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The Consilium

Second Edition

Compiled by: Del Webb
Additional Writing: Jasyn Jones
Commentary: Ks. Jim Ogle

The content of The Consulium Magica are copyright ©1995 by Del Webb.

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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 other spell.

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.

The Building Blocks

Magic Types

There are four types of magic in Torg: divination, alteration, apportation, and conjuration.


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 metal).

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 it.

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 and Tables).

B. The attribute plus the maximum gain possible from the Speed Push (+2) or Power Push (+6) table, whichever is appropriate.

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,

Arcane Knowledges


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 Void

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 Kindred.

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 dimensions

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 knowledge.

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, intellect

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.

Mixed Forces

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.

Seven 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 not included.

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, golems, ghosts.

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 tempered.

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 and hungry.

Metal: All earthly substances which are pliable when flame is applied. Intelligence is strong willed and loyal if well-treated.

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 using.


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 Knowledge”.

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 Spellcraft.

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 value).

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 Pattern Skill.

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 and multi-target.

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 combat 20.

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 combat 16.

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 be.

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 costs 3.

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 luck!).

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 costs,

Basic Complexity

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 spells.

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 round.

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 are lost).

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

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

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 ended.

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, etc.

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 silence,

Final Complexity

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 a knockdown).

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 5).

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 go.

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 Spellcraft).

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.

Advanced Spellcraft

Permanent Magic

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 the caster.

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.

Enchanted Items

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:

a. Conjuration

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,

Spell Manipulation

Under certain conditions, a mage can manipulate a spell to vary the effects.

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 round.

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, etc.)

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

Skill Control Cost Complexity Final Complexity
Pattern Skill Values

Casting Method

Direct: +0 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 and Volume

Circle (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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