Now we will be dealing with magic. Although magic is used and obtained like skills and is a part of the skills system, due to it’s complexity, differences, and overall size, magic was given its own sub-section. Here we will focus only on magic, how magic works with the skills system, and list the many different magic spells available.

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1) The Fundamentals of Magic

Before you can even begin to understand how magic works in Legends of Nor’Ova, you need to forget all that you think you know about magic. Magic in Legends of Nor’Ova is very different from magic found in other games, movies, books, and the like. Therefore you will need to read over this section very carefully and familiarize yourself with how magic works in Legends of Nor’Ova, even if you do not plan on using magic yourself. You never know when your character will have to deal with magic and you will want to have a good understanding of how magic works.

To better understand magic, it is important to understand these key points, Magic is Natural, Magic is a Skill, and Magic is Not a Skill.

  • Magic is Natural: In Legends of Nor’Ova, magic is treated as a natural ability in which everyone has access to. Magic is simply the result of manipulating the runic elements of the game world and producing an effect. Since everything that lives and breathes or has lived is tied to a runic element, anyone and any creature can find ways of manipulating their element and producing magic. However you can only manipulate the element that you are connected to. If your character’s runic element is earth, then you can not hope to learn pyromancy (fire magic).

  • Magic is a Skill: One of the important things about magic in Legends of Nor’Ova that makes it so different from magic found elsewhere is that magic is part of the skills system. You would obtain magic spells just like you would obtain skills, by spending character points and even increasing their levels. Magic Spells cost SA and you can only use 1 spell action like you can with skills. There are no spell components to keep track of, unless you go into sorcery, or complicated foreign magic words to remember to use a magic spell. You simply use them like you would any other skill.

  • Magic is Not a Skill: In as many ways as magic spells are like skills, they are also different from normal skills. While you can learn and choose from any type of skill as long as you meet the skill’s prerequisites, that is not the case with magic spells. With magic spells you are limited to choosing spells from your runic element. Also spells are most likely to take longer to use than normal skills, and are often more costly. Magic spells are also categorized differently than regular skills. You also have to roll to successfully use magic, which you may not have to do with skills. Magic also can't be chained like skills, though you can cast 4 levels of a spell at once. However the largest difference between magic and skills is that along side of magic spells you also have minor elemental manipulations.

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2) What Are Minor Elemental Manipulations?

Minor Elemental Manipulations is quickly manipulating your element to produce a weak magical effect. There may be instances when you do not want to cast a full magic spell, like say you want to light a camp fire or a torch. If your character’s runic element is fire, you would have access to massive fire spells, but all of them would be too costly and too powerful to just light a simple torch or camp fire. You would be more likely to catch yourself or your friends on fire. Instead, this would be a great time to make a minor elemental manipulation. With very small effort your character could pull just enough fire from your element to light the camp fire or torch. The best part of it all is that minor elemental manipulations are so quick and easy to do that they don’t use any of your battle actions. So lighting that torch didn’t slow you down in the least bit. Also anyone can make a minor elemental manipulation, even if they don’t have a single spell. This is because everyone is born under a runic element and everyone has that natural potential to use magic.

2.1) How to Use Minor Elemental Manipulations

There is no definitive listing for all the possible minor elemental manipulations you can preform. There are just so many possibilities that what you can and can’t do is only limited to your imagination and your magical power. You simply only need to describe what you want to try to achieve with your minor elemental manipulation and your GM will check to see if your character has enough power to preform it. Let’s say for example that your character’s runic element is earth. Your character falls off of a steep cliff to his certain death. There is no float magic for geomancy. Instead, you decide to make a minor elemental manipulation and pull upon your earth element just enough that the ground becomes soft so that even though it will still hurt when you land you will at least still be alive. If you hadn’t thought ahead and made such a minor elemental manipulation you would be spending the next few hours creating a new character.

So you may be thinking, what are the limits to minor elemental manipulations, if there are any? There are some restrictions that you will need to keep in mind, and they are all listed below.

  • A Minor Elemental Manipulation cannot replicate an existing spell. You cannot use minor elemental manipulations to try to preform a weaker version of an existing spell, however you can use an existing spell to give you and idea. For example, you cannot expect to hover and half the height as with the Float spell, however you can use a similar effect to cause you to fall gracefully feet first or to jump just a bit farther.

  • A Minor Elemental Manipulation cannot be used to heal, do damage, affect armor, or any other major effect.There are spells and skills that do those things. However you could, for example, make a minor water elemental manipulation to increase the effects of a potion or healing spell, or to speed the healing of a wound.

2.2) Minor Elemental Manipulation Effects Can Be Sustained

One feature that you have with minor elemental manipulation that you do not have with traditional spells is that their effects can be made to last longer than just for an instant. In other words, they can be sustained. All you would need to do to keep up the manipulation’s effects is to continuously pump in SA points. You will need to pump in half of the points that you used to create the effect for every round or minute you want the effect to last. So if you used 10 SA to create the effect you will need to spend 5 SA for every round or minute you keep up the effect.

Lets say your character’s runic element is fire. You walk into a pitch black room and realize that you have no lantern or torch. No worries, with a minor elemental manipulation, you can create a small glowing ember that gives off a small glow lighting up the area around you. But keeping that glow up for a second isn’t going to help you navigate the dark room, so you decide to keep the glowing ember within the palm of your hand, spending a small amount of SA for each minute that you need the light for.

Now not every effect can be sustained. You will need to ask the GM if the effect you are wanting to keep going can be sustained or not before doing so.

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3) Environmental Effects on Magic

Due to the fact that elemental magic is elemental, the environment can play an effect on the magic you are casting. If the environment has a larger amount of your element present, your magic will be stronger. If the environment has a lesser amount of the element you are casting, your element will be weaker. If the element present in your environment is about average, then there would be no change.

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4) Gaining Magic Spells

This is a spell that has no other spell in front of it. If your runic element is fire, you only need to spend the 25 character points to obtain this spell.

This is the spell chain of the spell Pyro Enchantment. As you can see it branches off in several spots. If you wanted to get level 2 in Warrior's Flame, you would need to get levels 1 and 2 in Pyro Enchantment and Glowing Shield, have obtained Warrior's Flame, and Phase Shift (since there's only 1 level there). However, if you wanted level 3 in Flash Burn, you would need levels 1, 2, and 3 in Pyro Enchantment, Glow, levels 1 and 2 in Flash Burn and Flash Explosion.

This is the Spell Sheet for your character sheet. Each spell block is formated for you to record up to 4 levels of the spell with their own information and Success Rates, and has the 4 bubbles to check off.

You would gain magic spells similar to how you gain skills. In order to acquire a spell, you must spend character points. The amount of character points you must spend depends on the spell's cost. In order to acquire a spell, it needs to be a spell that isn't linked to another spell by an arrow, or linked to a spell that you already possess, and it must be in your runic element. 

Once you have acquired a spell, you will fill in the first bubble on the spell block on your magic type spell progression page, and record the spell information on your spell page of your character sheet. After you've acquired that spell, you could pay a higher cost to acquire its second level, then its third, and finally its fourth - if the spell has more than one bubble. For each level you acquire of the spell, you will fill in a bubble.

In order to acquire a spell's second level, you need to have acquired all of the other spells at level 1 in the spell chain. If the spell chain splits into multiple paths, you simply need to acquire them in the path that contains the spell you wish to move to level 2. You do not have to acquire them in all the diverted paths at level 1 to move to the next level. You can only increase a spell's level to the next level if the spell before it in the chain is already at that level. You cannot for example, have the third spell in the chain at level 3 while the second is at level 2 and the first at level 1. The first two must also be at level 3.

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5) Using Magic Spells

In order to use a spell, you must have the spell and declare that you are using it. Meaning that if you want to use the level 1 Fire Streak spell, you need to have it and say that you are using it. You also need to roll for it, rolling its Success Rate or lower to use it. You would then apply the effect and stat cost.

You also need to decide at which level you want to use the spell. Just because you have the spell all the way at its fourth level, it doesn't mean you have to use it at its fourth level. You might find it more beneficial to only use that spell at the second level, usually because you don't have enough SA or EP to do otherwise. However, if you want to use the spell at a higher level, you will have a lower chance to do so. For example, the level 4 of Sharp Fire, Magma Shot, has a success rate of 55 meaning that you would need to roll 55 or below to use it which is not an easy task. If you do make that roll, you get to use the spell at Level 4, containing the effects of the 3 previous levels as well. If you do not succeed however, but roll a 70, you get to use the level 2 Plasma Shot with Sharp Fire, so while you didn't use the level 4 spell, you still get to cast a spell. The catch here is that you will still apply the stat cost of the level 4 spell. 

You can choose to only use a certain level of the spell. Lets say you want to use the level 3 spell of Sharp Fire, Fire Blast. You would declare that. In that case, if you roll 65 or below you will use Fire Blast and only Fire Blast. You would not include the effects of the previous two levels. However, if you fail at that roll, you would not use any magic at all. The benefit of doing this is that you get to decrease the stat cost of the spell by 5 for each level you do not use below the level of spell you are casting. Or if you only wanted to cast the level 1 spell, you won't have to worry about the cost or effects of the higher levels.

When using magic you also have a casting speed. The casting speed tells you in how many rounds a normal person would take to cast that spell. The higher up the spell chain, the higher the casting speed. The higher the spell level, the higher the casting speed. If you have a casting speed of 3 and the spell you are casting has a casting speed of 4, the spell will not take place until your next turn. The casting speed will always apply no matter if you choose to use only the level 3 of the spell, it won't decrease like the stat cost will. However, if you fail to cast the spell at the level you are trying to cast it, you don't apply that level's casting speed. Instead you will apply the level's casting speed of the spell you managed to cast. Or if you failed the spell entirely, you have no casting speed to worry about. You still don't get to try again because you used your casting action, but at least it won't decrease from your casting speed for the next round.

Above is an example of reading a spell on the spell table for your elemental magic page. It lists the basics of each level as well as any other basic information, and the success rates and character point costs of each level. If you want more information, you'll need to click on the blue spell name which will take you to the detailed page of the spell.

Above is an example of the spell description page that you might see when you click on the spell's name on the spell table. As you can see, it lists more detailed information about each spell's level. It is advised to open up the spell's description page whenever you acquire a spell to ensure that you have the most relevant information about that spell.

Unlike with skills, you do not get to chain together all of the spells of a spell chain. This is because while skills aren't self contained, spells are. Your spell levels are more like a spell chain in this sense. So when you cast a level 4 Sharp Fire, Magma Shot, you also cast Level 3 Fire Blast, Level 2 Plasma Shot, and Level 1 Sharp Fire. You need to pay attention to the spell however to apply the spell effects in the correct order as some spells dictate in which order they actually are applied.

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6) Unstable Magic

Magic used to be a fairly stable source of power which everyone had access to and could learn how to use and control. While everyone still has access to magic in the 3rd Era, is is no longer stable, and can in fact be quite dangerous. The Awakening Event has created a massive unbalance in the natural and magical elements of this world, and without proper protection and moderation, even the simplest spells can spell disaster.

It is now common to encounter magic storms tearing across the wide open plains of the Chalcedon, or find a powerful fire spell just cast out of thin air. Ever since the worlds of the Dream and Reality collided, magic, while a powerful and useful ability, has become dangerous and requires a great amount or preparation and planning to preform safely. 

Below you can read about the various issues with magic instability and how to deal with them, from Magic Radiation, Unintended Reactions, Rogue Magic, and Magic Storms. 

6.1) Magic Radiation

Magic Radiation is simply heavily concentrated levels of magic that is much higher than living characters can typically handle well. The varying levels of magical radiation could lead to things like magical poisoning and magical mutation. 

The amount of magic radiation one might receive depends on several things; the spells being cast, the environment, and the degree of instability in the magic of the area.

  • Magic Radiation and Spell Casting: Most spell casting would provide negligible levels of magic radiation. It is only when the caster fails badly at the spell and if there's a lot of magic being cast at the time would this be of any concern. The more powerful the magic spell, the higher the radiation should the spell fail. The amount of magic radiation you would get is 1 point per every point beyond your success rate for that spell. so if your success rate is 70 and you rolled an 80, you'd get 10 points of magic radiation. Obviously, the greater the difficulty, the greater amount of radiation you could get. A Critical Failure though would double the amount of magical radiation, so if you had a rate of 80 and you rolled a 100, you would normally get 20 points, but since it is a critical fail, you'd get 40 points. 
  • Magic Radiation and the Environment: The environment can also have magical radiation. Normal, green lush fields will have near zero amount of magic radiation. The drier, more yellow plains would give you 1 point per every 5 blocks walked and 1 point per every hour. The gray, magically blasted wastes would give you 2 points per mile walked and 10 points per hour. Being near kraters, rips, scars, and tears caused by magic would give you the same as magically blasted wastelands
  • The Degree of Instability and Magic Radiation: The more unstable the magic in an area is, the more magic radiation you would get. That is why being near magic kraters and in magic blasted wastes give such high value of magic radiation. However, if there is a magic storm brewing nearby, the environmental magic radiation is doubled. 

Once you obtain a certain amount of magic radiation, you could get a magical mutation. You could also have magical radiation poisoning. Magical Radiation Poisoning is a status effect that occurs when you obtain more than 20 magic radiation points at a time. For every 10 points beyond that initial 20, you must make a Resistance Check, with a 10 point penalty added for every 10 points above 30. Should you fail, you would suffer a poisoning effect that would damage your HP, SA, and EP by 1d6 per round or 1d20 per hour until cured. Luckily, any antidote or poison curing spell will do the trick, however there is no immunity to magic radiation poisoning

With magic radiation being so new of a force in Nor'Ova, the magic community has yet to develop any real protections. However, it has been observed that if you limit how much magic radiation you expose yourself to, and take enough time in magically stable environments, the magic radiation will fade away from you. Every day that you are not exposed to magic radiation, you will lose 10 points of magic radiation. 

6.2) Unintended Reactions

There is a chance that the spell you cast will not do what you intend for it to do. The chances of this happening increase greatly with the power level of the spell and the instability of the magic in the area. For example, if you attempt to heal your friend with Essence Bolt, it is possible that it might instead shock your friend or that it might shock you!

As long as you are not in an area that is highly unstable, or as long as there is no magic storm raging within very close proximity, any successful use of magic will work as intended. However, any failed attempt might still produce some sort of effect, even if the effect is undesired. A critical failure will always result in the spell working completely opposite of how you intended. However, every 10 points away from a successful casting adds a 1d6 roll and a luck roll. A successful luck roll will mean that the spell works as you wished, but at half strength. A 6 on the 1d6 means that the spell does something unexpected, which is up to the GM. Rolling a 6 and having succeeded on your luck check cancels the effects and the spell is just a failed spell casting. Not rolling a 6 and failing a luck check is the same as a failed spell. The GM may assign a penalty to the luck check or add d6 rolls, depending on the spell, the situation, and the environment. 

If you are in a highly unstable magic environment, your chance to cast the magic and it do as desired decreases by 10 points. Anything above that limit counts as a failure and follows the rules above, though you may still collect skill points as if you succeeded. 

6.3) Rogue Magic

A large question has of yet been unanswered. What is the cause of Rogue Magic? 

First, let's summarize what we know about Rogue Magic. Rogue Magic is magic that comes into existence without an actual caster casting it. It is often a side-effect of the casting of a another spell, mostly if the used spell is very strong. If we look back at Runic Energy existing in the world in balance, that is in an ideal situation. Zodo, the god of magic, ensured by his existence that the magic in the world was stable. How, we do not know, for it is at the moment impossible to reconstruct this.

However, Zodo, while alive, was imprisoned within the mind of his host - Taal Mercelis, and trapped in a dream world of Taal's own creation. When the dream world finally ended and combined with the world of reality, the unleashed amount of energy seemed to bring about a destabilization of magic. Or perhaps it was a purposeful destabilization of magic that brought an end to the dream world and combined it with the real world. All that we know for certain is that ever since that moment now called the Awakening Event, magic has at the very least become unpredictable. 

As I said before, Runic Energy was stable before, but it is not anymore in the 3rd Era. Where regularly the cycles of magic would exist in a normal, controlled form, now tiny mutations happen in it every so often. In a cycle, one of the elements gains the upper hand somehow. By this, an obscenely large amount of Runic Energy of that single element would amass in a single place, equal to the amount a caster would normally gather for a spell, growing stronger and stronger slowly. And it can't go anywhere. The moment the Runic Energy collapses on itself is not set in stone.  

Basically Rogue Magic appears most often as magic being cast without a source, as if the very environment is casting the spell. It is not uncommon to witness dead things temporarily reanimating or lightening pins to suddenly cast over an area. Perhaps the most dangerous form of rogue magic ever witnessed is the sudden death of a healthy person. 

Rogue Magic also seems to happen when someone uses magic in a magically unstable environment. It is not always clear why this happens.

6.4) Magic Storms

“Terrible things they are, these magic storms. They are the very hammers of Xodod causing mass destruction to all in their path.”

Magic Storms, sometimes called Manna Storms, are the results of a great amount of unstable magic radiation combining with the natural weather of the world. 

Once formed, magic storms behave very similar to any other storm. They form as massive clouds, usually of the contrasting colors of the elements in the storm, and the clouds are blown on the wind currents. Some magic storms are small and localized, some are large and expansive. Some are more like thunderstorms, others like hurricanes. Some last mere hours while others last for days or weeks. 

The difference between magic storms and normal storms is that magic storms are basically volatile explosions of magic. Every magic storm has a terrible magical component, and every magic storm has the effects of at least two elements combined. You may have magic storms that have fire twisters and raining ice boulders at the same time, for example. Magic storms are extremely dangerous. If a magic storm is coming your way, seek shelter immediately.

Not all forms of shelter help against magic storms of course, especially if the storm is capable of destroying the shelter. The most ideal shelter is going underground, but shelters of thick metal, stone, or crystal are good as well. A wooden structure will not protect you. 

 

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Submitted by mythus on Thu, 12/02/2021 - 21:28