Compiled by: Del Webb
Additional Writing: Jasyn Jones
Commentary: Ks. Jim Ogle
The content of The Consulium Magica are copyright ©1995
by Del Webb.
.pdf of this article.
Of the four axioms of Torg, the Magic
axiom is at once the most familiar and the most obscure. Spells
and magic have been part of roleplaying games since the hobby’s
creation. Similarly, much of folklore and popular entertainment
features magic of one form or another.
Yet Torg’s magic system is unlike that of any other roleplaying
game. Its fluid design allows mages to learn- or design- a variety
of spells, each unique yet each sharing similar components to every
This article deals not with specific spells, nor rules for their
use, but with the spell design system. It is not intended to be
an introduction or a primer on Torg spell design. Familiarity
with the spell design rules in the Aysle Fantasy Sourcebook and Pixaud’s
Practical Grimoire is necessary.
The Consilium is intended for use as a quick reference
during spell design. As you fill out the ovals on the spell design
worksheet, you can refer to this article for a concise explanation
of the mechanics involved.
This article also incorporates clarifications published in the Infiniverse newsletter,
where appropriate. One thing not included are any house rules-
the rules here are strictly canon Torg (within the limitations
of the editor’s knowledge). They should be acceptable for any Torg campaign.
There are four types of magic in Torg: divination, alteration, apportation,
Used to produce a pattern which gives information. Divination is
used for spells of detection, clairvoyance, and telepathy; spells
which sense or communicate use divination. When used as
a information spell, the pattern is the type of information you
are discovering, and the result is the target of inquiry (The detect
folk evil spell has a pattern of divination/darkness and
a result of folk; it detects darkness in folk).
When used as a communication spell, the pattern is the source or
medium of the information conveyed, and the result is the recipient
of the information (Vorgal’s metal tale is divination/metal with
a result of folk; it gives information to folk through
The divination component of a spell (like that used in
wards) can only be set up to detect the full range of its pattern
knowledge. A spell can detect anger (darkness), or a dwarf
(folk), but not angry dwarves. In fact, these spells would
detect all darkness or folk, respectively. Note,
however, that an entire spell to detect angry dwarves is possible
(divination/darkness, with a result of folk,
with an Exclusion of dwarves).
Used to produce a pattern which allows the mage to move something.
Spells involving the attraction or repulsion of the target are
also apportation. Any physical mass or energy can be apported.
Essences may not be apported. Nature will concede the apportation
of physical mass. In other words, any object moved by a spell remains
moved even after the duration expires, unless another force moves
Attributes moved by apportation magic return to their
original object or kindred once the spell’s duration expires. Other
intangible properties, such as skill values, also return if they
cannot naturally be gained or lost in a short period of time. Things
such as spells and shock points, since they can be gained and lost
quickly, do not return if moved by an apportation spell.
Used to produce a pattern which allows the mage to increase, decrease,
or change something. An alteration spell must begin its
work on something which already exists in the natural world. There
are two types of alteration spells: modification and transformation.
Modification changes a target by degree. Modifications may use
any knowledge as a mechanism and produce real (not illusory) effects.
A modification spell may only affect a quality the target possesses
naturally (i.e., all humans have a Strength score, so
that can be modified; but no human is naturally transparent, so
a spell to make someone transparent is not a modification spell).
Modification spells cannot push the attributes of kindred past
the larger of these two values:
A. The Ayslish cosm limit of that attribute (see Charts
B. The attribute plus the maximum gain possible
from the Speed Push (+2) or Power Push (+6) table, whichever is
A transformation spell changes the target into a different kind
of element, kindred, or knowledge. A transformation is also necessary
to increase or decrease an attribute beyond the range of a modification.
Transformations must have an Essence as the mechanism to produce
real effects; otherwise they are illusory.
The final result points of a transformation spell must equal or
exceed the greatest attribute difference between the original and
the transform. For example, a spell to transform a giant (Toughness 19)
into a frog (Toughness 1), would need at least 18 result
points. If magic is the mechanism, an Effect Value of
37 is necessary (37 - 19 = 18), but this makes the spell illusory.
Any other mechanism requires an Effect Value of 70 or more! (70
- 19 = 51, read through the Power Push Table gives 18).
Used to create or destroy a pattern. The mage can either bring
a supernatural pattern into the natural world, or reduce a part
of the natural world to its supernatural pattern, then undo the
pattern. All conjurations are transformations, involving the creation
of something out of nothing. Conjurations with real effects must
have an Essence knowledge as the pattern or mechanism; otherwise
they are illusory,
True transformation requires Essences as either result or mechanism.
Conjuring or transforming something real requires Essences as pattern
and/or mechanism. A spell with an Essence pattern may have an Essence
mechanism, but not an Essence result. There are no Apportation/Essence
spells known to exist.
Death: Corruption, non-existence, death, the
Pattern: Manipulate the death knowledge within a being
or object or bring destruction into existence.
Conjuration: Create death to inflict on other knowledge
Alteration: Reanimate the dead
Apportation: None known
Divination: Find corruption or source of destruction
Mechanism: Allows a pattern to be altered through death.
Can corrupt, kill, or diminish its target. May be used to create
real effects only for results consistent with its nature.
Result: Complete destruction of pattern knowledge. Makes death,
corruption, or destruction continual.
Life: Creation, renewal, life, honor, growth,
steady change, ideas
Pattern: Find life or the honorable; enhance life, honor, creativity;
create living beings
Conjuration: Create life
Alteration: Accelerate healing or growth
Apportation: None known
Divination: Detect life, honor, one of Seven Kindred
Mechanism: Imbues the result with life, honor, etc. Can transform
one Kindred to another. May be used to create real effects only
for results consistent with its nature.
Result: Makes renewal or creation continual for duration. Can
tell the nature of Kindred, Living forces, Light or Magic on a
Time: Change in being or nature, time, radical
or random change
Pattern: Manipulation of change and time
Conjuration: Bring element of change or time
Alteration: Accelerate or decelerate time
Apportation: None known
Divination: Determine when an event occurred
Mechanism: Transform one Inanimate Force into another. Make conjurations
with magic or inanimate forces real. Making effects
real must be consistent with the nature of time.
Result: Fix a process in time. Gain information about nature of
Magic or Inanimate Forces on an Element.
True Knowledge: Knowledge of physical substances
and their properties, location, distance, mass
Pattern: Changing or creating an Element, travel between and within
Conjuration: Extradimensional gates, create Element
Alteration: Change an Element, teleportation
Apportation: None known
Divination: Seeing far away places or other dimensions
Mechanism: Allows an Element to be transformed into another. Make
conjurations involving light, darkness, inanimate
forces real, if result is consistent with principles of true
Result: Give information about nature of an Element; information
may be gained about Element, Light, Darkness, or Inanimate Forces.
The Principles are pure forces of a high order, derived from the
Essences. All conjurations using Principles are illusory unless
an Essence is used as the mechanism. The most effective illusions
use the Principles as their patterns, requiring a Mind total
of 15 to disbelieve.
Darkness: Physical darkness, spiritual darkness,
evil, confusion, doubt, negative emotions
Pattern: Used to create, change, convert, detect, or move the
aspects of Darkness
Conjuration: Create darkness, illusion of Kindred or Living Forces
with an element of evil
Alteration: Increase/decrease darkness, convert darkness
Apportation: Moving darkness, moving dark emotions
Divination: Detecting hostility or negative feelings
Mechanism: Detecting darkness in living beings. Cause negative
emotions. Manipulate living energies to have negative effect.
Result: Create physical darkness, emotional turmoil, confusion.
Light: Physical light, positive emotions, insight,
Pattern: Used to create, change, convert, detect, or move light
Conjuration: Create light, illusions of Kindred or Living Forces
with an element of good, illusions of Elements or Inanimate Forces
Alteration: Increase/decrease light, convert light
Apportation: Moving light, moving good emotions
Divination: Detecting good will, positive feelings
Mechanism: Detecting goodness in beings. Cause positive emotions.
Manipulate living energies to have positive effect.
Result: Create physical light or emotional harmony.
Magic: Knowledge of change, the supernatural;
the most ideal mechanism
Pattern: Creation, detection, or manipulation of magical forces
Conjuration: Illusions of Inanimate Forces or Elements
Alteration: The changing or dispelling of magic
Apportation: Removal of magic from an area
Divination: Detection of magical energy
Mechanism: The most effective mechanism, can be used for any pattern,
especially those of Element and Inanimate Forces.
Result: Controlling magic in a being, object, or area.
There are only two Mixed Forces. They are combinations of the
opposed Essences, and thus are as difficult as Principles to control.
Illusions using Mixed Forces as a pattern are disbelieved with
a Mind total of 12.
Inanimate Forces: Link to the Elements. Can
affect Kindred, but not change them. The forces which affect and
are associated with Elements, such as heat, electricity, gravity,
magnetism, atomic bonds, etc.
Pattern: Converting one Inanimate Force to another, or using Inanimate
Forces on objects.
Conjuration: Creating a force
Alteration: Changing one force to another, or changing the degree
of a force
Apportation: Using forces to move objects
Divination: Detection of objects or hidden forces
Mechanism: Used to apport any physical object (including Kindred).
Used as mechanism for results of Light, Magic, Mixed Forces, Elements.
Result: Creates any effect not covered by another knowledge. Needed
when result is to apply to all Elements equally.
Living Forces: Link to the Kindred. Can only
apport Elements. Covers the attributes of living things (Strength,
Mind, etc.) as well as vitality.
Pattern: Used for spells which will work on any Kindred
Conjuration: Create health, charm and persuasion spells
Alteration: Change the attributes of a being
Apportation: Transfer health or attributes between creatures
Divination: Detect presence and/or level of Living Forces
Mechanism: Can be used for results of Mixed Forces, Kindred, Elements,
Light, and Darkness.
Result: Needed when result is to apply equally to all Kindred.
Covers all living things. Kindred can be used as a pattern if
the result is a Kindred, Living Forces, Darkness, or Light. Kindred
cannot be mechanisms. A Kindred must be the result if the spell
alters or transforms a Kindred.
Aquatic: Covers all creature which live in the
ocean or other water bodies; fish, whales, crabs, frogs, sea snakes,
mollusks, even bacteria.
Avian: All flying creatures; birds, insects,
bats, flying reptiles. Dragons are not included.
Earthly: All ground-based creatures which are
still influenced primarily by instinct. Humans and other Folk are
Elemental: Beings made directly of the Elements.
Enchanted: Creatures which rely on magic for
their existence, often the creatures of myth and legend; dragons,
manticores, unicorns, fairies.
Entity: Creatures which are alive unnaturally,
which do not exist naturally in the real world; demons, undead,
Folk: Intelligent beings who relate closer to
their own kind than any Element or the supernatural; humans, elves,
dwarves, trolls, harpies.
The Elements represent all unliving or spiritless things. The
Elements described here do not necessarily correspond to Core Earth
definitions. Often an Element is described as having an intellectual
aspect. Elements are used as patterns for spells with results of
Element, Inanimate Forces, Magic, or Light. Elements cannot be
used as mechanisms. Changing an Element requires a result of Element.
Air: All substances which are gases at room temperature.
Often a cooling influence. Intelligence is impatient and quick
Earth: All materials made from earthen components.
Intelligence is slow, patient, and thick-headed.
Fire: Any form of natural combustion. A nuclear
blast is Inanimate Forces, not Fire. Intelligence is destructive
Metal: All earthly substances which are pliable
when flame is applied. Intelligence is strong willed and loyal
Plant: That which grows on earth, sun and water
alone, or which is derived from such elements. Includes petroleum
products. Intelligence is patient and pleasure seeking.
Water: Considered to be water only. All other
liquids are either mixtures or elements with a proclivity to Water.
Intelligence is playful and gentle unless enraged, when it becomes
violent and vindictive.
Step by Step Design
This section details the design of a spell from beginning to end.
There will be several references to the Spell Laboratory Sheet,
as well as several other tables and figures. All of these can be
found in Charts and Tables.
In order to design a spell, a mage must know all four magic skills,
and have at least one add in the pattern knowledge he or she is
1. Decide what spell you want to design. This
is an obvious step, yet many aspects of it are overlooked by mages.
There are certain things to remember when you come up with an idea
for a spell. First of all, remember; one spell produces one effect.
When you get an idea for a new spell, ask yourself; are all of
the effects of this spell necessarily consequences of the basic
effect? For example, suppose a mage was trying to design a spell
to summon a demon. However, he wants the demon to be loyal to him.
This would require two spells; one to summon the demon and one
to make it loyal. A spell designed to summon a charmed demon would
fail; since it is possible to summon an unfriendly demon, the charming
is a secondary effect.
At this point you should have a fairly good idea which of the
three available aspects (duration, Effect Value, or range) you
will be adding the bonus number to. With damaging spells or enhancement
spells, effect is usually the best choice. For a disguise spell
(or most spells with an effect of zero) duration is a good choice.
For most divination spells, range will allow you to view
things further away while duration will allow you to view them
longer. You can choose whichever you wish at no cost.
2. Decide upon the state path of the spell. The
state path consists of the magic skill used, the pattern, the mechanism,
and the result. The pattern knowledge is what you are starting
with, the result knowledge is what you end up with, and the mechanism
is what causes the pattern to become the result.
Use the information in The Building
Blocks to decide which knowledges to use. There
is often more than one way to build a state path; use the path
you feel is most appropriate for the effect you want. Record
the skill and knowledges used on the Spell Laboratory Sheet,
at the upper left.
Once you have decided on a state path, consult the Magic State
Paths diagram. Find the pattern knowledge of the spell and record
the enclosed value on the Spell Laboratory Sheet under “Pattern
Knowledge” (box at upper left). Trace the path from the pattern
to the mechanism, adding together the values on the arrows. You
do not add the values of the mechanism or any intermediary knowledges.
If your path takes you against an arrow, the cost is two. If you
are looping back on the same knowledge, however, you cannot go
against the arrow. Record the sum in the box labeled “Mechanism
Knowledge”. The use of the box labeled “Additional” will be covered
in a later section. Trace the path from the mechanism to the result
knowledge, using the same rules as before. Record the sum under “Result
3. Decide upon a casting method for the spell.
There are four ways to cast a spell; direct, focused, impressed,
and ward. Direct means that the spell is linked to the caster,
and is released as soon as it is cast. Choosing direct as a casting
method adds nothing to the state path, so record a zero in the
Casting Method box. Focused spells are linked to another object
or person; they add two to the state path. Impressed spells are
linked to the caster, but can be held in the mind until released.
Impressing a spell adds three to the cost. A mage may impress a
number of spells equal to the sum of his adds in conjuration and
the state knowledge. A spell can be impressed and focused at the
same time; this spell is held in the caster’s mind until released,
causing it to focus on the chosen object. Impressing a spell into
another being or an object is covered in Advanced
Wards are guardian spells, designed to activate when they detect
a certain condition. Wards are, in effect, impressed and focused
spells that can release themselves without the caster being present.
Casting a ward adds five to the cost of the spell, plus an additional
amount for the divination component (discussed later).
4. Add together the costs for the knowledges
and casting method. record this value under “State Total”. Record
the same value in the oval to the right, labeled State. This is
the cost of the State Path. Take your skill value in conjuration
magic, and add the number of adds you possess in the pattern knowledge.
Generate a bonus number to this value (using the Bonus Chart).
Record this under the box labeled Conjuration.
Example: a mage designing an alteration/water spell
has a conjuration magic value of 17, and 3 adds
in water. He generates a +2 on the Bonus Chart,
and records 22 in the appropriate box (17 + 3 + 2 = 22).
A Possibility may be used on this roll, but no card play is allowed.
Subtract the Conjuration total from the State total; the difference
is recorded in the oval to the right of this row. If the difference
is -5 or less, record -5 in the oval.
5. Decide on the area and/or volume the spell
will affect. The area value is the radius for the two-dimensional
area the spell affects. An area may be horizontal or vertical.
Consult the Value Chart to determine the value. The area will be
a circle, unless otherwise stated (in Aspects, below). The volume
is the radius of the third dimension of the spell. If volume is
purchased, area must also be purchased. The volume is assumed to
be a sphere unless changed in Aspects. The values of volume and
area should be equal; if not, the area affected equals the smaller
of the two values (which wastes the extra points of the larger
6. Decide on an Effect Value. This is how powerful
the spell will be. This value is usually compared to some quality
of the target (its weight, Dexterity, Toughness, etc.). A spell’s
Effect Value may have more than one game effect; the sum of these
effects is the Effect Value.
Example: Floater lifts up to 100 kilos
(value 10) at a speed of four meters per round (value 3).
The Effect Value is 13.
If magic is used as the mechanism, the Effect Value is translated
directly into game effects; if not, the Effect Value is read through
the Power Push table. Note, however, that a spell using magic as
a mechanism is an illusion and can be disbelieved.
Example: A human (Strength 8)
has a strength spell cast on him. The spell’s base
Effect Value is 10, and the mage rolled a bonus of +2 for
a final Effect Value of 12. If magic is the mechanism,
the target adds 4 to his Strength (12 - 8 = 4).
If another mechanism is used, he adds 2 to his Strength (12
- 8 = 4, 4 on the Power Push table yields +2). Note that
if the human’s Strength was 13, no result points
would be generated; the spell would have no effect.
7. A result modifier can be added to any spell
which does not use magic as its mechanism. The result
modifier is added to the final result points of a spell. In the
example of the second strength spell above, if the mage
had added a result modifier of 4 to the spell, the human would
have added 6 points to his Strength (2 points from the
Effect Value, plus 4 from the result modifier). The maximum result
modifier that can be bought is equal to the Effect Value of the
spell read through the Power Push table (for the second strength spell
above, the maximum result modifier is 4).
8. Add together area, volume, effect, and result
modifier. Record the value under Pattern. Add together your value
in the magic skill used for the spell, your adds in the pattern
knowledge, and a bonus number. Record these in the oval labeled
Example: For the alteration/water spell
example used earlier, the mage has alteration magic 15, water +3,
and gets a -1 bonus. His value is 17 (15 + 3 - 1 = 17).
A Possibility can be used, but no cards. Subtract Pattern Skill
from Pattern; record this total to the right. If the difference
is -5 or less, record -5 in the oval.
9. There are two aspects to control: multi-attributes
a. If the spell will affect the attributes or
skills of the target, the caster must include multi-attributes.
A spell will affect one attribute for free; after that, they must
be purchased. Decide how many attributes or skills you wish to
affect; this number is read on the Multi-Attributes and
Aspects chart (see the Appendix, below).
Example: If the spell affects just Dexterity,
there is no cost; for Dexterity, Strength,
and Toughness, the cost is 6; for those three attributes,
plus the dodge and fire combat skills,
the cost is 8.)
If an attribute is affected, the attribute and all skills under
it are raised or lowered by the result points.
Example: A woman with Dexterity 9
and fire combat 11 that has her Dexterity raised
by three will have a Dexterity of 12 and a fire
combat of 14).
If an individual skill is purchased with multi-attributes (called
derived effects), only that skill’s value is raised. Derived effects
are raised by the value of the Effect Value read through the Power
Push. It is possible to raise both an attribute (for all purposes)
and a derived effect with the same spell; the spell that affects Dexterity, Strength, Toughness and
the dodge and fire combat skills is one such
spell. First the attributes are raised (or lowered) by the result
points of the spell; then the result points are read through the
Power Push table, and this value is added to the derived effects.
Note that if magic is not used as the mechanism, the result
points will be filtered through the Power Push for the attributes,
and Pushed again for the derived effects. Examples of both cases
are given below.
Example 1: The spell affecting the Strength, Dexterity, Toughness, dodge,
and fire combat skills of the target is designed
using magic as the mechanism. The target has Dexterity 9, Strength 10, Toughness 8, dodge 10,
and fire combat 11. The spell generates an Effect
Value of 16; this gives 6 result points to all three attributes
(Effect Values are compared to the largest attribute; in
this case, Strength). The target now has Dexterity 15, Strength 16, Toughness 14, dodge 16,
and fire combat 17. Now the result points are read
on the Power Push table; a 6 yields a +3. The 3 is added
to the skill values, giving the target these values: Dexterity 15, Strength 16, Toughness 14, dodge 19, fire
Example 2: The same spell is designed
using living forces as the mechanism. Cast on the
same target, it also generates an Effect Value of 16. Read
the result points (6) on the Power Push; this gives a +3.
The target now has Dexterity 12, Strength 13, Toughness 11, dodge 13,
and fire combat 14. Now the 3 result points are
read through the Power Push table again; this gives a +2.
This is added to the derived effects, for a final result
of: Dexterity 12, Strength 13, Toughness 11, dodge 15, fire
b. Multi-target may also be purchased under multi-attributes.
The caster may decide how many people to target in any area spell.
Take the number of people you wish to target, and read it through
the Multi-Attributes and Aspects chart (If the
mage chooses 5 people, the cost is 6; if he chooses 20, the cost
is 12). If the number of people in the area of the spell is equal
to or less than the multi-target number, the caster may choose
who is affected by the spell. If the number in the area is greater,
all are affected.
Example: A mage designs a spell to deliver an
electric shock to anyone in a 10-meter radius circle. He wants
to design it so he can shock only his enemies when his Storm Knight
team is also in the area. He builds in a Multi-Target of 13 (cost
12). As long as there are 13 or fewer beings in the affected area,
the mage may choose who is affected by the spell. If more than
13 are in the affected area, all are shocked.
Note that a spell can have multi-attributes and multi-target built
in. In such cases, compute the value of each aspect separately,
then add them together. This can get expensive
Example: A mage designs a spell which
raises the Spirit, Charisma, and faith skill
of all creatures in an area, where the mage may select the
targets when there are 10 or fewer beings in the area. The
cost of affecting two attributes and one skill is four (remember,
the first multi-attribute is free) and the cost for a multi-target
of 10 is 10, for a total cost of 14.
In addition, any gate or teleport spells must have a Multi-Attribute
for all seven attributes built in; otherwise the attributes are
not carried across.
c. Record all Multi-Attributes and Multi-Targets,
add up their costs, and record it under “Multi-Attributes”.
10. a. Decide on any Aspects you want to use.
There are several Aspects that can be built into a spell: Change
Target, Effect, Form, Area, Volume, Apportation, Duration, Accuracy,
and Divination. To determine the cost, read the number of Aspects
used through the Multi-Attribute and Aspects table.
Unlike Multi-Attributes, the first Aspect is not free. Do not add
in Accuracy or Divination if they are used; their cost is figured
separately. An explanation of each Aspect follows.
Change Target: The spell’s effect can change
targets. If a new target is chosen, the original target is no longer
affected. When designing the spell, decide who can change targets;
the caster or the recipient.
Effect: The effect of the spell can be turned
on and off if the spell is permanent (permanent magic is discussed
in the next section). The effect can also be lessened in any spell
with this Aspect, but it cannot be increased.
Form, Area, Volume: These Aspects can only be
used on elements, Mixed Forces, or Principles. Controlling Form
allows the caster to change the shape of the spell within the bounds
of the spell’s area or volume (a circle or sphere). Manipulating
Area allows a mage to shape the effect beyond the confines of the
original circle, as long as the value of the area is maintained.
Volume lets the mage shape the effect outside the bounds of the
original sphere, as long as the value of the volume is preserved.
The chart tells you what must be included in order to produce
some common shapes.
Included in the Appendix are equations for the areas and volumes
of these shapes, so that a mage will know how large a shape will
Apportation: If the apportation is not controlled,
the spell travels in a straight line to the target. If Apportation
is purchased, the spell will travel in any path the caster wishes.
Duration: The spell may be turned off before
the full duration. Otherwise, it continues for the entire duration.
Accuracy: Any spell which targets an unwilling
creature (such as combat spells) needs to hit to succeed. The mage
casting a spell generates an apportation magic total,
which is compared to the relevant defensive skill (dodge, Dexterity,
etc.). Adding Accuracy to the spell gives a bonus to this roll.
The cost of Accuracy equals the bonus given; a +3 to-hit modifier
Divination: This Aspect is usually added only
to ward spells. A ward must be able to detect something in order
to set it off; this is where that ability is built in. The cost
of Divination is 8 (for the skill) plus the number of adds the
spell’s designer has in the knowledge to be detected. The spell
will then have a value to detect the knowledge equal to the designer’s
skill and knowledge total.
Example: A mage designs a ward to set off
in the presence of undead. He has divination magic 16, entity +5.
The cost of the Aspect is 13 (8 + 5 = 13). The spell now
has a divination/entity total of 21 to detect undead.
The divination component of a spell has limits; these are discussed
in The Building
Blocks under “Divination”.
b. Add up the costs for Aspects, and record it
in the oval marked “Aspects”.
11. Transformations or conjurations which do
not use an Essence as the pattern or mechanism are illusory and
can be disbelieved. The difficulty of disbelieving is based on
the pattern knowledge; for Kindred and Elements, it is 8; for Mixed
Forces, it is 12; for Principles, the difficulty is 15. Buying
a Disbelief modifier increases the difficulty of disbelieving the
spell. Record how many points you want to increase the difficulty
by in the oval labeled “Disbelief”.
12. Consult the table Pattern Skill Values under
the heading “Control Cost”. Find the value listed for the type
of magic you are using in the spell, and record this number in
the oval labeled “Pattern Skill Cost”.
13. Add together Multi-Attributes, Aspects, Disbelief,
and Pattern Skill Cost. Put the sum in the oval labeled Control.
In the oval labeled Divination, put your divination magic total,
plus the adds you have in the pattern knowledge, plus a bonus number
(You can use a Possibility, but not cards). Subtract Divination
from Control, and put the difference in the oval to the right.
Again, if the difference is -5 or less, put -5 in the oval.
14. Decide on a speed for the spell. Use the
Value Chart to determine the value, and record it in the oval marked “Speed”.
The speed must be high enough so that the spell can reach its maximum
range within the duration. The formula to use for this is:
Minimum Speed = Range - Duration + 5
Examples: A spell with a range of 1000
meters (value 15) which lasts 15 seconds (value 6), must
have a minimum speed of 14 (15 - 6 + 5), which translates
to 600 meters per round. A spell with a range of 40 meters
(value 8) which lasts 2.5 minutes (value 11) has a minimum
speed of 2 (8 - 11 + 5), which is 2.5 meters per round.)
15. Decide on the spell’s range. Use the Value
Chart to determine the value, and place it in the “Range” oval.
Be careful when assigning the range. If a mage designs a fireball
with a volume of 5 and a range of 5, he will be blasted by the
edge of his own fireball!
16. Add together Speed and Range, and record
the sum in the oval labeled Apportation. In the oval to the right,
also labeled Apportation, record your apportation magic skill,
plus the adds in the pattern knowledge and a bonus (Possibilities
but no cards). Subtract the Apportation on the right from the Apportation
on the left; record the difference in the oval to the far right.
As before, if the difference is -5 or less, put -5 in the oval,
17. Decide on a duration for the spell,
using the Value Chart to get a value. Try and select the lowest
duration possible, for two reasons:
a. A character cannot be affected by a two spells
of the same pattern knowledge at the same time. In order to affect
someone with the second spell, the caster must beat the Effect
Value of the first spell.
Example: A character has enhanced
aura cast on himself, which is an alteration/living
forces spell with a base Effect Value of 21 and a
duration of one week. The character is wounded in battle.
A mage has a heal spell, but cannot use it; heal is
also alteration/living forces. The character can
either wait for the enhanced aura to end (a week),
or the mage can attempt to beat the Effect Value of the
spell (heal has a base Effect Value of 15; good
b. A low duration can help offset a high state
total or Effect Value.
18. In the oval labeled Alteration, put your alteration
magic total, plus your adds in the pattern knowledge and
the bonus number (As before, Possibilities but no cards). Subtract
this from the duration. Record the difference in the oval to
the far right. But this time, if the difference is -5 or less,
record the actual value (If the difference is -8, write -8 in
the oval). This is why a low duration can help offset the higher
19. Consult Pattern Skill Values under the heading “Complexity”.
Find the value for the magic skill used in the spell, and record
it in the oval marked “Magic Type”.
20. Take the highest number from among these
totals: State, Pattern, Control, Apportation, and “Duration”. Record
this number in the oval labeled “Process Maximum”.
21. Add together all of the totals obtained in
the far right column (Conjuration - State, Pattern Skill - Pattern,
etc.). Record this sum in the oval marked “Spell Sum”. If the Spell
Sum is less than zero, write zero in the oval.
22. Decide on a Cast Time for the spell. Some
things to remember:
a. Since an impressed spell is stored in the
mind until released, mages often assign long cast times to impressed
b. A combat round is 10 seconds (value 5). Therefore,
any spell that has a cast time less than 5 will take effect in
the round the casting is begun; otherwise, the spell is released
in the next round.
Example: A spell with a cast time of
4 seconds (value 3) will release in the same round it is
started; a cast time of 10 seconds (value 5) will release
on the second round, requiring the mage to cast the spell
for the entire round). Note that this extends to longer cast
times as well; a spell with a cast time of 40 seconds will
take four full combat rounds to cast, releasing on the fifth
23. Add together the Magic Type, Process Maximum,
and Spell Sum. Subtract from this the Cast Time. Record this number
under “Basic Complexity”. The time required to observe this much
of the spell is one hour; if less time is spent, the value of the
time cut short is added to Pattern. This becomes a factor in casting
on the fly, discussed later.
Theorems are applied to make a spell easier to cast. Theorems
are the most time-consuming part of spell design; each theorem
takes at least a week to observe. The mage may apply as many or
as few theorems as he or she wishes. The theorems are applied one
at a time, and the mage may stop at any time (i.e., if the mage
puts six theorems into a spell, and stops applying them after the
third, the spell is finished with three theorems; the other three
When applying a theorem, the value is determined as follows; the
value of the number of weeks the theorem is studied (on the Value
Chart), plus the skill adds (process theorems only), plus a bonus
number. When generating a bonus number for theorems, no Possibilities
or cards can be used to augment the roll. The total(s) are subtracted
from the Basic Complexity.
There are two types of theorems; process theorems and pattern
theorems. Each is detailed below.
Process theorems are learned just like Arcane
Knowledges. They are used for two purposes; making a spell easier
to cast and manipulating a spell (manipulation is discussed in
Advanced Spellcraft). There are six process theorems: Cast Time, Control,
Duration, Range, Speed, and State. The adds in these theorems are
figured in with the value of weeks studied and the bonus number
to determine the theorem total. Note that using a process theorem
does not affect the part of the spell it is named after; using
the Duration theorem does not affect the duration of the spell
in any way.
Pattern theorems can be applied to any spell;
they do not need to be learned. Pattern theorems not only reduce
complexity, but also affect how the spell operates. There are nine
pattern theorems, and their effects are described below.
Concentration: As the mage casts the spell,
his or her mind mirrors the pattern. If the mage continues to concentrate
on the pattern after it is cast, the pattern is easier to maintain
in the natural world. If Concentration is applied, the mage must
concentrate on the spell, doing nothing else until the effect is
Contagion: A part is always linked with its whole.
Therefore, having a part of the affected material will make it
easier to affect the whole. If Contagion is applied, the mage must
have a physical object which represents either the pattern knowledge
or the result knowledge.
Specific Contagion: This may be applied when
the object used comes from the target of the spell itself. Thus,
a human hair can be used as a Contagion for a spell affecting folk,
but if Specific Contagion is used, the hair must come from the
target of the spell. If Specific Contagion is applied, Contagion
may be applied automatically.
Exclusion: The less of a knowledge which is necessary
for a pattern or result, the easier the spell. A spell which affects
only a sub-group of a knowledge uses Exclusion. Exclusion can be
applied only once to the pattern and the result.
Thus, you can use Exclusion to affect only dwarves, but you can’t
use it again to affect left-handed dwarves. However, if you had
a spell that turned dwarves into dragons, you can use Exclusion
twice; once on the pattern of folk to Exclude dwarves,
and once on the result of enchanted to Exclude dragons.
Emotional states are beyond the bounds of Exclusion. You cannot
use Exclusion to affect only friendly folk, or angry entities,
The Exclusion must be a sub-group that already exists naturally
in the knowledge. You cannot design a fireball that only burns
dwarves; the pattern and result of fireball is fire; there is no
such thing naturally as fire that only burns dwarves.
Uniqueness: Uniqueness may be applied when the
spell affects only one particular individual. When Uniqueness is
applied, Exclusion may be applied as well. Uniqueness follows the
same rules as Exclusion in its use.
Similarity: Whenever the mage mimics the process
or result of a spell while casting it, Similarity is applied. The
mage mimes what the spell will do when cast.
Touch: Direct contact between the caster and
the target of a spell makes the transfer of the result easier.
Touch is applied when the caster is required to touch the recipient
of the spell (which may require an unarmed combat total against
an unwilling target).
Self: Since the observer of the pattern (the
mage) is closest to the pattern of the spell, he or she is most
easily affected by it. Using Self means that the spell will only
affect the caster. Since a being whose spirit is in their physical
form is touching their physical form, the theorem of Touch can
be applied, too. This also implies that any spell using Self will
end if a person’s spirit is separated from their body.
Voice: The path from supernatural pattern to
natural world is similar to the path from thought to voice. Thus,
if the caster speaks or vocalizes sounds while casting, Voice may
be applied. The spoken part must have some relation to the spell’s
effect, and these spells cannot be cast while under any form of
In the lower right-hand corner of the Spell Laboratory Sheet,
record the Basic Complexity in the oval just below the oval with
the same label. Add up all totals from theorems, and place the
total in the oval marked “Theorem Sum”. Subtract the Theorem Sum
from the Basic Complexity, and record it under “Final Complexity”.
Reference this number with the magic skill listed in Pattern Skill
Values under “Final Complexity”. If the number in Pattern Skill
Values is greater than the Final Complexity determined, use the
number from the table instead. This number will be divided between
the backlash and difficulty of the spell,
Recording the Spell
In the box at the top right of the Spell Laboratory Sheet labeled “SPELL
LOG”, record the following data:
Spell: The name of the spell.
Axiom Level: The Magic axiom necessary to produce
the effect of the spell. This is determined by referencing the
Magic axiom. A spell with an axiom higher than the region it is
cast in and/or the caster will cause a contradiction. Impressed
spells will have two axioms; the first is the axiom level of the
spell’s effect, the second is a parenthetical value of 17, the
axiom level at which impressing is possible.
Skill: Record the magic skill used, the pattern
knowledge, and the sum of the designer’s skill value and knowledge
adds. In order to cast this spell, a mage must have a skill + knowledge
total that equals or exceeds this number.
Example: A mage designs
a divination/metal spell. He has a divination
magic skill of 16, and 7 adds in metal. He
records the Skill as “divination/metal 23”. Another
mage must have a total of 23 or greater in divination/metal to
cast this spell.
It is possible to design a spell without using your full skill.
This is covered in Advanced Spellcraft.
Backlash and Difficulty: Divide the Final Complexity
between these two values. It does not have to be equally divided.
Difficulty is the number that a caster needs to beat to cast the
spell; backlash is the measure of the spell’s resistance to the
natural world. When a mage generates a spell total (his skill plus
a bonus), he or she checks it against both of these numbers. If
the spell total equals or exceeds the difficulty, the spell is
cast. Whether or not the difficulty is overcome, the mage also
checks backlash. Compare the backlash to the character’s Mind or
the spell total, whichever is higher. Read the result points on
the damage chart as mental stun damage (i.e., the first wound becomes
It is important to know when the character “knows” the spell,
that is, has spent a Possibility to learn it. It is possible for
characters to cast an “unknown” spell directly from a grimoire,
however, in this case backlash is compared to the spell total,
never to the caster’s Mind.
Example: If a mage casts a “known” spell
poorly and gets a spell total of 2, he will compare the backlash
(16, let us suppose) to his Mind (10), causing 6
result points, or O 2 damage. If cast from a grimoire, rather
than comparing backlash to his Mind, he must compare
it to the spell total of 2, for 14 result points (2 Wnd K/O
A mage must remain conscious after backlash for the spell to work.
There are exceptions to the rules on backlash, which are noted.
Effect Value: Record the Effect Value here.
Bonus Number To: A mage generates a bonus number
when casting a spell. The bonus may be applied to one of three
areas; effect, range, or duration. Write down where the bonus will
Range: Write down the range of the spell. It
is usually a good idea to write the range as a measurement and
as a value, like this: Range: 100 m (10).
Duration: Write down the spell’s duration. Again,
it is good to record it as a measure and a value, such as: Duration:
5 min (4).
Cast Time: The Cast Time of the spell. Record
it as a measure and a value: Cast Time: 1 hour (18).
Manipulation: Write down any process theorems
used in the spell. These are used to determine whether or not a
mage can manipulate a spell (discussed in Advanced
Once this information is recorded, the spell is complete. On a
blank paper, record all of the information in the Spell Log, and
include a description of what the spell does. Be sure to mention
the casting method used, the effects of any pattern theorems used,
whether or not the Power Push table is used, any result, disbelief,
or accuracy modifiers, Multi-Target numbers, the divination skill
of a ward, the effects of Aspects, and so on.
There are several ways in which a mage can make a spell permanent.
In all cases, a permanent spell is cast with a -15 modifier to
the spell total. The mage must beat the difficulty with a -15 bonus
modifier to cause a spell to exist permanently.
Example: A mage (alteration magic 16)
wants to make haste permanent (difficulty 15). The
mage would have to roll at least a 51 to be successful (51
gives a bonus of 14; 16 + 14 - 15 = 15, the spell’s difficulty).
One other disadvantage to permanent magic is that backlash is
always compared to the skill total, never the Mind of
In the example above, the backlash of haste is 18; if
the mage had only rolled a 17 (for a bonus of +4), he would have
a skill total of 5 (16 + 4 - 15 = 5). Not only does the spell fail,
but the mage takes 13 result points of mental stun damage.
The -15 modifier is based on the following formula: (Magic axiom
of the Cosm) - 33. Thus, for Aysle, the modifier is 18-33, or -15.
Modifiers for other cosms do vary.
Making the Process Permanent: Making the process
permanent causes the effect of a spell to last forever (or until
dispelled). A fireball will burn forever, a man will stay a frog,
a mage will be forever hasted, etc.
Making the Pattern Permanent: Making the pattern
permanent means that the potential of the spell is always there.
Since the pattern exists, the spell can be cast without knowing
the pattern knowledge (the magic skill is still necessary, however).
Any theorem restrictions required by the spell are still necessary
to use the spell.
Example: A mage has an altered fireball spell.
Normally, the spell would be cast, and the mage would then
light the ball of pitch required by altered fireball to
activate the spell. The spell would then have to be recast.
If the pattern were made permanent and cast on a gem, the
pattern of fire would be in the gem forever; anyone with
an alteration magic skill could use the gem to make
fireballs. The burning pitch is still necessary, however.
There are four types of enchanted items:
1. An item with a permanent focused spell. The
spell is cast at -15, and the process is declared permanent. The
effect can be illustrated with the spell Command Obedience. If
this impressed and focused spell is cast with a permanent process,
then the spell will affect the target forever (as long as it is
within range of the focused object; if the creature exits the range
and then returns, it will be under the command of the mage again).
This type of enchantment would not be useful for a spell such as
Withering Touch, which would keep the withering glove of darkness
on the caster’s hand forever; this makes shaking hands uncomfortable,
to say the least.
2. Placing a permanent pattern into an object.
This is discussed above.
3. An item that holds impressed spells to be
released by the caster. The item must be prepared with a spell,
with a state path like this:
b. Pattern Knowledge (material of object)
c. Mechanism (life)
d. to living forces
e. to folk (allows a folk to cast the spell)
f. Result (the pattern knowledge of the spells to be impressed)
The number of spells that may be impressed equals the result points
of the spell (through Power Push) plus any result modifier. For
the duration of this spell, the object will hold impressed spells
of the specified knowledge (Note that these impressed spells do
not have to be designed to be impressed into an object; the spell
allows the object to hold normal impressed spells through the use
of Life as a mechanism). The preparation spell can be cast permanently;
cast it at -15 and make the process permanent. This creates an
permanent item that holds the specified number of impressed spells.
4. A spell designed to be impressed into an object
may be cast as permanent magic. This requires two castings; one
makes the process permanent, the other makes the pattern permanent.
If either casting fails, the item is not enchanted. This causes
the spell to cast itself over the cast time, then sit until released
by the user of the item. The spell then recasts itself. A ward
may be made permanent in this way; the ward will sit until activated,
then recast itself,
Options for Impressed Spells
A spell may be impressed into another being or object. Doing this
requires the mage to alter the state path to include the being
or object. To impress a spell into another creature, start at the
pattern knowledge as before. But before going to the mechanism,
the mage traces a path to the knowledge representing the recipient
of the impressed spell (folk for humans, enchanted for
dragons, etc.). The cost of this is recorded under “Additional” on
the Spell Laboratory Sheet. The path proceeds from this knowledge
to the mechanism and result, as normal. The spell, when complete,
will be impressed into the mind of the recipient, who can release
it even if they have no magic skills.
Impressing a spell into an object is even more difficult. After
determining the pattern knowledge, the mage traces a path to living
forces, then to folk (assuming that the caster is
a folk), then to the Element knowledge that best describes
the object. Record this cost under “Additional”, and then follow
the path to mechanism and result as normal. This spell can be impressed
into the specified object, and released from it by the caster,
Casting on the Fly
Casting on the fly is the term used to describe the casting of
spells a mage has not learned for himself. Casting on the fly is
dangerous, since backlash is always compared to the spell total,
never the Mind of the caster. The mage creates the spell as normal,
using the Spell Laboratory Sheet. There are two differences; first,
the mage must determine the time spent designing the spell (as
a time value), and subtract this value from 18 (1 hour). The result
is added to the Pattern. Second, no theorems may be applied to
the spell, so the basic complexity is the final complexity. The
mage divides the final complexity into difficulty and backlash,
and then must either cast the spell the next round or lose the
pattern. The mage cannot be interrupted while observing the pattern.
Invitation to Madness: When creating a spell
on the fly, a mage can make use of a dangerous option; the invitation
to madness. Using this option, a mage gets a bonus of +3 to all
six generated totals (Conjuration, Pattern Skill, Divination, Apportation,
Alteration, and the spell skill total). The drawback is that the
spell must be cast regardless of the complexity, and the backlash
must be equal to or greater than the difficulty,
Under certain conditions, a mage can manipulate a spell to vary
If a mage has at least one add in all of the process theorems
listed under Manipulation, he or she can manipulate the spell.
The process theorems known do not affect how the spell can be manipulated
(i.e., if a mage knows Duration and Cast Time, he can still fully
manipulate the spell; he is not limited to altering the duration
and cast time only).
A mage can manipulate a spell in one of four ways:
1. They can re-allocate the final complexity
between difficulty and backlash, as long as the total is the same.
This takes one round.
2. They can re-allocate points from effect to
either range or duration, points from range to either effect or
duration, or points from duration to effect or range. Effect and
duration points are transferred on a point-for-point basis. Range
has a speed component, so one range point is worth two effect or
duration points, and vice versa. Each such manipulation takes one
3. They can increase the cast time of a spell,
adding these points on a one-for-one basis to either effect or
duration, or a two-for-one basis to range. They may also decrease
the cast time, decreasing the effect or duration on a point-for-point
basis, or decreasing two points of cast time for one point of range.
Each such manipulation takes one round.
4. They may increase backlash in order to increase
effect, range, or duration. They can also increase backlash to
decrease cast time. The backlash increase is read on the Power
Push table, and the push amount is added (to effect, range, or
duration) or subtracted (from cast time) as appropriate. This can
be done as the spell is being cast, but before the die is rolled.
Designing Simpler Spells
There are times when a mage may want to design a spell without
using their full skill, such as when designing a spell intended
for students or lesser mages. This is especially true if the designer’s
skill in a particular area is high; if a mage has a conjuration/folk total
of 37, it will be difficult for other mages to cast his conjuration/folk spells!
A mage may reduce his skill in two ways:
1. He may reduce the number of Arcane Knowledge
adds used in the Pattern Skill.
If he does so, he must also use this reduced number for the Pattern,
Conjuration, Divination, Apportation, and Alteration totals.
2. He may reduce the number of skill adds used
in the Pattern Skill. He must use this reduced skill value for
the Pattern total and the other skill total (Conjuration, Divination,
One advantage the mage has in designing simple spells is that
the theory knowledges are applied at full adds. This is another
case in which process theorems are useful.
Charts and Tables
|Pattern Skill Values
to State Path
Focused: +2 to State Path
Impressed: +3 to State Path
Ward: +5 to State Path
| Aysle Attribute Limits
| Multi-Attributes & Aspects
(Area): A = πr2
Square (Area): A = s2
Rectangle (Area): A = lw
Sphere (Volume): V = 4/3(πr3)
Cube (Volume): V = s3
Box (Volume): V = lwh
Cone (Volume): V = 1/3(πr2h)
Cylinder (Volume): V = πr2h
Pyramid (Volume): V = 1/3 (lwh)
Abbrev.: π= pi (3.14) h = height l = length s =
side w = width r = radius
Updated: Sept. 1, 2006
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its contents are copyright © 2001-2010
by Jasyn Jones.