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Magecraft and Spiritualism skills are skills related to spell creation and casting. It includes every kind of skill necessary for a spellcaster to function. The first section will be Spell Casting. After that is the more complex Spell Crafting, all the components, and steps necessary to make a spell - which are rolled exactly like other skills.

Unlike most systems that let you pick from a narrow group list of spells and then maybe offer some pointers for creating new spells, the Hero's Guild d10 system encourages the creation of new spells up front (but we also provide a list for quick starts, beginners, and so on).

Spell Casting Edit

For ease of understanding, we will refer to all Mystical Skills from this point on simply as spells.

Of course, the crafting process can be either fun for building whatever spell a character wants, but to some, it might seem a bit tedious. For those who wish to skip the spell crafting process, at least for now, they can check out a few of our spells from the alphabetical list or from the Spectra, Purpose, or Aspect below:

---Spells listed Alphabetically

Spellcasting is done the same way as any other skill check. You roll the skill check as the Active Main Roll in opposition to a DS or Reactive Main Roll for the defender. After that follow the description of the spell based on the Main Roll to determine Effect. Many times the difference in the Main Rolls or the Active Main Roll and the DS will alter the Affect.

Magecraft vs Spiritualism Edit

There is little difference mechanically between Magecraft and Spiritualism. Their spells and powers are constructed the same and rolled the same as outlined below. The major differences are story-based and relate to the source or nature of the mystical ability.

Magecraft Edit

Magecraft is typically based on intellect (INT) and personality (PRS). It stems from an understanding of the world on a different level than others see it. In its way, it is a kind of science. Magecraft can run the gamut of Spectra, but focuses more on elements and external things rather than internal ones.

Those who practice Magecraft may be called mages, wizards, sorcerers, warlocks, witches, and so on.

Spiritualism Edit

On the other hand, Spiritualism is based on spirit (SPI) and wisdom (WIS). Spiritualism is about understanding the self to a degree that few outside the spiritual disciplines reach. It is also about connecting to higher states, powerful beings, and ultimately - in the Hero's Guild Existence - to God Himself.

Those who practice Spiritualism may be called priests, shamans, monks, clerics, summoners, and the like.

Others may tap into Magecraft or Spiritualism as a secondary skillset supplementing their primary. A warrior in full plate who also has a range of Spiritual powers may be referred to as a Paladin. A defender of the wilds who taps into the life of plants and animals through Spiritualism may be called a Druid. Entertainers who supplement their performances with a bit of Magecraft might be referred to as Bards. What they are called is not essential, however, the distinction can add significant depth to the character.

Ranged Magical Attack Edit

For many spells, especially attack spells, the target has to be "hit" by the spell as if they were being hit by a ranged attack. Fireballs, arcane missiles, and even beneficial spells like healing and buffs have targets the spellcaster cannot touch. They must, instead, make a Ranged Magical Attack against the target as a skill check in addition to other casting concerns. The spell will list this in its requirements.

Once the spell is cast, the RMA is made to see if the spell actually hits the target at range. Armor Checks typically do not apply as an opposed check, but Dodge or certain magical defenses do.

Ranged Magical Attacks are Agility based with a secondary focus on Perception.

Spell Crafting Edit

To craft a spell, characters need to build them from a set of properties. From this, a much wider variety of spells can be crafted.

The steps to creating a spell are:

  1. Choose a Source
  2. Choose a Spectrum
  3. Choose a Purpose
  4. Choose Aspects

To Learn: Once the spell has been constructed, it's Difficulty Score can be calculated by the choice made. Depending on the character, either a Magecraft or a Spiritualism roll is made. If the roll is greater than the DS of the new spell, the spell is added as a Skill with 1 Base Point (BP) and can be cast normally per the conditions of the spell. If the roll is less, then the spell must be studied for a number of in-game weeks equal to the difference between the roll and the DS. Then a new roll is made and the process starts all over. If this is done during a formal Training setting, the cost is 1 BP to gain the skill and the 1 BP for the roll.

If this is In The Moment and the Magecraft/Spiritualism roll is successful, then the cost is 3 BP to gain the skill and the 1 BP for the roll. If the roll is unsuccessful, the character may not try to learn any spell from that Spectrum until they get formal training in a spell of that spectrum or their Magecraft/Spiritualism TSB increases by 1.

Spell Source Edit

The first step is to decide what the source of the spell is. This is based on what type of character you are playing and sets a contextual, or storyline, limitation on the nature of the spell. This step is not about what the character player wants to do but reflects the boundary of what they can do. While classes are not necessary, those who use them will find the class limited most by source.

The source of the spell determines a number of things about the nature of the spell, how it is learned, its advantages, and its limitations. There are three main sources for spells: inner spirit, external universe, or immortal source. Spell source has no cost in spell construction, but it does carry with it a set of rules explained within each section below.

Inner Spirit - Casting is done from an internal source. Quicker but not as powerful or versatile, might backfire.

External Universe - Casting is done from an external source. Slower, more powerful and versatile, can backfire.

Immortal Source - Casting is done linked to an immortal being or demi-plane. Quicker, more powerful, high cost, doesn't backfire.

Spectra Edit

Step two to spell creation is to determine the spectrum of the spell. Like the steep before it, choosing a spectrum puts a contextual - storyline - limitation on the spell. However, there is also a mechanical component to the Spectra as opposition within the different Spectra exist as well as weaknesses, immunities, and even enhancements exist for certain creatures related to Spectra.

Again, though classes are not necessary, they do set sorry based boundaries on powers, which may include what spectrum the caster has access to.

Spectra is the nature of the energy or material that the spell manifests. It might be elemental, mystical, or something of the fundamental forces of the universe. Below is a chart listing all the spectra of spells, their primary characteristic, and the base Difficulty Score of each spectrum.

To gain access to a new spectrum, the spellcaster must roll a Magecraft roll against a Total DS equal to 10 + the DS of the spectrum times the total DS of spectra already known. If the spellcaster chooses to learn an opposition spectra to one already known, the Total DS is doubled.

A word about the word 'spectra'. Listed below are four Spectra Categories. Under each Spectra Category, the various Spectra associated with the Spectra Category. Spectra are not viewed by members of the Hero's Guild as different colors on a rainbow, but as different kinds of rainbows altogether, each with its own array of colors (spells). The Primal Spectra Category includes the Air Spectrum, Earth Spectrum, Fire Spectrum, and Water Spectrum.

The Spectrum of the spell also determines the Primary Characteristic used to cast the spell.

Primal Spectra Edit

Spectrum Opposition PC DS
Air Earth AGL/SPI 1
Earth Air CON/INT 1
Fire Water STR/PRS 1
Water Fire BEA/WIS 1

Life Spectra Edit

Spectrum Opposition PC DS
Body Mind CON 4
Mind Body INT 6
Soul Void SPI 8
Flora Fauna BEA 2
Fauna Flora PRS 2

Natural Spectra Edit

Spectrum Opposition PC DS
Chemical None CON 5
Electromagnetic None INT 5
Gravity None PRC 5
Nuclear None STR 20
Space Time AGL 10
Time Space SPI 30

Deep Spectra Edit

Spectrum Opposition PC DS
Arcane Eldritch INT 5
Chaos Order PRS 6
Eldritch Arcane CON 5
Order Chaos WIS 6
Void Soul SPI 7

Spell Purpose Edit

The third step to spell creation is to decide the purpose of the spell you want to create.

Spell Purpose relates to what the character wants to accomplish with the spell. It is used as the foundation for spell construction which is covered below.

To Learn: Spellcasters attempting to learn a new Spell Purpose are required to succeed at a Magecraft/Spiritualism check equal to the 10 + {DS of the Purpose times the number of Purposes already learned}. If this is the first Purpose, then the multiplier is 1. Each point of the DS before adding the final 10 constitutes 1 hour of study/meditation. A failure ends study/meditation for that day and new checks may not be rolled until one standard rest period is completed. Additional hours of study may be done to increase the check by 1/8 hours of studying/meditating instead of rolling.

The Spell Purpose determines the Secondary Characteristic of the spell.

For example, Amirith wants to learn to cast spells that involve learning new information. The DS for the Learn category is 5, but Amirith already knows 5 other Purposes, so 5 * 5 = 25 +10 = 35. He spends 35 hours studying then rolls his Magecraft check to study spells related to the Learn category and scores a 37. He now has access to the Learn Spell Purpose.

Basic Skill - Magecraft/Spiritualism

Purpose SC DS
Aid CON/WIS 3
Attack INT/STR 4
Defense CON/AGL 3
Enchant INT/PRS 6
Illusion PRC/BEA 4
Learn INT 5
Movement AGL 8
Summon PRS/SPI 10
Transformation INT/SPI 15

Spell Aspect Edit

The last step to spell creation is to select values for all Spell Aspects, even if that value is 0.

Spell aspect relates to the physical aspects of the spell, its range, duration, area of effect, and so on. This is a template used for constructing spells. The DS for constructing spells varies with how much or little of the aspect is put into the spell. Each aspect has its own DS system for learning.

Basic Skill - Magecraft/Spiritualism

Aspect Base Aspect
Casting Time 1 Player Turn
Duration ----
Endurance 1/TSB
Intensity ----
Number of Targets Self
Other ----
Range 0 - Self;

1 - Touch

Shape 0D - Self/Touch
Focus ----
Verbal Component ----
Somatic Component ----
Material Component ----

Optional Tier System Edit

While the Hero's Guild system is versatile, I didn't want to make it unecessarily complicated. However, there are those who want some limitations or structure to the magic of their world. That is where the tier system comes in.

The tier system has two parts to it, the prerequisite number and the prerequisite aspect.

Prerequisite Number Edit

While some spells have specific prerequisites required before they can be learned, the tier system requires that a specific number of spells from a lower tier in the same spectrum be known before spells in a new tier in that spectrum can be learned. The structure is standardized to three spells known in the previous tier to learn spells in the next highest tier. This does not include tier 0 spells.

For example: Amirith knows three Tier 0 arcane spells, three Tier 1 arcane spells, and two Tier 2 arcane spells. He wants to learn a new Tier 3 arcane spell. Before he can do that, he has to learn a new Tier 2 arcane spell in that same spectrum first.

Prerequisite Aspect Edit

This is a more logical progression related to the nature of the spells themselves. Not only does a higher tier spell within a spectrum require three lower-tier spells be known, there also has to be at least one lower tier spell that uses each of the aspects the new spell incoprorates. Tier 0 spells are used for introducing higher powered aspects.

For example: Ashler knows a Tier 0 Fire Spectrum spell that introduced Long Range, a Tier 0 Fire Spectrum spell that introduced 3-Dimensional Shape but he does not yet have a Tier 0 that allows him to affect an Area for his Number of Targets. He wants to cast the Fireball spell which has the AoE Number of Targets aspect. He could construct a spell with volume at long range, but the energy of the spell would be consumed by the first target caught in the spell rather than all targets in the sphere.

The optional Tier system is part of the spell description as well as the needed aspect to learn the spell. See Spell Aspects above for which are the base.

Tier 0 - Use all the base aspects except 1 which is being introduced by that spell. These spells generally have very low DS costs to learn.

Tier 1 - Usually uses 2-3 non-basic aspects depending on what aspects were learned in Tier 0. These spells run an average of 10 DS higher for cost to learn.

Tier 2 - Usually uses 3-4 non-basic aspects depending on what aspects were learned in Tier 0. These spells run an average of 20-25 higher than Tier 0 DS for cost to learn.

Tier 3 - Usually has access to most non-basic aspects, but they are not necessarily high powered so much as specifically tailored for a particular use. May cost 5-10 higher than Tier 2.

Tier 4 - Incorporates a lot of non-basic aspects together higher powered or more versatile as a single spell. May cost 45 or more.

Tier 5 - Top level adventuring spell tier. Both powerful and versatile. May cost over 55 to learn.

Tier 6 - These spells are moving into broader applications than adventuring. They may have wide areas of effect such as a farm or small village, longer-term effects such as days or even weeks, or perhaps be effective in large-scale battles.

Tier 7 - Spellcasters casting Tier 7 spells are likely locally famous and have settled down. Their spells are powerful enough to affect the whole community for long periods of time, or perhaps take on small armies with just a few spells.

Tier 8 - Lower powered spells that can affect an entire region or very powerful local effects. Also contains some of the most powerful personal spells known.

Tier 9 - These spells are incredibly powerful and known by only a very few. Can affect multiple large cities, a kingdom, or Texas-sized areas. Armies boosted by these spells are nigh unstoppable unless going against an equally skilled caster.

Tier 10 - Only the most powerful spellcasters in history have learned these spells. They can affect entire continents, or given enough time and other resources even a whole planet.

Spellcaster Traits Edit

It felt more natural to add the spellcaster Traits here in addition to Chapter 4 for ease of reference.

Spellcaster Foibles Edit

It felt more natural to add the spellcaster Foibles here in addition to Chapter 4 for ease of reference.

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