In 2011 the Awakening transformed the world by making magic a reality. Some people have gained the rare gift to use the power of magic and are known as Awakened. Mana is the energy which makes magic possible, invisible and intangible it permeates the world. It can not be detected measured or influenced by machines, only living things. Though the use of mana some awakened characters are able to learn the skills of the Hermetic Mage, while others hear the call of the spirits and follow the path of a Shaman, or for others still their magic is focused inwards to sharpen their natural tallents and they are known as Adepts. However an awakened characters magical abilities manifest it is a way they are set to for life. While there is a great variety mages, shamens and adepts within each category, one can not go from being one magic tradition to another.
Limitations of Magic
There are certain things magic simply can not do. While there is a great variety of things magic can do it must always adhere to the following limitations
- Sorcery cannot affect anything to which the user does not have a magic link.
- Most of the time this is line of sight, by physically seeing the person magic can target them (this will not work for electronic images, if using any form of electronic magnification or imaging to see the target the magic can't target them). For ritual sorcery it might be blood of the target or a lock of hair but there must always be some physical part of the target to create the link.
- Magic does not let one teleport or travel in time
- No teleportation, no time travel, no stopping time. While some spells or abilities let one move faster or slower then normal its not speeding up or slowing down time itself.
- Magic cannot divine the future with any certainty
- The future is forever changing, while divinations may give hints of what might happen, it is never a certainty.
- Sorcery cannot summon or banish spirits
- Spirits are the domain of conjuring, sorcery can damage them, but never summon or banish them.
- Magic is not Intelligent
- Magic does what it is directed to do, it has no sentience of its own.
How You Can Lose Magic
Magic is a flighty thing, it must be protected, lest the mage ends up burning away all of their magical power.
Loss of essence weakens an awakened characters magic potential. For Mages and Shamens this is reflected in a reduction in how much drain they can withstand before becoming exhausted. For Adepts it limits how many abilities they are capable of learning. Any Cyber or bioware a character has implanted will reduce magical potential. See Loss of Magic for the exact numbers.
There are several other things that can destroy a mage's magical abilities over time. There are no hard set rules around them like essence loss, it is up to the player to decide if it is going to effect their character or not.
- Drug use can destroy a mage's magical abilities over time (generally those with a negative effect on health, not psychology).
- Severe injury and/or invasive medical procedures can cause a loss of magical ability.
- Using magic that drains you more than you can normally handle can damage your magic in extreme cases.
Making Up For It
- So you've lost some magical power, how do you cope? Two ways.
- Initiation can recover the magic lost due to any of the above (at least some of it).
- In the short term, a magical person can accept a "geas," or some kind of restriction that aids in focusing their magic. (Eg: Can only use magic while out doors, can only use magic their totem likes, can only use magic while on peyote, ect).
- Casting a spell takes a moment to focus and cannot be done in conjunction with other actions requiring any measure of focus or concentration (firing weapons, calling or commanding spirits, casting other spells, even extended movement). For the brief moment in which the spell is cast, the magician's undivided attention is paid to casting.
- Spellcasters can select any target on the same plane of existence. Magicians in the material can target other things in the material. Magicians in the astral can select other targets in the astral. A mage cannot select a physical target from the astral or vice-versa.
- Dual-Natured characters, including Awakened using Astral Perception, effectively exist on both planes at once, and can target (and be targeted) accordingly.
- Spells have an effective range of naked line of sight (unaided through mechanical means). Mirrors, focused lenses, and even cybereyes (the cost is paid in essence) can enhance line of sight. Digital imaging equipment, spells, or anything that would otherwise directly alter the image before the caster can see it do not count (i.e. you can't fire spells through security cameras or clairvoyance).
- Targets at extreme ranges or odd angles can still be seen, but not clearly. Any obstacles (far range, even a thin smokescreen, or opaque glass) adds to the difficulty of casting and reduces the effeciveness of spells with any variable magnitude (damage spells, barriers, etc are less effective).
- Certain attributes grant characters a measure of defense against unfriendly spels.
- Drain represents more than just fatigue. It is the toll that the body and mind take as a result of channeling magic. Past a point, the damage becomes physical - The closer a magician draws to their limit, the more such a toll can be seen or felt.
- When a character's full drain has been expended, they have passed their limit, and will fall unconscious unless they possess the Fearless trait. There is no magic or procedure that can restore drain or heal it's toll, a character will simply have to wait it out and recover naturally.
- The physical effects of Drain can express themselves as anything from bloodshot eyes and bleeding to even burn marks across the body. It is not really possible for a magician to prevent or easily obscure these effects.
Countering Someone's magic
- Trying to counteract a piece of magic requires one to put up the same amount of drain used to cast it.
- With sorcery, one can try to "counter" a spell that is currently being cast (precluding their own action or casting of another spell). A magician can also "dispel" a sustained spell of some kind from the person, place or thing that it is being sustained on under the same premise.
- With conjuring, one can try to banish a spirit out of existence, or try to take control of someone else's spirit (this can only be done to a kind of spirit they can conjure themselves).
- Banishing requires line of sight of the spirit and an unopposed (someone not directly interfering or countering the attempt) burn of the same amount of drain put into summoning it. The drain need not be spent all at once and the burden can be shifted between multiple magicians. Any 'damage' sustained to a spirit this way remains for a few hours before it can recover again.
Awakened Character Types.
There are different types of awakened characters and the types are listed below. If your character is an aspected magician you have to choose if they are an aspected Shaman or an aspected Mage. Rules for these are included in the Shaman and Mage pages.
Being an awakened character requires knowledge about the categories below and within that knowlegde is lists of abilities and totems to choose from when creating your character.