|"Magic?! We don't need no stinkin' magic!!"|
Magic is a process of changing the world through willworking and manipulation of mana. It is the primary special ability system for the majority of Guilds in DragonRealms; every guild but Barbarians and Thieves have some spells they teach their members in order to accomplish their goals. Barbarians and Thieves do, however, make use of several of the magic skills in their own ways, and know the magic skillset as the Supernatural skillset instead.
For magical guilds, most of the abilities in the Magic skillset will be trained through (and required for) spellcasting. Individual spells train and require different skills depending on their effect:
- The Augmentation skill governs spells that improve your skills, capabilities or characteristics.
- The Warding skill governs spells that create magical defenses or barriers.
- The Debilitation skill governs spells that reduce the skills, capabilities or characteristics of your enemies. These are often contested spells.
- The Targeted Magic skill governs spells that cause direct harm to your foes.
- The Utility skill governs spells that have generally useful effects not falling into another category.
In order to cast a spell you have to have enough skill in the category it belongs to. For example, Fire Ball requires that you have around 80 ranks in Targeted Magic skill before you can cast it successfully. Some spells may fall into multiple categories, in which case they train both skills and contest the lower skill.
In addition, the Primary Magic skill acts as a mastery skill for all five fields of magic, providing a bonus when it is higher than the skill being used. This skill will help you meet any skill requirements in order to be able to cast a spell. For example, you might be able to cast Fire Ball at 70 ranks of Targeted Magic skill instead of the normal 80 ranks if your Primary Magic skill is high enough.
The Attunement skill governs your ability to sense and harness mana and thus your capacity to power spells. Your Arcana skill governs your ability to use magical devices effectively, such as cambrinth. Cambrinth allows you to store mana temporarily so that you can add it to a later spell cast, thus letting you break up a large cast into smaller more manageable pieces. Both are very useful skills for being able to manage the high mana cost of casting spells.
Spells that use a mana type other than your attuned mana are especially difficult to cast (see Magical Theory) and use the Sorcery skill as a mastery skill instead of Primary Magic. In addition, there is a cap on effective skill relative to Sorcery skill, making it hard to cast any sorcery if your skill is low regardless of your other skills. (This cap is also in place for Primary Magic, but high enough that it rarely comes into play.)
Spell difficulties fall into one of four categories: introductory spells, which can be cast immediately with a new character; basic spells, which require about 10 ranks; advanced spells, which require around 100 ranks; and esoteric spells, which may require 200 or more ranks to cast. Introductory spells act as basic spells for out-of-guild casting.
Most spells are learned directly from your Guildmaster. Each spell has certain prerequisites, such as knowing other spells already or having attained a specific circle; they also cost a certain number of spell slots based on how much the spell does. Generally, buffing a specific skill or attribute is worth one slot, as well as modifications such as affecting multiple targets. Being cyclic tends to reduce the cost of a spell by one slot, since its use is limited; most other penalties do not affect a spell's cost. Spell slots are gained as you circle at different rates depending on your Magic skillset placement. Barbarians also gain ability slots at the same rate, despite not being a spell using guild.
|1-20||Every Level||Every 2 Levels*||Every 5 Levels*|
|21-50||Every Level||Every 2 Levels*||Every 5 Levels*|
|51-100||Every 2 Levels*||Every 5 Levels*|
|101-150||Every 3 Levels*||Every 5 Levels*|
*These occur at the multiples of 2, 3 and 5 rather than the number of circles since the previous spell slot was earned, so spell slots at the transition from 2 to 3 occur sooner than might be expected.
- Basic (standard) level magic user subscribed characters gain 1 extra spell slot immediately as well as a second slot at 500 primary magic skill.
- Premium level subscribed magic user characters gain 2 extra spell slots immediately. 
- Basic (standard) Barbarians: 1 extra ability slot immediately and a 2nd slot when you attain 500 in your inner magic skill.
- Premium Barbarians: 2 extra ability slots immediately.
- Basic (standard) Thieves: +1 Khri slot at 500 IM or 50th circle; whichever comes first.
- Premium Thieves: +1 Khri slot immediately.
|96||98||100||102||105||108||111||114||117||120||123||126||129||132||135||138||141||144||147||150||Total: 92 slots|
|138||141||144||147||150||Total: 77 slots|
|72||74||76||78||80||82||84||86||88||90||92||94||96||98||100||102||105||108||111||114||117||120||123||126||129||132||135||138||141||144||147||150||Total: 68 slots|
|1||5||10||15||20||25||30||35||40||45||50||55||60||65||70||75||80||85||90||95||100||105||110||115||120||125||130||135||140||145||150||Total: 31 slots - all Khri learned by 110th circle|
Casting a spell is at least a two-step process. First you must PREPARE the spell, specifying an amount of mana you intend to power it with. Note that you will not actually harness any mana at this point, and you may add more mana later by harnessing it; see below. Each spell has a minimum amount of mana below which it will not form successfully and a maximum amount above which additional mana cannot be added; your prepare amount must fall between these two levels. If your skill is too low to cast a spell using even the minimum amount of mana, you will be unable to prepare the spell. Preparing the spell pattern completely takes a certain amount of time depending on the spell; however, you may short-circuit these preparations by casting early, if you wish.
Once your preparations are complete (or you wish to cast early), simply CAST the spell, specifying your targets as you do so. At this point you will actually harness the specified amount of mana and create the specified effect. In addition, any other sources of mana (see below) may contribute to the spell pattern, up to the maximum amount. The effectiveness of a spell depends on the amount of mana used to power it; in turn, your ability to channel mana into a spell is determined by your relevant magic skills and the amount of time spent preparing it. If you attempt to use too much mana, or cast too quickly for the amount of mana being used, you will backfire, and the spell will fail.
Your spellcasting skill can be penalized by a variety of factors. Injuries (especially nerve damage) are a major factor, as well as whether you are in combat while trying to cast (though see Battle, below). In certain cases, you may also gain a bonus from the use of an appropriate foci.
Alternate Mana Sources
In addition to the base amount of mana used when preparing a spell, you will automatically attempt to add other available mana when casting. The two most common sources of additional mana are harnessing and cambrinth. Both harnessing mana using HARNESS and charging cambrinth using CHARGE are more efficient in terms of attunement than straight casting; thus, when casting very expensive spells, it may be wise to prepare at a smaller level than you intend to cast at and make up the difference with harnessing or cambrinth. Be careful, however, as this additional mana can push you over the level at which you can cast without backfiring.
Spells can be categorized in two ways: by their casting mechanics and by type of effect.
The casting mechanic of a spell is the primary determinant of a spell's preparation time and duration. The following table lists the typical approximate preparation times and durations for each type of spell, but note that there is variability and several exceptions. See individual spell descriptions for specifics.
|Spell type||Base prep time*||Enhanced prep time*||Duration|
- * - Base prep time is the preparation for most single target effects. Enhanced prep time is the prep time for most effects that are AoE, multistrike, DFA, or otherwise have some additional more powerful effect. Note: If a spell has the potential to be cast with an enhanced effect then the preparation time will use the enhanced preparation time even if only casting it with a single target. E.g. Bless is normally single target but can be upgraded with the Ring of Blessings metaspell to be a group effect. However, even when only able to cast the single target version the preparation time is that of the group spell.
- ** - As per the base effect. See specific metaspells for details.
Standard spells have average preparation times and durations as well as average attunement costs. This is considered the baseline mechanic for a spell, and the majority of spells in game are of this type.
Spells marked Battle are designed for use in battle; they have a reduced preparation time and correspondingly shorter durations. You also do not suffer a skill penalty for casting them during combat. They tend to require less mana to be effective.
Ritual spells are the antithesis of battle spells -- they require enormous amounts of mana and take a long time to prepare. Ritual spell are intended to be cast using ritual foci, which effectively reduce the amount of mana required by a significant fraction; without one, they may not be usable or practical to cast. Ritual spells also drain significantly more concentration than standard spells when cast, so be aware that spell casting will be harder to do after casting a ritual spell until your concentration is restored.
Cyclic spells are more complex creations that require constant upkeep to stay active and as such have indefinite durations. After casting a cyclic spell, it will periodically pulse, requiring mana equal to the original preparation cost from your held mana or cambrinth (or, with the Raw Channeling feat, directly from your attunement). If the mana is not available, it will collapse and cease effect. Thus, using a cyclic spell requires you to keep mana harnessed or available at all times. Because mana acts as a fuel source for cyclic spells it is not possible to augment their strength past the amount prepared at unlike with standard spell casting. You may only have one cyclic spell active at a time.
Some spells have an effect when learned rather than when cast; often these are spells that modify other spells, or that are cast in some unique way. See Metaspells for more information.
Type of effect
Augmentations are duration spells that alter the stats or skills of a player or item. They can be of any of the casting mechanic types, although there are fewer battle augmentations than other types.
Utility spells are spells that provide a unique effect or grant an effect that is not inherent to a player or item. It is also a catch all for any effect that doesn't easily fit into the other categories, and there is some cross-over with other categories. Like augmentations they can be of any of the casting mechanic types.
Wards are defensive spells that impose an additional barrier or layer of defense between yourself and an attack. Typical effects include damage reduction, potency reduction for incoming spells, or triggered defensive effects. Wards tend to be battle spells although cyclic and standard wards are not unusual.
Targeted spells are aimed spells that typically do damage to a target, although there are a handful of exceptions. They are almost invariably battle or cyclic spells with instant effects. While targeted spells can be prepared, it is not strictly required for non-cyclic ones. Instead, you can target them at a specific foe using the TARGET command which fully prepares the spell instantly and begins the aiming process. Cyclic targeted spells are cast as normal. Your accuracy when casting a targeted spell is determined by your time spent targeting and your Targeted Magic skill; Primary Magic does not act as a mastery for this purpose, although it still modifies the amount of mana you can put into the spell.
Spells that affect an enemy in non-damaging ways are generally contested spells, matching the spell power and the caster's stats against the target's stats. Like targeted spells, these are almost invariably battle or cyclic spells. Debilitations that debuff stats or skills directly have typical battle spell durations, but those that cause debilitative states (e.g. stunned, immobilized, webbed, etc.) have very short durations measured in seconds. The specific stats checked depend on the spell type:
|Attack Type||Primary Attribute||Secondary Attribute||Tertiary Attribute||Description|
|Charm||Charisma||Discipline||Intelligence||The attacker is trying to beguile or overawe their opponent.|
|Fear*||Charisma||Strength||Discipline||The attacker is trying to intimidate their opponent.|
|Mind||Intelligence||Discipline||Wisdom||The attacker is bringing the force of their own mind to bear on their opponent.|
|Magic||Wisdom||Intelligence||Discipline||The attacker is creating an effect that acts of its own accord on the opponent.|
|Power*||Strength||Stamina||Discipline||The attacker is applying sheer physical brutality.|
|Spirit||Wisdom||Charisma||Intelligence||The attacker is clashing their soul against their opponent's.|
- * - Non-magical attack type.
|Defense Type||Primary Attribute||Secondary Attribute||Tertiary Attribute||Modifiers||Description|
|Reflexes||Reflex||Agility||Intelligence||Incapacitating status effects||The defender must avoid something or maintain their poise.|
|Fortitude||Stamina||Discipline||Strength||Vitality, spirit and fatigue||The defender must endure some form of duress.|
|Willpower||Discipline||Wisdom||Intelligence||Nerve damage, stuns, unconsciousness||The defender must actively fight off an assault on their mind.|
Casting any standard, battle, or ritual spell gives you experience in Primary Magic, the relevant field of magic, and Attunement. Using mana in a cambrinth to augment the cast will also teach Arcana at the time of the cast, and using held mana will increase the attunement learning in the same manner. Sorcery will be learned instead of Primary Magic if casting a spell of a different mana type than yours. The experience gained depends on the difficulty of the spell and the amount of mana used. Fewer but larger spellcasts are more efficient in terms of experience than smaller but more frequent spellcasts; thus, the best way to train magic is to cast at the highest mana you can manage, including using harnessed mana or cambrinth. Adjusting the difficulty of a spell by using a symbiosis will extend the learning potential of a spell past its normal caps, which is useful for training at higher ranks as well as reducing attunement costs at lower ranks.
Cyclics can also be very useful for training purposes, since they grant experience with every pulse. Note that it takes a few pulses for a cyclic spell to begin teaching and it will stop teaching after approximately 5 minutes. Recasting the cyclic spell will reset these learning timers. Because cyclic spells cannot have their difficulty adjusted by a symbiosis they cannot have their learning extended past their normal cap.
The Debilitation and Targeted Magic skills are trained differently because of their aggressive nature. Instead of gaining experience per spell cast, you gain experience by using relevant spells on enemies relative to the difficulty of the contest and your level of success. Even missing against difficult enough targets will reward some experience. Thus these skills should be trained like any other combat skill. They also cannot have their difficulty adjusted by a symbiosis.
Related forum posts
This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total.
Pages in category "Magic"
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