The Shadoran Sorcery University System

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Fire Rune University of Fire Sorcery Spell Costs and Attributes
Air Rune University of Air Spells Common to all Universities
Earth Rune University of Earth Robes, Familiar
Darkness Rune University of Darkness Staff, Apprentice
Water Rune University of Water Vaults of Eman and the Conundrum

Mana Density’s Impact on Sorcery

Mana is what powers sorcerer’s spells when they tap into it through their arcane skill. Mana flows in ley lines across Shadora. The major ley lines follow the journeyman roads but there are other areas where mana density fluctuates and this in turn affects the spell casting ability of the sorcerer.

Low Normal High Nexus
Sorcery Skill -1 Sorcery +0 Sorcery +1 Sorcery +2 Sorcery
Examples Some Journeyman areas, more than 50m from a Journeyman Road or Ley Line Some Journeyman areas, within 50m of a Journeyman Road or Ley Line Some Journeyman areas, within 100" of a Journeyman Road or Ley Line, Emancia Some Journeyman areas, the enchanting halls of the Great Cities, and the Astral Stairways to the Court of the Elements

Spells from Other Colleges

As a sorcerer advances in their knowledge, they gain access to the spells of other colleges. These spells are harder to cast since they are more foreign to they normal way of thinking. Casting spells from a rival university may cause the caster’s mind to become unhinged. If you roll snake eyes when casting a spell from a rival university you gain a point of Corruption. Very few sane mages master all 5 magic schools…

Spell College Sorcery Skill Modifier
Your College or Common +1
Your University 0
Associated University -2
Rival University -4 (Backlash = Corruption)
Darkness Earth Fire Air Water
Darkness 0 Associate (-2) Rival (-4) Rival (-4) Associate (-2)
Earth Associate (-2) 0 Associate (-2) Rival (-4) Rival (-4)
Fire Rival (-4) Associate (-2) 0 Associate Rival (-4)
Air Rival (-4) Rival (-4) Associate (-2) 0 Associate (-2)
Water Associate (-2) Rival (-4) Rival (-4) Associate (-2) 0

The Benefits of Sorcerous Rank

Status Requirement Benefits Hem/Cuff Color
Student Novice, Sorcery d4, Smarts d8 Access to Cantrips, Common Spells and Spells of 1 College, Bound by Silver Rule No Robes
Apprentice Seasoned, Sorcery d6, Smarts d8, Walk the Conundrum Above plus access to spells of 1 University, Sorcerer’s Robes (1 Armor), Familiar, Staff (Reach 1) for Touch spells White
Mage Veteran, Sorcery d8, Smarts d8, Walk the Conundrum Above plus access to spells of 3 Universities, Sorcerer’s Robes, (2 Armor), Mage Staff, 1 Apprentice, Arch Lore Gray
Magnus Heroic, Sorcery d10, Smarts d10, Walk the Conundrum Above plus access to Spells of All Universities, College Professor, Access to Vaults of Eman, 3 Apprentices Silver
Wizard Legendary, Sorcery d12, Smarts d12, Walk the Conundrum Dean of College, Immortality Spell, 5 Apprentices Gold

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The Robes

A university sorcerer gains his robes upon becoming an Apprentice. The robes are a gift from the university and are enchanted to have 1 Armor covering all locations but the head and never need washing. The robes are colored as desired by the Apprentice and the hem and cuffs of the robe will have 3 stripes. The innermost stripe indicates the color of the University, the middle stripe the College of specialization, and the outermost stripe indicates the sorcerer’s rank. The robes are enchanted with an additional 1 Armor when the sorcerer reaches the rank of Mage. The robes are a valuable gift as sorcerers may not wear metal armor unless it is made of silver.

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The Familiar

A university sorcerer gains a familiar when he walks the Conundrum to become an Apprentice. Familiars may be awakened animals or elementals. The mage and familiar get the following benefits upon gaining the Familiar:

  1. The mage can use the familiar’s senses as if they were his own. This requires 1 action to concentrate. The maximum range for this ability is the mage’s Smarts x 100". This allows the mage to target ranged spells from their Familiar’s position if desired.
  2. The mage can transfer wounds and Fatigue levels to or from his familiar as a free action.
  3. Familiar adds +2 to concentration rolls.
  4. Familiars are magical creatures and can strike other magical creates (e.g. Elementals, Demons, etc) normally.
  5. A familiar forms an intimate bond with the sorcerer. If this bond is severed by the death of the familiar, the sorcerer immediately receives 2 Levels of Fatigue and is Shaken. Vice-versa for the Familiar.
  6. The Familiar is a wild card with 3 wounds and no bennies and is treated as an Ally for determining experience gains. See SWD
  7. Awakened animals may be healed through the normal means, but elementals are a special case. The elemental may make a Vigor roll daily and each success and raise heals 1 wound. They may also use magical healing but no potions.

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The Mage Staff

The sorcerer’s staff is perhaps his most important tool. The staff is found when the sorcerer walks the Conundrum to obtain the rank of Mage. Though this description uses the word ‘staff’ the sorcerer will find a staff, wand or rod as he desires. The Mage Staff provides a number of benefits including:

  1. Reach: A staff extends its owner’s touch – while he’s holding it, he feels anything it touches as if it were a part of his own body (which can be disconcerting at first). In addition, if a spell requires the owner to touch his target, (range = touch) he may touch it with his staff instead (convenient for dealing with the slimier creatures out there), and any spell effect that is projected from the owner’s hand may instead be projected from the staff. A staff gives you Reach 1. The mage staff’s owner automatically knows if anyone other than himself is touching it. Note, upon becoming an Apprentice, the Apprentice Binding Ritual also bestows this benefit on the Apprentice’s staff. Touching a hostile target in this fashion still gets the +2 Touch Attack bonus.
  2. Focus: The mage staff serves as a ‘Focus’ for the sorcerer’s magical energy, making it easier to cast spells. The initial Mage Staff created by the Conundrum gives the Focus an intensity of 1. Each point of Focus intensity adds +1 Sorcery skill for all the spells the Sorcerer knows. The intensity of the Focus will increase by one for each trip through the Conundrum the sorcerer survives. If the staff is destroyed, all bonus from the focus is lost and the sorcerer must walk the Conundrum to create a new mage staff.
  3. Location: The staff’s owner always knows where his staff is – unless it is hidden by magic. The owner need only concentrate for 1 round and he will know the direction and rough distance to the staff.
  4. Exclusive: A caster may only have one staff at a time, and losing or destroying it is a very dangerous proposition. Nobody but the owner can access the powers of a staff, but if someone else holds it and casts a spell targeting the owner, he automatically gains a +5 bonus to their Sorcery skill roll.
  5. Breaking: If the mage staff is destroyed (snapped, sawed, burned, etc.), the owner immediately takes 2 Wounds. A mage staff explodes violently when destroyed and the ensuing explosive magical backlash is risky to everyone near the staff. The explosion does 3d6 x (Focus Strength) in a Large Burst template centered on the staff. The staff is considered a masterwork item for the purposes of breaking ( +6 Toughness ).
  6. Glow: The staff will Glow ( as per the spell ) when commanded by the owner. Free action, no PP.
  7. Awakened: The staff, while not intelligent, is made aware of its master and strives to expand his powers and abilities. As such gains experience as per the Ally rules. Any edges taken by the staff are bestowed on the Wizard when it is in his or her possession.
  8. Quality: At the Mage level the staff becomes Fine. As Magnus it becomes Superb. At Wizard it becomes Masterwork.
  9. Aura: For a free action – no PP, the staff can be made to darken the shadows around the sorcerer, giving +2 Intimidation rolls, or project and aura of calm granting +2 Persuasion

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The Apprentice

An apprentice is created by having your student walk the Conundrum. Apprentice bonding is required for students to advance into the deeper workings of the Sorcerous arts. There are many benefits to the bond between master and apprentice including:

  1. Each is aware of the others approximate distance and direction.
  2. Each is aware of the others health and well being.
  3. The master can give a mental command for the apprentice to return.
  4. Each may automatically cast Aid spells on each other as a free action.
  5. The death of one is immediately known by the other.
  6. The apprentice link creates a heightened state of Learning. Buying new Powers from the Common or Sorcerer’s College cost half price (e.g. 2 for 1) .

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The Vaults of The Eman

Access to the vaults is granted to the most accomplished sorcerers in Shadora. The vaults contain many as yet undiscovered secrets. In game terms, this manifests itself in the players being allowed to research and invent their own spells.

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The Conundrum

Traveling the conundrum is an intricate walking ritual which casts both the Create Familiar and the Apprentice Bonding Spells. The Spells are cast once the student emerges safely from the dark maze. Within the maze the Apprentice Candidate will encounter their Familiar and must prove themselves worthy via a series of tests that the Conundrum chooses. The tests are unique for each student and are considered a deeply personal journey. The candidate may only take their staff and attuned magic into the maze. The challenges will test the candidate’s power, knowledge and skill within their element. Many take the test, most fail and some die. Those that survive find themselves bound to both their Familiar and their new Master. This test is treated as a Dramatic Task.

At the entrance of the Conundrum stands a small statue of Eman Zelen, the First wizard after which all the Eman are named. The statue’s face appears to smirk at the viewer. The statues inscription is written in the Journeyman tongue as. “Behold! The perpetual learner approaches.” Most believe that this message is a subtle reminder of the sorcerer’s paradox of discipline and humility: The discipline to study constantly and continue learning, and the humility to realize that their learning will never be complete.

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Sorcery Spell Costs and Attributes Table

Arcane Skill Modifier = PP/2 Round Down

Power PP Range Duration Power PP Range Duration
Aid 1 Touch Special Greater Healing 10/20 Touch Instant
Analyze Foe 1-2 Smt×2 3 (1/r) Grow/ Shrink 2+ Smt 3 (2/r)
Animation 3-10 Smtx2 3 (1/r) Havoc 2-4 Smt×2 Instant
Armor 2 Touch 3 (1/r) Healing 3 Touch Instant
Banish 3 Smt Instant Homing Circle 3 Touch 1h/3PP
Barrier S Smt 3/(Spec.) Illusion 5 Smtx2 3 (2/r)
Battle Master 3 Touch 3 (2/r) Image 3 Smtx2 3 (1/r)
Beast Friend S Smt×100 10m Intangibility 5 Touch 3 (2/r)
Blade Breaker 3 Smtx2 Instant Invisibility 5 Self 3 (1/r)
Blast 2-6 24/48/96 Instant Jet 2 12" Instant
Bless/Curse 4-6 Smt×2 3 (2/r) Legerdemain 1 Smt Instant
Blind 2-6 12/24/48 Instant Light 1 Touch 10m (1/m)
Bolt 1-6 12/24/48 Instant Lock Master 2 Smtx2 3 (1/r)
Boost Elemental 3 Smt 3 (1/r) Mind Rider 3 Fam 1m (1/m)
Boost/Lower Trait 2 Smt 3 (1/r) Natural Leader 2 Smtx2 3 (1/r)
Burrow 3 Smt×2 3 (2/r) Nerves of Fire 3 Smt 3 (1/r)
Burst 2 Cone Instant Nerves of Steel 3 Smt 3 (1/r)
Charismatic Aura 2 Touch Instant Obscure 2 Smt 3 (1/r)
Communication 2+ Fam 1m (1/m) Panic 3 Smtx2 Instant
Concentrate 4 Self 3 (2/r) Pummel 2 Cone Instant
Confusion 1-3 Smt×2 Instant Puppet 3 Smt 3 (1/r)
Conjure Gear 1+ Touch Instant Quickness 4 Touch 3 (2/r)
Conjure Meal 1 Touch Instant Resist Element 2+ Smt 3 (1/r)
Courage 3 Smtx2 3 (1/r) Scrying 5,10 Fam 3 (1/r)
Damage Field 4 Touch 3 (1/r) Shape Change S Self 1m (1/m)
Darkvision 1 Touch 1h (1/h) Sluggish Reflexes 4 Smt×2 3 (2/r)
Deflection 2 Touch 3 (1/r) Slumber 2 Smt×2 1m (1/m)
Detect/Conceal Arcana 2 Sight Spec. Smite 2 Touch 3 (1/r)
Disguise 3-5 Touch 10m (1/10m) Smother 3 Smt 3 (2/r)
Dispel 3 Smt Instant Speak Language 1 Touch 10m (1/10m)
Divination 5 Self 1 minute Speed 1 Touch 3 (1/r)
Drain Power Points 3 Smt Instant Stun 2 12/24/48 Special
Draining Touch 3 Self 3 (1/r) Succor 1 Touch Instant
Elemental Manipulation 1 Smt×2 Instant Summon Ally S Smt 3 (1/r)
Emote 2 Smtx2 3 (1/r) Tangle Growth 1 Smt Instant
Endure 3 Smtx2 3 (1/r) Telekinesis 5 Smt 3 (1/r)
Enhance Senses 1 Touch 3m (1/m) Telepathy 3 Smtx2 3 (2/r)
Entangle 2-4 Smt Special Teleport 3+ Spec. Instant
Environmental Protection 2 Touch 1h (1/h) Transparency 1 Touch 3 (1/r)
Farsight 3 Touch 3 (1/r) Wall Walker 2 Touch 3 (1/r)
Fatigue 3 Smtx2 Instant Wandering Senses 2 Smtx10 3 (1/r)
Fear 2 Smt×2 Instant Ward 2,6 Touch 3 (1/r), 10m (1/10m)
Fly 3/6 Touch 3 (1/r) Warrior’s Gift 4 Touch 3 (1/r)
Fog Cloud 2 Touch 3 (1/r) Water Walk 2 Touch 3 (1/r)
Glyph 5 Touch Instant Woodsman 1 Touch 3 (1/r)
Grave Speak 3 Touch 3 (1/r) Zombie S Smt Special

University Level Spell Costs

These spells have trappings native to their university that give them additional effects. However, the PP cost, range, duration are the same as one of the base spells above.

This Spell Same As This Spell Same As This Spell Same As
Conceal Creature Conceal Arcana Flash Flood Blast Shroud of Shadows Armor
Conceal Object Conceal Arcana Great Swim Burrow Steam Jet Jet
Conjure Construct Summon Ally Ice Storm Blast Steam Shield Damage Field
Conjure Creature Summon Ally Ice Weapon Smite Stone Skin Armor
Earth Lance Bolt Immolate Armor Thunder Ball Blast
Find Creature Detect Arcana Lightning Bolt Bolt Torrent Bolt
Find Object Detect Arcana Mage Sight Detect Arcana Wall of Ice Barrier
Find Weakness Analyze Foe Night Lance Bolt Wall of Thorns Barrier
Fire Ball Blast Poison Weapon Smite Wall of Water Barrier
Fire Lance Bolt Rain of Stones Blast Water Robes Armor
Fire Meld Burrow Shadow Spirit Burrow Wind Shield Armor
Fire Wall Barrier Sharp Weapon Smite Wind Walk Fly
Fire Weapon Smite Shock Weapon Smite Wind Wall Barrier
Flame Burst Burst Shockwave Pummel

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Sorcery Common Spells

These spells are available to members of all colleges with access governed by character rank as noted in the spell descriptions.

Aid (N) (P:1, R:Touch, D:Special) This spell allows a sorcerer to establish a link to another sorcerer to provide aid to him in the form of assisted spell casting rolls. The Aid spell must be cast by the person intending to give the aid. Thus you cannot grab a beggar off the street and cast Aid on him to help you cast spells. Once the spell is cast, the caster must touch the recipient and then cast the spell he is assisting with, taking into account the normal sorcery modifiers. Each success and raise adds a +1 to the target’s spell casting roll up to a maximum of +4 per Aiding sorcerer. This spell is immediately taught to all University students for free. Those that can’t master this spell are expelled and sent home. The effects of the spell are temporary and only last as long as the caster is making contact with the recipient.

[Element] Manipulation (N) See Elemental Manipulation. Darkness: Caster can cause light to vanish from a 1 foot square area. If cast over the eyes of an opponent gain a +1 Trick roll from temporary blindness.

Boost [Elemental] (V) (P:3, R:Smt, D3/1) Elemental’s best attribute(s) are increased by 1 die type. 2 on a raise

Glow (N) See Light

Banish (V) See Banish. Banish is Harder against opposing elements: -1 adjacent, and -2 opposed.

Mage Sight (N) See Detect Arcana

Divination (H) See Divination. Command the elemental lords to answer a question! Need 50 pounds of associated element

Homing Circle (V) (P:3, R:Touch, D: 1 hour/3PP) This 5-minute ritual produces a destination for the Teleport spell that fades when the duration expires. The circle will accommodate a mass of up to Size 2 or 500 lbs. A sorcerer using a Teleport spell with a Homing Circle need not see the destination and the Range is in miles instead of inches! A homing circle must be inscribed on something large enough to contain the Size it is receiving. A circle on the dirt, a chalk drawing on the wall, etc. The creature or object being sent must be able to stand or be stacked within the circle.

In addition to being the target of Teleport spells, a Homing circle also acts as a range reduction device for all other sorcery spells. For example, if a sorcerer with Phantom Sound wanted to report into the guild, he could use the homing circle to change the Range of his spell ‘call in’ a report to whoever happened to be within earshot of the homing circle inscribed at the guild. To use another sorcerer’s homing circle, the caster must be present at the circle and succeed in an Arcane skill roll. The connection lasts a tendy. To create a permanent Homing Circle requires an enchantment.

Familiarity Modifiers
A power with a range of “familiarity” can be used over any distance, but the caster suffers a penalty based on how familiar he is with the target. Use only the worst penalty.

  1. Very Familiar (-0): A place where you spend a lot of time (such as your home or work); a person you have spent a great deal of time with (a family member, co-worker, or friend); a place you have studied very carefully (2d4 hours); a place or person you can actually see.
  2. Somewhat Familiar (-2): A place where you have not spent much time (such a local supermarket); a person that you meet often but don’t know well (a casual acquaintance); a place that you know the precise location of (such as, the other side of a closed door); a person or place you have seen with the scrying power.
  3. Not Familiar (-4): A place where you have been to once, and very briefly; a person that you have met once; a person or place that you have a detailed description of.
  4. Uncertain (-6): A place you are pretty sure exists, but know nothing about (such as “the king’s castle,” if that’s all you know about it); a person you know only a name or basic description of (such as “the king”). Impossible: If the definition of something depends on knowledge you lack, you can’t target it with familiarity-range powers. For example, “wherever the kidnap victims are being held” or “the room with the most treasure” or “the headquarters of the guy who just attacked me” are all invalid, because those locations are based on speculation. The power automatically fails, although the GM may ask you to roll at -6 anyway so you won’t know whether the attempt fails due to Uncertain or Impossible.
  5. Sympathetic Object (+2): You have some object that links you to the target – a piece of a person, something taken from a location, “precise tempo-spatial coordinates,” or whatever makes sense for the trappings of your power. It needs to be something that is mildly inconvenient to get a hold of and carry about. This bonus stacks with the above penalties; so if a person is Not Familiar to you, but you have a piece of their hair, you suffer a -4 penalty plus a +2 bonus, for a net -2 penalty.

An image can never do any physical action to anything. If a weapon or spell or anything living (or an image/illusion of something that is living) ever touches an image, it disappears. Images are only good for distractions!

An illusion can affect things physically, as long as whatever it is affecting believes in the illusion! It will have the exact statistics and behaves as whatever the illusion might appear as. It can be fought and is destroyed like the real thing. If, however, anyone successfully disbelieves the illusion, then the magical knot of energy that empowers it dissipates and the illusion vanishes (though any damage it did remains!). To disbelieve requires an Action and a Smarts roll opposed by the caster’s Arcane skill. Disbelieving can only be done by an intelligent and real creature – images, illusions and animals cannot disbelieve things (though they can be hurt by them). The roll is made secretly by the wizard that cast the illusion and he merely removes the character (if the roll is a success) or does nothing (if the roll is a failure). Characters can mistakenly attempt to disbelieve very real things and the secret roll provides that lack of clarity!


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