Magic and Spellcasting

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Some insist that magic should be performed with ceremonial octograms, ram's skulls, and dribbly candles. Others make do with three small bits of wood and 2cc of mouse blood. In any case, unlike the specific abilities granted by most feats and tracks, spellcasting is a valuable resource for any character that values having just the right tool for the job. This comes with a drawback – spells refresh more slowly than most track abilities, so a would-be spellcaster would be wise to have a backup plan in case his magic runs out prematurely.

Magic in Legend

Mechanically, we think that a predictable and "learnable" magic system is absolutely critical. If your character wants to call fire down from the sky on the enemy, it's very important to know how big the column of fire is going to be. If you're banking on the spell working the same way it did last time, you'd better hope that a sudden change in the spell's function doesn't end up roasting your allies.

There are, of course, many game systems with a much lighter rule set, in which case it's possible to come up with a failure mode for spells that consistently advances the game's story. In a rules-heavy game like Legend, in which effects are carefully and precisely described, there is less room for ambiguous effects that can randomly screw over player characters. If you need to expand the consequences of spellcasting, look to ability descriptions that describe potential environmental effects, such as a fire spell being capable of igniting easily combustible material. If you like magic to have a more unpredictable feel, consider emphasizing rolled damage and the effects of targets' saving throws as a function of how correctly the spell was cast.

Magic in the Game World

Magic in Legend is a force subject to laws that do not arbitrarily change. This is a very important concept, because it means that magic is subject to experimentation; it can be studied and eventually even understood. This does not mean that magic is always understood; the people of many game worlds have never come up with the scientific method and many other game worlds lack the social stability to spread information widely. It does, however, mean that once you learn to use magic, it generally works the way you expect it to, barring the intervention of external forces.

As you might imagine, there are quite a few ways that magic can manifest, depending on the place and people involved. In areas where magic is feared instead of studied, for instance, magic is never well understood. Unknown magical techniques are occasionally found in ancient tomes or secret runes, but even then the techniques are usually recorded as rituals rather than as principles that can be further developed.

Classifying Magic

Since magic in Legend is largely predictable and measurable in nature, the set of classifications for magic is well-known to all creatures. It's important to note that these classifications refer not to what the spells accomplish, but to how the spells "function" – creation spells function by creating something that then functions as it naturally would, for example, but various creation spells accomplish very different things.

Spell-like and supernatural abilities can be classified in the same fashion as spells, but are not subject to the same restrictions (specific rules for spell-like and supernatural abilities can be found in individual ability descriptions).

Creation

Creation spells create matter of some sort. This matter can be temporarily formed from ambient energy, or can be more permanent in nature.

Divination

Divination spells provide the caster with insight or precognition.

Evocation

Evocation spells bring forth bursts of insubstantial energy. Some evocations can be made to last, but none are substantial in nature or create actual matter.

Transmutation

Transmutation spells change the structure or nature of matter.

Acquiring Magic

All spellcasting creatures in Legend gain the use of spells via a specific track devoted to spellcasting. In Legend, the two core spellcasting tracks belong natively to the shaman and tactician classes. Each track is tied to a list of spells (although there is some overlap), and the shaman and tactician tracks can each be acquired via multiclassing.

Possessing a spellcasting track gives a creature two benefits. First, the track opens access to its spell list. The creature can learn (and therefore cast) spells from that list. Core tracks give three new spells per circle. Second, the track grants a number of "spells per [Scene]" – essentially, open slots dedicated to a particular spell circle, which the creature can "spend" on any spell of that circle.

Using Magic

Using magic in Legend is a straightforward process. On your turn (unless activating a spell as an immediate action), you spend the action required to activate the spell, make any roll necessary to determine the spell's success, and make any roll necessary to determine the spell's damage or other variable effects. The GM then makes any saving throws required by the spell.

Saving Throws

Many spells require their targets to make saves, either to reduce or avoid their effects. The save DCs of all spells are determined by the particular spellcasting track used to cast them. Shaman Spellcasting has a DC of 10 + 1/2 your level + your Wisdom modifier, while Tactician Spellcasting has a DC of 10 + 1/2 your level + your Intelligence modifier.

Attacks of Opportunity

All spells with a casting action other than "swift action" or "immediate action" provoke an attack of opportunity from any enemy creature within [Melee] range. If casting the spell involves taking an action that would normally provoke an attack of opportunity, such as making a ranged attack, you still only provoke one attack of opportunity.

Recovering Magic

A substantial bit of rest is required to recharge expended magical resources. A spellcaster recovers all previously cast spells at the end of each [Scene].

Reverse Spells

Some spells have two versions – a normal and a reverse. A spellcaster that knows the normal version of the spell automatically knows the reverse version as well.

Spell Descriptions

See: Spell Descriptions