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Author Topic: Magic Guide  (Read 2365 times)
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Mina
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« on: July 22, 2007, 08:23:23 PM »

INTRODUCTION

The way magic works in Caelereth is rather different from what one might expect from a fantasy world.  Thus, players often find magic here to be quite confusing.  The aim of this guide is to provide the average player with sufficient information to properly create and play a mage in the RPG. 

The term "magic system" as used here refers to a set of ideas or beliefs about how magic works.  There are many magic systems in the world of Caelereth, but to keep things simple, only one system will be covered in this guide: Ximaxian Magic.  This is because Ximaxian Magic is the dominant magic system in the Kingdom of Santharia (aside from clerical magic, which is not usually regarded as magic by Santharians), which is where most roleplaying takes place. 

Ximaxian Magic is the magic system practiced by the magi of the Academy of Magic in the Santharian city of Ximax.  As mentioned above, it is the dominant magic system in the kingdom, practiced by most of the kingdom's magi (who are themselves usually trained by the Academy).  Notable exceptions are the Elves and Brownies, who have their own magic systems.  However, the Elven system is closely related to the Ximaxan system, and the two are similar.  Due to this, they are temporarily being treated in the RPG as being identical until the Elven system is properly fleshed out. 

LEARNING MAGIC

The ability to perform magic is not an inherited trait.  Instead, it is a skill that almost everyone can learn.  This also means that, except for a rare exception that will be addressed later, it is not possible to perform any magic without first having been trained. 

The minimum age required for training in magic is 12 for humans, and the closest equivilent age for other races.  The minimum amount of time needed for a human to progress from one level to the next is shown in the table below:

Level Minimum
Training Time
Minimum Age
1 2 years 14
2 3 years 17
3 4 years 21
4 4 years 25
5 5 years 30
6 6 years 36

For characters of other races, these figures should be converted to the nearest equivilent for that race.  Also, note that levels 4 and above are currently restricted. 

There are several ways to obtain training in magic:

The Academy of Magic: Located in the center of the city of Ximax, the Academy of Magic is the best place in the kingdom to receive training in Ximaxian Magic.  It has considerable educational resources, and is also where most of the best and most knowledgable magi are located.  Many of the kingdom's magi are trained here. 

Other Magic Schools: Most Elven tribes can be assumed to have their own magic school, and Elven characters have the option of being trained in their tribe's school instead of the Academy of Magic.  The usual restrictions still apply, however. 

Private Tutors: It is also possible to be privately trained by a mage.  However, as a private tutor would not have the same resources a school has, and often not as good as a teacher from an actual school, the training is likely to be less effective, and progress will be slower. 

BASIC CONCEPTS

The Elements

According to Elven and Ximaxian philosophy, all things are made up of some combination of four basic Elements: Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind.  An Element can be thought of as a collection of certain properties.  In general, the more influence an element has on an object, the more it displays that Element's properties. 

In the Ximaxian Academy, each student attends one, and only one, of its four "Elemental Schools", each of which teaches the manipulation of one of the Elements.  This includes not only how to handle the physical form of an Element, but also its various properties. 

Properties may be grouped into two categories, physical and spiritual.  Physical properties are self-explanatory; they are the properties that are displayed physically.  Spiritual properties are displayed only in animate living beings.  They have nothing to do with the physical form, and are instead associated with the mind, will, and feelings of the being, influencing how it acts. 

The following are some of the more prominent properties each Element:

Earth
Physical: hardness, stillness
Spiritual: obstinacy

Fire
Physical: heat, light
Spiritual: passion

Water
Physical: coldness, fluidity
Spiritual: unpredictability

Wind
Physical: movement, intangibility
Spiritual: calmness

Car'áll and Ouniá

Car'áll (plural car'alliá) and ouniá are important concepts in Ximaxian Magic.  "Car'áll" is an Elven word that is often translated as "aura", though this is not very accurate.  A car'áll is a non-physical aspect of an object, which can be thought of as an "astral body" of sorts.  All things have a car'áll, and changes to the car'áll is reflected in the physical form, and vice versa. 

"Ouniá" is also an Elven word, and translates as "portions".  A oun (singular form of ouniá) is the smallest unit of a car'áll; it cannot be divided.  There are four types of ouniá, one for each of the Elements.  An oun of each Element expresses some of the properties associated with that element.  The amount of influence an Element has over the car'áll depends on the relative amount of that Element's ouniá present, as well as how strongly the ouniá are expressing that Element's properties. 

Ouniá are connected to each other by what are known as "xeuá links".  A car'áll is essentially made up of ouniá and xeuá links.  Xeuá links vary in strength, and this determines how strongly ouniá expresses their Element's properties.  The stronger a xeuá link is, the more strongly the ouniá it connects will express their properties. 

Xeuá and Ecuá

In addition to the Elemental Schools, the Ximaxian Academy also has two advanced schools, commonly called the "Archschools", which teach the manipulation of xeuá links.  Entry is open only to advanced magi of the Elemental Schools. 

As mentioned, the Archschools teach the manipulation of xeuá links.  Xeuá focuses on strengthening the links, while Ecuá focuses on weakening them.  These are the most advanced and powerful forms of magic in the Ximaxian system, and magi of these schools are no longer limited to affecting only one Element. 

Due to their power, as well as the fact that good knowledge of Ximaxian Magic is needed to play one properly, Xeuá and Ecuá magi can only be played by those who know the magic system well. 

Spellcasting

Spellcasting refers to the act of creating magical effects.  It is basically the imposition of the mage's will on the target, and does not involve any special magical energies.  Note that "magical effects" are only called so because they are produced using by magic.  Otherwise, there is nothing magical about them.  A magically-created gust of wind is no different from a natural gust of wind, for example. 

Spellcasting can be made easier with the aid of spell reagents and formulae.  However, all that is needed for spellcasting is will.  Reagents and formulae do not actually have any magical properties, and used alone, will not result in anything special happening.  They merely make it easier for a mage to cast a spell, and are, in theory, never actually needed.  In practice however, a mage attempting to cast an unfamiliar spell (eg. when they are first learning it) might find it extremely difficult or even impossible without using its reagents and/or formula. 

The Spheres of Magic

A mage causes magical effects by willing changes to happen to a target's car'áll.  There are many possible changes, but all are variants of three basic techniques, called the Spheres.  Each Elemental School has their own name for the Spheres, but otherwise they are the same for all four Elements. 

Sphere One:
Sphere One is the simplest of the Spheres, and is usually taught from levels 1 to 3.  It alters how strongly the properties of an Element is expressed in a car'áll.  This can be done with all properties, or with skill, only some, or even just one property.  As the influece of an Element is affected by how strongly its properties are being expressed in the car'áll, this can increase or decrease the overall influence of an Element in a target car'áll.  The main disadvantage of Sphere One is that its effects are temporary, ending once the caster stops focusing on them.  The other Spheres can create more persistent effects. 

Sphere Two:
Sphere Two is mainly taught from levels 4 to 6.  It involves the movement of ouniá from one location to another.  This allows the influence of an Element at a point or a small area be altered.  For example, if a mage gathers a lot of Fire ouniá at a single point, it will cause the influence of Fire there to increase greatly, producing a small ball of flame.  Sphere Two effects are not always very stable, however.  Should the mage in the example stop focusing, the ball of flame would either explode, or if the mage is skillful enough, shoot off in a certain direction. 

Sphere Three:
Sphere Three is the most powerful of the Spheres, and is taught from level 7 onwards.  It involves the addition and removal of ouniá from a target car'áll.  This includes removing ouniá from a car'áll and adding it back in a different configuration.  These enable Sphere Three to not only alter the influence of an Element by changing the quantity of its ouniá present, but also to mimic Sphere One and Sphere Two effects.  A good knowledge of how the other two Spheres work is needed to use Sphere Three effectively, which is why is taught after them. 

The Gifted

A very small number of people are the exception to the rule that one cannot perform magic without first being trained to do so.  Magi usually call such people the Gifted.  Although these people can create magical effects without training, this happens only under extremely great stress.  Even worse, this is not a conscious act, and the caster is probably unaware that they are the ones causing the effects.  These of course mean that the effects are uncontrolled, and thus can be quite dangerous both to the caster and those around him. 

The good thing is that given proper training and motivation, a Gifted person often turns out to be quite a talented mage.  They are thus highly sought after by the Academy.  Some however, go unnoticed by the Academy.  If they are lucky enough to have experienced the unconscious creation of magical effects and survived, they might eventually figure out that they were the ones who did it, and maybe learn to reproduce those effects consciously.  Those who manage to do this are often termed Gifted Macanti (though most dislike being called macanti).  Unlike a properly trained mage though, they are usually limited to only a few effects, normally rather minor ones. 

Enchanted Items

Enchanted items are objects that have been given unusual properties through magic, or in other words, enchanted.  Strictly speaking, the term only applies to those with permanent or long-lasting enchantments; Sphere One can be used to imbue an object with certain properties for a short time, but such an object is not usually considered enchanted. 

Enchanted items are very rare, as they are difficult to create, and not many magi are powerful enough to create them.  The simplest are Elemental enchantments, created using Sphere Three.  Enchantments of this nature affect the enchanted object only; one may not enchant an object to cause an effect on something else, such as a person wielding it.  More complicated and powerful enchantments can also be created using Xeuá and (less commonly) Ecuá magic.  Such items are extremely rare, and very seldom seen.
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Solaron Luanris
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Solaron Lunaris/ Elf/ Fire Mage


« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 09:04:58 AM »

How does one know what level they are in magic if the are another race?? I can't seem to figure it out.
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Solaron Lunaris
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 11:39:54 AM »

If your character is an elf, use the elven aging calculator to determine what their equivilent human age is.  Then, just refer to the table above.  For other races, you might have to ask around to find out how to calculate their equivilent human age. 
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