Alloy: Sorcery Part 3

Alloy LogoThaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy is a magical skill in manipulating magic itself. It is overall harder to perform than most other schools of sorcery, in that most of them have beginner spells which are limited, and can be overpowered, but are easy. All of Thaumaturgy’s effects can be upgraded, in some cases substantially, but none of them is less than moderate in difficulty. However, that difficulty lends itself to power. Many other sorcery paths can dampen or end spell effects and magic they are all or nothing affairs and never certain. Only Thaumaturgy absorbs the effect regardless of what it is, dampening the effect even if it isn’t canceled. Only Thaumaturgy scales from slowly levitating the caster to levitating the entire group, or swift flight. Most of the Thaumaturgist’s spells are very versatile and require more adjudication than other paths, but that also makes them some of the most powerful. Again, this is only tiers 1 through 3 of spells.

Thaumaturgy Path

Spellcasting Roll: Intellect + Research

Casting Modifications: Thaumaturges have the same abilities to modify spells as normal sorcerers, but they can both exceed the standard limitation on durations by one degree, and allocate for modification after the spell has been cast but before its effects manifest.

Backlash: Backlashes of this nature are distracting, but not necessarily dangerous. Often the character is dazed for a number of phases equal to twice the number the roll was failed by. However, as thaumaturgy manipulates magic directly more often than not, almost anything can happen. Spectacular failures on high Power spells should be memorable.

Spell Progression: Beginning thaumaturgists have to gain a background in magical theory before even attempting their first spells. The meditative mindset is taught next, in order to allow the final act of learning the art of spellcasting. At its heart this magic is one of mathematics, variables and thus requires an agile mind, but it still requires the proper mindset, and relationship with magic. Still, the needs of the skill explain the fact that while getting to the point where they can cast their first spell unaided is a long journey of years for most, they often learn a large grouping of minor to moderate spells within a month or so after that. Once the theory is mastered, the practice comes easily. At rank 1, the character learns the first 3 tiers of spells (7 in total), and over the next 2 ranks masters 4 of them. More advanced spells on tiers 4 and 5 are learned at rank 4, along with another spell mastery. Rank 5 allows the mastery of 2 more spells, with Rank 6 granting the highest tier of spells available and a final spell mastery. Overall, fully trained thaumturgists master all but 2 spells of their repertoire.

Rank 1: Learn Tier 1, 2 and 3 spells
Rank 2: Master two spells
Rank 3 : Master two spells
Rank 4: Learn Tier 4 and 5 spells, Master one spell
Rank 5: Master two spells
Rank 6: Learn Tier 6 spell, Master one spell

Arcane Shield, Tier 1

AC: 6, TN: Power + 1
Range: Self

Duration: Sustained
The caster surrounds the target with a magic hungry field which absorbs  Power from incoming magical spells. Directly magical effects such as alterations or transfigurations, illusions, mental attacks and such are absorbed on a 1 for 1 basis, while Indirect magical effects such as conjurations, levitation, are absorbed with a 1 Power surcharge. For other types of magic, the target either is 1 point harder to affect (+1 TN for Channeling), or gains 2 Armor per point of Power versus magical effects. Every 2 Power at Power 3 or higher adds 1 bonus success to Parry or Dodge attempts the target makes to avoid mundane attacks., and serves as +1 TN for effects which can be resisted.

Example: Euclid is anticipating being attacked by a fellow sorcerer, but not a very strong one. He casts Arcane Shield with 2 Power, which causes direct effects to lose 2 Power immediately when they begin to affect him, and lowers the Power of indirect effects by 1. Later on, he is anticipating fighting off a sorcerer and his bodyguards, an archer and a spearman. He takes the time to cast the spell with Power 4 instead, which means it absorbs 4 Power from all direct effects and 3 from all indirect ones. It also provides him 2 bonus successes to dodge or parry mundane attacks.

Conjuration, Tier 1
AC: 3, TN: Power + 1
Range: Short
Duration: Concentration
The caster intertwines his magical will with the air to produce semi-solid objects. This is usually a very blatant effect, creating bright lights, glowing objects etc. but at higher levels of Power the results can be more solid, and thus less obviously magical. Created objects (or scenery as phantom objects can be created as well) can be temporary and very fluid and mobile, or semi-permanent and uncontrollable, although those can be programmed instead. Areas can be created rather than single objects, but objects created have more solidity the more Power is imbued into them. 1 Power can be spent on programming a static object with a flight path or set of actions on a loop. An additional point of Power can be tied into this program to wait until a certain trigger occurs, which can be keywords, the presence of animals of specific size, times and so forth. Because air can be moved at will once bonded to the conjured field of energy, sound can be created as well.

Power TN Area Structure
1 2 Close 3
2 3 Short 6
3 4 Medium 9
4 5 Long 12

Note: Conjuration can be used to simulate illusions, create inanimate objects, weapons etc. it can’t really produce strong direct attacks, but it could be used to restrain someone by creating chains etc. Any attack made using this spell requires a Perception + Marksmanship: Spells roll to hit the target, as if it were a normal ranged attack.

Sensory Enhancement, Tier 1
AC: 3, TN: Power
Range: Touch
Duration: Sustained
The caster can imbue the target’s eyes with magical energy which makes it possible to make out his surroundings in darkness, see or hear far away, find energies in the environment and follow such a source’s path to its current location if possible, and not just see the nearest location. The amount of Power invested in the target determines the exact effect. When searching for specific energies on Power 4, it will let the user see large quantities of magic (spells currently in effect, heavily enchanted items or areas), fire or lightning. At Power 5 the character can trace a specific spell, a specific caster if they engaged in a high powered duel, distinguish between magically started or natural fires etc. The former level is insufficient to determine how something was done, where something went or who performed the magic, but the higher level can see the footprint, and would know the difference between a fire started by a lightning strike, and one started with a torch down the same street.

Power TN Sense or Effect
1 1 Dark Vision
2 2 Bonus Success for Perception tests
3 3 Lower penalties to sense long distances by 1
4 4 Locate nearest source of unusual energy
5 5 Track specific energies

Force Bolt, Tier 2
AC: 6, TN: Power + 2
Range: Medium
Duration: Instant
The caster generates one or more bolts of magical force by compressing magic into a tight packet and firing it at high speed at enemies. In order to hit the target, this is treated like a normal ranged projectile and requires a Perception + Marksmanship: Spells test versus the target’s Dodge. The result is a forceful hit which feels like a sling stone on fire. Each bolt does 8 Damage base if it hits. The caster can expend more than the minimal Power however, which either generates an additional bolt per point of Power which can be targeted at the same or different target(s), or bonded into a single larger projectile which increases the base Damage by 2 each time. If someone casts this spell at Power 5 or more, they must choose whether they want more bolts or a single bigger bolt. It divides attention too much to do both.

Power

TN

Damage

# Bolts

1

3

8

1

2

4

8 or 10

2 or 1

3

5

8 or 12

3 or 1

Levitation Tier 2
AC: 5, TN: Power + 1
Range: Close
Duration: Concentration
The caster rises into the air on magic alone. Higher power lets the caster bring more people with him, as well as move much faster. Power 1 is required to lift himself aloft and move at a slow pace up or down. Each point of Power above that can either bring double the number of companions with, or move the speed a category faster. Power 1 Levitation is no faster than a person on the ground. Power 4 Levitation lets a character travel Long distance in a single AC 3 movement. The characters do not need to be in contact with the caster, nor do they need to be willing to come along. Additionally, a large bundle can be substituted for one person, but objects too heavy for a person to lift aren’t possible to move using this spell.

Power

TN

Speed

Passengers

1

2

Slow (2 mph)

0

2

3

Average (5 mph)

2

3

4

Fast (20 mph)

4

4

5

Very Fast (80 mph)

8

Mage Hand, Tier 2
AC: 4, TN: Power + 1
Range: Medium
Duration: Concentration
The caster creates force at a distance allowing him to move one or more objects at will. At the lowest levels of Power this is enough to manipulate small objects such as keys in locks, trip levers and so forth. At Power 2 and above, the character can lift and move objects as well. The weight of the object is generally immaterial, although the caster has a limited volume. Objects can be thrown with mage hand, but the damage done is often equal to Power x 2 at most. Multiple objects as well as swarms of minute objects can be lofted, by spending Power to enhance the effect. A swarm of objects no greater in volume than a foot in radius counts as a single object for the purpose of this power at Power 2 or more. Each whole object beyond the first costs 1 Power, but the overall volume limits remain intact.

Power TN Volume
1 2 Handheld
2 3 Torso sized
3 4 Body sized
4 5 Boulder sized (close radius)

Anti-Magic, Tier 3
AC: 6, TN: Power + 2
Range: Short
Duration: Sustained
Resist: Resolve vs 3
The caster puts an aura of anti-magic around an object or person. While this spell is in effect, all other magical abilities, spells and such are negated. This can be detrimental to undead, ghosts and other beings which can only manifest because of magic. Such beings either discorporate temporarily, become paralyzed or suffer incredible damage (Become Critical and lose Wounds to match). It doesn’t permanently remove the magic, as permanent enchantments will eventually return, however, the duration of its absence is determined by the spell’s Power. This spell is absolute. If it affects a target, that target’s magic is negated, both the good and the bad. It is indiscriminate. Lastly, because the aura persists, new magical effects can latch onto the target but are of no use until Anti-Magic is removed or wears off. Strangely enough, magical effects from outside the aura can target the aura if properly applied, but a caster can’t break it himself once he’s under it.

Power TN Duration
1 3 1 scene
2 4 1 day
3 5 1 week
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About Byron D. Molix

I am an information technology professional in Missouri. I've been an avid fan of fantasy and science fiction novels, comic books, pen and paper role-playing games, computer games and console video games for the last two decades. My dream would be to one day make a comfortable living while having the time to pursue writing (novels, rpgs, etc.) as a full-time hobby.

Posted on June 23, 2015, in Alloy, Gaming and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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