Concerning Magic in the Fifth Era

This section deals with magic in the Fifth Era campaign, Saga of Ablution. This does not apply to a standard game.


1. The Unstable Magic Environment

Magic used to be a fairly stable source of power which everyone had access to and could learn how to use and control. While everyone still has access to magic in the 5th Era, is is no longer stable, and can in fact be quite dangerous. The Ablution Event has created a massive unbalance in the natural and magical elements of this world, and without proper protection and moderation, even the simplest spells can spell disaster.
 

1.1. Magic Use and the Community

Because of the danger of using magic in the 5th Era, most people frown upon the use of magic, and even some communities outlaw it completely. The community of Culus is one example, where they will hunt down and kill magic users accusing them of being zodoists. As a result, many that want to use magic must do so in secret, some opting to brave the wilderness or work within the wilderness survival camps. In communities that forbid magic use, magictek gauntlets are only available from black markets or crime groups, and usually at a very heavy cost.

Capa City is perhaps the exception to the rule. It has a strange sense of magic stability not fully understood. Magic isn't completely stable and magicteck shielding is still needed for magic storms, but it is far more stable than most other areas.
 

1.2. Rogue Magic

 

"Magicbreaking… An art rediscovered due to need for it by the Ablution. While we have magicteck to safeguard us from rogue magic, I can imagine that some communities who had no rune cannons to base their research off had to re-invent the technique."

 

- Dringol Ûre, Magic Theorist and Magicteck Inventor

A large question has of yet been unanswered. What is the cause of Rogue Magic? Why did the destruction of Zodo cause these things to be more common?

First, let's summarize what we know about Rogue Magic. Rogue Magic is magic that comes into existence without an actual caster casting it. It is often a side-effect of the casting of a another spell, mostly if the used spell is very strong. If we look back at Runic Energy existing in the world in balance, that is in an ideal situation. Zodo, the god of magic, ensured by his existence that the magic in the world was stable. How, we do not know, for it is at the moment impossible to reconstruct this.

Zodo was necessary to keep magic in check due his nature as god of magic and power; he WAS the stability of magic. However, those things are trivial in the 5th Era. We need to deal with Rogue Magic and it's related effects.

As I said before, Runic Energy was stable before, but it is not anymore in the 5th Era. Where regularly the cycles of magic would exist in a normal, controlled form, now tiny mutations happen in it every so often. In a cycle, one of the elements gains the upper hand somehow. By this, an obscenely large amount of Runic Energy of that single element would amass in a single place, equal to the amount a caster would normally gather for a spell, growing stronger and stronger slowly. And it can't go anywhere. The moment the Runic Energy collapses on itself is not set in stone.

Basically Rogue Magic appears most often as magic being cast without a source, as if the very environment is casting the spell. It is not uncommon to witness dead things temporarily reanimating or lightening pins to suddenly cast over an area. Perhaps the most dangerous form of rogue magic ever witnessed is the sudden death of a healthy person.

Rogue Magic also seems to happen when someone uses magic in a magically unstable environment. It is not always clear why this happens. Certain devices such as runic gauntlets seems to lessen the chance of this happening and some races seem more able to cast magic without causing rogue magic.
 

1.3. Magic Storms

 

“Terrible things they are, these magic storms. They are the very hammers of Xodod causing mass destruction to all in their path.”

 

- Kyp Navaro, Airship Captain

Magic Storms, sometimes called Manna Storms, are the left over remnants of the great magical apocalypse known as the Ablution Event. What causes them is unknown, but it seems like there must me some form of magic instability in the area for a magic storm to form. There has yet to be seen any magic storms forming in stable magical oasis.

Once formed, magic storms behave very similar to any other storm. They form as massive clouds, usually of the contrasting colors of the elements in the storm, and the clouds are blown on the wind currents. Some magic storms are small and localized, some are large and expansive. Some are more like thunderstorms, others like hurricanes. Some last mere hours while others last for days or weeks.

The difference between magic storms and normal storms is that magic storms are basically volatile explosions of magic. Every magic storm has a terrible magical component, and every magic storm has the effects of at least two elements combined. You may have magic storms that have fire twisters and raining ice boulders at the same time, for example. While the deadliest form of magic storm seems to combine life and death, all magic storms are extremely dangerous. If a magic storm is coming your way, seek shelter immediately.

Not all forms of shelter help against magic storms of course, especially if the storm is capable of destroying the shelter. The most ideal shelter is going underground, but shelters of thick metal, stone, or crystal are good as well. A wooden structure will not protect you. If the structure has a magicteck shield, you are almost guaranteed survival.
 

1.4. Unstable Magical Environments

Ever since the Ablution Event, the magical stability of the world is no more. Instead, you now have areas of magical instability, some more unstable than others. The more unstable the magic is in an area, the higher the magical radiation present, and the more likely it is that rogue magic will take place.

Any flora and fauna in an area of high magical radiation will equally be radiated. Often times they will exhibit various mutations, but sometimes the mutations might not be readily noticeable. If any flora or fauna that is highly radiated is ingested, that magical radiation will pass to the consumer. Therefore travellers are warned not to eat anything that is in or has passed through areas of high magical radiation.

Rivers and streams that pass through areas of high magical radiation will pick up some of the radiation and carry it downstream. The farther it travels from the source of the magic radiation, the more diluted it will be. However, should the river or stream pass through another area of high magical radiation, it will be compounded to the radiation already present in the water. Travellers are urged to be very careful drinking water from streams or rivers since it is impossible to tell how magically radiated it might be. If the traveller must drink water from potentially contaminated sources, the use of a filtration device is highly advised.
 

1.5. Magical Oasis

A magical oasis is an area where there is little to no magical radiation. In other words, an area where magic is stable. These areas are rare, but they do exist. It is extremely uncommon for rogue magic to occur in these areas and with the lack of magical radiation, they make great areas for communities to grow. All communities of the Fifth Era is built within a magical oasis.

It should be understood though that magic storms can and do pass through these areas. So magicteck shields are still needed as are good, strong structures. Furthermore, rivers that are potentially radiated as well as radiated animals do pass through these areas.
 

2. Dangers of Using Magic

As discussed earlier, using magic is no longer as safe as it once was in previous ages. Thanks to the unstable magic environment, using magic can be very dangerous. Below are the typical dangers involved with using magic.

  • Unintended Results: There is a chance that the spell you cast will not do what you intend for it to do. The chances of this happening increase greatly with the power level of the spell and the instability of the magic in the area. For example, if you attempt to heal your friend with Essence Bolt, it is possible that it might instead shock your friend or that it might shock you!
  • Rogue Magic: Using magic, especially powerful magic, in a magically unstable environment can cause rogue magic to occur.
  • Increased Magical Instability: Using powerful magic can potentially increase the instability of an area, increasing the magical radiation that is present.
  • Negative Social Effects: Depending on where you use magic, you could face dangers of a different kind, breaking of area laws. Many communities fear magic – and they are right to do so! Therefore they set up laws against using magic. Those that use magic there could be branded a zodoist and exiled, jailed, or killed.


3. Using Magic

Despite all of the dangers that can come from using magic, you can still use magic. Everyone is born being able to do so. Magic is used as it always has been, only now you have to account for the dangers in using it.

Below is a table to show the chances of using stable magic, that is, using magic without anything going wrong. You would use the table and roll a set of percentile dice with each magic use. The percent you have to roll or roll under depends on the tier of the spell and how unstable the environment is.

Stable Magic Casting Table

Tier No to Low Magic Instability Moderate Magic Instability High Magic Instability Extreme Magic Instability
1 70% 60% 50% 40%
never to exceed 95%
2 60% 50% 40%
never to exceed 95%
30%
never to exceed 95%
3 50% 40%
never to exceed 95%
30%
never to exceed 95%
20%
never to exceed 90%
4 40%
never to exceed 95%
30%
never to exceed 95%
20%
never to exceed 90%
10%
never to exceed 90%
5 30%
never to exceed 95%
20%
never to exceed 90%
10%
never to exceed 90%
0%
never to exceed 85%
6 20%
never to exceed 90%
10%
never to exceed 90%
0%
never to exceed 85%
-10%
never to exceed 80%

Certain abilities, talents, and skills may increase your chance of casting magic safely, as does the use of devices like the runic gauntlet. Below is a listing of the abilities, talents, and skills that give you a better chance of casting magic safely.

  • Unnatural Luck (talent): increases the chance for stable magic by +5
  • Second Chance Charlie (talent): Gives you a second chance to make that stable magic roll, cost increase applied to spell
  • Empathy (talent): increases the chance for stable magic by +10
  • Empathetic Mage (magic ability): increases the chance for stable magic by +5
  • Magic Break (magic ability): lets you break or cancel an on going rogue spell
  • Magic Theory (magic ability): increases the chance for stable magic by +5
  • Master Caster (magic ability): increases the chance for stable magic by +5
  • Concentration (support ability): increases the chance for stable magic by +5
  • Elemental Dominance (support skill): increases the chance for stable magic by +5

Certain races also have a natural bonus to casting magic safely, while some races have a penalty to casting magic safely.

  • Xodians: have a natural +10 to their chance for casting stable magic
  • Rune Elves: have a natural +10 to their chance for casting stable magic, can sense instability
  • Dwarves: have a penalty of -5 to their chance for casting stable magic
  • Beast Men (kobold, cathar): have a penalty of -10 to their chance for casting stable magic
  • Goblin: have a natural +10 to their chance for casting stable magic if it is geomancy
  • Angerian: have a natural +10 to their chance for casting stable magic if it is mysticisim
  • Yeti: have a penalty of -15 to their chance for casting stable magic
  • Dragonian: have a natural +10 to their chance for casting stable magic
  • Saurians: have a natural +5 to their chance for casting stable magically


Furthermore Arcessomancy and Minor Runic Manipulations are always safe and stable to cast.

There are certain restrictions to take note of, of course. One is evident in the stable magic casting table, that depending on the tier of the spell and the instability of the magic in the area, you may always have a chance for something to go wrong when casting magic. For example, even if you have all of the bonuses for casting stable magic, you will never have more than a 80% chance of casting a stable tier 6 spell in an extremely magically unstable environment.

Another thing to note is that the talent Never Mishap does not apply to stable magic casting. If you roll a 100 on your chance for stable magic casting AND it is a failure roll, it will count as a critical failure – which means something very bad can and likely will happen.

So if you plan on playing a magic user in this campaign, you will want to be sure to do everything you can to give yourself a very high chance of casting stable magic, and be well aware of the instability in the area. It is possible to play a power magic caster, you just have to plan accordingly and take every precaution.


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  • mythus
    mythus  1 week ago

    Dryads, awaken! :P

  • mythus
    mythus  1 week ago

    version 8 update still in progress. lots of improvements and fixes going into the RP

  • mythus
    mythus  3 weeks ago

    test

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