Magic

Magic in Shadora

Magic Summary Table

Click the "Magic Type link to jump to that section

Magic Type TN Range Cost Duration Roll Learning
Possession 4 usually Spirit" 1 PP 5 round Spirit 500T
Divine 4 usually Spiritx2" Free 5 min Spirit AB, Edges, Rank
Sorcery 4 Varies Varies Varies Sorcery AB, Edges, Rank
Cantrips 4 Smarts" 1 PP 1 round Sorcery AB, Edges
Waymaster 4 Varies Varies Varies per Power AB, Edges, Rank
Shamanism 4 usually Spiritx2" Free 15 min Spirit AB, Edges, Rank
Alchemy 4 3/6/12 1 PP 10 Rounds Alchemy AB, Edges, Rank
Psionics 4 Varies Varies Varies Psionics Xern

Magic takes many forms in Shadora, but the three most common types are Possession, Divine, and Sorcery. Possession spells are short term boons granted to you by your ancestor spirits in exchange for a continued connection to the world of the living. Divine spells are powerful, one use invocations of your god’s will and must be regained through prayer at a temple or shrine. Shadoran Sorcery uses Power Points as outlined in SWD with modifiers to the spell casting rolls based on the strength of the spell and other environmental factors. The magic system is by far the most “home-brewed” part of the Shadora setting. This chapter summarizes the mechanics, so that you can refer back it easily.

In addition, Martial Arts is a special branch of Divine magic specific to the worshippers of Bandar, and Shamanism is a special branch of Possession magic that deals with ancestor worship. The Xern race knows psionics as members of the hive mind. Both of these are detailed on their own pages.

Starting Power Points

All creatures in Shadora have starting Power Points (PP) equal to Spirit/2 + 2. Edges and Arcane Backgrounds that grant Power Points add to this starting value.

Possession Magic

“Keep your ancestors about you, feed them well, and they will keep you safe and sane.” – old peasant’s proverb.

Possession magic is the most common form of magic in Shadora. Even a lowly farmer will know enough possession magic to help him mend a fence, sharpen an axe, or recover from an exhausting day in the fields. This form of magic gets its name from the fact that it is accomplished via benign possession – that it, the ancestor spirit is allowed to “come forward” for a moment and sense the world again. In turn, when they withdraw they impart some boon upon the caster of the spell.

The spirit magician feeds the spirit mana in exchange for the use of its essence. Spirits used in this fashion must be a friendly ancestor of the caster for this relationship to work. If uncle Bob was good at fixing things in life, it is possible that he could serve his nephew by providing repair magic. If aunt Helen was a gossip, perhaps she imparts communication magic. Characters are strongly encouraged to name their possession spell spirits and in turn their possession spells. Enhance Combat could become Cousin Heron’s Sword Arm. Bennies will be given for this effort!

Possession Spell Knowledge Limit

A possession magic user may only have their Smarts die in spells available if they are an Initiate, Smarts + 2 if you are a Rune Master. It takes 1 day at the temple to “forget” a spell (free the spirit) and learn a new one (appease the new spirit). The “forgotten” spell is gone and must be repurchased if the character later regrets their decision.

Possession Spell Attributes

Rank: Novice – anyone can learn to use possession magic without an edge, except sorcerers
Casting TN: 4
Range: Spirit"
Roll: Spirit
Cost: 1 PP
Duration: 5 rounds
Learning: 500T and 1 day – Cult Possession Spells (see Divine Magic section) are half price to Initiates and free to Rune Masters.
Other: Must be able to speak to use Possession Magic. You may know a number of Possession spells equal to your Smarts die or Smarts + 2 if you are a Rune Master.

How to Cast a Possession Spell

  1. This is an Action in combat and counts as your 1 Power for the round
  2. Spend a Power Point
  3. Make a Spirit roll against a Target Number of 4.
  4. If called for in the description, the caster may have to make an Opposed Spirit roll.

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Divine Magic

Divine Magic, also known as Rune magic represents magical powers granted to a hero directly from their god. Divine Magic is available only to faithful members of the various cults; specifically, worshippers of Initiate status or higher. It is a powerful boon fro the gods themselves and divine magicians must beseech their god in his or her temple to regain them once cast.

Regaining Divine Spells

Divine spells are all 1 use and can only be regained by spending time in prayer at a temple or shrine of the associated deity. This ritual takes an hour at the end of which the character must make a cleansing Spirit roll. On a success the player regains the use of all Divine spells provided by that god. Only 1 attempt may be made to recover Divine spells each day. Circumstances impact your ability to regain spells:

  • Temple Size: Shrine = 0, Temple = +1, Great Temple = +2
  • Sinner: Minor -1, Major -2, Mortal – No spells may be regained until you complete and act of contrition.
  • Corrupted: -2 per point of Corruption

Types of Divine Magic

Divine magic is divided into Common and Cult spell types. Common spells are available to all cults. Cult spells are available only to the Initiates, Lords, and Priests of that cult. Most gods formed strong bonds with others of their element during the Chaos War and make at least one of their spells available to non-cult member of the same element as an associated spell. Associated spells are tagged with an asterisk (*) in the Divine spell tables.

Divine Spell Attributes

Pre-Requisite: Initiate, Rune Lord, or Rune Priest Edge
Casting TN: 4 (Generally)
Range: Spirit x2" (Generally);
Roll: Spirit (always succeeds, just rolling for Raises )
PP Cost: There is no PP cost for Divine spells but, they are 1 use and must be regained at a Temple after casting
Duration: 5 Minutes ( 50 rounds )
Learning: By gaining Edges or Rank
Other: Must be able to speak to use Divine Magic

How to Cast a Divine Spell

  • This is a free action in combat and it always succeeds. ( you may still only cast 1 spell per round )
  • Make a Spirit roll against a TN of 4 (Generally) to see if you are favored by your God and got a Raise.
    • -1 per currently active spell
  • If called for in the description, make a contested roll. Usually this is Spirit vs. Spirit.

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Sorcery

Sorcery taps into the power within. A Sorcerer would say that the Elements are their slaves while Divine priests are slaves to their elements. While the powers they wield are mighty indeed, they are exhausting and a sorcerer must rest long and often to regain their strength.

Sorcery Spell Attributes

Rank: Sorcery spell Rank requirements are ignored in Shadora. Spell access is limited by college and university membership instead of Rank.
Casting TN: 4
Cost: Varies
Range: Varies
Roll: Arcane skill – Modifiers
Duration: Varies
Learning: New Power Edge or Walking the Conundrum
Other: Must be able to speak and gesture to use Sorcery Magic
Backlash: When a sorcerer rolls a 1 on his Arcane die (regardless of his Wild Die), he is automatically Shaken. This can cause a wound.
Snake Eyes: Backlash and draw a card from the Fumble Deck
Disruption: If Shaken, make a Concentration (Smarts) roll to continue maintaining active spells. If Wounded, make a Arcane roll vs. Damage to continue maintaining active spells. A Familiar adds +2 to Concentration rolls.

How to Cast a Sorcery Spell

  • This counts as an action in combat, counts as your 1 spell per round, and costs the number of PP – even if you fail.
  • Roll Arcane Skill, adding or subtracting the appropriate modifiers, against a Target Number of 4 – Modifiers
    • Corruption: -1 per point
    • Spells Being Maintained: -1 per Spell currently being maintained
    • Local Mana Density: Low -1; Normal 0; High +1; Nexus +2
    • Conundrum: Focus: +1; Improved Focus: +2
    • University Affiliation: Common or Your College +1; Your University 0; Associated -2; Rival -4
    • Spend 1 Round in Ceremony: +2
    • Power Points in Spell: -1 per 2 Power Points spent (round down)
    • Under Aid Spell: + 1 to + 4
    • Spell has Range of Familiarity: Very 0; Somewhat -2; Not -4; Uncertain -6; Sympathetic +2;

How to Maintain a Sorcery Spell

  • Maintaing a spell is a free action
  • Spend the PP listed in the Duration of the spell
  • No roll is required

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Cantrips

Cantrips are the magic spells learned and used by student sorcerers during their long, rigorous, and tedious training. Cantrips are simple spells of no great effect. Casting a cantrip is considered a normal action. Cantrips cannot be maintained, and may be countered by an opposed Spirit Roll against the sorcerer’s Spell casting roll.

Cantrip Attributes

Rank: Novice
Casting TN: 4
Cost: 1PP
Range: Smarts
Roll: Arcane skill
Duration: 1 round
Learning: New Power Edge
Other: Must be able to speak and gesture to use Cantrips

How to Cast a Cantrip

  • This counts as an action in combat, counts as your 1 spell per round, and costs the number of PP – even if you fail.
  • Roll Arcane Skill against a Target Number of 4

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Waymaster Powers

Waymaster martial arts powers work like Arcane Background (Super Powers) described in SWD, each power available to these characters has a skill of the same name, which is used to activate that power and that power alone. In Shadora, all such skills are linked to Spirit. This reflects the supreme devotion required to channel the will of Bandar through one’s own body. The TN for successfully using the skill is 4+PP/2 just like sorcery and this counts as an action. A Waymaster may only have 1 power active at a time. Concentration (Smarts) rolls are required when shaken, fatigued or wounded to maintain a power. These powers are purchased via the New Powers edge and your skill begins at d6. Waymasters do not suffer backlash.

Waymaster Power Attributes

Rank: Varies
Casting TN: 4
Cost: Varies
Range: Varies
Roll: Waymaster Power skill – PP/2 (round down)
Duration: Varies
Learning: New Power Edge
Other: Must be able to gesture to use Waymaster powers

How to Cast a Waymaster Power

  • This counts as an action in combat, counts as your 1 spell per round, and costs the number of PP – even if you fail.
  • Roll Waymaster Skill against a TN 4 – PP/2 (round down)

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Shamanism

Shamans see the world a little differently than others. They are the spirit masters for their cult or tribe and know that names of ancestors and cult heroes going back hundreds—maybe thousands—of years. A shaman associated with an Ahay tribe may be called a “medicine man” and may also have a cult affiliation. Shamans rely on asking favors of the denizens of the Spirit Plane, the cult, ancestors, and nature spirits. Shamans must often perform a sacrifice of some sort to entreat the aid of the spirits. This can be anything from a period of fasting or a pledge, to a ceremonial dance, or even ritual scarring. Generally, the more time required for a ceremony or ritual, or the more permanent the effect, the more it impresses the spirits.

A new shaman will live with, work for, and aid his spirit master in every way for the first year. In return he will be taught the ways of the shaman. A new shaman’s time is not his own; most spirit masters have only two to four assistants and have no room for sluggards, backsliders, or disloyal followers. A shaman must spend 90% of his time with his spirit master during the first year. After the first year, the shaman is sent out in the world on a “walkabout” to wait for their calling. The shaman becomes a student of nature and must travel the world to deepen his understanding. When he has learned enough he will receive “the Call” from his spirit master and must return to learn the deeper rites.

Shamanic Magic

Shamanic powers work exactly like Divine Magic but they can only be recovered through sacrifices and hours of meditation to regain control of the ancestor totem spirits. The ritual takes 2 hours and a Spirit Roll. TN and material cost s based on the impression the spirits have on the Shaman. GM will roll on the Reaction table or base the TN on the Shaman’s recent actions. The Shaman can aid their own Spirit roll using their Persuasion skill.

  • Helpful spirits require 5T of the appropriate sacrifice (e.g. fresh salmon for a bear spirit) and TN 3,
  • Friendly spirits require 10T of the appropriate sacrifice (e.g. fresh salmon for a bear spirit) and TN 4,
  • Neutral spirits 25T and TN 5
  • Uncooperative 50T and TN 6.
  • Hostile spirits 100T and TN 8.

The TN increases by 1 for each point of Corruption. The sacrifice is used up regardless of the roll.


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Alchemy

The rules for Alchemy are in the Fantasy Companion (SWFC) on page 23-25. Additionally, when creating an Edge, Storing or Binding potion that will hold a spell, edge or creature that you do not possess yourself, may have to pay an Edge owner or Spell caster to help create the potion.


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Psionics

All Xern learn psionics at birth from the hive queen who communicates with her subjects though a powerful mental link known as a Hive Mind.

Psionic Power Attributes

Casting TN: 4
Cost: Varies
Range: Varies
Roll: Psionics skill
Duration: Varies
Learning: New Power Edge
Brainburn: When a Xern rolls a 1 on his Psionics die (regardless of his Wild Die), he is automatically Shaken. This can cause a wound.
Snake Eyes: On a critical failure, the Xern lets out a psychic scream that causes him to be Shaken along with all allies in a Large Burst Template who fail a Spirit roll. This can cause a wound.
Disruption: If Shaken, make a Concentration (Smarts) roll to continue maintaining active powers. If Wounded, make a Concentration roll vs. Damage to continue maintaining active spells. Mentalist edge adds +2 to Concentration rolls.

How to Invoke a Psionic Power

  • This counts as an action in combat, counts as your 1 spell per round, and costs the number of PP – even if you fail.
  • Roll Psionics Skill
    • Corruption: -1 per point
    • Powers Being Maintained: -1 per Power currently being maintained
    • Spend 1 Round in Meditation: +2

How to Maintain a Psionic Power

  • Maintaining a power is a free action
  • Spend the PP listed in the Duration of the spell
  • No roll is required

Magic

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