Spells are cast as a skill, with the base difficulty for partial success given by

DC = 15 + Spell level + Effect Modifications

Usually these effect modifications represent a decision to increase the number of targets beyond the basic amount allowed by the spell level; or an attempt to increase duration.

Partial failure occurs if the character rolls below [DC-lvl].

Whether or not a spell is successful on partial failure, partial success or complete success depends on the basic type of spell effect.

Spell Level is unlimited from 0 up and increases or decreases according to the basic type of spell effect, the duration, the range and the area. There are three main types of effects:

•    Fixed wondrous effects, such as light, confusion, etc. which are either automatic, or affect enemy creatures in an opposed skill check (Spellcraft vs. Will/Presence etc). Duration of these spells is usually determined by the amount by which the target fails the opposed skill check.

•    Variable benefit/damage effects, which manifest as bonuses to a skill or stat, or as damage done/healing. These are characterized by a maximum amount they can attain, and are variable up to the maximum amount. Duration is usually fixed at 1 round per level of the caster.

•    Fixed benefit/damage effects, which manifest in the same way as variable effects, but always to a fixed amount. This means that they can work on partial failure, but their difficulty is usually higher. Also, the duration of these spells depends on the degree of success.

Essentially, a spell can have a variable effect for a fixed duration, or a fixed effect for a variable duration.

Table 1 characterises the way in which the three basic types of effects determine success.

Unit of duration: Every spell has a unit of duration determined as part of its creation. This is usually 1 round, but can be in minutes, hours, days, or simply be permanent. For all units of duration except permanent, the spell lasts a period of time equal to some multiplier of the units of duration.

Table 1: Success determination by basic spell type

Spell Effect type

Basic rule

Effect on partial failure

Effect on success

Wondrous effects, no target

Spell always works on partial

failure or better. Degree of success determines duration

Spell works; fatigue; spell

lasts 1 unit of duration

Spell works; no fatigue; spell

lasts a number of duration units equal to [skill roll-DC]+1

Wondrous effects, hostile

target

Spell effect only takes hold if

the caster can beat the target on an opposed skill check

Spell works; fatigue; opposed

skill check DC=die roll. Duration 1 unit of duration per point of failure, +1

Spell works; no fatigue;

opposed skill check DC=die roll. Duration 1 unit of duration per point of

failure, +1

Variable benefit effects

Spell only works on partial or

complete success; benefit varies up to some maximum

Spell does not work; fatigue

Spell works; no fatigue;

benefit is given by [spell roll-DC] up to the maximum

Variable damage effects

Spell works on partial failure;

damage determined by opposed skill check

Spell works; fatigue; opposed

skill check DC = die roll. Effect = 1+1/point of failure up to the maximum

Spell works; no fatigue;

opposed skill check DC = die roll. Effect = 1+1/point of failure up to the maximum

Fixed benefit effects

Spell works on partial failure;

benefit is always fixed, but the duration depends on the spell roll

Spell works; fatigue; full

effect; spell lasts 1 unit of duration

Spell works; no fatigue; spell

lasts a number of duration units equal to [skill roll-DC]+1

Fixed damage effects (curses,

etc.)

Spell works on partial failure;

benefit is always fixed, but the duration depends on the spell roll

Spell works; fatigue; full

damage; spell lasts 1 unit of duration

Spell works; no fatigue; spell

lasts a number of duration units equal to [skill roll-DC]+1

For the purposes of simple gameplay, we note that spell effects which do stat or skill damage are treated in the same way under these rules as spells that do physical damage. However, this implies that spells which do physical damage will not be permanent. For the purposes of this one type of spell, we assume that the damage effect is permanent. Usually this would require that the spell be considerably higher level than is strictly reasonable, so we waive this consideration for healing and damage spells (see table 3 regarding duration).

Spell Difficulty

Spell difficulty depends on which of the three basic effect types the spell employs.

Variable benefit/damage: Level = [Max effect]/2

Fixed effect/damage: Level = effect

Table 2 shows the wondrous effects with their base level.

Table 2: wondrous effects with their levels

Effect

Level

Light

0

Daze, knockdown

1

Stun, deafness, rage[1],

courage1, telekinesis, fascinate,

2

charm, comprehend/confuse

language, camouflage/hidden, change size, Sleep[2],

3

Blindness, forget, Disguise,

alien environment, Pain[2], slow, freedom of movement

4

Paralysis, fear, invisible,

5

clairaudience, Scrying, minor

spell effect[3], haste

6

confusion, Change form

(mundane), Teleport (minor, not through obstacles),

7

Telepathy, improved

invisibility, medium spell effect,

8

Insanity, major injury (removes

most of a creature’s fighting ability without death)

9

Major spell effect, Domination,

10

petrifaction,

11

Change form (supernatural),

Disintegration, Teleport, Extreme spell effect,

12

Imprisonment/banishment, change

reality

13

Death

14

Time Stop

15

Miracle

16

Note that conjuration can be estimated as a DC given by the level of the creature, with a small addition for the conjuration itself (perhaps 1). These levels have been designed to roughly match twice the levels of spells in D&D 3rd edition, with some modifications made possible by doubling the level range. There is no particular reason why the level range should be fixed at 16.

Combining spell effects should use their sum, minus an amount which increases with the levels and numbers of combinations. So for example, daze and knockdown should be level 2; while daze and pain and blindness should be level 6.

Duration

The base unit of duration for all spells is rounds. Spells which do physical damage or which heal people are considered to have permanent base unit of duration, as are spells of abjuration. This is subject to DM discretion. Spells with base duration permanent cannot have their duration reduced.

The base unit of duration can be extended by increasing the level of the spell, as shown in table 3.

Table 3:

style=”mso-spacerun: yes”> Duration of effect

Duration

Level change

Concentration

-1

Minutes

+1

Hours

+2

Days

+3

Permanent

+5

Area of effect

Area of effect depends on the domain of the spell. The effects by domain are shown in table 4.

Table 4: Area of

effect

Domain

Area effect

Divination

1 creature

Abjuration

1 creature

Alteration

1 creature

Evocation

3m area

The area of effect can be increased by 1 of these base units by increasing the spell DC by 1 freely at time of casting. Evocation can be reduced in size to “beam” (essentially 1 creature) at a DC improvement of 1.

Range

The range also depends on domain, as shown in table 5.

Longer ranges can be obtained by increasing DC by +1 through the categories:

Self / Touch / 10m / 30m / sight.

Evokers and abjurers can step down the range categories to make the DC easier.

Table 5: Spell

ranges

Domain

Range

Divination

Self

Abjuration

Self

Alteration

Touch

Evocation

10m

Examples

Scorching Ray

Range: 10m, Ranged touch

Max. Damage: variable, max. chosen by caster

Attack: Spellcraft vs. Reflex

DC: 14+ max damage

Area effect: beam (1 target)

This spell has the base range of the evoker type, and variable damage up to the maximum chosen by the caster.

Base range: 0

Reduced area effect: -1 for beam

So in order to do maximum damage of 5 (enough to penetrate most armour) is DC 19.

Magic Missile

Range: sight

Attack: Guaranteed damage

Damage: fixed, 2 wounds

Area effect: single target

DC: 20

For guaranteed damage: +2=+2

Range extension: +2

Area effect reduction: -1

Note that this can be extended to multiple targets (+1 DC per additional target) and increasing the maximum damage by 2 only increases DC by 2.

Sleep

Range: 30m

Area effect: 1 person

Attack: spellcraft vs. will

DC: 20

Sleep is a level 3 effect, +2 for the range extension. This gives a total DC of 20. DC can be increased by 1 per additional target.

————- Footnotes to table 2————–

[1] Assumes that the effect is somehow different to a variable benefit/damage, perhaps because it has penalties which partially offset the benefits

[2] Note Sleep differs from Paralysis: after 1 round, sleepers can be woken non-magically

[3] A minor spell effect is a spell which affects magic – draining charges, protecting against spells, etc. Other spell effects represent progressions from this.