Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery: Magic Part 2

It’s time to talk more about magic. This is the most complex and challenging part of the game. I admit that. And changes have been happening over the last few weeks during play test. So what you’re seeing here might not be the finished product.

The key to the magic system is Arcanum. This determines three things: Number of spells per day; the highest level spell that may be safely cast; and the effective power of the spells cast. So a Sorcerer with an Arcanum of 4 could cast 4 spells per day up to 4th level. As far as effect goes this works the same way as “per level” under the standard fantasy rules and depends on each spell’s description.

Things get interesting when a Sorcerer starts “casting dangerously”. There are two main circumstances that are considered casting dangerously. First, casting more spells than the character’s daily allotment. Second, casting a spell with a level greater than the character’s Arcanum.

The cost for doing either of these is the same. The character’s Arcanum is reduced by the level of the spell. So our character with an Arcanum of 4 and is out of spells needs to cast another 1st level spell to save their bacon. This reduces the character’s Arcanum to 3. This marginally effects the character right now but the next day the character can only cast three spells safely and is limited to 3rd Level and lower spells to safely cast.

Now if our character with an Arcanum of 4 was really in a desperate situation and needed to cast a 6th level spell. Remember from Part 1, characters aren’t limited by their level or their Arcanum score on the level of spell of spell that they can know. Arcanum regulates the level of spell that they can safely cast. Back to the example, our hero casts that 6th level spell. That reduces Arcanum to -2. That’s bad and special. Not only is there the reduction in Arcanum. The character also takes 6 HP damage and needs to make a Save or be stunned.

This last example assumes that the character still has spells available for that day. What if they didn’t? Things are even worse. Because the effects stack. So the character would take 12 HP damage and their Arcanum would be reduced to -8.

When a characters’ Arcanum is 0 or less, they cannot cast any spells. Arcanum loss is recovered at rate of 1 point per day that the character casts no spells. While Arcanum is 0 or less, the character has no choice. They are incapable of casting spells. However, our example character normally has that Arcanum of 4. Let’s say they that have recovered enough to get it back to 1 and remember this also affects number of spells/day, highest level spell, and spell effects. Sure they could cast that one spell that day but they wouldn’t recover a point. The character’s magical abilities will be limited for days or weeks depending on the situations that they are faced with.

Arcanum becomes the key resource for Sorcerers. There is amount of spell casting that they can do without any problems. But once they cross the line and starting pushing themselves then they greatly limiting what they can do in the near future.

As I said at the beginning of this post, this is most complex part of the game and has gone through a lot changes during play test. There may be more changes before publication.

Thanks for stopping by the old blog.

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