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Published by Dragavan on 2006/10/16 (7268 reads)
Karn is a world of magic and magic energies permeate almost every inch of the land. Although few truly understand the nature of these energies and how to control them, they are an ever-present force of the natural world in Karn. Using them, several people in Karn have learned to create great effects seemingly out of thin air that would seem impossible by normal means. These effects are actually just the molding of these magic energies into a usable form that spellcasters have learned to do and some creatures can do naturally.
All spells created for the game use a common set of rules designed for spell creation. These rules are even available to the players in the form of the spell creation section of the full rules (the expanded version will also be found in the private section of the page for those who purchase the full game). This was done to not only allow GMs and Players to create their own spell lists, schools of magic, and magic items, but also to allows characters to learn spell creation as well. The Basic Version of the game only includes a basic list of spells (although other free spells can most likely be found elsewhere on the site eventually), but this enough to play the game.
Karn is filled with magic energy, flowing through almost every inch of the world to one level or another. This energy seems to work much like other forms of radiation (in that it permeates almost everything), but can't normally be seen or felt directly unless the levels are high enough. The level of magic in most things is rather minute and called background magic energy, much like background radiation also present in the world. Even someone who can see or otherwise detect magic energy can barely notice it.
People who have trained to use it, naturally store it, or are actively using it through something else show much higher levels of magic energy. Magic items of all kind (natural or man made) also radiate higher levels of magic energy, but not in a directly usable form by spellcasters. Any of these things appear as a much brighter glow to those who can see magic, some rare powerful ones getting so bright that it can blind the person looking at them.
Active and Inactive Magical Energy
The magical energy found in Karn comes in two basic forms: Active and Inactive. Each of these radiate magic, but only active magic energy can normally be harnessed and used by magic users.
Active magical energy is the kind found floating around the world in small background levels and escaping from the energy streams. It appears as a slight yellowish-white glow when seen with a see magic ability. This is the kind that can be absorbed and used by the people of the world or naturally convert itself into uncontrolled effects of some kind.
Inactive magical energy is the kind given off by all creatures and things, based off how much stored up magic energy they have within them. Magic users and magic items give off a much larger level of this inactive magical energy. It appears as a slight bluish-white glow when seen with a see magic ability. This kind of magic energy can not be directly used in any form, but shows where there is a reserve of magic energy that can possibly be accessed.
When the energy is in the act of being used and converted from one of these forms into an effect of some kind, it shines brighter and shows up as different levels of purplish swirls of light. The more power that is being used the more noticeable these purple swirls can become, even into the active visual spectrum that most people and creatures can see without the See Magic ability.
Tears In The Fabric Of Magic
The magic energy of Karn that surrounds everything is not impenetrable and sometimes things go wrong. Powerful use of magic, energy surges, and other effects can rip a hole in the fabric of magic energy and a large amount of raw energy will be released at one time. These tears (called energy streams by the scholar mages who study them) are usually long and meandering, rarely forming in strait lines and sometime even cross over each other or even themselves. These streams (especially the smaller ones) also happen to shift locations from time to time as if they were blowing in unseen winds. The smaller the stream the more then tend to move about.
Most of the energy released from these meandering streams flows up into the sky and slowly dissipates. Some of the energy leaks outward (sometimes for miles), but it too eventually dissipates into the common background levels. However, the higher levels of energy released from these tears have an effect on everything around them (especially mages of all kinds).
Some of these tears are much larger than the rest and sometimes more than one stream crosses the same locations or very close to each other. These create areas of extremely high levels of magical energy being released at one time. This affect those around them even more than a simple stream alone can. These are called energy pools or lakes, and on some rare occasions where the levels are even higher they are called energy seas.
These tears usually eventually close by themselves but sometimes need to be closed by powerful mages (ending the release of magical energy from them). This is done because the prolonged exposure to these pools can cause serious problems. New tears are also opened by powerful mages from time to time. Not all openings and closings are done on purpose, in fact most of the times a new tear is opened it is a complete accident and most closings are natural burnouts or overloads.
Ways of the Spellcaster
Magic and spellcasting are not only skills people can learn, but they are often also a way of life. This is due to the time and effort that goes into the study of the magical arts; only the most dedicated could ever make it through. The art of all spells take time and work to learn and master (as well as create), so the life of the spellcaster is often filled with long days and nights of study and book work. In game terms this is translated into the high group cost to get spellcasting and other magic studies.
There are two basic types of spellcasters in Karn. There are those true spellcasters who have trained in the full use of magic (some of whom can even create spells and magic items) and those minor spellcasters who have only learned to use a few minor common magic skills and cantrips. The minor spellcasters have only learned to cast a small number of the minor cantrips created by the true spell creators, but do not fully understand the powers they use. Most of those who have trained do not looked at them as true spellcasters and are sometime treat them as an insult to the true mage community, but they are so common now that they are nearly ignored.
With the true spellcasters there are many different kinds who have studied some of the many areas of magic. Some spellcasters are the old wizards who do nothing but study and work on the magics, to learn all they can about their secrets. Some are the combat magicians who learn to use magic to aid in the arts of war. Some are simply high powered thieves who use the magic to aid in their cons and thefts. And still others choose to use the magic for other reasons, like healers, or worship, or even assistance around the house.
One thing most true spellcasters have in common is they protect their knowledge very carefully. Often going so far as to encode everything they write about it in their own special ciphers and hiding everything they find. Remember, it takes them a long time and a heck of a lot of work to learn and collect all this knowledge. They are not going to give it up so easily. Mages who are more open with their magic and knowledge are often placed on bad terms with the guilds and rest of the magic community. Occasionally they are even treated as if they committed major crimes (like treason).
For example: A mage may use cryptography to encode his spell book so it would be difficult for any other to read it and store it in a secret compartment under his floorboard.
In game terms true spellcasters are those that have taken the Magic and Spell Casting skill groups, and all the free things they come with. Weather or not they have taken any other magic skills or spells in unimportant, as long as they have taken those two (and the free thing they come with) they are a true spellcaster. Many of them seek out to become greater things, like alchemists and spell creators, but all of them are in the same overall category.
Minor spellcasters are those who have taken the Magic Cantrip Use skill group but not Magic and Spell Casting skill groups. They have no working knowledge of magic, but are able to cast any cantrip spells they are taught (often sold or traded like recipes). There is nothing else that comes with this group. Greater spells can be learned (if they have the natural MEPs to handle them), but they are dangerous to do since they don't understand the theories behind it.
Both forms of spellcasters are able to use the magic energy points (MEP) they have to cast spells. These spells must be already made creations that they have learned to cast (even if they are the ones who made them).
Many people have learned to cast a few minor cantrips, but know little or nothing about how the forces of magic actually work. They only have the Magic Cantrip Use skill area and not any of the true Spell Casting and Magic skill areas. This level of spellcasting is possible in Karn due to the high levels of magical energy that flows through the world and every living thing there. These people are the Minor Spellcasters.
Since they have no understanding of how these magical energies work, they can't create spells or experiment with the magic forces. They are also limited in many ways of spellcasting when compared to the true spellcasters of the world.
Unlike true spellcasters, the minor spellcaster does not gain any of the other abilities, skills, or knowledge of magic use. They simply gain the ability to follow the strict instructions of a simple spell to cast it. They can not increase the MEP they have, they can not make new spells or magic items, and they can not gain extra MEP through sacrifices or taking them from others. They are affected by energy streams and other natural things that affect magic, even though they may not understand it.
Casting spells is dangerous for minor spellcasters, risking side effects and other problems since they don't understand the forces they are playing with. However, these dangers did not stop the untrained from trying to cast these spells. Although this upsets many true spellcasters, some felt bad for the dangers these commoners were playing with and wanted to help them. They worked with the forces of magic to find a safe way for these people to cast spells and came up with a formula for making safe Cantrips. These minor spells can be cast by a minor spellcaster without risk of side effect (unless they critically fail casting it).
Cantrips are now common to the world and even traded among minor spellcasters like recipes traded among cooks. Sometimes cantrips are even given as payment to minor spellcasters for some deed they performed. Although this spell trading is common with cantrips, it is not at all common with higher power spells or with the true spellcasters themselves. In fact, many of the true spellcasters get very upset with the people who are so casual with magic this way.
Minor spellcasters can attempt to learn and cast spells other than those listed as cantrips as long as they have the MEP available to cast it. Since most minor spellcasters have less than 30 MEP they are unable to cast most of the more powerful spells without the aid of a powerful MEP storage device, and even then they are usually limited since they can't refill the device. If they do have the MEP needed to cast one they can learn and cast it, but may also have some other possible problems to deal with.
The control level of these other spells start at 1/2 the usual level, take twice as long, and cost at least twice as much ESP to learn. But even after they are learned the minor spellcaster runs the risk of trouble every time they are cast, since they don't have the skills to control higher spells not crafted for their safety.
Each time they cast one of these higher spells the minor spellcaster has to make an END check to see if they suffer any problems while casting it. Even if they fail the END check the spell attempt will still go on as usual, but they will suffer some other problems. Roll the effects of the problem on the following chart by rolling 1D10 and adding 1 for every full 10 MEP of the spells cost.
|Roll||Side Effect: Description|
|1-3||Slight Dizziness: The minor spellcaster feels slightly dizzy for 1D6 hours, causing -1 to all combat skill rolls.|
|4||Pain: The minor spellcaster is racked with pain for 1D6 hours, causing -2 to initiative and dodge rolls and -10% to AGI checks.|
|5||Damage: The minor spellcaster suffers a blast of pain and takes 2D6 damage.|
|6||Major Dizziness : The minor spellcaster feels dizzy and faint for 2D6 hours, causing -2 to all combat skill rolls and -10% to all other skill rolls and AGI checks.|
|7||Black Out: The minor spellcaster gets all dizzy and blacks out for 1D6 minutes.|
|8||Temporary Blindness : The minor spellcaster is stricken blind, with all the effects of being blind, for 1D6 hours.|
|9||Temporary Paralysis : The minor spellcaster is totally paralyzed for 3D10 minutes.|
|10||Drained: The minor spellcaster can't regain any MEP naturally for 2D6 hours and feels tired.|
|11||Passes Out: The minor spellcasters hit points are cut in half and they fall down unconscious for 2D6 hours.|
|12||Permanently Drained: The minor spellcasters maximum MEP is reduced by 1D6 (minimum of 1).|
|13||Brain Damage: The minor spellcasters INT and ALT are reduced by 5 each (minimum of 5).|
|14||Blindness: The minor spellcaster is stricken blind permanently and suffers all the effects of being blind.|
|15||Critical Condition : The minor spellcaster is reduced to 0 hit points and will die without help soon.|
|16+||Death: The minor spellcaster is dead. There is no END check or any time to save them before death occurs.|
Spell casting is the ability to understand and cast any known spells that have already been created. How they acquire the spells they cast depends on their methods. Some create them using the spell creation rules, some learn them in ancient tomes, some earn them for services rendered, and others buy them when they are able to find someone willing to sell them. Most spellcasters gained a number of spells from their teacher when they learned the secrets of magic and the rest had to learned along the way from discoveries or others willing to trade for them.
Spending the MEP and Losing MEP
Each time a spell is cast the spellcaster must have enough MEP to attempt the spell. This can be either in their own personal energy reserve or available directly to them through a magic item or having just drained themselves or another to overcharge their power. If the spell is successfully cast (or they critically fail) the cost of the spell in MEP reduces their current MEP level (or drains the magic item they are using to get more MEP from).
Since magic energy is a part of everything in the land of Karn, and spellcasters are more closely tied to it, they are also affected by drops in their personal MEP levels the same way most people are affected by physical activity. Casting spells can exhaust a spellcaster and even physically drain them. The larger the spell being cast and the larger amount of personal MEP used helps decide how draining the spell is to the caster. Even if no personal MEP are used (through magic items or other means) each spell cast temporarily drains the caster (based on how large the spell is), much like a quick jump or climb might physically drain even an athlete for a moment.
These effects are based off the character's current maximum MEP and can leave them tired and worn out until they start to gain the MEP back. Some GMs may want to make them make END checks, but the exact effects of using and being low on MEP is left up to the GM. Using less than 100 MEP at a time should have almost no draining effects on the caster, but larger spells should. When a spell uses over 1000 MEP, the draining can be serious and even cause personal harm to the caster. In addition to these draining effects on the caster there can be other side effects and problems too, but these are explained a little later.
Control Levels and Casting
Every spell has a base control level (similar to the starting percentage level on common skills). But unlike skills, a spells base control level is not based on any of the characters attributes. Instead it was set by the original creator of the spell (according to the rules of magic creation). The higher the base control level of a spell the easier it is to learn to use correctly and the more valuable and expensive it tends to be compared to similar spells. Most common spells have a starting control level of 50% or less.
Increasing a spell's current control level doesn't change the spells base control level. If the spell is ever taught to another caster they learn it at the spells base control level since that is how the spell was originally made. The only way to change the base control level is to create a new spell that works the same but has a different control level.
Also unlike other skills, the control level of a spell is not the only factor involved in using a spell. The intelligence of the caster is also a factor in the control of magic forces. The skill roll is compared to both the control level of the spell and the INT of the character to determine the exact effectiveness and success of the spell casting. Learning from the rolls is handled exactly the same as a skill roll, but is only compared to the caster's current control level (and not their Intelligence).
What happens based on the roll depends on the Control Level and INT of the character. Where the roll falls above, below, or between them has different effects on the outcome. The following is a brief explanation of what happens in any of these possible outcomes:
Critical Failure: Rolling above 95 is a critical failure (as it always is with any skill roll) and spellcasters also use up the MEP on these. Spells have some major problems and possible side effects from critical failures, so check out the section on Critical Spell Casting later.
Complete Failure: Rolling above both INT and the control level means the spell failed completely and there is no effect, no MEP spent, and no possible side effects or problems.
Educated Failure: Rolling under (or equal to) the INT but over the control level means there is still a chance the caster noticed the spell wasn't working as it should and was able to fix things on the fly. Roll again, just against the control level (only use the first roll for learning), for a second chance at success (without counting criticals). Rolling over again means it did fail, but rolling under means they were able to cast the spell, but with some negative effects. The following is a list of these effects:
1. The spell took 1 minute or 10% longer to cast than normal, whichever is lower (minimum of 1 second).
2. The targets of the spell (or others in close proximity) who get a save have a +20.
3. Any damage caused or healed is reduced by 2 (minimum of 1).
4. Spells that require a strike roll have a -2 to strike.
For example: Kalden Kathar (the mighty wizard) has an INT of 60 and just learned a spell with a control level of 35. He tries to cast the spell but rolls a 48, which is above the control level but under his INT. So he rolls again and gets a 26, which means he is successful but suffers from the penalties above. Since his first roll was 48 it counts as an 84 for learning, which is above the control level so it goes up by one to 36.
Normal Success: Rolling under the control level of the spell but over the INT means the spell was successful cast and everything goes on as normal. There are no special bonuses, negatives, or changes from this.
For example: Kalden Kathar, the mighty wizard, has an INT of 60 and a commonly used spell with a current control level of 82. He casts it and rolls a 63, which means the spell worked just as it should have.
Perfect Success: Rolling under both the control level and INT means the spell went off better than planned and as good at it normally can. This is not exactly a critical but does have some bonus effects. The following is a list of these effects:
1. The targets of the spell (or others in close proximity) who get a save are at -20.
3. Damage caused or healed is increased by 2 (up to the maximum of what the spell could allow).
4. Spells that require a strike roll have a +2 to strike.
For example: Kalden Kathar, the mighty wizard, has an INT of 60 and a commonly used spell with a current control level of 82. He casts it and rolls a 47, which means the spell worked as good as it possibly could without getting a critical and gains the bonuses listed above.
Critical Success: Rolling under 6 is a critical success (as it always is with any skill roll). In addition to the normal bonuses for being under both the control level and the INT (as listed above) spells have some other possible major bonuses when critically successful. Check out the section on Critical Spell Casting later.
Critical Spell Casting
As with any skill, when a spell is cast there is a chance of both a critical success or failure. A critical success can end up with a spell working better than ever and doing more than the caster is normally able to. However, unlike a normal skill, when a spell is a critical failure there can be horrible magical effects.
When a spell is a critical success the power levels it exhibits can be much higher than usual at no extra MEP cost. This happens as the spellcaster is able to draw in some of the normally inaccessible ambient energy around them to strengthen the spell and power it up. Depending on the spell, the situation, and GM the effects of the spell can be as much as double the normal levels on all accounts.
The following chart is designed as a reference a GM can use to determine the effects. Roll 1D10 and add the number the character rolled for their success (from 1 to 5) to the roll. Then look up that total on the chart. The examples on the chart are based on a mage casting a Nightvision spell that gives the mage 50 feet of nightvision for an hour.
|Roll||Effect: Description (and example)|
|2-6||Extreme Improvement: Doubles and/or improves all parts of the spell.|
For example: The mage casts the spell and it works better than he could have imagined, he can see up to 100 feet with his nightvision, he can also see the invisible, and it will last for two full hours.
|7-9||Improved Effect: Doubles or improves the effect of the spell, like the amount created, damage done or healed, area effected, etc.|
For example: The mage casts the spell and suddenly can not only see with nightvision for 50 feet, but can also see invisible items around the area too
|10-12||Double-Double Bonus: Doubles the Duration and Range of the effect.|
For example: The mage casts the spell but can now see 100 feet with his nightvision and it will last for two full hours for the same MEP cost.
|13-15||Double Bonus: Doubles the Duration or Range of the effect, whichever is more useful to the caster at the moment.|
For example: The mage casts the spell and realizes he can see about 100 feet with his nightvision instead of only 50 feet. Alternatively, the caster could have the spell last for two hours instead.
When a spell is a critical failure all manor of effects can happen (from the spell simply fizzling out to the entirely wrong spell being cast). The exact effects of a critical failure is up to the GM, but this chart is used as a guide to the type of effects they should have. No matter what the effects are, the MEP used to attempt to cast the spell is lost.
When rolling 1D20 on the chart you roll and add a number depending on how badly your character critically failed by. Add 5 for a roll of 100, 3 for a roll of 99, 2 for a roll of 98, and 1 for a roll of 97. On the following chart all my examples are for a mage casting Amber's Water Refill spell into a wooden bowl.
|Roll||Effect: Description (and example)|
|1-5||Fizzles: Spell fizzles out with no desired or useful effect, possibly with a lot of noise and light.|
For example: The caster says the magic words and there is a bright flash of light from the bowl and some crackling noises, but nothing appears there.
|6-10||Explodes: Spell explodes in the casters face, causing 1D6 Magic damage for every 50 MEP of the spell cost, with a minimum of 1D6 damage.|
For example: The caster says the magic words and there is a small burst of magical energy that burns the casters face for 4 damage.
|11-15||Out of Control: Correct spell is cast out of control. Targets, ranges and specifics of the effect of the spell may be completely different than the caster wanted, but will still be within the same basic idea of the spell.|
For example: The spell is cast but twice as much water appears above the head of the caster, soaking him, and none appears in the bowl.
|16-19||Similar Spell Effect: A spell with a similar effect but with a different element is cast out of control of the caster. Most of the spell should still be same, just change the element used for the spell slightly.|
For example: The spell is cast, but a puff of steam appears in the bowl instead of water.
|20-25||Wrong Spell: A completely wrong spell is cast out of control of the caster. This can have some similar effects or parts as the desired spell, but doesn't have to. I would suggest keeping the basic power level (MEP cost) of the spell on par with the attempted spell, however.|
For example: The spell is cast, but instead of water a fireball appears under the table and burns it to bits.
Resisting Magic Effects and Saving Throws
Spells use the magic energy that fills Karn to affect the physical matter of the world, but sometimes the matter chooses to resist against it. Most magic affects inanimate objects and these don't get to resist against it. When a spell targets a living thing (in any form) or even things close to them they may get a chance to resist against the effects.
If the target of the spell has their guard up they get a saving throw. This does not mean the target has to be expecting a spell to be cast on them, but they simply have to be alert and ready for some kind of trouble or action. The level of readiness of the character is determined by the GM, based on what they are doing and the general personality of the character. Sleeping characters can never be on guard, but those meditating can be.
For example: A person casually sitting at a cafe, lost in the moment, is not on guard and gets no save, but a person sitting at a campfire on watch (even if they are casually reading a book or something) can count as on guard and get a save.
When a spell is cast that targets something on or very near an on guard character or creature, they get to make a saving throw for the item or area (but at a lesser level). Even others can be protected this way. Exactly what spells get a saving throw like this is up to the GM based on the situation. These are called Indirect Target Saving Throws. They are designed to protect those who might indirectly (but immediately) be affected by the spell.
Making Direct Target Saving Throws
Saving throws are a battle of wills between the caster of the spell and the target of it. The caster rolls 1D% and adds their INT to the total. They may also spend some MEP to increase this number at a rate of 1 for every 5 MEP spent. The maximum that can be added this way is equal to half their END. This amount must be decided upon before the spell is officially cast and the defender has had any chance to respond.
At the same time the target rolls 1D% and adds their END to the total. If they know they are being affected by a spell they can add some more to the total by using MEP to defend against it, at a rate of 1 for every 5 MEP spent. The maximum that can be added this way is equal to half their INT. This amount must also be decided upon before any rolling is done by either side.
When the two totals are compared, the higher of the two win the battle of wills. If the caster wins the spell takes its full effect and if the target wins the spell fails to take effect. When a spell is successfully saved against, it was still technically cast (costing the MEP that was used) but fails to make the desired effect. This can be as simple as nothing happening, but usually has some visual effect to the fizzle of the spell as well.
Making Indirect Target Saving Throws
These are the saving throws made against spells that are cast on areas or objects on or near a person. What exactly is covered by this is up to the GM, but a good rule of thumb is that objects on a person are protected if they are on guard. Objects within a foot of a person are likely to be protected if they are on guard. If the area directly around the on guard person is the target, they will most likely get a save. Protected items or areas allow the person to attempt to save against the spell for the target and multiple people can be protecting the same item.
People can also protect other people by being close to them and being on guard, but this is done exactly like a regular Indirect Target Saving Throw. The person being protected can also make their own regular save if they too are on guard. This allows multiple people to protect each other, even while some are asleep. Holding hands or standing in a small circle are the best ways to share saving throws like this and is a common defense of mage groups.
The actual rolling of the save is almost the same as with Direct Target Saves, but the defending person can only add half their END to the roll. They can also add to the totals by using MEP and everything else is the same. If multiple people are defending, the caster only makes one roll and all defenders must defend against it separately. If one of them is successful, the item or area is protected.
Magical Energy Points
Almost everything in Karn has some level of Magical Energy Points, but only the relatively few people trained in the forms of magic can use, control, and increase them. Spellcasters have a higher MEP level than the average person due to all this training and experience. The average person has a MEP level of half their INT plus any racial bonuses they may get, but can't cast spells without the needed skill groups and skills or increase their MEP level.
Trained spellcasters start with a MEP level of INT + 1/2 (ALT + END) and can permanently increase this level through meditation, concentration, and spending a few Earned Skill Points. This level can also be artificially (although usually temporarily) increased through magic, sacrifice, and other means known only to true magic users.
When MEP are used or lost for some reason they return at a base rate of 1 MEP every 5 minutes of time (that's 288 MEP in a full 24 hour day). This rate can be altered through natural events, magic, and other means (but these are rare). The Energy Streams can also affect the recovery ratios.
If for some reason a person ends up with more MEP than their personal maximum, they start to lose these extra MEP at an increased rate. They drop at a rate of 1 MEP per melee (that's 6 per minute) until they are back to their normal maximum level. This decrease starts immediately after the effect that increased it stops.
Energy Streams and Recovery
All sorts of natural events can effect the rates at which MEP are restored in living things. The base rate (as stated above) is 1 MEP for every 5 minutes of time. What follows is a list of all the rates at which they return under different natural circumstances.
Energy Streams: These are areas where there has been a tear in the fabric of magic and raw mystic energy is seeping out into the atmosphere. While at or near a basic energy stream the rate is increased to 1 MEP every 3 minutes.
Energy Pool or Sea: These are areas where these tears are much larger or where several of them have converged to form a larger concentration of energy. While at or near an energy pool or sea the rate is increased to 1 MEP every 1 minute.
Since spellcasters have learned to use and manipulate the magical energies of Karn, they are also able to control the flow of magic that goes through them to some level. This allows one spellcaster to borrow MEP from a willing subject that also knows a little about magic energy.
Anyone who has the Magic skill group, the Magic Cantrip Use skill group, or the Spell Lore skill of at least 50% can willingly open themselves up to a spellcaster to use their MEP. This draining takes a little time, requiring a full melee round, but allows the caster access to all of the available MEP the person has. If the person being drained is also a true spellcaster, they can limit the amount they make available. Since they have the same control over the magic energy in them they can make only part of it available to the other caster, locking the rest away from them.
After being drained, the MEP will return as normal. The total MEP the draining caster ends up with may be above their maximum, but this is temporary and will start dropping.
Ripples and Side Effects of Magic
Although spellcasters have learned to manipulate (and somewhat control) the forces of magic energy, it does not mean they are perfect in that control. Magic energy is a powerful and volatile force that can have problems and side effects when used in large amounts. Exposure to high levels of active magic energy can also cause other problems to those around it enough.
Casting a spell can cause problems in the surrounding area as well as have side effects on the mage. These effects can be as minor as just a slight temperature change to as major as the destruction of the area. Most of the time there are no side effects or ripples when a spell is cast, but the more powerful of a spell you cast, the higher the chance of one of these side effects.
Each time a spell is cast, look at the following listings according to the MEP cost of the spell, and do what it says. Remember, these are not set in stone and the GM may see fit to alter them from time to time based on the area, situation, and other factors.
Up to 99 MEP: There are never side effects or chances of ripples.
100 to 199 MEP: There are never ripples, but a RES check must be made at +50 or else a side effect may be suffered.
200 to 299 MEP: There is a 5% chance of a ripple at -25 and a RES check must be made at +40 or else a side effect may be suffered.
300 to 399 MEP: There is a 10% chance of a ripple at -25 and a RES check must be made at +30 or else a side effect may be suffered.
400 to 499 MEP: There is a 10% chance of a ripple at -10 and a RES check must be made at +20 or else a side effect may be suffered.
500 to 599 MEP: There is a 10% chance of a ripple and a RES check must be made at +10 or else a side effect may be suffered.
600 to 699 MEP: There is a 20% chance of a ripple and a RES check must be made or else a side effect may be suffered.
700 to 799 MEP: There is a 30% chance of a ripple and a RES check must be made at -10 or else a side effect may be suffered.
800 to 899 MEP: There is a 40% chance of a ripple and a RES check must be made at -20 or else a side effect may be suffered.
900 to 999 MEP: There is a 50% chance of a ripple and a RES check must be made at -30 or else a side effect may be suffered.
Ripples are large scale effects of magic energy use on the environment and magic levels of an area. The most common effect of a ripple is the levels of static electricity in the area that increases with the size of the ripple. This static electricity lasts for 1D10 minutes per class of the ripple. In addition to this there are other effects that grow with the class of the ripple.
When a ripple is caused, roll D% and add in any modifiers you may have for it and compare that total to the following chart.
|Roll||Class: Ripple Effect|
|-15 or less||Class 1: A slight energy drain fills the surrounding area in a 1/2 mile radius and no MEP can be revived for 1D10 X 10 minutes.|
|-14 to 0||Class 2: Noticeable drop in local ambient magic levels, but there is no real effect on anything.|
|1 to 15||Class 3: The temperature suddenly changes 10 degrees closer to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but there is no other effect on anything.|
|16 to 45||Class 4: There is a noticeable increase in local ambient magic levels and the temperature changes 15 degrees closer to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|46 to 70||Class 5: There is a noticeable increase in local ambient magic levels, the temperature changes to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is a 15% chance of rain.|
|71 to 85||Class 6: The temperature changes to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a 25% chance of rain, and the closest energy stream is redirected through this location for 1D6 hours.|
|86 to 100||Class 7: The temperature changes to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a 25% chance of a rainstorm, and the closest energy stream is permanently redirected through this location.|
|101 to 135||Class 8: The temperature changes to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a 25% chance of a rainstorm, and a new energy stream is opened at this location.|
|136 to 175||Class 9: The temperature changes to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a 40% chance of a serious rainstorm, a new energy stream is opened at this location, and there is a 25% chance of an earthquake.|
|176 to 195||Class 10: The temperature changes to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a 60% chance of a serious rainstorm, a new energy pool is opened at this location, a 25% chance of a large earthquake, and a 10% chance of opening a portal to another place for 2D6 hours (25% chance of it being a permanent portal).|
Spellcasters who play with powerful spells and use large amounts of magic energy run the risk of being adversely effected by the magic they use. The magic energy causes wear and tear on their bodies and can even destroy them in the long run. This can be caused by the Ripple Effect chart above or as the GM sees fit due to prolonged exposure (and making you make a RES check against it).
When a spellcaster is effected by a side effect they roll 1D% and add what they failed their RES check by. Then look that number up on the following chart and see the side effect they suffer. This chart is cut down and simplified compared to the full version of the rules (which has mutations as a sub-chart and other fun effects), but the common (low level) side effects are the same.
|Roll||Side Effect: Description|
|1-30||Migraine: They suffer a serious headache for 3D10 minutes.|
|31-50||Drained(light): They feel tired and can no longer gain back MEP for 1D4 hours.|
|51-60||Pass Out: They fall unconscious for 2D6 melee and can't be revived by any means.|
|61-70||Drained (medium): They feel tired and can no longer gain back MEP for 2D6 hours.|
|71-79||See Magic: They can suddenly see magic energy slightly for 1D8 days. Magic appears as a faint glowing, with more powerful levels appearing as brighter light. This can be a little confusing when it first kicks in.|
|80-82||See the Invisible: They can suddenly see the invisible spectrum as partially transparent "ghosts" for 1D8 days. This can be a little confusing when it first kicks in.|
|83-92||Drained (heavy): They feel tired and can no longer gain back MEP for 1D4 days.|
|93-105||Reoccurring Headache: The spellcaster suffers a series of reoccurring headaches triggered by magic energy. Whenever they cast a spell, they are affected with a headache. Severity of headache is dependent on the size of the spell cast.|
|106-115||Severely Drained: They permanently lose 1D10 MEP from their current maximum.|
|116-136||Skill Memory Loss: They lose the ability to perform one skill for 1D4 days.|
|137-146||Memory Loss: They lose the memory of one event, person, or some important information permanently.|
|147-165||Loss of Convictions: One of the spellcasters beliefs becomes more indifferent, making them seem a little more cold and distant.|
|166-185||Paranoia: The spellcaster becomes more paranoid. This increases every time it is rolled.|
|186-195||Insanity: They suddenly gain some insanity. These can be any insanity the GM chooses (but should not be game breaking). Insanities are permanent unless they are cured or handled.|
The Land of Karn: Fantasy Role-Playing Game Basic Version 0.3.5
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