Magic has always been, here on this version of Pern, but it's fairly rare and limited to a certain section of the population. It comes from the human will and imagination, is fueled by emotion, and it doesn't seem to transfer in any certain way-- a child of parents who can't use magic are just as likely to be born with magic as one whose parents are both adepts. Types
There are three types of magic.Body
Body magic is relatively simple. 99% of the time, it is elemental based. It's stuff that doesn't take that much of a leap of imagination to make. Things that deal with the physical world, the actual elements.
Fire-mages, water mages, etc. These are body mages. Alteration of oneself is also body magic. Mind
Mind Magic is more complicated. It requires more of a mental step, some creativity to figure out, and some finesse to put into work.
A magical healer, someone who controlled the growth of plants, someone who could mimic the effects of drugs, an illusionist (who could full the senses, not interaction), an Warder (someone who creates magical locks or barriers), Transmutation (the adjustment of physical properties of something- think alchemy), summoners (bringing forth something that does exist far away). These are mind mages.Soul
Soul magic is just plain weird
. Most people, even most mages
can't even conceive of how you do it. It requires massive creativity to pull it off, and perfect mental and will control.
A necromancer (someone who animates things without life- be they statues or dead bodies), an illusionist who could fool the senses (you think there's a door there when there's not- even when you try to open it), Accurate divination, Conjuring (bringing forth something from the imagination which does not exist). That is soul magic.Mastery Levels
Each level of mastery is +1 slot cost. You have to at least take novice.
In general, the stronger the endeavor (within the level), the more energy and time it will take. Higher level magic users are not as badly strained by formerly difficult activities-- it may take the novice watermage forever and exhaust her to fill a pail with water, but the steady will have no problem with it.Novice
You just discovered your talent for magic and now you're learning how to use it. You can really only do minor things.
A novice firemage can light a candle or, if they really really try, a whole campfire. A novice watermage can condense water out of the air, and it will take her much longer and be exhausting to fill a pail with water. A novice plantmage can make plants grow a bit faster, or in a certain direction. A novice wardmage can lock a chest with magic. A novice healer can heal cuts and scrapes- light physical trauma and sense maladies such as cancer. A novice drugmage can ease minor pain for short periods of time or induce small euphoria. A novice conjurer might be able to create a small, insubstantial figment of their imagination in their palm. A novice necromancer would be able to draw the life into small things, or bring things close to death away from it without healing them. Steady
Average. Think Journeyman.
A steady firemage can summon balls of fire. A steady watermage can create ice sculptures using nearby sources of water. A steady plantmage can coax a seed to full-growth in moments. A steady healmage can mend broken bones. A steady wardmage can create a minor barrier that would keep small mammals and other vermin away from something. A steady conjurer can bring forth something solid and about the size of a human from his imagination. A steady necromancer can remove life from lots of things, or animate something the same size as her without life.Master
Mastery takes years of training to develop, and many never reach it. For most, it is the highest level of magic they will attain.
A master firemage can summon jets of fire out of the air. A master earthmage could create a wall out of stone with only his will. A master wardmage can create a barrier sophisticated enough to let certain species through, but block a dragon. A master conjurer could create as if real an elaborate physical being from his imagination, and have it remain there for several hours. A master necromancer can animate many things, or huge things, and even give them the same amount of intelligence as a dog, though it will only ever be a semblance of life. Adept
The goal that so many will never ever reach. Adepts are hard to come by, and only the most talented and the most studious ever reach it. Adepts are capable of truly legendary things.
An adept firemage can raze an entire city with only his mind. An adept earthmage can bring forth metal from the deep forth and mold it to his will. A master wardmage can create a lasting barrier that will exist far beyond his death. a master conjurer could bring forth any number of things fro her mind, and give them permanence. An adept necromancer can give things true life-- complete with sentience and even, if she chooses, a heartbeat.Only adepts get permanence.
This means that an adept doesn't actually have to fuel something's lasting effect through their magic. They can create things that will exist their entire lifetime, through a natural lifetime for whatever it is they create, or indefinitely until it is destroyed. Not even an adept can offer complete indestructibility or immunity to death, but they can come pretty damn close. An adept healer could prolong lives for hundreds of years, if they chose. An adept conjurer could conjure something that exists until they themselves die, an adept necromancer can revive a person for however long that person would ordinarily live- or something else of that nature, an adept firemancer could create a wall of fire that would exist until that wall would be destroyed. Note- things like healers' fixing a wound isn't temporary, since it isn't something they'd have to maintain over long periods of time. Once the bone is fixed, the bone is fixed. Types
If the above confused you, don't read over this section. However, if you got all of that down, feel free to look at this.
Further ways of changing around slot cost (primarily reducing it), are by applying these modifiers. When you're listing them on your slot cost roster and character sheet, put them after the type with how much they subtract or add. They're like flaws or benefits that affect your character and what they do. You may only reduce a cost to 1/3 of it's original cost.
you can take more flaws then that, but you must, at minimum, pay for 1/3 of the original slot cost. So if you're making a 3 slot character, and want them to be uncontrolled, have a limiting viewpoint ,and be unable to reach adept rank (which would ordinarily suptract 3), you still have to pay 1 slot cost. if your total slot cost is an uneven number, round down.Uncontrolled
-1 slot cost
Since I know the weak novice mechanic doesn't allow for the opposite end of the novice spectrum-- accidentally really good at something they can't control-- I've decided to allow people to play characters who are powerful, but can't control their powerful (within reason, please. No summoning armies of the dead by accident?)
Being uncontrolled means you can subtract one slot from the cost of your character. So, an uncontrolled steady body-mage would cost 2 instead of 3.
This can only be applied to steady and novice characters, since at master it's expected that you can control your abilities. I may consider applying it to master for something like a soul mage, or something else, but these you'll have to explain to me in person, and I probably won't be so lenient with them.
Also, by playing an uncontrolled character you do lock yourself into a bit of a position IC. Your character must either be in training or exile. Uncontrolled mages are dangerous, and the magecraft does take steps to make sure people can use their powers properly. IC they would've been offered the choice between training and exile-- they can come out of exile at any time, but they must seek training as soon as they do. Limiting Viewpoint
Since all magic is derived from the imagination, the way a charater's magic works is the way they imagine it. This is why two healers can achieve the same results in two wildly different ways. It's also why there's so many magic. Sometimes this does have it's limitations: if the only way a character can invision doing magic requires certain limiting factors, then it's going to be harder for them to do magic. It requires a lot of willpower to just manifest something out of thin air: limiting viewpoints make it safer and easier, but also make it slower and less flexible.
Whatever limitation you use must be a serious limitation. It has to provide a challenge to that character using their magic- some kind of inconvenience. It doesn't have to be super-major, but it shouldn't be something that's a minor limitation.
This is a concept best illustrated by examples, so here's four:
---> Lorikeet the healer mage is a reasonable healer. Unfortunately, she can't quite trick her mind into manifesting her magic unless she's doing something simple. So, what she does when she wants to heal via magic, is prepare an elaborate ceremony. she needs several different bowls with several different pigments, which she paints on her own face and on the face of whoever she's healing, and she needs at least three props of significance to hte person she's healing. Only then can she trick her mind into performing the magic.
---> Pyro'maniac is a fire bodymage who specializes in colorful explosions of sparks and fire-- think fireworks! Unfortunately, Pyro'maniac focuses his magic through a very specific stick, which he goes and cuts himself, and carves with barely-recognizable images that have special significance to him. Without his stick he can do nothing. Further, his stick gets used up little by little everything he casts, so once it's worn down to where he can barely hold it, he must go out and spend a week meditating, and cut himself a new stick: a long process that's almost as exhausting as doing magic itself.
---> Lucci (a PC/future PC) is a healer mage. Before her magic manifested, she grew up with a healer for a mother, and was struck with how very valuable certain funguses were in healing. They strengthened the body, eased pain... When her magic manifested, the most natural route in her mind for hte magic to flow was through fungus. She's a powerful healing mage, capable of solving many ailments-- but she cannot do it directly. No, she grows a fungus magically in her weyr that will cure that specific ailment (and she can do it quickly, on her body, if she needs the effects more immediately)-- but that fungus is where the magic comes from. It must be consumed or insulfated or otherwise introduced into the bloodstream for it to be effective.No More Growth
-1 slot cost per rank you cannot take.
This character is, OOC-wise, limited in their ultimate advancement. At creation, you specify which ranks they cannot reach-- starting with the highest-- and subtract one cost for each. That way, if you want a magic character never destined ot be that strong, you don't have to pay for it. That said, these are permanent: nothing, not roleplay or future slot costs or anything barring my specific permission, can undo it.
So, if you have a character who will never reach adept, it's -1. A character who can never reach master, and will stay at steady forever, -2. A forever novice would be -3. Physical Manifestation
-1 slot cost
Magic is powerful. It changes people-- sometimes permanently. This most commonly happens by accident, to the person wielding the magic itself. It forever marks that person as a mage, and usually makes them look.. really really weird, and sometimes even unhuman. That has a way of making you unpopular at parties-- and everywhere.
This is something else that's intended to be a challenge. You can do cool things with them, but they should present some problem in daily life.
The effect it manifests must be related to a power. It's USUALLY physical, but sometimes it can be mental as well. It's the magic mutating you, basically, in ways nature never ever intended.
---> Lucci, as mentioned above, lost control of her magic at an early age. Now she permanently spores her little healing fungus, which is... sort of useful, for growing them. Unfortunately, she now glows along her back and arms and parts of her face-- all the places that release spores. These areas are raised and bumpy, and sometimes they will grow fungus themselves without her noticing, until she picks them off. Kinda nasty.
---> Mister Whiskers, in addition to having a mother with a cruel sense of humor, is a water mage master. Unfortunately, the water loves him a little too much. Any water he passes tends to reject gravity and follow him in little globes, without his intentions. This is a problem in places like the lower caverns, or near the lake, and can also be a problem when he's walking around, because he doesn't notice these globes of water, and they don't notice people. Can you say accidental water balloon to the face? He also isn't allowed in Igen, because water there is scarce enough.
---> Feets McGee is a water mage who specializes in Ice. He's so into ice that he's somehow permanently turned his feet into ice. Oops! He's not really in danger of them melting or anything, but he also can't feel them anymore.. at all.. and well.. his feet are literally made of ice. Worse so, the ice is slowly advancing-- he's probably not going to die. He's going to turn into an ice sculpture completely, before he can get that far.Using 2 different types of magic.
is very rare. The second type of magic is double the cost, on top of the already existing cost of the first type.
So. say I wanted to make an adept necromancer (soul) who was also a steady healmage (+2 for steady, +3 for soul.). The adept necromancer alone is a 10 slot character. An adept necromancer who is also a steady-healmage is a 20 point character, because she doubles the slot cost for the second type of magic.How is the type of magic determined?
You choose what your character to be able to do, and then you determine if it's body, mind, or soul based on the examples.
If you aren't sure, feel free to ask the staff.
IF we disagree with your assessment, we'll say so. You do have the opportunity to explain your reasoning. Please do respect our ultimate judgement, and we will try to be fair.
Don't feel limited to my examples of the kinds of magic you can use, either. Magic is created by the human imagination, so that's what you're capable of creating.
Feel free to choose an effect first, and then a specific magic type.
Also note that manifestation may vary from mage to mage. Just because two characters are both healing mages, doesn't mean what they can do will manifest the same way. indeed, they may not even both call themselves healmages.
You do have to declare what kind of magic you want your character's focus to be, and explain what it means. You also have to explain the sorts of manifestations you can do at the experience level you are. You are not limited to the ones you details as examples, but you are limited to that level of manifestation-- so no creating firestorms as a novice firemage, for example. Slot Costs and What They Mean
Slot Costs are how we ensure that what's rare is supposed to stay rare.
You'll notice that each of the above types and levels lists a slot cost. That number determines how many non-magic characters you must have after creating this magical one, before you can create another magical one. Sounds more complicated then it is.
To get the slot cost, you add the type to the number of ranks you take. So, for example one, let's say I want to create a steady body mage.
Body mages are 1 slot to create. You take +1 slot cost for novice and +1 for steady. That totals to 3. So, I make my Steady Body Mage, which costed 3 slots. That means I can't create another magical character until I've made 3 non-magical characters.
Another example: I want to create an adept necromancer, which is a soul mage. Soul mages cost 6 slots. Adept is the fourth rank, so it costs another +4 slots. After I make the necromancer, I need 10 nonmagical characters.
This isn't an excuse spam characters, mind you-- just a way to limit them from being far too common.
You create the character first, and then you have to pay the slot cost-- you don't pay it ahead of time. You can do it the other way around, too, if you'd rather-- you just don't have to.
Also note that the non-magical characters are not tied to specific magical characters. So, for example, say I had an adept necromancer (10 slots) and a novice firemage (2 slots), and 12 nonmagical characters (all the slots are filled, i could create another magical character if I wanted to.) If I killed the adept necromancer, I would have a 2-slot character and 12 slots. I could create two steady mindmages (5 slots each), and I'd be back even.Is there a way to get magic without paying slot cost?
Yes. There is. It's in goal-based ascension. You'd have to role-play for it. In terms of slot cost, characters only count for what they started as.
So if you earned a latent magic user through RP, your character would still count as a non-magic user for purposes of determining slot cost. Similarly, ranks earned through RP do not affect the slot cost of the character.
So, examples for that. Say I have a novice body mage, which is 2 slots, and I have 2 non-magic user characters. Through RP, one of those non-magic-users becomes a latent magic user. However, because he started as non-magic, he remains a non-magic user for purposes of slot count, and I can go ahead and make another mage if I want to. Similarly, if I were to take that same body mage and, through RP, make him a Steady Body mage, he wouldn't require another non-magic user to balance him out. Note- the only way to gain levels in magic IC is to roleplay for it.
This slot-cost mechanic is only relevant at character creation. Latency
Magic usually emerges young, and usually it emerges pretty obviously. However, this is not always the case. The spark of magic is life, and since life exists in everyone, it is theoretically present in everyone-- just not in usable quantities.
Some people succeed in coaxing out that spark of magic and nurturing it into a flame. They do this with meditation and study. It's a lot of hard, dedicated work, and it usually fails. However, when it succeeds, these people are latent mages.
Similarly, some people simply experience something very similar to what most mages do in their youth, just.. a little later. These people are also latent mages.
Latency is just a late-emerging set of magic. OOC, it's our mechanic for letting established characters use magic if they RP for it. Magecraft
Using magic is a skill, and a trained one. Thus, this pern has, and has always had, a craft-set-up to deal with it.
The craft is more like the bakercraft then other crafts, in the sense that it doesn't really have a central hall. There technically is one, but it's a collection of old mages and even older records who basically dictate how the youths of today should be treated. It is quiet, and tucked away in what's technically a corner of the harper hall in Fort.
Outside of that, the Magecraft manifests the same way the mages do: everywhere, in small doses. In every major epicenter, there is probably a magecraft steady or master, responsible for teaching the novices how to use their abilities. There may even be a few, and some that travel between smaller homesteads if necessarily.
What they teach is not so much how to do specific things, as how to control one's abilities and the process
of discovering your own powers more. This is because it's very rare to find someone who uses the same kind of magic as you, and even then they probably have a different take to it.Um. Can I have an example of how to figure this out?
Simple example! I want a character who can summon fire out of midair.
- Step one: Type of magic. Well, creating fire is elemental, and it doesn't really take much creativity to think up, so... Body mage! +1
- Step two: Advancement. Well, I definitely want him to be able to summon fire pretty easily.. but not much more then that. STeady rank! +2. My total is 3.
- Step three: modifiers. None of them really apply, I don't think-- so, none!
- Step four: minimum cost. I'm not applying modifiers, so I don't even need to worry about this.
and you're done!
A more complicated example-- Let's say I want to create Lucci. Lucci is a character featured in the examples.
- Step one: what kind of mage is she? Well, she's a healer.. so mind magic! that's three slots.
- Step two- how advanced is she? Well, I want her to be able to do things.. decently well. She isn't a stumbling novice anyway. Thus, I'll make her a steady rank. +2 slot cost. My total right now is 5.
- Step three- are there any modifiers to apply? Well, she does have some issues with her magic, so I'll give her some modifiers. The magic has made her spore constantly and glow, so that's -1 for physical manifestation. She's never going to advance beyond steady, so that's no more growth. Since she'll be missing out on both master and adept rank, that's -2. She does her magic through extremely limited means, so that's Limited viewpoint, -1. Add those all together for my total modifiers, and that's -4
- Step four- check your minimum slot cost. IT's a third of the total slot cost, so that would be 5 divided by 3. That's 1.666666.. not a nice number. Round down, so it's actually 1-- I must pay a minimum of 1, no matter how flaws I take. 5-4 is one, so I'm good.