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Magery and Mana

The Magic system for Arcadia is essentially the one presented in GURPS Magic, 4th Edition but there are some significant differences:

  • Spells are organized differently
  • There are significant restrictions on purchasing the Magery advantage
  • Spells are powered by a new characteristic (mana), not fatigue
  • Spells have differing ritual requirements
  • Spells have difficulty ratings (E, A, H, and VH)

Spell Organization

There are a handful of minor differences in the way in which spells are organized.

  • Some large colleges (such as Body Control and Mind Control) have been split into multiple colleges
  • Some colleges (such as Weather and Technological) have been omitted
  • Colleges have been organized into four Realms. Most mages will have spells from only one Realm.

The Realms of magic are:

Two colleges do not a part of any realm: Enchantment and Metaspells.

The Magery Advantage

All mages must have Magery Zero (5 points) to learn spells. Magery Zero gives the ability to perceive and interact with magical forces. Beyond this, there are strict limits on how many levels of magery can be purchased.

Mages may buy unmodified Magery for 10 points, which gives +1 with all spells.
Mages may buy Magery (Realm) for 8 points, which gives +1 to all spells from a single realm.
Mages may buy Magery (College) for 5 points, which gives +1 to all spells from a single college.

A character's maximum Magery level is 4, and only 1 level can be unmodified Magery. Included in those 4 levels of Magery, a character may have at most 2 levels of Magery (Realm), or 1 level of Magery (Realm) if she already has a level of unmodified Magery.

Magery Zero is the only Magery that represents an inborn ability. All other levels of Magery represent study and learning. Therefore, additional Magery levels can be purchased and scaled up freely as the character develops. It is perfectly reasonable to spend 3 cp to modify a single college Magery level into a single-realm Magery level. 

Magical Energy or Mana

Unlike standard GURPS, the ability to cast magic spells has no relation with the character's fatigue. Instead, a new secondary characteristic, Mana, has been introduced. A character has Mana points equal to (IQ + Magery)2/5 -- the same formula as basic lift, substituting IQ + Magery for ST. Additional Mana can be purchased by way of purchasing extra IQ with the limitation (only for calculating Mana -80%) for 4 CP per level. A character may increase his IQ by maximum of 30% of base IQ in this way.

Most mages will have from 30-50 Mana, and spell costs have been increased accordingly (usually by a factor of four). Recovery rate and maintenance costs remain about same. The effects of this new secondary characteristic are:

  • Casting spells doesn't make a mage fatigued.
  • Highly talented mages have a little more power.
  • Spells can usually be maintained for longer.
  • Mages take much longer to recover when they are depleted.

Effects of High Skill

High skill has no effect on the ritual requirements of spells even at very high levels. Each Realm of magic lists modifiers that the player may elect to take to alter the ritual requirements of their spells.

High skill does reduce the casting and maintenance cost of spells. 

Skill Casting Cost Maintenance
10-14 Unchanged Unchanged
15-19 -5 -1
20-24 -10 -2
25-29 -15 -3

This table can be extended as needed.

Spell Difficulty

Each spell in the spell list has been assigned a difficulty rating: Easy, Average, Hard, and Very Hard. Most spells are average --  one level of difficulty easier than standard GURPS.

Ceremonial Magic

Non-mages may not make any contribution to Ceremonial Magic.