphic or runic symbol sets in which each symbol stands for a process or principle and has approximately the same meaning, albeit a different name, in each language. Each Cadre Order teaches Alumno Nescio its own symbol set. It is forbidden to teach a basic symbol set to a brother outside ones Order.

The three basic symbol sets are capable of recording spells up to the 3rd level of complexity. Beyond 3rd level it is necessary to add symbols and this is done on an individual basis. This means that each mage develops a personal “dialect” that is very hard for others to decipher.

Some mages even discard the basic symbol set and develop their own from scratch. To read such symbolized text, one must first learn the basic symbol set from a mentor or a large body of written work in the same symbols, then learn any dialect involved. The effort is not usually worth it.

SPELLS

THE ONLAND CAMPAIGN SPELL CHANGES

Analyze Dweomer – new level is Sor/Wiz 4, new focus cost is 250 cr.

Animal Growth – new duration is 10 min / lvl.

Bear’s Endurance – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Bear’s Endurance, Mass – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Binding – ‘Hedged Prison’ variant is not allowed.

Bull’s Strength – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Bull’s Strength, Mass – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Cat’s Grace – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Cat’s Grace, Mass – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Continual Flame – new level is Sor/Wiz 3

Eagle’s Splendor – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Eagle’s Splendor, Mass – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Emotion – new duration is concentration + 1 rnd / lvl.

Enlarge Person – new level is Sor/Wiz 2, new maximum size increase is 200%, new duration is 10 min. / level

Enlarge Person, Mass – new level is Sor/Wiz 5, new maximum size increase is 200%, new duration is 10 min. / level

Enthrall – new max. duration is 1 hour + 10 min./lvl.

Fly – new level is Sor/Wiz 5, new duration is 10 min. / level

Fly, Mass – new level is Sor/Wiz 8, new duration is 10 min. / level

Fox’s Cunning – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Fox’s Cunning, Mass – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Geas – new duration is permanent/until discharged

Insanity – The spell actually causes some (random) form of insanity. Victim does not act as if affected by the confusion spell.

Invisibility, Greater – new level is Sor/Wiz 6, new school is Transmutation, new duration is 10 min./lvl.

Invisibility, Mass – new level is Sor/Wiz 9, new school is Transmutation, new duration is 10 min./lvl., The spell does not end when a character attacks (as per Greater Invisibility) , once the spell is cast, the recipients may move any distance from one another without becoming visible.

Invisibility Sphere – new level is Sor/Wiz 7, new school is Transmutation, new duration is 10 min./lvl., The spell does not end when a character attacks (as per Greater Invisibility), recipients of the spell can not see one another.

Leomund’s Tiny Hut – This spell conjures up an actual hut.

Lesser Geas – new spell level is Sor/Wiz 5, new duration is 1 week/lvl.

Levitate – new level is Sor/Wiz 3.

Limited Wish – new level is Sor/Wiz 8, XP & material component costs are doubled.

Magical Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law – duration remains 10 min/lvl

Mislead – new level is Sor/Wiz 7

Overland Flight – new level is Sor/Wiz 7, new range is touch, new target is creature touched.

Owl’s Wisdom – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Owl’s Wisdom, Mass – new duration is 1 hour / lvl.

Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law – new duration is 3 min/lvl.

Reduce Person – new level is Sor/Wiz 2, new maximum reduction is 90%, new duration is 10 min. / level

Reduce Person, Mass – new level is Sor/Wiz 5, new maximum reduction is 90%, new duration is 10 min. / level

Sequester – new level is Sor/Wiz 8

Summon Monster (All) – new duration is 10 min +1 min/ lvl

Summon Nature’s Ally (All) – new duration is 10 min +1 min/ lvl

Sleep – new duration is 15 min/lvl, very deep sleep

Wish – XP & material component costs are tripled.

PROHIBTED ARCANE SPELLS: The following spells do not exist in the Onland Campaign.

Level 1 Black Bag Feather Fall

Level 2 Familiar Pocket Invisibility Rope Trick

Level 3 Blink

Level 4 Confusion Dimensional Anchor Dimension Door Polymorph

Level 5 Contact Other Plane Dismissal Leomund’s Secret Chest Lesser Planar Binding Passwall Polymorph, Baleful Stop Heart Teleport

Level 6 Fiendish Quickening Planar Binding Shadow Walk

Level 7 Banishment Drawmij’s Instant Summons Ethereal Jaunt Mass Teleport Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion Phase Door Plane Shift Sequester Simulacrum Teleport (Greater) Teleport Object Vanish

Level 8 Dimensional Lock Maze Planar Binding (Greater) Polymorph Any Object

Level 9 Astral Projection Clone Ethrealness Gate Refuge Teleportation Circle Time Stop

The Onland Campaign Guide - Chapter 8: Magic

The Onland Campaign V TheHeraldOfOnn TheHeraldOfOnn