Cwapterone Practicing Magic

>rom Victorian literature and actual occult practice to later fiction set ►in a Victorian age, depictions of magic are varied. This chapter presents several magical styles for the Game Master to choose from when creating an Imperial Age: Magick campaign. By combining the three main Practices and the three main Prices offered in Chapter Two, a GM has a total of nine options from which to choose, each scalable to suit the power level of the campaign.

The First Practice is the most familiar to players, more closely resembling the standard d20 magic system than the others. If the campaign does not revolve around magic and occult intrigues, but rather simply uses magic as one of many campaign elements, this may be the best choice.

The Second Practice reflects the idea that learning and using magick is difficult, but once mastered can have a wide range of applications. This skill-based system is good for a campaign in which there is a greater emphasis on the discipline or talent needed to learn magick and the risks of using it.

The Third Practice is similar to the second, but makes magickal practice a narrower set of abilities, limiting a practitioner's powers to a few schools of magick. This is most appropriate for campaigns involving multiple sources of magic (esoteric occultism, faith, fey, demons, etc.), each of which can have its own unique flavour.

The GM will want to make some decisions about the game he wishes to run before employing any of the Practices. He should also make an effort to communicate those choices clearly to the players before the game begins so that they may modify their expectations appropriately.

First, the GM must determine the overall magick level of the campaign. If a high magick setting is desired, the GM should make the Magick Mastery feat(s) described below available as a bonus feat for Smart, Dedicated, and Charismatic Heroes. If a lower magick level is desired, then either limit Magick Mastery to an advanced class (such as the Hermetic Disciple), or allow the feat to be taken only when a PC would be allowed to choose a feat at a higher character level. PCs should not be allowed to take more than one Magick Mastery feat per level; a human PC should not be allowed to take two Magick Mastery feats at first level, for example.

It should be noted that if a PC is allowed to take Magick Mastery feats as both class based bonus feats and character level bonus feats, a focused character will be able to cast the highest spells available by around 12th level. Thus GMs may wish to limit it to one or the other. The best way to limit this progression, however, is to set in-game prerequisites as discussed below. Another simple way is to set a minimum level requirement per Magick Mastery (see sidebar "Magick Mastery and Power Levels"). A GM may also limit the number of times a PC can take a Magick Mastery, setting the cap for PC magick at 5th or 7th level spells for example.

MAGICk_MASTE.ry & POWE^LEVELS

Allowing PCs to take Magick Mastery feats (described in each Practice) as class bonus feats and as character level bonus feats will result in an extremely high level of magick past the mid-levels of play. To limit this GMs may wish to set a Minimum PC Level for the number of Magick Mastery feats available, based on the prevelance of Magick in the campaign (Low, Common or High).

Magick Mastery

Minimum PC Level

Low Magick

Common Magick

High Magick

1

3

1

1

2

6

3

3

3

9

6

5

4

12

9

7

5

15

12

9

Next, the GM must determine the types of magick he wants in the campaign. Tailoring the available spells and spell lists to the campaign can achieve a wide variety of effects. The simplest method is to assign a spell list to each of the three primary spell casting attributes as in standard d20 fantasy games. Alternatively the GM can work with the player to select spells at each level that are suitable for the campaign and the character. If the GM wishes a game of subtle magicks, then most evocation spells should be banned, whereas an investigative campaign could be ruined by high-level divination spells. If fey creatures are the source of magick, nature and enchantment spells are most appropriate. On the other hand, if angels and demons are the source of occult lore, the GM may wish to emphasize conjuration or evocation spells.

Finally, the GM needs to determine what in-game prerequisites a PC may need to achieve, if any, to take a new Magick Mastery feat. For example, if the PC is a member of a Secret Society, that group may have its own levels of membership and its own rites and rituals involving advancement. Such a PC would need to complete in-game objectives to be allowed to take a new Magick Mastery. Alternatively, GMs may require a PC to have a particular mentor or access to an occult library to gain new Magick Mastery feats. Unless the GM intends to run a campaign focused around the activities of magick wielding PCs, it is best to make any such prerequisites easily attainable by the PC, or have no additional prerequisites at all.

Unless where specifically noted, the systems described in this chapter function exactly as do F/X abilities in the core rules.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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