Sunday, March 23, 2014

College Ritual Book Magic

College Ritual Book (CRB) Magic is my alternate magic system for GURPS. For better or worse, it uses the concepts and spells from GURPS Magic, but substantially revises the difficulty of learning spells and the effectiveness of magical talents.

I've written up CRB as a series of posts, with justifications and musings and rants and design notes. Links to those posts are below. Beyond that, I have a consolidated post that clearly explains the CRB rules without all the game design thoughts.

College Ritual Book Magic

Spells are easy. College is very hard.

College Ritual Book Magic (CRBM) is a revision of the standard GURPS Magic system intended primarily for Dungeon Fantasy games. It can be used in any game that is willing to use the standard spell list and prefers that spell casters depend on grimoires to be effective.

Unless otherwise stated, assume the rules from GURPS Magic apply.

Learning Magic

Anyone can learn to cast magic, and all spells are Mental/Easy skills.

Serious practitioners prefer to learn a collection of spells as college, as defined in GURPS Magic. Each separate college is a Mental/Very Hard skill.

Beyond level 0, the Magery or Magic Talent advantage does not exist. Some spellcasters may have a Talent with certain colleges and related skills. These talents should be created using the normal rules for talent creation. As a guideline, for 5 points, the talent should apply to 2-3 college skills (and any individual spells in that college) and 4-3 other related skills. For 10 points, the talent should apply to 6-7 college skills and 6-5 other related skills.

Performing Magic

A character must either have the 5 point Magery 0 advantage or be in a High or Very High mana zone if they actually want to cast a spell.

Spells that were learned as individual skills are cast by taking the required Concentrate maneuvers and rolling under effective skill. The energy cost is not taken from the caster's HP or FP but is instead applied to their tally. The energy cost of the spell is reduced by 1 for every 5 points of MoS on the spellcasting roll.

Spells that are learned as part of a college are cast by taking the required Concentrate maneuvers and rolling under the effective skill based on the College. Spells learned from colleges have an additional default penalty equal to either
  • the prerequisite count, if the prerequisite count is 3 or less
  • 2 + 1/2 the prerequisite count, if the prerequisite count is 4 or more
A spellcaster who owns a grimoire that improves a specific spell can reduce that spell's default penalty by the grimoire's bonus for that spell. The default penalty cannot be reduced below 0 (grimoires do not provide bonuses) and the new skill level, before any other modifiers, cannot exceed the spellcaster's Thaumatology skill.

Rituals

Regardless of skill, there is no reduction of energy cost, and the default casting ritual requires spoken words and gestures with at least 1 hand. Any changes to ritual or energy provide a modifier to skill. Effective casting time is not automatically halved at high skill levels.

Penalties for reduced ritual requirements or casting times cannot lower base casting skill below 10. Blocking spells cannot gain bonuses from extra time or from more elaborate rituals; as instant acts of will, they are already cast 'no gestures' and 'no words' at no penalty. Some other spells specify that they can be cast without gestures (particularly the 'breath of' spells); these also do not accrue a penalty.

Casting Time

  • +2 to effective skill for taking twice base casting time in an emergency
  • +3 to effective skill for taking ten times base casting time in an emergency
  • +2 to effective skill for taking ten times base casting time when not in an emergency
  • -5 to effective skill for each halving the effective casting time.

Ritual Gestures

Spellcasters making Elaborate or Sweeping gestures can have a ritual item (wand, staff, rod, crystal ball, holy symbol, censor, tome, fetish, etc) in one hand and still have the hand considered "free." The other hand must be empty. Holding a staff in a single hand prevents two-handed parries while the caster is taking the Concentrate maneuver.
  • Elaborate Gestures: +2 to effective skill. Observers get +2 to any rolls to identify the spell being cast; the caster has an additional -4 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted. This requires both arms, both hands, and both legs to be free. The caster must be standing and have the space to move a yard in all directions.
  • Sweeping Gestures: +1 to effective skill. Observers get +1 to any rolls to identify the spell being cast; the caster has an additional -2 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted. This requires both arms and both hands free. The caster must be standing or sitting.
  • Firm Gestures: This is the standard. It requires at least one hand free. The caster cannot be prone.
  • Subtle Gestures: -1 to effective skill. Observers get -2 to any rolls to identify the spell being cast or to notice that a spell is being cast at all; the caster has an additional -2 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted. This requires one hand or both legs free. If both legs are free, the caster must have space to move a yard in all directions.
  • No Gestures: -2 to effective skill. Observers get -4 to any rolls to identify the spell being cast or notice that a spell is being cast at all (and if combined with No Words, may not roll!). The caster has an additional -4 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted.

Casting Volume

  • Shouted Words: +1 to effective skill. Observers get +1 to any rolls to identify the spell being cast; the caster has an additional -2 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted.The spellcaster can be heard from 16 yards away (100 db).
  • Loud Words: This is the standard.The spellcaster can be heard from 8 yards away (90 db).
  • Spoken Words: -1 to effective skill. Observers get -2 to any rolls to identify the spell being cast or to notice that a spell is being cast at all; the caster has an additional -2 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted. The spellcaster can be heard from 1 yard away (70 db).
  • Whispered Words: -2 to effective skill, or -3 with No Gestures. Observers get -4 to rolls to identify the spell being cast or notice that a spell is being cast at all (and, if combined with No Gestures, may not roll!). The caster has an additional -4 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted. The spellcaster is difficult to hear at a distance (50 db).
  • No Words: -4 to effective skill, or -5 with No Gestures. Observers get -6 to rolls to identify the spell being cast or notice that a spell is being cast at all (and, if combined with No Gestures, may not roll!). The caster has an additional -6 on Will rolls to maintain concentration if interrupted.
Most casting in combat is assumed to Subtle Gestures (to allow two-handed weapon use) and Shouted Words, for no net modifier. A caster who is Grappled may cast using Shouted Words and No Gestures for a total penalty of -3. If the caster is Pinned, there is an additional -4 penalty, for a total -7 to spell casting attempts.

Tally and Threshold

CRBM is a Threshold system. Characters without Magery have a Threshold of 0 and a Recovery Rate of 1, and should be very cautious about casting spells, even in High mana regions. Characters with Magery have a Threshold of 5 and a Recovery Rate of 5. The leveled Extra Magical Ability advantage costs 10 pts/lvl and each level increases Threshold by 10 and Recovery Rate by 15.

Casting a spell increases the Tally. If a spellcaster's Tally goes over his Threshold, he must make a Calamity check on the table below. Tally is reduced by Recovery Rate at dawn or midnight (player's choice at character creation).

Calamity Checks and the Calamity Table

To make a Calamity Check, roll 2d and add 1 for every full 5 points by which tally exceeds threshold after this casting. Calamities take effect immediately, but don’t normally cause the spell to fail.

RollEffect
2-8Nothing happens -- this time.
9-10Until the wizard's tally is reduced to 0, the base cost of casting that spell or ritual is doubled. Increase the multiple by 1 every time this result is rolled again.
11-12As 9, and the wizard has a -1 penalty to cast that spell until his tally is reduced to 0.
13As9, and the wizard has a -1 penalty to cast all spells in the same college until his tally is reduced to 0.
14Until the wizard's tally is reduced to 0, the base cost of casting all spells or rituals in the same college are doubled. Increase the multiple by 1 every time this result is rolled again. Also, the wizard has a -1 penalty to cast all spells in the same college until his tally is reduced to 0.
15As 14, but the casting penalty is -2.
16As 15, but the casting penalty is -3.
17As 16, and the wizard's Magery is reduced by 1 (recalculate threshold and recovery rate based on the new Magery rate). This effective is cumulative. 1 level of Magery is recovered every day that the wizard has a tally of 0, doesn't cast any spells at all, and makes a HT check.
18As 17, and as long as the wizard's Magery is reduced, he suffers from Nightmares with a control roll of 9 or less.
19As 18, and as long as the wizard's Magery is reduced, he suffers from the -10% version of Radically Unstable Magery (Thaumatology p 26).
20As 18, and as long as the wizard's Magery is reduced, he suffers from the -30% version of Radically Unstable Magery (Thaumatology p 26).
21As 20, and the wizard is in a Twisted Mana (Thaumatology p 60) zone that only affects him for the next d6 hours.
22As 20, and the wizard is in a Twisted Mana (Thaumatology p 60) zone that only affects him for the next d6 days.
23As 20, and the wizard is in a Twisted Mana (Thaumatology p 60) zone with a radius equal to his base Magery (minimum 1) for the next d6 days.
24As 20, and the wizard is in a Twisted Mana (Thaumatology p 60) zone with a radius equal to his current Magery (minimum 1) until is Magery completely recovers and for d6 days after that.
25-28As 20, and the wizard is also a Mana Dampener with the same radius of affect as the Twisted Mana zone.
29+The wizard takes (Calamity Modifier / 20)d of injury, reduced by half on a successful HT-6 check. If the wizard dies from this injury, their body explodes (reducing the wizard to -10xHP in the process) and doing the same damage as a cr ex centered on the wizard's hex. Should the wizard survive, also apply the effects of 25, above.

Changes to Missile, Melee, and Other Damaging Spells

Fast progression damaging spells (such as Lightning Bolt or Flame Jet) can do a base damage of Sw damage based on the caster's IQ+relevant magical talent by Concentrating on it for one turn (this may be modified by the spell's element, just as swung shortsword and a swung halberd do different damage). By enlarging it, the caster can increase the damage by +2 or +1/die, whichever is better.

Slow progression damaging spells (such as Rain of Fire or Explosive Lightning Bolt) can do a base damage of Thr damage based on the caster's IQ+relevant magical talent by Concentrating on it for one turn. The caster can spend additional turns concentrating to either increase the area of the spell's effect or increasing the damage by +4 or +2/die, whichever is better.

The Elements

Any damaging spell is built out of two components: the element that determines the college, damage type, special effects, and bonus damage of the spell, and the form that determines the range, area, and cost of the spell.


Lightning (Air): -1 damage per die. Treat as a Tight Beam Burning Innate Attack with Double Knockback, Arcing Surge, and Side Effect (Stun). Ranged Attacks are Acc 4, Range 50/100. Double knockback, in this case, lets it do knockback damage as though it were a crushing attack.
Thunder (Air, Sound): +3 damage per die. Treat as a Crushing Innate Attack with Armor Multiplier 5, Double Knockback, and Hearing Based Side Effect (Stun). Treat attacks against swarms or vaporous creatures as area effect attacks, even if the spell form is normally a single target spell. Ranged Attacks are Acc 3, Range 30/60.
Blight (Body): +0 damage per die. Treat as a Toxic Innate Attack with Cosmic (Ignores DR), Cosmic (Affects things with Immune to Metabolic Hazards), Accessibility (Only living or previously animals and humanoids; cannot target locations). Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 25/50.  Deathtouch should affect zombies, but not stone golems or trees.
Deprivation (Body, Food): -1 damage per die. Treat as a Fatigue Innate Attack with Cosmic (Ignores DR), Hazard (Starvation or Thirst, chosen when the spell is learned), and Resistable (HT -4). Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 50/100.
Enervation (Body): +0 damage per die. Treat as a Fatigue Innate Attack with Armor Divisor 2. Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 50/100.
Stone (Earth): +2 damage per die. Treat as a Crushing Innate Attack with Double Knockback linked to another Crushing Innate Attack with Double Knockback and No Wounding. Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 25/50. Essentially, calculate knockback based on quadruple the rolled damage. 
Fire (Fire): +1 damage per die. Treat as a Burning Innate Attack with Incendiary and Armor Divisor 2. Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 50/100.
Poison (Food): +3 damage per die. Treat as Toxic Innate Attack with Blood Agent, Cyclic (3x10 seconds), Resistable by HT-5. Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 25/50.
Sun (Light): +1 damage per die. Treat as a Tight Beam Burning Innate Attack. Ranged Attacks are Acc 8, Range 100/200, and get +1 to hit. Sun attacks are laser beams, and should benefit from having a built-in laser sight.
Ruin (Making and Breaking): +0 damage per die. Treat as Toxic Innate Attack with Cosmic (Ignores DR), Cosmic (Affects things with Immune to Metabolic Hazards), Accessibility (Only never living inanimate objects; cannot target locations). Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 25/50. Making and Breaking spells can't affect golems, zombies, or housecats, but they can destroy cars and furniture.
Force (Movement): -1 damage per die. Treat as a Cutting Innate Attack with Affects Insubstantial and Double Knockback. Ranged Attacks are Acc 3, Range 50/100.
Cessation (Necromantic): +3 damage per die. Treat as Toxic Innate Attack with Cosmic (Ignores DR), Cosmic (Affects things with Immune to Metabolic Hazards), Accessibility (Only zombies; cannot target locations). Targets that take damage have a 1 in 6 chance of being forced to flee out of sight of the caster for one day. Ranged Attacks are Acc 2, Range 25/50.
Sound (Sound): +2 damage per die. Treat as a Crushing Innate Attack with Side Effect (Stun). Ranged Attacks are Acc 3, Range 25/50.
Ice (Water): +0 damage per die. Treat as a Burning Innate Attack with No Incendiary and Armor Divisor 5. Ranged Attacks are Acc 3, Range 50/100.
Acid (Water): -1 damage per die. Treat as a Corrosive Innate Attack. Ranged Attacks are Acc 1, Range 25/50.

Obviously, a specific spell might use a variant of the elemental or form name, or even both. Lightning Storm sounds better than Explosive Lightning Ball; Sunbolt is better known than Sunball, and so on.

The Forms

Each form determines the physical description of the spell, including its range, area of effect if any, and energy cost.

(Element) Ball: Creates a single target Missile that does fast progression damage at the cost of 1 FP per 2d of base damage. Double the cost to enlarge the spell. Prerequisites are Magery 1 and Shape (Element) and Create (Element) or 6 spells from the college, whichever spell count is easier to achieve.
Explosive (Element) Ball: Creates an area effect Missile that does full slow progression damage in up to Magery yards radius, at 1 FP per yard of radius. Enlarging the spell can either increase damage, at double cost, or increase the radius of effect by Magery yards, again at 1 FP yard of radius. At the caster's option, the attack is also explosive for 1 FP, with double cost if the spell damage was enlarged. Prerequisite is (Element) Ball.
(Element) Jet: Creates an elemental jet extending from the caster's fist. It can be used to attack using DX or Innate Attack with any normal Attack maneuver, and cannot be parried, nor can it parry. The jet does fast progression damage, cannot be enlarged, and costs 1 FP per 2 yards of reach (up to a maximum of 4). The jet has a duration of 1 second, but the duration doesn't begin until the caster has an opportunity to make the attack maneuver. Prerequisites are Magery 1 and Shape (Element) and Create (Element) or 6 spells from the college, whichever spell count is easier to achieve.
(Element) Breath (VH): Allows the caster to breath out a cone of the element by taking an attack maneuver and rolling against DX or Innate Attack (Breath). The cone does slow progression damage and cannot be blocked or parried. The cone has a combined length and width in yards equal to the caster's magery, and the caster may enlarge the spell for more damage or for more length or width normally. The base cost of the spell is 1 FP per 2 yards of length or 4 yards of width, doubled if the damage is enlarged. Prerequisite is (Elemental) Jet.
(Element) Touch: Imbues the caster's hand with elemental energy, allowing him to transfer that energy to a foe with a touch. This is a Melee spell that does fast progression damage at the cost of 1 FP per 2d of base damage. Prerequisites are Magery 1 and Shape (Element) and Create (Element) or 6 spells from the college, whichever spell count is easier to achieve.
(Element) Weapon: Imbues a melee weapon with elemental energy that does slow progression damage as a follow-up attack on any successful attack with the weapon. This spell takes 2 seconds and 4 FP to cast and has a duration of 60 seconds, with a maintenance cost of 2 FP. The weapon is not harmed by the elemental energy. Prerequisites are Magery 2 and Shape (Element), Resist (Element), Create (Element) or 9 spells from the college, whichever spell count is easier to achieve.
(Element) Missiles: Imbues a missile weapon with elemental energy that does slow progression damage as a follow-up attack on any successful attack with the weapon. This spell takes 2 seconds and 4 FP to cast and has a duration of 60 seconds, with a maintenance cost of 2 FP. The weapon is not harmed by the elemental energy. Prerequisites are Magery 2 and Shape (Element), Resist (Element), Create (Element) or 9 spells from the college, whichever spell count is easier to achieve.
(Element) Armor: Surrounds the subject with a sheathe of elemental energy. Anyone who attacks the subject with a melee weapon takes slow progression damage on a successful hit. Anyone who grapples the subject take fast progrssion damage upon securing the grapple and cancels the spell in the process. Elemental Armor takes 4 FP to cast, 2 FP to maintain, and has a duration of 1 minute. Prerequisites are Magery 2 and (Element) Jet, Resist (Element) or 9 spells from the college, whichever spell count is easier to achieve.
Rain of (Element): This spell can only be cast outdoors, and creates a rain of elemental energy inside the target area. Anyone inside the target area at the end of his turn takes full damage; anyone who enters or starts in the area but moves out during his turn takes half damage. This spell does slow progression damage and is an Area spell with a base cost of 1 FP, the same maintenance cost, and a duration of 1 minute. Prerequisites are Magery 2 and Shape (Element), Create (Element) or 9 spells from the college, whichever spell count is easier to achieve.
(Element) Volley: Creates a missile that does fast progression damage to a single target with RoF 4 and Rcl 3. It can still be used for suppressive fire, walking fire, or to otherwise engage multiple targets using the normal RoF attack rules. It has a base cost of 4 FP per die of damage. Enlarging the spell can increase the damage at double FP cost, increase the RoF to 10 at double the FP cost, or both at triple FP cost. Prerequisites are Rain of (Element), Element (Ball), and Element (Breath).

Grimoires

Using Grimoires

A spellcaster must have reviewed a grimoire in the previous 24 hours in order to use its bonus when casting a spell. Reviewing a collection of grimoires takes 1 hour, and an additional hour for every total 100 points in bonuses that the grimoires provide. After having reviewed a grimoire, a spellcaster does not need to keep the grimoire on him to get its bonus when casting a spell.

Purchasing Grimoires

Grimoires come in three qualities, which basically represents paper weight and grade. Cheap grimoires are made from thick, heavy paper. Good and fine grimoires are made from thinner and stronger paper. Grimoires can come in any size, but are bought in blanks of 100 pages.

Grimoire
Quality
Cost ($)/
100 pages
Weight (Lbs)/
100 pges
Cheap102
Good801
Fine2000.1


Grimoires can also be Dwarven, as per manuals from Sages: immune to fire and water damage, double weight, +4 CF.

Many grimoires are associated with magical styles, and usually have a selection of spells grouped into one of the style's levels and sufficient to qualify for the next level in that style.

Spells per Grimoire

Each spell in a grimoire has a separate bonus, a cost to purchase the spell for the grimoire, and a number of pages that the spell requires. Delvers who want to scribe their own spells can instead pay $0.5/page for the calligraphy and an additional material cost for diagrams and rare inks if they have the required minimum skills in Writing, Teaching, Thaumatology, and effectively in the college including the prerequisite penalty for the spell.

BonusCost ($)PagesMaterial ($)Min Skill
+1101521014
+2152041015
+330301216
+475405017
+52006016018
+65008044019
+7100012090020
+82500160230021
+95000240450022
+1010000320900023

New and Revised Advantages and Disadvantages

Extra Magical Abilty [10/level]: Your ability to cast spells is improved, adn yo have +10 Threshold and +15 Recovery Rate for every level of this advantage.

Magery [5]: You can cast spells, as long as there is some mana available. You have a Threshold of 5 and a Recovery Rate of 5.

Magical Style Familiarity [1]: In CRBM, instead of being able to learn any of his school's public spells without needing instruction, a magical stylist improves the grimoire bonus by 1 for any of the style's grimoires, as long as he has also grimoires for any of the style's previous levels.

Disciplines of Faith (Arcane Rituals) [-10]: Your magic requires constant research into the tides of magic, the position of the stars, and stranger things. You must own a spellbook that contains your notes, observations, and calculations on how and when you can cast spells. This spellbook is grimoire with 5 pages per point in spells that you know. You must study from this spellbook for 1d hours every night - this is time taken away from sleep, being on watch, travelling, etc. You do not need the spellbook on you to cast a spell if you studied it the night before. On any day that you cast a spell, you consume $5 of reagents and spell ingredients - these are fetishes, fine spices, and powered gems that weigh almost nothing. If you ever find yourself without reagents or your spellbook, you are at -1 on all spell-casting rolls per day that you go without either, and -2 per day that you go without both. The penalty is reduced to 0 as soon as you study in your spellbook and have access to reagents again.

Disciplines of Faith (Tome Magic) [-15]: As Disciplines of Faith (Arcane Rituals), but your spellbook is a physical representation of your magical ability. This spellbook is grimoire with 10 pages per point in spells that you know. You cannot cast spells at all unless your spellbook is on your person (in your backpack counts, but not in extra-dimensional space such as a Hide-away pouch). You get a +2 on all rolls to cast spells while your book is physically in your hand.

Revised Summoner Templates

CRBM Demonologist

Replace Demonic Attument 3 [24] and 10 points in demonologist spells with Magery 0 [5], Extra Magical Ability 2 [20], College of Demonology (VH) IQ [8]-15, and the Perk: Reader of the Black Grimoires [1]. Add additional levels of Extra Magical Ability to the general advantage list.

The Close to Hell talent no longer gives bonuses to Religious Ritual or Theology but gives bonuses to College of Demonology and College of Death instead. Reader of the Black Grimoires allows the substitution of Hidden Lore (Demons) for Thaumatology when using grimoires to cast College of Demonology spells (even if the grimoire was written for an entirely different magical tradition!)

CRBM General Elementalist

Replace Elemental Influence 3 (All Elements) [30] and 20 points in elementalist spells with Magery 0 [5], a suitable 5 point talent [5], Extra Magical Ability 2 [20], the Perk: Elemental Understanding [1], and 19 points distributed among College of Air, College of Earth, College of Fire, College of Metal, College of Water, College of Wood, and/or College of Void, as appropriate. Add additional levels of Extra Magical Ability to the general advantage list.

Elemental Understanding allows the substitution of Hidden Lore (Elementals) for Thaumatology when using grimoires to cast spells from an Elemental college (even if the grimoire was written for an entirely different magical tradition!)

CRBM Specific Elementalist

Replace Elemental Influence 3 (One Element) [24] and 20 points in elementalist spells with Magery 0 [5], a suitable 5 point talent 2 [10], Extra Magical Ability 2 [20], the Perk: Elemental Understanding [1], and College of (One Element) (VH) IQ+2 [8]-17 (includes a +2 bonus from the talent).

CRBM Necromancer

Replace Deathliness 3 [24] and 10 points in Deathly spells with Magery 0 [5], Extra Magical Ability 2 [20], College of Death (VH) IQ [8]-15, and the Perk: Secrets of the Dead [1]. Add additional levels of Extra Magical Ability to the general advantage list.

Secrets of the Dead allows the substitution of Hidden Lore (Undead) for Thaumatology when using grimoires to cast College of Death spells (even if the grimoire was written for an entirely different magical tradition!)

CRBM Revised Shaman

As normal for CRBM, Shaman spells are individually IQ/E skills, and are sorted into three colleges.
College of Life: Beast Summoning, Boost Dexterity, Boost Health, Boost Strength, Command, Compel Truth, Cure Disease, Daze, Deathtouch*, Dream Projection, Dream Sending, Fear, Grace, Madness, Major Healing, Mass Daze, Mental Stun, Message, Might, Minor Healing, Panic, Paralyze Limb, Presence, Remove Contagion, Retrogression, Rider Within, Rooted Feet, Sense Life, Silver Tongue, Sleep, Soul Rider, Spasm, Stop Spasm, Strike Blind, Strike Deaf, Strike Dumb, Strike Numb, Terror, Total Paralysis, Vigor.
College of Spirits: Affect Spirits, Animation, Animate Shadow, Astral Block, Astral Vision, Awaken Craft Spirit, Banish, Beacon, Command Spirit, Control Elemental, Create Elemental, Entrap Spirit, Final Rest, Materialize, Pentagram, Planar Summons, Planar Visit, Planar Shift, Repel Spirits, Sense Spirit, Skull Spirit, Solidify, Soul Jar, Summon Demon, Summon Elemental, Summon Shade, Turn Spirit, Turn Zombie.
College of Wisdom: Bless, Boost IQ, Create Door, Curse, Detect Magic, Dispel Magic, Divination, Force Touch*, Hide Object, History, Know True Shape, Magic Resistance, Mystic Mist, Nightingale, Pathfinder, Predict Weather, Projection, Remove Curse, See Invisible, See Secrets, Sense Mana, Sense Observation, Sense Spirit, Summon Shade, Suspend Curse, Trace Teleport, Utter Dome, Watchdog, Wisdom.

A spell's effective prerequisite count (and its penalty to casting rolls) is equal to it's PI - 1, so a shaman can cast all PI 1 spells in a College at his skill in the college. Shamans do not use grimoires, but have spirit guides that serve a similar purpose.

Each level of Power Investiture (Shamanic) increases Threshold by 10 and Recovery Rate by 15, with both starting at 0. Power Investiture (Shamanic) does not provide a bonus to learn spells.

On the template, replace 10 points in Shamanic spells with one of the following spell packages
  • Focused caster: One Shamanic College at (VH) IQ [8]-14 and the other two colleges at (VH) IQ-3 [1]-11; or
  • Generalist caster: Two shamanic colleges at (VH) IQ-1 [4]-13 and the other college at (VH) IQ-2 [2]-12; or
  • Scattered caster: Choose 10 shamanic spells at (E) IQ [1]-14.

Spirit Guides

A spirit guide is a friendly or controlled spirit who advises a shaman in the practice of magic. A shaman may have zero or more spirit guides.

Each spirit guide gives a bonus to casting one or more spells from the college default. The bonus can only buy off the prerequisite penalty to cast the spell and the effective skill cannot exceed the shaman's Hidden Lore (Spirits) skill.

A spirit guide is a 1 point advantage and can give on of the following sets of bonuses:
  • +1 to three different spells
  • +2 to one spell and +1 to two different spells
  • +2 to one spell and +3 to another
  • +4 to one spell
Spirit guides can be transferred from one shaman to another. Spirit guides can be voluntarily transferred between shamans as an act of will, but the shaman who gives away the spirit guide loses any bonuses immediately and the shaman who acquires the guide does not get the bonuses until he has slept (or meditated for shamans who do not sleep) for at least 8 hours and made contact with the spirit guide.


A shaman can steal another shaman's spirit guides. Spirit guides may be stolen from another shaman's physical body (including his corpse) or from a shaman's house or other place of power. The ritual to steal a spirit guide takes an hour to perform and fails automatically if it is interrupted in any way.



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