Alloy: Character Creation basics 4 Part 2
The following are separated out because they require some additional explanation. There is nothing preventing a character from being a supernatural triple-threat other than lack of points. Given the total cost to be exceptionally competent in any one of the three magical disciplines, it is unlikely that anybody but a Legend could manage it while remaining well-rounded. Still, branching out to other forms of magic is probably easier to swing than mastering any given form completely, especially if the hero doesn’t care about being more than competent in their primary or secondary discipline.
To help players make up their minds I will describe the benefits and relative power of each of these 3 forms of magic.
Birthright Magic, also known as natural magery, is a codified system of super-powers which range from the least potent to as powerful as anything else available to heroes in the game. A dabbler can create the manifestation of an element and gain information others would like to have about their environment, while a master can create vast elemental displays, generating horrible attacks, incredible illusions and with healing just as much an option as destruction. For the most part, targets do not resist natural magic because it simply is.
Channeling is the ability to ask entities for miracles and the ability to learn how to perform rites, which are divine magical “spells” which can be performed quickly for limited results or as drawn out rituals for greater effect. Rites are still limited in comparison to spells however, although they are harder to resist than sorcery spells are. The effects of miracles are somewhat absolute, so channelers find it harder to call up miracles the more they use them throughout the day. This ‘debt’ affects their performance of rites as well. Often skillful performance of a rite results in a wider effect rather than a bigger one. With a small list of basic rites, which all initiates master, there is less choice in signature style for Channelers than for Sorcerers or even Natural Mages.
Sorcery is the ability to cast spells taught in a singular style. Sorcery paths are diverse, often having unique expressions or mechanics even when effects, such as Dispel Magic, overlap. The skills and attributes used to enact each path can be different as well, making it more important to complete a path you have started than to learn every path available. Sorcery is both flexible and diverse, allowing the hero to generate more powerful effects by risking higher difficulties in the casting. However, each path gives mastery over only a limited number of spells total, and failing to cast a spell you haven’t mastered can lead to Backlash.
Supernatural Trait Examples
The character has mastered an aspect of his natural bond with a force of nature. This trait may be taken multiple times, without limit. Each time it is taken it applies to a different active talent the character did not previously possess.
Cost: 4 points
The character is tied to a specific element of nature due to lineage. In human characters this is often a latent Trait, meaning that all birthright talents must be learned, including the free one other characters normally start with. See the magic chapter for full details. You must choose either the White, Black, Green, Blue, Yellow or Red element when taking this ability, and this trait may never be taken twice.
Cost: 3 points
Elves gain the Clarity talent from their White Element Birthright. Dwarves gain the Earth Sense talent from their Yellow Element Birthright.
The character has forged a pact with a supremely powerful supernatural entity (be it god, immortal or demon), or with an otherworldy plane directly. This allows the character to make Discipline a Core Skill, which gives him 1 rank in the skill for free. Furthermore, the character can now learn to channel, and take the Initiate trait. See the magic chapter for further information and divine magic systems.
Cost: 5 points
By gift of intellect or pure hard work, the character has memorized the forms of the basic rites of one of the three branches as both prayers and rituals. This allows you to perform either form of a rite with little in the way of offerings, religious items or tools. If a channeler has the time to indulge such perfection in preparation, they will gain +1D bonus. This trait may be taken up to 3 times. Each time the character learns another branch of rites from the choices of Blessing, Smiting or Exorcism.
Cost: 2 points
Inborn, Trained (x2)
The character has an incredible gift for wielding sorcery. Every true archmage has this trait, but the degree to which it is present within them differs. This is represented by a rank number, and enables the character to put more Power into spells he casts. You gain your Magical Spark Rank in bonus successes whenever you cast a sorcery spell. You can use these successes to more easily cast higher than normal Power spells, or to subsidize casting modifications or stunts. Unlike most traits, the cost to increase this after character creation is always the trained cost.
Cost: 6 points per Rank, maximum of 3 ranks.
The character has mastered an aspect of his natural bond with a force of nature. This trait may be taken multiple times, without limit. Each time it is taken it applies to a different passive talent the character did not previously possess.
Cost: 2 points
Each rank of this trait represents knowledge and techniques as well as spells of a particular school, or path, of sorcery. In order to qualify to begin the sorcerous journey, the character must have certain attribute qualities, skill training or traits. The first rank unlocks the secrets of sorcery for the character, but it may not make him or her a good spellcaster. Each rank until the ultimate rank, 6, is achieved unlocks more knowledge, secrets, and techniques.
Cost: 6 points for rank 1(3 points if mentored), and the rank to be in points for ranks 2 through 6, (rank 3 maximum for Adventurers or Journeymen heroes).