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Wish Magic
 

Design: Jasyn Jones
Commentary: Winston-in-a-Box

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Introduction

 

Wish magic is the most flexible and potent form of magic, although it is difficult and often incredibly dangerous. Wishes allow mages to translate their desires into reality, without casting a spell or reciting a ritual. Mages can even create wishes that can respond to the desires of others (“I wish for…”).

This article includes the magical theories of wishes, game mechanics, and the wish magic section of the axiom chart. It is based on the complete Magic axiom, although it can be used in any Torg campaign as is.

Wish Magic

 

Wish Magic Glossary

Wish: A magical effect whose purpose and form is determined by a living being.

Unformed wish: A “blank” wish that anyone can imprint.

Evoke: To activate a wish.

Imprint: To give an unformed wish a purpose and hence activate it.

Extent: The limits of a wish, including how long it can last, how powerful it is, what area it effects, and so on.

Complexity: A measurement of how difficult the wish is to evoke.

Side-effect: A random outbreak of magic caused by evoking a wish.

Condition: A statement that determines how a wish operates.

Disrupt: To use one wish to destroy another.

Wish magic involves the evocation of wish effects, supernatural effects that work according to the desires and imagination of the Living.

When first discovered, wishes can only be evoked by accident (during times of danger or great stress). Through the study of such events, mages learned how to control and deliberately evoke wishes.

Evoking a wish involves the use of symbols (just like any other magical effect). Spellcasters use objects, gestures, incantations and so forth as symbols to cast their spells, but wish mages use different symbols. With wish magic, the mage envisions the specific effect he desires and uses that mental image as a symbol to evoke the effect.

This process requires both willpower and imagination, imagination to visualize the desired effect in detail and willpower to invest that image with enough symbolic significance to evoke the effect. This can be done quickly and extemporaneously, without the need for any other tools.

Mages can evoke wishes without having to learn a spell or perform a ritual and without having to study the four magics or Arcane Knowledges. Study of spell magic does not aid one in using wishes and vice versa.

Wish effects are a unique variety of supernatural effect. They are related to hexes and spell effects, and share some commonalities with each, but are distinct from both. Many of the restrictions that apply to spells and hexes do not limit wishes. There are no magical rituals or spells that evoke wish effects; wishes can only be evoked with wish magic techniques.

Wishes can dispel a hex or a spell, but spell effects cannot disrupt wishes (one wish, of course, can disrupt another). Spells can ameliorate the effects of wishes.

Wishes can create spell effects and hexes. These effects must follow the same rules as normal spells.

Wish magic is difficult and dangerous and the backlash released from such evocations can be fatal. A failure to adequately define the desired result or to channel the magics correctly can lead to wishes that do not conform to the mage’s intent, strange side effects or the simple failure to manifest the wish at all (often the best result one can hope for from a botched wish).

Wishes are evoked using a new Mind skill, wish magic.

Wish Magic

Attribute:
Mind
Use: Cannot be used unskilled.
Axiom: Magic 21

This skill is used to envision and evoke wishes. No other skills are required to work wish magics.

Though uncontrolled wishes are possible at a Magic axiom of 20, the deliberate evocation of wishes (and hence the wish magic skill) doesn’t become possible until Axiom 21.

*some assembly required

The wish magic mechanics are intended to be simple and powerful. They are designed to allow the gamemaster wide latitude in adjudicating an effect. As such, they depend heavily on the gamemaster’s judgment. Everything about a wish is subject to gamemaster approval.

The Complexity costs listed are given as a single number, for the sake of simplicity, but they are just guidelines. The gamemaster can vary the cost based on how expensive he thinks the extent should be.

If he feels a wish is more powerful than the default Complexity indicates, he can increase its Complexity at will. This is a judgment call and the gamemaster should make the decision based on what he thinks is appropriate.

The Extents of a Wish

Magnitude: How significant the chosen purpose is.

Target: How large an area is affected or how many targets are affected/created.

Distance: How far away the evoker can affect targets. Must be larger than the target area.

Duration: How long the wish’s effect lasts.

Concentration: How long the mage must visualize the effect before it is evoked.

Rules of Wish Magic

1.) One wish creates one effect.

2.) One target can only be affected by one active wish at a time.

3.) Wishes are not subject to the limitations of spell magic, but to similar restrictions that apply solely to wishes.

4.) Wishes can dispel spells or hexes; spells and hexes cannot affect wishes (though they can ameliorate their effects).

5.) A wish can disrupt another wish; the wish with the highest magnitude, Complexity and recency takes effect.

6.) Wishes cannot target or affect wish effects (other than to disrupt them).

Base Complexity by Axiom
Axiom
Complexity
21
25
23
20
25
15
27
10
29
5

Multiple Effects

This rule is optional. Each wish has one effect, which determines its magnitude. If the gamemaster allows, a wish can create two effects by increasing the magnitude one step (and thus increasing the Complexity of the wish). A moderate wish could involve two minor effects.

This magnitude increase is limited to one step (i.e. a significant wish cannot create 4 minor effects). The Complexity cost for evoking two effects is 2 points (in addition to the cost of increasing the wish’s magnitude.)

Overview

 

Evoking a wish begins with the player describing the desired effect in as much detail as thought necessary. Once the player has defined the effect, he works with the gamemaster to translate it into game terms by determining the wish’s extents: magnitude, target, distance, duration and concentration. The more powerful or ambitious each extent is, the more difficult and dangerous it will be to evoke the wish. This is represented by the extent’s Complexity cost.

Once all extents have been determined, the player adds the cost, the cost of any situational modifiers the gamemaster applied and the character’s base Complexity to determine the final Complexity. The player then divides the Complexity into Difficulty and Backlash.

The player makes a wish magic skill check, comparing the skill total to the Difficulty, to see if the effect was evoked. The Success Levels gained determine if the wish is correctly formed and if a side effect occurred. The player also compares this same skill total to the Backlash, possibly taking damage.

Evoking a Wish

 

In-game, evoking a wish begins with the caster visualizing the desired effect. This image is used as the symbol to evoke the effect, so it needs to be clearly defined.

To represent this, the player composes a short description of what they intend the wish to accomplish. In addition, he specifies what will be affected, how far away the effect will manifest and how long the effect lasts.

These last features are called extents and they allow the players description to be translated into game terms as well as affecting the wish’s Complexity (and hence its Difficulty and Backlash).

The player chooses the value of each extent, higher values costing more. These costs are added together with the mage’s base Complexity and this determines the wish’s final Complexity.

The description of a wish determines how the wish functions. Other than the axiom restrictions on the extents and the rules of wish magic (see sidebar), the description can include nearly any details the player wishes.

It can be helpful to think of the description as a series of instructions for how the wish is to operate. These instructions tell the wish when to manifest, what to do, what extents it must obey and can even include conditional statements that tell the wish to start, stop, change targets and so forth.

The description of the effect is important, both to the character and the player. Once a wish is evoked, the mage cannot alter its description to “give it new orders.” Hence the need for foresight and clarity.

A lack of clarity in envisioning the effect makes it more difficult to evoke the wish. In addition, the more complex a description is, the harder it is to evoke the wish.

In game terms, if the description of the desired effect seems unclear or overly complex, the gamemaster can increase the Complexity of the wish by up to +10. On the other hand, if the description is clear or very simple, the gamemaster can lower the Complexity by up to 3 points.

The Magic axiom of the mage determines the base Complexity of his wishes. The mage cannot use a lower Complexity through creating a contradiction. In addition, the extents are limited in their possible scope by the Magic axiom of the mage. The possible values, and the required Magic axiom of each, are detailed on the extent charts (below.)

A possibility-rated mage can choose extent values that require a higher Magic axiom than he has. This creates a contradiction, and it also raises the Complexity by twice the difference between the mage’s axiom and the required axiom.

Magnitude

The purpose of the wish determines its magnitude. The magnitude is significant because it is easier to warm a cup of water than to raise the dead.

There are five possible magnitudes, each with their associated Complexity and required axiom: minor, moderate, significant, major, and legendary. The following chart lists many effects for each category, to aid the gamemaster in choosing the appropriate magnitude.

By comparing the player’s desired effect to those in the chart, the gamemaster choses which category the wish belongs to. When in doubt, feel free to go with the higher category.

When considering the magnitude, do not take the number of targets, area affected or how long the effect lasts into account. These are determined separately, each in its own extent.

Wishes can create spell effects and hexes. The desired effect determines the wish’s magnitude. A spell effect created by a wish is indistinguishable from one evoked by a spellcaster. They follow the same rules as other spells (such as the Principle of Definition) and can be dispelled. The Range (and so on) of the spell is set by the wish’s extents. Other details are determined by the description.

Magnitude
Cost
Axiom
Sample Effect
Minor
None
21

EV 0 effects, cantrips, discern general information, create insignificant living being (fruit fly), transform insignificant beings into each other (ant to beetle).

Moderate
4
23

Damage target (DV 15), create average being (dog), discern specific information, create simple item, transform average beings into each other (cat to squirrel), weak spells.

Significant
8
25

Heal 1 wound, damage target (DV 25), create magical, but unintelligent being (pegasus), transform such beings into each other (basilisk into a cockatrice), create a complex item (wristwatch), discern obscure information, moderately powerful spells.

Major
16
27

Heal wounds, damage target (DV 30), create impressive living being (human or dragon), transform impressive being into each other (dwarf into elf), modify the landscape, discern detailed information known by few, create an intricate item (automobile, plane), weather control, the spells of master magicians.

Legendary
32 or higher
29

Raise the dead, disintegrate target (DV 45), discern utterly lost or secret information, create an unimaginably intricate item, create or destroy an artifact, control climate, create or destroy terrain, create legendary being (a Titan), spells of legend.

Target

The target extent determines either how many targets are affected or the area affected (not both). The number of targets is used when the mage wants to affect more than one person, create more than one item, and so forth. The area is used when the mage wants to affect all potential targets within that area. If the mage uses an area target, the wish’s distance extent measurement (5 feet, miles, etc.) must equal or exceed the area measurement.

Target
Area Affected
Cost
Axiom
Evoker only
N/A
None
21
Another person (1 target)
A square meter
1
21
Small group (up to 5 targets)
Ten square meters
3
23
Dozen targets
A hundred square meters
5
23
Large group (up to 30 targets)
Hundreds of square meters
7
25
100 targets
Dozens of square kilometers
10
25
Whole town (hundreds of targets)
Hundreds of square kilometers
12
27
Army (thousands of targets)
Entire continent
15
27
Vast multitude (hundreds of thousands of targets)
Entire planet (Earth)
20
29
Uncounted masses (billions)
Entire dimension
25 or higher
29
Distance
Cost
Axiom
Self
None
21
Touch
1
21
1 meter
3
23
50 meters
5
23
1 kilometer
7
23
10 kilometers
10
25
Hundreds of kilometers
12
25
Thousands of kilometers
15
27
Anywhere in the world
20
27
Anywhere in the same dimension
25 or higher
29
Another dimension
+12
25
Duration
Cost
Axiom
Instant
None
21
Minutes
1
21
Hours
3
23
Days
5
23
Weeks
7
25
Months
10
25
Years
15
27
Permanent
25 or higher
29
Concentration
Cost
None
None
Minute
-1
10 Minutes
-3
Hour
-5
Day
-7
Week
-10
Month
-12
Year
-15
Situation
Modifier
Axiom of the mage/area is ≤ 5.
+10*
Axiom of the mage/area is 6 to 10.
+8*
Axiom of the mage/area is 11 to 15
5*
Axiom of the mage/area is 16 to 20
3*
Mage has no adds in magical theory
3
* This modifier is cumulative for both the mage and the area. If both are low enough, both modifiers apply.

Time to Evoke a Wish

Evoking a wish is usually a matter of seconds, unless the mage chose to concentrate. The time a player takes to evoke a wish is a different matter.

When in round play, the player skips all actions until he has finished writing the effect description. The gamemaster should just ignore him and continue with other players. The length of time the evocation takes is based on how long the player takes to write his description, determine the extents, and calculate the Complexity.

Out of round play similar rules apply, although gamemasters should give the player a reasonable length of time before continuing a scene.

Distance

Distance determines the maximum distance at which the effect can manifest.

Though analogous, the distance extent doesn’t function like a spell’s range. Active wish effects do not expire if taken outside this distance. Unlike spells, wishes do not need to be focused.

If a wish effect is to be cast into another dimension, and is intended to affect an area there, the distance extent (which must exceed the area) is paid for as usual, but an additional 12 points is added in (representing the difficulty of broaching dimensional barriers).

Duration

Duration measures how long the wish effect will last. Once this time passes, the wish fades, leaving behind only residual effects (see below).

Concentration

Concentration measures how long the mage must spend concentrating on the effect before it is evoked. Unlike other extents, concentration actually lowers the wish’s Complexity, as the longer the mage spends envisioning the effect, the more clear it is and the more powerful the wish can be.

The mage cannot do anything else of any significance during the concentration time, other than eat and sleep. Casting a spell or evoking a wish are both expressly forbidden.

If interrupted, their mental image of the effect might be ruined, meaning they must start again. A good rule of thumb is to allow the mage to make a Mind (willpower) total to maintain concentration.

The Difficulty Number is usually the Effect Value of the attack or the skill total of the opponent (who is intimidating, taunting, etc.) If neither apply, the gamemaster can consult the Difficulty Number chart (pg. 42, Torg Rulebook) and select a difficulty based on the specific circumstances of the interruption.

Many mages protect themselves from unwanted interruptions with warding spells or appropriately worded wishes. Some mages teleport intruders away, others simply kill them. It would be wise to learn which a particular mage prefers before visiting him.

Concentration has no axiom requirements.

Situational Modifiers

When deciding on the Complexity of the wish, its extents are not the only determining factor. The mage’s base Complexity, set by his Magic axiom, is significant. In addition, the gamemaster can raise or lower the wish’s Complexity based on the circumstances at the time of its evocation (see chart).

The chart lists some possible situational modifiers (there are many more that could apply). These are strictly optional, the gamemaster is not compelled to use any or all of the situational modifiers. They are just suggestions. The gamemaster should feel free to ignore one or more situational modifiers.

Likewise, if circumstances other than these apply, the gamemaster should feel free to take them into account by raising or lowering the Complexity as he sees fit.

Evoking the Wish

Once the extents have been defined and situational modifiers (if any) assessed, the player adds these costs together along with the base Complexity, and this determines the final Complexity of the wish.

He then choses the wish’s Difficulty and Backlash, dividing the Complexity between the two as desired. Neither value can be 0, nor can one be more than twice the other.

The player generates a wish magic skill total. Unlike spells, the Bonus Number doesn’t affect the chosen effect at all. Wishes do not get more or less effective because of the Bonus Number.

Compare the wish magic total to the Backlash. If the skill total is lower, the difference is read as damage on the appropriate column (ord or possibility-rated) of the Combat Results table.

With wish magic, Backlash is always compared to the skill total, never the caster’s Mind. Wishes are not as formalized or refined as grimoire spells, and evoking them is more dangerous.

There is always a chance that the evoker’s desired effect might not manifest exactly as envisioned. Also, unless carefully controlled, the energy released by evoking the wish can break free, causing bizarre side effects. The higher the magnitude, the more dangerous any side effects will be.

Magnitude
Side Effect
Sample Effects
Minor
Mild

Minor and harmless side effects.  A gust of wind, a strange smell, momentary itchiness, etc.

Moderate
Intense

A weird and uncomfortable side effect.  The evoker may loose all body hair, change skin color, become nauseous for several minutes, fall unconscious and so forth.  Alternately, the wish’s extents may be weakened by a level or two, lowering its duration, target, etc.  These side effects should be annoying but not threatening.

Significant
Severe

A dire, but not usually fatal side-effect.  The mage may suffer a Wound, lose the use of their wish magic skill for a day, be struck blind for a day, and so forth.  This is equivalent to a setback (and the gamemaster can treat it as such).  Alternately, the wish’s extents may be significantly weakened, lowering its duration, target, etc.

Major, Legendary
Hazardous

The side effect is life threatening and potentially lethal: something occurs that places the evoker’s life in danger.  He may suddenly become heavily wounded, a menace may appear and attack him, he may be teleported to a place of great danger. 

The player compares his skill total to the Difficulty. Any Result Points means the effect was successfully evoked. The Success Levels determine how well the mage controlled the wish’s manifestation.

The more Success Levels achieved, the closer the wish comes to matching the evoker’s vision. If the mage achieves at least a Good success, the wish was evoked without causing a side effect. Both of these are summarized on the chart below.

Success Level
Results
Failure

Wish fails to manifest and a side-effect occurs. In addition, the Backlash is increased by 2 points per magnitude (i.e. minor by +2, moderate by +4, etc.).

Minimal

A side effect happens. The wish occurs, but the actual effect differs radically from what was intended- it affects a different target or even causes a different (possibly opposite) effect of the same magnitude.

Average

A side effect happens. The actual wish is noticeably different from what the mage envisioned. It affects the right target, but affects it in a different way, the effect is changed to a similar effect of the same magnitude, the instructions are not followed exactly.

Good

The effect differs from what the mage intended, but is very similar. A wish that changes a man into a horse might change him into a young colt instead.

Superior

Occurs nearly exactly as described- differences are minor and irrelevant to the mage’s intention.

Spectacular

Occurs exactly as described.

These two factors cause most mages to make the Difficulty lower than the Backlash. A couple of more points of Backlash isn’t likely to be lethal, but the side effects that accompany high magnitude wishes often are.

Evaluating Conditions

 

One of the more sophisticated capabilities a mage can build into a wish are conditions that the wish follows. These conditions describe how the wish reacts to various circumstances. They can control when an effect becomes active or inactive, if it changes targets, what targets not to affect in an area, and explicitly define how the wish’s effect operates. The mage can give general directions (“allow all red heads through”) or specific (“allow the Chancellor through, but no one else.”)

Unlike wards, wishes do not need to magically detect conditions. The mage formulate the vision for the wish, which vision defines the wish’s effect, so any knowledge he had of the targets is encoded in the wish’s effect.

If the mage, looking at a target in good light on a clear day, could determine whether or not it matched the condition, then the wish can discern this (even at night, in the rain, whatever.) Effects that would prevent the mage from properly identifying the targets, such as magical or mundane disguises, prevent the wish from doing so as well.

In game terms, the gamemaster gives the wish the equivalent of the evoker’s Perception attribute and any appropriate skill adds, typically find, scholar, and so forth. This attribute and skills are used as would be appropriate if the mage himself were using them- for example, find against a stealth spell’s Effect Value to see if the wish noticed the individual.

A wish can shield a target from another wish. Such effects automatically bypass the wish’s ability to perceive targets.

A poorly cast wish distorts the intent of the evoker. Often this manifests as malformed or even inverted conditions. The easiest way for a wish to go wrong is for it to do something unexpected or to do the expected to the wrong target.

Conditions are powerful and flexible, but they do raise the Complexity of the wish. Players should avoid writing overly complex conditions and gamemasters should feel free to charge appropriate Complexity costs if they fail to do so.

Residual Effects of Wishes

 

All wish effects are inherently temporary, limited in duration, distance, target area, and so forth. This is a consequence of the innate nature of magic.

Magic requires energy to affect the world. The energy available to a wish is finite and is consumed over the duration of the wish. When that energy runs out, the wish expires, it ceases to affect the world, and this allows the world to revert back to the state it was in before the wish intervened.

The effects of a wish automatically fade away, unless it would take additional energy to return the target to the state it was in before the wish occurred.

Changes imposed by magic- such as turning a human into a dragon- require energy to sustain, so the human reverts back to his old form after the duration lapses.

Objects, creatures and substances created by magic require energy to sustain, and when that energy is consumed, they cease to exist.

A wish that moved a chair required energy to do so. Moving the chair back to where it was would require additional energy, energy that is not available, and so the chair remains moved after the wish expires.

This also applies in the case of a door burnt by magic- it took energy to burn it and it would require more energy to repair it, so the door remains burnt after the magical effect expires.

Destruction is permanent, because reversing it requires additional energy. Creation is impermanent, because the continued existence of the created requires energy. When that energy is gone, the created ceases to be.

Most effects created by wishes disappear after its duration lapses. Anything destroyed remains destroyed, anything moved stays moved, targets that were changed return to normal, and things created with wish magic cease to be.

The sole exception is when that which a wish has created has been in existence so long it no longer requires energy to exist. This occurs after a year and a day, so if a wish is used to create something, has a duration longer than a year and a day, and lasts for that period of time without being disrupted, that which was created continues to exist after the wish expires.

These same rules apply when an active wish is disrupted (see below).

Using these guidelines, the gamemaster can adjudicate what residual effects are left behind after a wish expires.

Multiple Wishes and Disrupting Wishes

 

The primary restriction on wishes is this: two active wishes cannot affect the same target at the same time. If a target is already being affected by one wish, and another wish is evoked that would affect the target, the wish with the highest magnitude takes effect. If the wishes are both of the same magnitude, the highest Complexity wish takes effect. If both have the same Complexity, the newest wish takes effect.

Mages use this limitation of wish magic to disrupt active wishes. This requires the mage to evoke a new wish, of the same magnitude but of a higher Complexity, and this new wish disrupts the old, canceling whatever effects it may have had.

Mages can protect their active wish effects by increasing its Complexity beyond that which is required to evoke it. This results in a higher Complexity than would otherwise be indicated (and higher Difficulty and Backlash) and thus the wish is more difficult to disrupt. This has to be done while the wish is being evoked.

Many mages even evoke wishes upon themselves (or others) that protect against hostile wish effects. Commonly such wishes are designed to cause ill effects to the hostile evoker, when he attempts to affect the protected target.

If the hostile wish has a lesser magnitude (or lesser Complexity) it doesn’t take effect. Instead, the defensive wish usually unleashes some hostile or dangerous effect on the attacker.

When dealing with their own wishes, mages do not have to resort to such maneuvers. Any wish the mage personally envisioned and evoked can be disrupted at will, assuming the mage is within the distance delineated by the wish’s extents.

Unformed Wishes

 

Wish magic is the province of trained experts. The untrained can neither formulate nor evoke wishes.

At a Magic axiom of 24, mages discover how to evoke unformed wishes. An unformed wish is a wish that has not yet been imprinted with a vision of the desired effect. Such wishes do nothing but continue to exist until a living mind imprints them with a vision. The wish can exist in an unformed state essentially forever (unless disrupted), as it is not affecting the natural world and so requires no energy to exist.

Mages create unformed wishes by choosing a magnitude (and Concentration, if desired), while not choosing the wish’s effect or defining other extents. They pay the cost for the desired magnitude, adding it to the base Complexity. Then, they can choose to add additional points of Complexity that will go towards paying for the other extents when the wish is imprinted. All of these added together determine the unformed wish’s final Complexity.

The mage evokes the wish as normal, selecting Difficulty and Backlash, making a wish magic skill check, and potentially suffering Backlash and side effects (the severity of the side effects determined by the chosen magnitude.)

Once evoked, they can place the unformed wish into a physical item or keep it in their minds. If they chose to place it into an item, anyone can imprint the wish, simply by holding the item and concentrating on a desired result.

The magnitude of the desired effect must be equal to or less than the magnitude chosen when the wish was first evoked. If it is not, the wish reduces the magnitude of the effect, preserving as much as possible the imprinter’s desires. A magnitude greater than that of the desired effect gives no bonuses.

When the unformed wish is imprinted, the description of the desired effect is translated into values, just as it is when a wish is evoked. The excess Complexity (the points the mage chose to add in after paying for the unformed wish’s magnitude and base Complexity) form a pool of points from which the extents of the spell are bought.

The price for these is the exact same price as listed on the charts above. Thus, affecting five targets consumes 3 points and a distance of “touch” costs 1 point.

Each of the wish’s extents are paid for in this manner, the wish coming as close as possible to the expressed desire. Any excess Complexity points are lost. If the wish cannot fully “pay” for the desired extents, it reduces the values of them until it can (magnitude is never reduced.)

Imprinting an unformed wish is far easier than evoking a wish, and it can be done by anyone capable of visualizing a desire. This process requires a Mind (willpower) total, with the Difficulty Number based on the magnitude of the desired effect (see chart).

Magnitude
DN
Minor
5
Moderate
8
Significant
10
Major
12
Legendary
15

The mage who evokes the unformed wish can make this check easier by increasing the Complexity of the unformed wish (these additional points cannot, of course, be used to buy extents after the wish is imprinted.) The cost for this is 2 Complexity points for every point the Mind (willpower) Difficulty is lowered.

The Success Levels of the imprinter’s Mind (willpower) check are read on the same Success Level chart used to evoke wishes. The effects on that chart occur as designated, except that imprinting the wish causes no side effects and there is no Backlash (as the mage who evoked the unformed wish already suffered any side effects and the requisite amount of Backlash.) Thus the chart only determines if the wish occurs and how closely it matches the desired effect.

If successfully imprinted, the wish takes effect as the imprint directs, limited only by the wish’s magnitude and extents.

The development of unformed wishes causes a revolution in wish magic. Mages can evoke unformed wishes, then sell them to any who desire. The more powerful an unformed wish, the more lucrative the transaction.

Mages who previously disdained the practice of evoking wishes usually seek to rectify the situation, if only to protect themselves from hostile wishes.

Wish Magic and the Axiom Chart

 

Wish magic becomes more powerful and more reliable at higher Axioms: the base Complexity lowers, the possible values of extents increases and “unformed” wishes become possible.

At Magic 25, the Backlash from evoking a wish is compared to the character’s Mind, if the skill total is lower. At axiom 28, wish magic becomes usable unskilled- anyone can try to evoke a wish. Also, skilled users never cause side-effects. At Magic 29, wish magic becomes reliable- the wish is never distorted (though failure still means the wish doesn’t manifest and the evoker takes additional backlash.)

The ultimate form of wish magic requires Axiom 30, where all magic is wish magic, and evoking wishes is easy and reliable. All living beings can evoke wishes, merely by envisioning the desired effect. The evocation of wishes is based on the evoker’s Mind or the willpower skill. These wishes are not limited by extents, do not cause Backlash, always manifest as the evoker envisions, and are disrupted when another evoker achieves a higher Mind (willpower) total.

All of these advances are detailed on the Wish Magic axiom chart.

Wish Magic Axiom Chart

 

Wish Magic is potent, dangerous and difficult. It is evoked through the imagination and will and requires none of the accouterments of spellcasting. Mages can evoke wishes without having to learn a spell or perform a ritual and without having to study the four magics or Arcane Knowledges. The first wishes are limited in power, but wishes soon become capable of producing any effect a person can imagine.

20- Wish effects first become possible. At this axiom level, the evocation of such effects is random, uncontrollable and unpredictable. The random evocation of wishes produces uncontrolled, though powerful wish effects and these effects can achieve nearly anything imaginable.

21- The deliberate evocation of controlled wishes becomes possible, though this process is difficult. Controlled wish effects can only accomplish very minor and temporary results and often trigger side effects. The wish magic skill becomes possible.

23- Mages discover how to accomplish more powerful effects with wishes, although the more powerful effects usually cause a great deal of backlash. Wish magic becomes easier to wield.

24- Unformed wish effects, that can respond to the desires of anyone, are possible. Such wishes can be stored in objects and used at the owner’s discretion.

25- Wish magic increases in capability, being able to affect targets hundreds of miles distant, being able to completely heal an individual or control the weather. Mages can wield its powers more easily and safely.

27- Wish magic becomes a potent source of power, capable of working great and substantial changes on a local area (such as raising a mountain or squashing one flat) or smaller changes on a wider area. Legendary effects, such as raising the dead, destroying artifacts or reducing something to less than dust are all possible.

28- The wish magic skill can now be used unskilled (though this is extremely dangerous). Skilled use is far more effective and safe- skilled use no longer causes side effects (this is not true of unskilled use).

29- Wish magic achieves a new peak of power and safety, allowing mages to work great effects with far less backlash than before. In addition, wishes always manifest correctly, the evoker’s desires are never distorted.

30- All magic is wish magic, and the Living can achieve anything imaginable simply by willing it to occur. The study of magic is no longer necessary (or useful) and magic use no longer causes backlash.

Updated: Nov. 20, 2010
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