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Training (Magic) [Mind]

Possession of this skill indicates that you have received training in the arts of spell-casting. There are several different methods of spell-casting, but they all use the same game mechanics and are therefore all conveniently lumped under one skill. Just because they all use the same game mechanics doesn't mean they're all constructed the same way; it is not possible to use the same Magic Training for both Elemental Lore and Beast Lore for example. You have to learn a separate Magic Training for each Lore. Of course, most people solve this problem by only taking one Lore.

By itself, Magic Training lets you cast spells. This is a long and laborious process, taking anywhere from 10 minutes on up (10 minutes for each rank of the spell). Each lore has its own spell list, and each spell on those lists has a Rank. You must have a rank in the lore at least equal to the rank in the spell to try casting it. You can know any number of spells, but you have to learn them, which costs time and experience (though no where near as much as a new skill). Characters starting play with Magic Training know as many ranks of spells as their Magic Training Step; these can be of any rank the character is able to cast.

Whenever you want to cast one of your spells, you go through the ritual for that spell, then make a spell-casting test against the spell's difficulty (which is often the target's Magic Defense). If you succeed, the spell works and has the desired effect. Failure means the spell didn't work as planned, and you'll have to try again.

Now given the time involved in Spell-casting, you may wonder how Magi are supposed to survive in combat. THEY'RE NOT! Mooohahahahahah! No, just kidding. Magi (the shorthand term for spell-casters, be they Wizards, Elementalists or Beast Masters) have developed ways to prepare the vast majority of the spell before they'll need it and leave it 'hanging' on a Spell Matrix until they do the last steps and release the magical energy. The spell takes just as long to cast, it's just the Mage can use hours of 'down time' to prep for the spell, then unleash it in a few seconds on the battlefield. Better still, Spell Matrices aren't wiped clean by the energy of the spell (unless you really screw up on the Magic Training test and get a poor result), letting the Mage cast the same spell over and over just by adding the final component to the Matrix again and again. When you want to change the spell in the matrix, just wipe it clean and go through the ritual to hang a new spell in it (which will take the usual 10 minutes/rank)

Depending on the difficulty of the spell, it will still take time to get the last stages of the spell in place. It takes one round to cast a 'hanging' spell per Rank of the spell. The spell goes off in the round finished, so you can launch a Rank One spell every round, but it would take 9 rounds to launch a Rank Nine spell. This is about 90 seconds, which is a heck of a lot faster than 90 minutes, but still of questionable use in combat. You can try and accelerate that process, but each round you cut down the casting time adds 2 to the spell's final difficulty; speed it up too much and you're almost sure to mess up.

[Note: This is a much more simplified system than Earthdawn. I didn't want to deal with round after round of thread weaving, re-attuning on the fly and the rest of it. This gives magi a set number of spells on hand, with the option of changing them during the day with enough time, and the ability to cast plenty of spells a day. Now all dice rolls are based on one skill, Magic Training, and the number of spells available is based on Spell Matrices. It's clean and easy.]

Spell Matrix (#)
This is the mental construct that lets you Hang spells in an unfinished state, the Matrix can hold one spell of a rank equal to your rank in this spell matrix. There is no reason why you can't take this sub-skill multiple times, and have several 'hanging' spells ready to be cast. Each Matrix will only hold one spell, regardless of its rank when compared to the spell's rank (a rank 7 matrix can still only hold a single rank one spell). If you do have multiple Spell Matrices, number each one when you get it, and track each rank separately.

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Copyright © 2000 Brian Rogers