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Magic in SLuRP

The History of Magic

In the time before time, the world was a world of magic. The Elder Races could run free, limited only by their wishes and desires. All things were possible, and all things occurred.

However, as is always the way of things, with power came corruption. The Elder Races destroyed themselves and much of the earth in their arrogance. The Gods stripped the world of magic, containing it in a sealed realm, barred from the mortal world.

For countless generations, the only magic that existed was the magic of nature, and the power that the gods chose to grant to their devoted followers. The only mortals to wield magic were the priests, and their magic was limited.

As the younger races grew, they learnt to control the natural forces, the forces of life, the forces of creation and the earth itself. The Shamen came to be, and joined the priests as mortal wielders of magic.

But the younger races continued to grow and learn. Soon, the powers of the Shamen were not enough. Some learnt to harness the natural magics contained within the substances of the world. Others honed their mental discipline until their powers of persuasion became almost magical. The boldest of all learnt to breach the barrier to the the previously locked realm of magic itself and tap the forces contained therein. Slowly and gradually, more and more magical power was being reclaimed.

Mortal mages began to reappear on the earth.

Types of Magic Now

The world as it is now is rife with magic and magic users of a seemingly bewildering variety, but in fact they can all be divided into only a few categories.

Alchemists
Alchemists draw power from the study of substances, extracting it, duplicating it, distilling it. Practiced by mad scientists and nutty professors, Alchemy is good for making magic items (Talismans, potions, bombs, etc).
Charmists
Charmists draw power from the thoughts of sentient beings, and can affect and influence those around them. Effectively an extension of the Charisma skill-list, it is practiced by rogues, con-men and people who dislike violence. It is good for being subtle, and for getting your own way.
Elementalists
Elementalists tap into the realm of pure magic and channel it into the world in a pure elemental form. Generally each elementalist specialises in one of the four elemental forms (earth, air, fire or water), each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses, although it is possible to generalise. It is a raw, powerful form of magic, useful in combat and thus common amongst adventuring mages.
Hermeticists
Hermeticism is an advanced magic that taps into the realm of pure magic in the same way as elementalism, but pulls it through in the form of a abstract Aspects. These Aspects can be shaped, combined and controlled with a degree of subtlety and complexity that no other school of magic can equal. It is practiced by academics and megolomaniacs, and is good for blatant creation and destruction.
Priests
Priests wield power as granted to them by their god(s), in return for devoted worship. In theory it is the only way of achieving true miracles and infinite ability, but in practice it will always be limited by divine dictates. It can only be practiced by true believers.
Shamen
Shamen draw power from their surroundings, shaping it and controlling its ebb and flow. It is practiced by mystics, hermits and other wierd types who are prone to talking in riddles or falling into trances. It is good for affecting the natural world and its inhabitants.
Petty Magic
Not considered 'proper' magic, but worth mentioning briefly. Petty magic is learnt by rote, with no understanding of the forces involved.

The various types of magic are sometimes divided into Natural magic (Alchemy, Charm, Shamanism, Petty Magic) and Realms magic (Elementalism, Hermeticism, Divine).

Each type of magic user has their benefits and their limitations. Each has a slightly different view on magic, and a different way of learning and casting spells. Alchemical preparations take days to prepare, but are ready to cast instantly. Hermetic magic takes hours to cast, but can be stored in Talismans for release at a later time. Divine magic is pretty quick to cast, but priests must spend a lifetime in servitude to their god.

But there are common features.

  • Every spell must be bought with eps before it can be cast. Many of the schools have provisions for improvised spells which do not need to be bought, but these will usually take much longer to cast.
  • All spellcasting uses spell points, and each school of magic uses a different flavour of spell point (so you can't use Elemental spell points to cast a Divine Spell) Spell points cost one ep each, but different flavours use different list-multipliers. Casting a spell uses up spell points, which are recharged over a period of time.
  • All spellcasting uses the same convention in verbals. There will be a certain amount of muttering and incanting, then the word SPELLCASTING will be shouted, followed by the name of the spell (which will be deliberately simple and obvious), and the effects, including target and damage if applicable.

More than that you will have to find out by look at the individual pages, and so I direct you to the list above.

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