Magic (D20)

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Also see Spells.

Some of the main new features introduced is that any spell cast leaves residue, that slowly diminishes and can also be removed manually, that active spell auras can be hidden, that fractions of a spell slot can be used for metamagic feats (and some spells) and that it's now easier to see magic as well as using minor magical tricks.

In terms of rules, magic in Hökaland has stealth and politics as central features, which adds depth, but unfortunately also complexity. Below are the house rules for magic of Hökaland detailed.

One very important detail:

  • ALL magic-related costs are DOUBLED


Intentions for the future

To clarify the use of D&D magic is that in the world there really is a significant difference between types of magic such as elven, human or dwarven. Though, of course, most things can be done with all magic, but there are cultural differences implied. Unfortunately, there isn't time for me to create a new magic system from scratch, so I'm simply using D&D for now. I do have the intention to make significan differences for the future.


Double Cost on Magic

The general idea of doubling the cost of all magic is to make it more scarce. The doubling is included on any and all magic things and lore-wise the price it ends up at needs to be explained from the point of view of the price rather than the other way around. At least as long as I use prure D&D magic.

To compensate for this, partly, I have added additional Masterwork levels and also the ability of a craftsman to make it SO good that the mastwerwork bonus stacks with magical bonuses. This also makes magical weapons extra important, since many monsters have DR/magic.


Craft Magic Item

For the PCs or NPCs that takes any feat for crafting magical items, the cost is not doubled on the production time. The character will still have to pay an appropriate amount of gold for materials, but when calculating how long time it will take to craft or enchant a particular item, the normal base cost is used.


Trained Spontaneous Casting

I'm not a fan of the "memorise spells for the day" but I still don't have the time to revise the system from scratch. I don't want to negate the advantages of being a Sorcerer or other spontaneous caster over Wizard either. The solution is Trained Spontaneous Casting.

The rules are simple: Any spell you prepare twice from your daily allotment can be used for spontanous casting up to the maximum amount of spell slots (or other power sources) available to you.


Spellcraft

Semi-revised: Needs restructuring table

Table 1:5 - Spellcraft Checks (e)

10+slvl Identify material made of magic - 3 rounds; max once per day max
15+slvl Identify potion with Spellcraft or Perception
15+slvl Identify magic item's properties with Detect Magic.
10+slvl Identify a Symbol
13 Identify a Glyph of Warding with Read Magic, Knw. (arcana) = version, type of damage & spell stored.
15+slvl Identify observable spell being cast
15+slvl Identify spell aura's school with Detect Magic *
15+slvl Identify spell in effect with Detect Magic *
16 Identify a Greater Glyph of Warding with Read Magic, Spellcraft - really? = version, type of damage & spell stored.
20+slvl Identify observable spell in effect without Detect Magic
20+slvl After saving throw, what spell was it
DC** Detect spell residue, and rough power estimate
7+DC Rough estimate of original spell's power, and time since cast. Success by more than 5 gives the details outright
20+slvl Decipher scroll
20+DC** Identify which spell was cast from looking at magical residue with Detect Magic
20 Draw diagram for dimension anchor
15+slvl Prepare known spell from borrowed book
15+slvl Learn/copy spell from spellbook/scroll. 1h/slvl, max 1 try/week
22+slvl Copy non-class spell from spellbook/scroll. 2h/slvl, max 1 try/week
15+slvl Familiarise with borrowed spell. 0.5h/slvl, max 1 try/day
22+slvl Familiarise with other magic type***. 1h/slvl, max 1 try/day
15+slvl Casting spell from Spellbook. 1min/slvl
22+slvl Casting spell from Spellbook with other magic type***. 2min/slvl
17+slvl Casting familiarised spell. 2min/slvl
24+slvl Casting familiarised spell with other magic type***. 4min/slvl
22+slvl Casting unfamiliar spell. 4min/slvl
29+slvl Casting unfamiliar spell with other magic type***. 8min/slvl. Use 1 spell slot higher.
* Replaced by Spell Trickery roll, if applicable
** Table 1:3 Magical Residue
*** Like arcane, divine, natural, demonic, etc. Must have relevant language skills (like Druidic).

A lot of the work with magic house rules involve the skill Spellcraft. Some of the uses are from way back in 2013 and have not been revised, so beware. See the magic article for more information.

Ability Modifier

The skill Spellcraft is now used with either INT, WIS or CHA instead of INT only. Use whichever is the highest.

Residue

Not revised

It's also possible to attempt identifying a spell being cast from its residue alone (see table).

New skill check rules

Some rolls are now easier and others are harder (see table). Primarily, the main difference is that a "natural 1" is an automatic fail and a "natural 2" counts as -10 to the roll (with some exceptions).

Casting from Spellbook

Revised

Caster can use a spell book to cast spells they have not prepared. The process takes a lot longer than it takes to cast a prepared spell and it still uses an appropriate spell slot. It can only be used to cast spells by a character that has spell slots or some other appropriate means of power and that has the full spell material at hand (ie. a spellbook).

Copy non-class spells to spellbook

Using this system also entails "learning" spells for classes that normally can't "learn" said spell. In fact, the caster does not at all "learn" the spell in a traditional sense, but is simply familiar with it enough to copy it into her spell book. This is a Spellcraft check at DC 22 + slvl that takes 2 hours per spell level of the spell and can only be tried once per week. Anyone can buy a spell book (if they can get hold of one) and copy spells in case they later gain spellcasting ability or finds another way to power the spells.

If a character has copied spells into her spell book and they later takes a level in a class that has these spells on their list she can choose to use one or more of these spells as "learned" spells, if able (depends on the class).

Familiar with others' spellbook

If a character does not copy a spell to their own spell book they can instead familiarise themselves with another caster's book. This is done with one Spellcraft check per spell. The character must have all appropriate language skills to read the spell (such as Druidic). If the character suceeds they are then deemed "familiar" with the spell when making the casting Spellcraft check. This check can only be performed once per day per spell.

  • Spellcraft roll: DC 15 + spell level + modifiers
  • Takes 30 minutes per page (spell lvl) of the spell.
  • A spell from a different type of magic (arcane, divine, natural, demonic): x2 time & +7 DC

Spellcraft roll

  • Spellcraft roll: DC 15 + spell level + modifiers
  • Failing the Spellcraft roll means the spell was not cast but the spell slot is lost.
  • 10 turns (1 min) per page (spell lvl) of spell (ref #1).
  • Cast a familiar spell from another's spell book: x2 time & +2 DC.
  • Cast a spell from an unfamiliar source: x4 & +7 DC
  • A spell from a different type of magic (arcane, divine, natural, demonic):
    • Must have relevant language skills (like Druidic).
    • x2 time & +7 DC
    • Use a spell slot 1 step higher than the spell in question.
  • Use a spell slot 1 step higher than required to reduce DC by 5 (cumulative).
  • All appropriate casting time and DC modifiers are cumulative.

Note: Casting spells from a spellbook does not count as a "spellcasting ability" in any way.


Magical Items

Sickle items. See also all magic items.

Noteworthy items used by the Sickle. Note that most ordinary people will never have heard of any of these. [e]

  • Assault Stick - A magically charged baton used by Sickle Regulars to subdue foes.
  • Assisting Pendant - Training tool for beginner mages and people with no magic ability.
  • Brass Coin - Training tool for beginner mages and people with no magic ability.
  • Coldstone - Magical pebble used to keep insulated places like storage cellars cold.
  • Everburning Ember - Magical pebble used to heat areas or objects.
  • Finbress Stone - Uses "Morse Code" to communicate over distances.
  • Power Extractor - Personal device that mages use to store magical energy in Sparkstone.
  • Radiation Sponge - Device used on non-magical people to absorb excess magical energies into Sparkstone.
  • Sparkstone - Magical pebble that can be used to store magical energy.
  • Talent Detector - Rod that can detect magic potential in untrained individuals and remove dangerous magical energies.
  • Thundercatcher - Rod that absorbs lightning energy that can be used at a later date.



Magical Movement and Messaging

Hökaland has next to no magic that allows for long-distance teleportation, travel, mssaging and scrying.

Pending further investigation, character can not pick spells that allows more than a few hundred feet teleport or messaging spells, nor overland flight.

Shifting planes, travelling in that plane and then returning to the material plane is legal, however. The drawback spells "random encounter".


Sparks

Main article: Sparks

Sparks and twinkles is a new concept used to handle very small amounts of magical power. In short a caster can use a spell slot to create a magical "spark" enchantment on themselves that can be used for certain, minor, tasks as well as for some meta-magic feats.

A spark is about a 1/3 of a spell slot and a twinkle is 1/10 of a spark.

Revised


Outdated

This information is either outdated or needs an overhaul.

ter that (see Table 1:1 Sparks). A Twinkle is exactly a tenth of a Spark and are entirely interchangable with Sparks.


Magic Residue

Table 1:3 - Magical Residue

256 -18 Overwhelming
210 -15 Overwhelming
128 -12 Strong
92 -9 Strong
64 -6 Moderate
46 -3 Moderate
32 0 Moderate
23 3 Faint
16 6 Faint
11 9 Faint
8 12 Faint
6 15 Dim
4 18 Dim
3 21 Dim
2 24 Dim
1,4 27 Dim
1 30 Dim
0,7 33 Traces
0,5 36 Traces
Full Table


Table 1:2 - Residue
& Halflife Periods

*Spell Levels*
*clvl* 0 1 2 3
1 0.5 1 2 3
2 1.0 2 4 6
3 1.5 3 6 9
4 2.0 4 8 12
5 2.5 5 10 15
Full Table

Any time a spell is cast, it leaves a cloud of magical particle *residue* that both fly in and out of our reality on the spot it happened as well as get stuck to objects or clothes that were in the vicinity of the spell when it happened. A skilled caster can not only detect this, but even figure out which spell was cast. Portions of the spell also lingers, and it's entirely possible to attempt to absorb residue to either hide that a spell was cast (or a magic item destroyed). If enough of residue is absorbed, the power can be reused as Twinkles or Sparks.

The residue is measured in Twinkles and amount to spell level times the caster level used for the spell (can be different than actual caster level). This amount will be reduced to half during a spell residue *Halflife Period*, an amount of minutes equal to slvl x clvl, and continue to halve every Halflife Period, indefinitely (see Table 1:2 Residue & Halflife Periods or use a calculator). The more residue that is available, the easier it is to detect (see Table 1:3 Magical Residue); multiple spells stack for the purpose to detect ANY magic residue, but not to detect residue from individually spells. Note that DC's lower than 1 can still be failed with natural rolls of 1 or 2, or if the DC is raised in other ways.

Note that besides locating the aura, the caster realise that it is in fact residue and roughly how many Twinkles of power it is (DM's estimate). A Spellcraft check can also give a rough estimate of the original spell's power and the time since casting.

A destroyed magic item will spread a large amount of magic power. Do Spell level times caster level for each spell used in making the item, add them together, divide by two and the final number is counted in Sparks instead of Twinkles ( ((slvl x clvl) + (slvl x clvl)) /2 = Sparks). The aura is easily recognised as a destroyed magical item, though no longer possible to determine school.


Notes

Magic is "naturally" incorporated with the fabric of the cosmos. The part that is used actively is leakage and higher concentrations (like fossil fuels in a way). Anti-magic fields come in different shapes and sizes, including those mortals who seem negate magic. Most anti-magic fields created by magic through conscious effort or naturally occurring usually just manage to negate the said leakage and concentrations of it. This is what professional users call "no magic" and what they are aware of. However, it is also possible to create a complete magic nu, where there is no magic. Most sentient beings will in such a situation fall into a coma, and random chemical reactions may happen as the magical lattice is not affecting those molecules. This is naturally occurring, but not conducive to any form of life (or order): a bit like black holes and just as unexplained in detail.

In the same way normal matter is affected in a limited way in a total magical null, the magical lattice behaves erratically around black holes.


References

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