The Realm of Strife is a land where the Spiritual powers flow freely. There are many who have learned the arts and rituals to tap into this powerful force that manifests itself in what is generally referred to as magic. The source of these spiritual powers is a highly debated subject.
The druidic conclaves hold that the spiritual powers are just an extension of the divine powers of the gods. However the Colleges of Magic, the domain of Mages, Battle-mages, and Wizards, claim that it is a physical property of creation itself, invisible much like the wind, but with effects clearly evident in the world around it. These practitioners of the Spiritual arts spent long hours in study learning how to manipulate and control these forces. The savage tribal Shamans have also learned to tap into the Spiritual force known as magic, claiming it to be a primal energy in existence since the beginning of time, made manifest in creatures such as Elementals. There are also those who believe that it is more the art of focusing inward toward one’s own innate spirituality, and then channeling that Spirituality outwards. Runeweavers and Assassins are the followers of this belief, often spending a great deal of time in mediation to focus and strengthen their spirituality.
Regardless of the source, magic is not inherently good or evil, though it has been used for both great evil and great good over the course of history. Despite this, it deals with forces that the common person cannot comprehend and as such is almost always viewed with some measure of distrust or skepticism.
Spirit classes are those with the ability to attune themselves with the spiritual world; allowing them to control and manipulate these sources of spiritual energy with a wide range of effects.
Schools of Spirit Powers
The spiritual powers of magic are broken down by Domain and School of Magic (also sometimes referred to as a School of Spiritual Arts). Each School of Magic is associated with a polarity rooted in either Order, Balance, or Chaos. Each School of Magic can be further subdivided into a School of Powers (sometimes also referred to as a Subschool or Spell School).
Clink on any of the Schools of Spirit Powers to see a list of Powers specific to that School. A full list of Spirit Powers can also be found the Full Spirit Power List page.
|Domain||School of Magic||Polarity||School of Powers|
Disciplines & Archetypes
To the untrained eye Spirit Powers may appear to lack be a wild and chaotic array of spells with no semblance of structure. However most Spirit Powers can actually be identified by an Archetype which governs the general form and function of a spell. These Spell Archetypes are then further categorized into five broader Disciplines:
For details regarding Spirit Disciplines and Spell Archetypes see the Spirit Disciplines & Archetypes page.
The Laws of Magic
The spiritual energies of magic are present in every object and being throughout the Realm of Strife. The most basic tenants governing its use are commonly referred to as the Laws of Magic. Foremost of these laws, is the strict adherence to a single School of Spirit powers. While the Mage Colleges often see themselves as the ultimate authority on magic, and therefore the upholders of its laws, the truth is the the Laws of Magic existed long before the Colleges.
The true masters of magic are the Dragon Flights, for each was forever marked by a single School of Spirit Powers. As such the Dragon Flights often see magic as a gift bestowed upon mortals at their behest, and just as easily revoked if it is not treated with respect. Though some Dragon Flights are more active in this duty than others.
Some flights allow mortals free reign to manipulate and experiment with these spiritual energies, while others tolerate little interference (see Codex of Creation – Dragonkind for more details). In exchange for allowing mortals to dabble in these powerful universal forces, the Dragons demand that the mortals ensure they are governed properly. As such, any character that does not submit to one of these governing bodies is typically hunted down and eliminated by the Mage Wardens, increasingly so as they grow in power, lest the Dragons decide mortals are not worthy to wield such powers.
All Spirit powers require a certain amount of Spirit points in order to cast. Spirit points are usually simply referred to as Spirit. Spirit classes gain a larger pool of spirit every time they go up a level. The amount of Spirit gained each level by Spirit classes is as follows:
- +2d6 per level for Full Class
- +1d8 per level for Mixed Classes
(apply Intellect bonuses: 20-19=+3/level, 18-16=+2/level, 15-11=+1/level, 6-0=-1/level)
Casting From Health
At anytime a Spirit class may choose to use HP instead of Spirit to cast a spirit power. This is often referred to as “casting from health”. Some restrictions may apply to casting from health for certain powers (i.e. Healing powers) and Classes (i.e. Shamans).
Tier and School Restrictions
Unless choosing the path of an outlaw among their own kind, all practitioners of the spiritual arts must obtain their first Title before they can gain access to spiritual powers beyond the generic Tier Zero Powers.
|Class||Tier and/or School Restrictions|
|Mage, Battlemage, Wizard||Tier 1, can only use the Common School of Magic (these can always be retained)
Tier 2+, must choose one School of Magic to lock into, retaining T1 Common and gaining T2 (and T1 retroactively) of the newly chosen School
|Assassin||For all Tiers, can only use powers dictated by guild, some guilds may brave the ire of the Mage Colleges and freely mix Spirit schools, but most choose to not draw attention to themselves|
|Shaman||Tier 1, choose one School of Magic from Natural or Elemental Domains only (cannot use Arcane Domains)
After gaining Titles, may choose to branch off into other Natural or Elemental Schools of Magic instead of ranking up existing previous school, but if doing so must start at Tier 1
If mixing Tiers, treat “Tier of Caster” as the combined total of all Tiers (i.e. a Shaman with T3 Fire and T2 Earth is still considered a T5 Caster)
|Druid||For all Tiers, dictated by the spirit/faith alignment of the Druid’s Conclave (see ‘Systems of Faith’ supplement for specific Conclaves)|
|Runeweaver||Tiers awarded through the Runeweaver title system of Rites and are independent of Schools of Magic. Runeweavers can use any power that is tattooed on their skin up to the highest Tier allowable for their current title. Schools of magic are instead denoted by a larger “root” tattoo, which all subsequent powers are arranged alongside.
Note: See the Runeweaver Class Codex for more details on the Rites and Tattoo allotments for Runeweavers
Retroactive: means the caster can learn powers from the Tier that the school becomes available and may also learn powers from previous Tiers
Learning New Powers
The nature in which different classes interacts with the spirit world is unique and as such most have their own method for learning new spirit powers, as outlined below:
|Class||Learning New Powers||Summary of Further Requirement|
|Mage, Battlemage, Wizard||Academic||Intellect test at -1 Intellect/Tier|
|Assassin||Guild Library||Intellect test at -1 Intellect/Tier|
|Shaman||Communing with Spirits (Elemental or Natural)||Complete task or defeat the Spirit in combat|
|Druid||Study and Communion with deity, gods, divine beings, etc… (Sacred Text)||Test against the average of Intellect and Wisdom at -1/Tier|
|Runeweaver||Runic Tattoos||Failure rate equal to 15% per Tier of the power, cut if half
if tattooed by an elder/mentor Runeweaver
See each Class Codex for details regarding learning new powers specific to that class
The academic approach to learning new powers is utilized by Mages, Battlemages, Wizards, and even Assassins. In order to use the Academic method the caster must have access to the appropriate Tier and School of the power, through their Mage College, College of Wizardry, or Assassin’s Guild, or choose the path of an outlaw (renegade, sorcerer, or freelancer respectively). Either way, the caster must then proceed though the following procedure.
First the caster must find, purchase, or be given a scroll for that selected power. Scrolls are often awarded to students of the spiritual powers by their masters, in exchange for the completion of tasks or errands. Then the caster must attempt to cast the power by consuming the scroll AND expending the Spirit cost. Next the caster must pass an Intellect test at -1 Intellect per Tier of the power they are attempting to learn.
If failing: The scroll is destroyed and any damage and/or negative effects are inflicted on the caster or on a nearby (unintended) target.
If succeeding: The power works as intended and is now available in the memory of the caster, and can now be used at will while it remains in the caster’s memory.
Alternately: If the power is taught by a Mage/Battlemage/Wizard Spirit Teacher, no scroll is required and any failure is contained by the teacher.
Retaining, Swapping Out, and Re-Learning Powers
With the exception of Runeweavers, all other Spirit users are restricted to retaining a set number of known and/or memorized powers. At any point during combat or while adventuring the powers retained in memory are the only ones accessible to the caster. This does not necessarily mean that once a power is learned and retained in memory that it is not possible to swap out or re-learn powers.
Due to the limit on the number of powers that most Spirit classes can actively retain, any time they learn a new power when the casters memory is full it forces an existing power out of your memory. In a sense, the power is over-written. The over-written power can be any power the caster chooses, other than a Tier 0. This over-writing applies regardless if at one point in time the caster already knew the power; if they do not currently retain knowledge in their memory of the power they must essentially re-learn it. The frequency at which these tasks are possible varies depending on the class. The chart below summarizes how each class retains, swaps, and/or re-learns powers:
|Class||Retaining Powers*||Swapping/Re-Learning Powers|
|Mage, Battlemage, Wizard||Memory: 1 +1 per level||Personal Spirit Book (transcribe)|
|Assassin||Memory: 1 +1 per level||Guild Library|
|Shaman||Mastery: 1 +1 per level||Same as Learning a New Power|
|Druid||Memory: 1 +1 per level||Same as Learning a New Power|
|Runeweaver||Runic Tattoos: 2 per level (total allowable number of tattoos on body)||Once tattooed, cannot be removed or replaced, however Spiritual Attunement can be used to swap between Schools of Magic|
*Does not include Tier 0 powers, which are always known, by all classes, at all times
Personal Spirit Book
Personal Spirit Books are used by Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards. While they may vary greatly in size and complexity, they remain the personal property of the Spirit user and typically cannot be read by anyone other than their owner, sometimes even driving an unauthorized reader mad. These casters use their Spirit Books as a means of simplifying the process of re-learning and over-writing powers currently in their memory. So long as a power is recorded in the caster’s Spirit Book, the Tier 0 power ‘Memorize Power’ can be used to successful return a power to memory from the Spirit Book without having to go through the process of learning the power (as outlined in the previous section). All rolls and requirements are waived. See the description of ‘Memorize Power’ in the Spirit Powers section for details on the frequency at which it can be cast.
Essentially this allows Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards to learn as many powers they desire for the task at hand while using a Spirit Book to store excess powers without having to re-learn them. Spirit Books can store as many powers as there are pages available, where the # of pages required for a given power is equal to the tier of the power. To transcribe a power to a Spirit Book the caster must have level 1 Scholar. Transcribing takes a half rest and takes one known power from memory and permanently records it in the Spirit Book. Under no circumstances can Spirit Books be used to directly cast powers; only powers in memory can be cast.
Methods of Casting
All Spirit classes cast their powers using a combination of some form of verbal command, sound or incantation paired with a casting gesture of some kind. This means in order for a spirit power to be successfully cast both components must be performed. Therefore in order to prevent a Spirit class from casting you must interfere with one or both of these functions. As such spirit classes will be prevented from using their Primary Skills (aka Spirit Powers) if they are Silenced, Winded, Stunned, Immobilized, Incapacitated or Unconscious. in combat this means they are susceptible to skills or abilities that inflict these types of Crowd Control (CC) effects.
Outside of combat, in a roleplaying sense, these types of effects can be induced upon Spirit classes to prevent them from casting. Examples would be tying a gag around their mouths, binding their hands and feet, dosing them with potions, or even just getting them extremely drunk. However, care should be taken when using methods such as this to prevent or restrict a Spirit class from casting. A well experienced a Assassin can cast a spell with a mere whisper and subtle nod of his head, and bound Runeweaver could still use a finger to draw a Rune of Power in the dirt. As always GM discretion plays a role in deciding how well a method performs in preventing a Spirit class from casting, and a good GM allows players to fail and learn from their mistakes rather than spoon feed them the foolproof method to imprisoning that renegade Mage to collect on his bounty.
All Spirit classes are generically required to use both a verbal/vocalized component and a physical component in order to use their Primary Skills (aka Cast Spells, aka use Spirit Powers). However, from a roleplaying perspective there are significant differences in the methods that different Spirit classes use to fulfill these requirements, based on their particular philosophies and approaches to the Spiritual arts. The methods listed below are typical of each class, but exceptions may exist within them.
|Class||Verbal/Vocalized Component||Physical Component|
|Mage||Memorized incantations, usually spoken in long form (aka Mage tongue), in fanciful, ancient, or obscure dialects||Elaborate casting gestures made with one or both arms/hands|
|Battlemage||Memorized incantations, usually spoken in short form (aka Battle tongue) and in their native tongue||Simple but forceful casting gestures, often made with a weapon|
|Wizard||Memorized incantations, usually spoken in the original corresponding language of creation (aka Dragon Tongue)||Casting is physically channeled through an inanimate object, usually a staff, sword, wand or knife|
|Assassin||Memorized incantations, usually a barely audible whisper (aka Silent tongue)||Subtle casting gestures with any part of the body, often going unnoticed to those who don’t know what to watch for|
|Shaman||Speaking or chanting a word or phrase taught to them by an elemental or primal spirit (aka Elemental or Primal Tongue)||Ritualistic gestures that mimic the movements of the elemental/primal spirits that empower them|
|Druid||Chanting or singing to invoke the powers they serve||Casting gestures that rhythmically match their chanting or singing and evoke a sense of the power they serve|
|Runeweaver||A short yell, shout, or sharp exhaling of breath that accompanies/activates the traced runes (aka Kiai or Kihap)||Construct or trace runes in the air and/or on a surface (that correspond to their tattoos), using their fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, or sometimes even their whole body|