HGd10PHB - Chapter 6 - Mystical Skills

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Mystical Skills[edit]

Mystical Skills are supernatural skills related to spell creation and casting. Many stories portray characters who are able to manipulate magic in one way or another to generate an effect specific to their need. This runs counter to the idea of individual "spells", though they may be referred to as such. In the Hero's Guild Septiverse, "magic" is subject to the will of the caster based on the source of the power, the category of the power, and the purpose for which the magic is being wielded. Aspects of the spell such as range, area of effect, and so on are determined by the skill of the caster.

Aeromancers such as Doogan Riftwind can manipulate the air about them to do a host of wonderous or terrible things limited only by their imagination. Doogan particularly is known for his versatility in spellcasting, if not his overall power.

The Directors of the Hero's Guild are the ultimate encapsulation of this idea. Arcons of their respective Spectrum and unlimited in power within it, they are governed only by their will and their imagination. Shadowstone, for instance, can create whole planets with his Earth power and Pyrestorm hypothetically could control all the stellar objects within a universe should the need arise, causing them to explode or wink out, to intensify or cool, whatever suits her fancy.

While most player characters will not achieve this level of mastery, the idea behind this system is the story, the versatility characters need to meet the virtually infinite possibilities for conflicts they might face.

At Character Creation[edit]

The first Spectrum is automatically gained and does not need to be rolled for. Beyond that, each Spectrum, Purpose, and Aspect may only be rolled once at character creation. Afterwards, each may be attempted to learn once unless their Mysticism TSB increases and the requisite time is spent. Sufficient BP must be available to spend to gain the skill to learn it or the attempt and time are lost and no XP is gained.

Basics of Spellcasting[edit]

Spellcasting is similar to skills in the way they are rolled. However, there are a few important differences. To cast a spell, the player chooses the Spectrum and the Purpose that fits the spell they want to cast. They add the two TSBs together and divide by 2. Then they roll 1d10 plus that number to see the intensity of the effect. Charts are provided for the Aspects of the spell (range, area of effect, duration, etc.) that can be achieved with the roll.

For example, Doogan Riftwind casts a spell that wraps his target in a cocoon of air and immobilizes them. This is an Air+Movement spell. He has a 35 in Air (Spectrum) and a 27 in Movement (Purpose). 35+27 = 62/2 = 31. Doogan can roll any version of 1d10+31 he chooses, subtracting 5 to gain new d10 as he chooses up to a 7d10+1.

Whenever a spell is cast, 1 XP is given to both the Spectrum and the Purpose. This even applies to External Casters who craft specific spells to cast over and over again. See the External Caster's Handbook for more details.

Spellcasting is subject to the Armor Penalty. Whenever a roll is made to cast a spell, the Armor Penalty is applied to the initial roll as a modifier. This is before it is compared to an opposing roll or DS and any effect. Armored Spellcaster is a Trait that can reduce or eliminate this penalty.

More specifics on Spectrum, Purpose, and Aspects are given below.

Spell Source[edit]

The first step is to decide what the source of the spell is. This is based on what type of character you are playing and sets a contextual, or storyline, limitation on the nature of the spell. This step is not about what the character player wants to do but reflects the boundary of what they can do. While classes are not necessary, those who use them will find the class limited most by source.

The source of the spell determines a number of things about the nature of the spell, how it is learned, its advantages, and its limitations. There are three main sources for spells: inner spirit, external universe, or immortal source. Spell source carries with it a set of rules explained within each section below.

Inner Spirit - Casting is done from an internal source. Quicker but not as powerful and might backfire or exhaust the caster quickly.

External Universe - Casting is done from an external source. Slower, more powerful, and can backfire. Prohibited by the need for consumable components, some of which can be expensive. External source casters will be covered in the upcoming expansion book. It will contain a great depth of information on material, somatic, and verbal components including Spectrum and Purpose runes. It will also have pre-constructed spells and a method for constructing new spells using a unique system based on the Spectrum/Purpose/Aspect mystical powers foundation.

Immortal Source - Casting is done linked to an immortal being or demi-plane. Slowest, most powerful, doesn't backfire. May require a focus such as a religious emblem. Subject to the whims of the source and the faith of the caster.

Ranged Magical Attack[edit]

For many spells, especially attack spells, the target has to be "hit" by the spell as if they were being hit by a ranged attack. Fireballs, arcane missiles, and even beneficial spells like healing and buffs have targets the spellcaster cannot touch. They must, instead, make a Ranged Magical Attack against the target as a skill check in addition to other casting concerns. Any spell cast at range requires this roll. There are traits and foibles that will modify this skill.

This skill is for those who don't choose another delivery method. If a spell is delivered by touch, most often a standard Hand to Hand attack is made as the attack and then the spell effect would work against Resistance only if the attack hit. Spells might be infused into arrows, bullets, or thrown weapons and those attacks rather than an RMA can be made for the attack. RMA is only if the caster uses no other delivery system but must roll an attack to hit a target at range.

If a caster would prefer their spell to hit automatically, they can do some things to make this happen.

  1. Expending x2 MYR will cause an RMA to hit a target automatically for spells that must cross the intervening space to get to their target. These spells still might be subject to barriers that arise between the target at the spellcaster. Expending 4x MYR will cause the spell to hit in an indirect manner, that is to say, the spell effect spawns at the target without having to cross the intervening space.
  2. Instead of expending extra MYR to forgo the Ranged Magic Attack, a caster can instead, choose to take a penalty on the TSB of the spell (not the RMA Skill) calculated before the roll. A -10 to the roll will allow the RMA to hit a target automatically for spells that must cross the intervening space to get to their target. These spells still might be subject to barriers that arise between the target at the spellcaster. For a -25, the spell will hit in an indirect manner, that is to say, the spell effect spawns at the target without having to cross the intervening space. Remember, this penalty applies before the roll and it cannot be negative. If the player does not have enough of a bonus to account for the penalty, they may not add the automatic or indirect modification to the spell.
  3. Spell components can be used to enhance the spell in such a way that the RMA is mitigated. See Spell Aspects below for more.

Once the spell is cast, the RMA is made to see if the spell actually hits the target at range. Armor Checks typically do not apply as an opposed check, but Dodge or certain magical defenses such as Resistance do

Ranged Magical Attacks are Agility (AGL) based with a secondary focus on Perception (PRC).

Spectrum[edit]

Like choosing a Spell Source, choosing a Spectrum puts a contextual - storyline - limitation on the spell. However, there is also a mechanical component to the Spectra as opposition within the different Spectra exist as well as weaknesses, immunities, and even enhancements exist for certain creatures related to Spectra.

Again, though classes are not necessary, they do set story-based boundaries on powers, which may include what spectrum the caster has access to.

Spectrum is the nature of the energy or material that the spell manifests. It might be elemental, mystical, or something of the fundamental forces of the universe. Below is a chart listing all the spectra of spells, their primary characteristic, and the base Difficulty Score to learn spectrum.

To Learn: The spellcaster must roll a Mysticism roll against a Total DS equal to 10 + {DS of the Spectrum} + {Total DS of Spectra already learned}. If the spellcaster chooses to learn an opposition spectrum to one already known, the Total DS is doubled. If a Spectrum is 11 or more DS higher than their TSB at character creation, the Spectrum is outside of their capacity to learn at this time.

A word about the word 'spectra'. Listed below are four Spectra Categories. Under each Spectra Category, the various Spectra associated with the Spectra Category. Spectra are not viewed by members of the Hero's Guild as different colors on a rainbow, but as different kinds of rainbows altogether, each with its own array of colors (spells). The Primal Spectra Category includes the Air Spectrum, Earth Spectrum, Fire Spectrum, and Water Spectrum.

Primal Spectra[edit]

Spectrum Opposition PC RESIST DS
Air Earth AGL/SPI CON 2
Earth Air CON/INT AGL 2
Fire Water STR/PRS WIS 2
Water Fire BEA/WIS STR 2

Life Spectra[edit]

Spectrum Opposition PC RESIST DS
Body Mind CON INT 4
Mind Body INT WIS 6
Soul Void SPI SPI 8
Flora Fauna BEA PRS 2
Fauna Flora PRS BEA 2

Natural Spectra[edit]

Spectrum Opposition PC RESIST DS
Chemical Water CON INT 5
Electromagnetic Nuclear INT PRC 5
Gravity None PRC STR 5
Nuclear Electromagnetic STR CON 20
Space Time AGL SPI 10
Time Space SPI AGL 30

Deep Spectra[edit]

Spectrum Opposition PC RESIST DS
Arcane Eldritch INT CON 5
Chaos Order PRS WIS 6
Eldritch Arcane CON SPI 5
Order Chaos WIS PRS 6
Void Soul SPI CON 7

The Spectrum of the spell also determines the Primary Characteristic used to cast the spell. The line for the Spectrum includes only the Primary Characteristic and looks like the following:

Spectrum - DS+: 1

>>Primal

TSB Spectrum PC PCB BP TP XP/XPN
+xx Air AGL 7 0 0 0/0
+13 Earth CON 8 1 4 3/5
+xx Fire STR 6 0 0 0/0
+xx Water WIS 8 0 0 0/0

This caster has learned the Earth Spectrum, but their character sheet will have lines for all Spectrum which can be modified as they are learned.

All available Spectra are listed below. You may design your own, which is encouraged to fit the flavor of your world.

Spell Purpose[edit]

The third step to spell creation is to decide the purpose of the spell you want to create. Spell Purpose relates to what the character wants to accomplish with the spell.

To Learn: Spellcasters attempting to learn a new Spell Purpose are required to succeed at a Mysticism check equal to the 10 + {DS of the Purpose} + {Total DS of Purposes already learned}. Each point of the DS before adding the final 10 constitutes 1 hour of study/meditation. A failure ends study/meditation for that day and new checks may not be rolled until one standard rest period is completed. Additional hours of study may be done to increase the check by +1/8 hours of studying/meditating instead of rolling. If a Spectrum is 11 or more DS higher than their TSB during character creation, the Spectrum is outside of their capacity to learn at this time.

Basic Skill - Mysticism

Purpose - DS+: 10

TSB Purpose PC PCB BP TP XP/XPN DS
+xx Aid CON/WIS 8 0 0 0/0 3
+11 Attack INT/STR 6 1 4 2/5 4
+15 Defense CON/AGL 8 1 6 4/7 3
+xx Enchant INT/PRS 6 0 0 0/0 6
+xx Illusion PRC/BEA 7 0 0 0/0 4
+xx Learn INT 6 0 0 0/0 5
+xx Movement AGL 7 0 0 0/0 8
+xx Summon PRS/SPI 8 0 0 0/0 10
+xx Transformation INT/SPI 8 0 0 0/0 15

The Spell Purpose determines the Secondary Characteristic of the spell. The line for the Purpose includes only the Primary Characteristic and looks like the following:

Purpose - DS+: 1

TSB Purpose PC PCB BP TP XP/XPN
+xx Aid CON 7 0 0 0/0
+15 Attack INT 8 1 6 3/7
+xx Defense AGL 6 0 0 0/0
+xx Enchant PRS 8 0 0 0/0

This caster has learned the Attack Purpose, but their character sheet will have lines for all Purposes which can be modified as they are learned.

You may design your own Purpose, which is encouraged to fit the flavor of your world.

Spell Aspects[edit]

Below is a list of the Aspects to spellcasting. Aspects provide limitations to the spells being cast. On your sheet, the Aspect represents the maximum version of that Aspect, but at the time of casting, the Aspect can be stated to be whatever the caster desires so long as it does not exceed the maximum.

For example, Amirith wants to use a Fire Attack spell with a 90 degree fan shape to it. Since he has the Shape Aspect all the way up to 3D, a simple 2D shape is acceptable and easy to accomplish.

Aspect
Casting Time
Duration
Mystical Energy Reserve
Intensity
Number of Targets
Other
Range
Shape
Focus
Verbal Component
Somatic Component
Material Component

Spellcaster Traits[edit]

It felt natural to add the spellcaster Traits here in addition to Chapter 4 for ease of reference.

Spellcaster Foibles[edit]

It felt more natural to add the spellcaster Foibles here in addition to Chapter 4 for ease of reference.

Resistance[edit]

Almost all creatures have natural resistance to the mystical Spectra. While this varies across kind, each is able to resist the magic to some extent. This is due to their connection to the environment of which magic is a part. For characters, this comes as a set of mystical skills that don't require any learning and don't start with any Base Points as a requirement. All Spectra are listed on the character sheet in the Resistance section. However, the Primary Characteristics (PC) of the opposing Spectrum is used for the Resistance. For example, Air uses AGL and is opposed to Earth which uses CON. So Air Resistance uses CON for its PC. Resistance does not get a Secondary Characteristic and so, at the beginning, the skill is based solely on the Primary Characteristic Bonus. It takes only one meaningful use to gain 1 Training Point (TP) in that Resistance skill, then the TP, XP, and XPN are calculated normally. To get an initial boost, players may spend BP on a given Resistance if they choose, and they can train them as any other skill.

Examples are given below for the Primal Resistances, but all Spectra have a natural resistance for a character.

TSB Resistance PC PCB BP TP XP/XPN
5 Air CON 4 0 1 0/1
9 Earth AGL 9 0 0 0/1
5 Fire WIS 5 0 0 0/1
6 Water STR 6 0 0 0/1

Resistance only applies of the nature of the spell is such that the 'energy' of the Spectrum is the effect. In some cases, a spell may produce an effect that when it hits is just mundane in nature and normal defenses such as armor will apply. If Resistance doesn't make sense, then there is no need to roll it.

E.g. an Earth+Attack spell creates a crystal shard that is magically launched at a target. The magic is in the creation and propulsion of the shard, but when it hits, its just a piece of crystal and doesn't necessarily have Earth-Spectrum 'energy' in it to be resisted. It's just a rock. A Dodge or Armor check is sufficient and damage is determined like any mundane projectile (RMA vs Dodge or RMA - Armor).

If the caster wants the energy of the Spectrum to be included, they should state so at the time of casting if it would otherwise be taken that the energy is not involved at delivery. Air, Water, and Earth are obvious examples. Flora and Fauna may also be natural at the time the spell 'hits' the target and so only Dodge or Armor applies. Reasons for including the 'energy' of the Spectrum would relate to Weaknesses or spell combinations involving enhanced Spectra. A sword, though metal, isn't Earth-type damage. It's just a mundane weapon. However, a sword could be enchanted with Earth-type damage to do extra damage or effect against targets with Weakness-Earth. Players and GMs should work together to decide when Resistance should apply and should work toward making the game fun and interesting rather than as a way to 'get away with' something or 'punish' someone.

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