Standardized Rules Conference
The Book of Magic
This guide includes the basic points covered in the main body of the SRC Charter for this topic, as well as additional rules, clarifications, and examples. This guide is considered part of the SRC Charter. This guide is subject to frequent revision, so please return at least monthly to be certain you are working with the latest available set of rules. Updated information will be added in the appropriate section of this guide. When an update for this guide is issued, the guide name and date of most recent update will appear on the Revisions page.
Mage characters must note somewhere in their profile that they are a mage in order to be able to register any modifying spells they purchase. Modifying spells must be purchased; they cannot be learned from another character. They may acquire normal spells by learning them from another character who knows them, or purchasing them from a magic shop.
Mages are required to keep a spellbook, in which they list the spells they have learned. The listing should include the name of each spell, how it was acquired, and a description of what it does. Spellbooks may be purchased blank, or with spells already in them. All spellbooks have unlimited capacity, so need never be upgraded. Mages must list in their profile that they have a spellbook, but not what spells are in it (this would be unrealistic, considering the lack of space in a profile).
A spellbook is a text file, web page, or other method of storage which can be made available for auditing if necessary. As long as the player can keep track of what spells their characters know, the format really makes little difference. If you have a database program (such as Access) which allows the database to be saved as a text file, it might be an excellent way to manage larger spellbooks. If a character knows a relatively large number of both normal and mods spells, the player may wish to keep them in separate lists for easier reference. This does NOT mean the character must buy an additional spellbook.
There are several varieties of spellbooks with spells already in them. The difference between them is the types of spells listed in them. Single-class Mages should not bother with the Cleric's Spellbook, as this book starts with spells that are only of use to Clerics or Cleric-Mages. Despite its name, the BattleMage's Spellbook is not restricted to Fighter-Mages, however all of the spells already listed in it are combat-related spells.
Spellbooks may be transferred from one character to another in a will. They may also be given as gifts. From time to time mages retire and sell their spellbooks to other mages. This is a perfectly acceptable way to gain spells, and may work out much more economically in the long run. They cannot be misplaced, but they can be stolen so beware of purchasing spellbooks from strangers. The original owner might be able to track the book, and might not be pleased to find it in your possession. When a spellbook changes hands, the player emails a copy of the list to its new owner and takes it out of their profile.
If a character acquires a spellbook (regardless of where or how they got it), if the book contains modifying spells the new owner is responsible for re-registering those mods.
Learning and Using Normal Spells
To learn a normal spell from another character, the mage needs one log of having been instructed on the spell in which they attempted the spell at least three times and succeeded at least once (three rolls, only one of which needs to have at least one hit). This is by far the least expensive way to acquire normal spells. It can be time-consuming, however.
Another way for a mage to gain normal spells is to purchase them. They are available in almost every mage shop, and usually come in lots of five or ten. Rare or Trademarked spells are more expensive and are usually sold individually. So that the mage will have proof should their spellbook ever be questioned, the shop owner where the spells were purchased will send a confirmation email, stating which spells were purchased, when, and for how much. This email should be kept with the character's other records.
Normal spells come in several varieties. Combat spells are normally attacks of some sort. Healing spells do just that, but they are usually available only to Cleric-Mages. Creation spells allow the Mage to summon objects from other places or create them from scratch. Illusions are usually for show, but may in fact be useful in combat situations. Oddities are spells that just don't seem to fit in a category.
To use a spell, the player simply states it as an action, with the spell name in all caps between double asterisks. In some cases it will be necessary to add a brief explanation of what the spell is supposed to do. In others, the name will be enough explanation. If the spell is used in combat, the player states the spell as above then rolls their dice, as they would for a physical attack. Examples:
ThanAmbros: ::::casts **SIMPLE CONJURATION** and a glass of ouzo appears in his hand::::
ThanAmbros: ::::casts **LIGHTNING** at Phae::::
Making and Using Mods
Creating Mods Items - Mod items include items that affect die rolls, obviously, but there are a few items that fall into this category with which no roll is needed. Specific examples from the UGC Mages Shop are the Delay Death Charm, the Delay Decay Spell, the Hard Knocks Charm, the Amulet of Life Protection and the Gold Piece Charm. The sides cost to create such items is determined by how difficult the item is likely to be to create (and cast in the case of spells), and what its end effect is to be. For instance, a spell or item that allows a Fighter-Mage to double their xp on losses (the same effect as the UGC Hard Knocks Charm), would be very difficult to create, but not so difficult to use. It would be the equivalent of a +4 item or spell, and would therefore require 80 sides to create. This is generally decided on an individual basis with each spell or item. The Office of the Registrar may or may not approve a particular item based on the number of sides used to create it, however if the spell is rejected on this basis the Registrar will suggest a different sides cost. If there are no other difficulties and the mage is willing to accept the Registrar's suggested change, the item will likely be approved on re-submission.
The cost to make items which modify die rolls is determined by the extent to which it modifies rolls. The present limit to Mods is +3, with a further limit of +2 on stealth and perception items. There are no mods which increase the number of sides, nor is there any plan to allow these items.
For each +1 an item is, it costs 20 sides to make. This means a character must be at least d40 to make a +2 item, and d60 to make a +3 item. This represents the amount of magical energy that goes into enchanting items. Sides can be used in any combination to make items, as long as the total number of sides used for the week does not exceed the character's dice. For example, a character with d90 could make one +3 item and one +1 item, OR four +1 items, OR two +2 items, OR one +2 item and two +1 items in one week.
Creating +Spells - Creating spells that modify die rolls is somewhat different from creating normal spells. In addition to requiring that the creator be d60+, mods spells must be created the same way any +item is: the character's dice sides are "spent" for the procedure, at 20 sides per +1. This limits a mage with d80 or higher to creating a maximum of four +1 spells, OR two +1 spells and a +2 spell, OR two +2 spells, OR one +1 spell and one +3 spell per week. A mage with d60 but less than d80 could therefore only create a total of +3 per week. As with normal spells, the mage should consider how the spell will work, whether there is already one similar, and what its end goal is to be. They also need to decide if the spell can be offered in differing levels, or if it is limited to one.
All +spells require that the caster make at least one natural hit. There are no spells which provide automatic additions to die rolls or sides. All +spells have the same failure conditions as +items: any spell that adds to a die roll fails if the caster rolls a 1, and may not be used again for the duration of that situation, whether it be combat, healing, or whatever. Defensive spells fail if the attacker rolls their maximum on one die against the spell's protection (for example, if the attacker's dice are 2d56 and they roll 4 and 56, the spell fails and all the damage gets through and the spell cannot be used again in that match).
Trademarks - Any mods spell or item can be registered as trademarked by its creator if it is approved. This costs 200gp per +1, but entitles the holder of the trademark to a "royalty" of 50gp each time the item is sold (includes re-registrations for an item or spellbook changing hands).
Mages cannot register most +weapons, They cannot use any Cleric-only items or spells unless otherwise listed in the item's description, and most items listed as Cleric-Mage are restricted as well. Mages can use any normal weapons or armor, and any defensive mods.
Cleric-Mages may register mods that are listed as Cleric-only, unless otherwise noted in the item description. They may not use any +weapon unless it is specifically for Mage or Cleric-Mage use. Cleric-Mages can use any normal weapons and armor, and any defensive mods.
Fighter-Mages cannot register most +weapons as they are thought to rely more on spells. There are some weapons crafted specifically for the Fighter-Mage, however, that only this dual-class can use. They can use most Mage spells and items. They cannot use any Cleric or Cleric-Mage items or spells. They can use any normal weapons and armor, and any defensive mods.
Creating New Normal Spells and Items
Mages who are d60 or higher can create their own spells, which is an excellent way for a mage to earn gold. Generally, a mage who creates a normal spell can sell it (once it has been approved) to almost any mage shop. Spells that modify die rolls may or may not be harder to sell, depending on the current demand. Mages who wish to sell their spells and items should be aware that the shop owner will be selling it to many others thereby making considerably more than they paid for it. Mages selling spells should be sure to get a good price for their work (10 x the retail for standard normal spells and 5 x the retail for Trademarked spells is probably a good fee). Presently the approval of new spells falls to the Office of the Registrar, as do all registrations for mods items and +spells. Like general merchandise items, spells cost sides to create. The difficulty of the spell determines how many sides, though most normal spells cost 5 to 10 sides per copy.
Creating Normal Spells - There are several factors that are considered for the approval of a new spell. When creating a spell, the mage should ask the following questions:
1. Does the spell require a die roll? If so, does the number of hits affect how well
the spell works?
Creating Normal Items - The creation of normal items for mages is the same as making any general merchandise item (see Merchant's Handbook for detailed information), and is similar to the process for making mods items. The mage's dice sides are spent in the creation of the item, although the cost for normal items is considerably less. A blank spellbook for instance would cost 5 sides to make, allowing a d60 mage to assemble 12 in one week.
Trademarked Items and Spells- Normal magic items and spells can be trademarked the same way mods can. The cost for a trademark on a normal spell is 50gp, and the royalty is 1gp per registration. The cost and return for a trademarked item will vary with the item, but the normal price range will be from 50 to 200 gp. All trademarks must be approved through the Office of the Registrar, and all trademarked items must bear the name of the trademark holder, whether they actually produced the item or only created the original.
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