Magic
Up +Study

The magic system of Heart of the Empire is designed with flexibility and customization in mind. Mages get very few 'pre built' special skills. Instead, they receive what are called 'Spell Components'. Examples of spell components are Fire, Target-Short, Splash-Medium, Duration-Hours, Status-Inflict, and many others. Spell components can be identified through +rpinfo. They have the word COMPONENT, just like that, all capitals, in the description. They also show fields for shock, casting, element, and damage, which will be explained later.

Spell Component - A spell component is any special skill that can be added to a Spell Chain to create an effect. 98% of all spell components are completely ineffective if used alone.

Spell Chain - A spell chain is a collection of spell components that form a specific effect. All spell chains, unless specifically said otherwise by the components there in, must have some form of target, ranging from target-self (which is good when you want to affect yourself, or touch range), all the way up to target-extreme (which lets you affect things a few miles away).

Every spell component is made up of several parts that define what it does, what it costs, and how it goes about doing it.

Here is a crude example of a spell +rpinfo.

.________________________________________________________________________.
| Item [fire ] Type [ special]                                           |
|________________________________________________________________________|
|_____________________________[ Description ]____________________________|
| EFFECT COMPONENT: This effect component adds heat to the spell that    |
| it's a part of. If used non offensively, assume that it can warm a 10' |
| by 10' room by one degree per rating in Fire. If used offensively, the |
| attacking element of fire is added. Its element is of course, fire,    |
| and will cause double damage to ice aligned entities. Damage: 1 Shock: |
| 1 Casting: 0                                                           |
|________________________________________________________________________|
|______________________[ Additional Information ]________________________|
| Category [Mage and Acolyte ]                                           |
| Caps [10, 15, 20, 25, 25 ]                                             |
| Shock [1 ]                                                             |
| Casting [0 ]                                                           | 
| Damage [1 ]                                                            |
| Element [Fire]                                                         |
|________________________________________________________________________|

By Item [Fire] We can see that the spell's name is fire. The type shows us that it is indeed a special skill.

In its description, COMPONENT is very clearly defined. However, if this was missing, we can look further below to the additional information and see that it has shock, casting, damage, and element as fields, which also tells us that this is a component.

The description tells us what this component does, it adds heat and/or fire to a spell. Useful for frying things in classical fire ball format, wouldn't you say?

Shock - The shock value of each component is how much strain it puts on the caster to put out the energy needed to fuel the component without pushing too much at once and going into mana shock (a period of time that you can't cast magic and are in a lot of pain). All the Shock values of the components add up to make the shock value of the entire spell chain. To resist shock, you automatically roll (Magery+Willpower)/2 + Arcana+Arcana/Shock. If you score as many or more successes as the shock value of the spell, you suffer no shock. The worse you fail, the more damage you take, and the longer you remain in mana shock and are unable to cast.

Casting - Casting is the modifier for how long it takes to get a spell off. Like shock, the casting time of all the various components are added together to form the total modifier. Every 5 is an entire round lost, if you manage to get -5 or greater though, your spell is instant and goes off instantly, despite any initiative checks (Still takes an action).

Damage - Damage is the multiplier for how much damage you do compared to the successes you got in casting the spell. This spell has a damage of 1, therefore, for every success, you get 1 X that much damage. Components have a damage from 1 to 3 as a rule. Some components have negative damage, and actually reduce the amount of damage any spell with them in it will inflict. Only the highest damage will count for a spell, however multiple instances of that same damage level will produce higher damage. For example, fire+fire works, fire+fire2 is just the same as fire2, but is harder to cast.

Element - The element of a component is its 'flavor'. Fire, earth, air, white, black, and others are possibilities. This only has an impact if the target has some sort of weakness or strength against the element, or, the spell is designed to work with elements somehow. This can have many RPed out effects as well, but I leave that to your imagination.

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Now that you know how to read and interpret spell components, let's move on to actual chains. Here are some rules to keep in mind when forging a spell chain.

  1. The Lowest two components in a spell determine how good you are at casting it. If you have a spell chain filled with components you're great at and two that you just learned, you're going to have a hard time doing it very effectively. Some components simply can't be raised above a low level, and thus will cripple any spell they are placed in, bear this in mind.

  2. Duration components cannot be used to inflict more or less damage. That is, if you cast a fireball and add a duration, all you can really do with that is extend the time the damage is delivered. If it says you did 5 damage, you did 5 damage. With duration, you could make that 5 damage come into effect slowly over an hour, for whatever reason you have in mind.

  3. Exception to 2, Status ailments that cause damage can, of course, have a duration, most even have a default duration if you don't add one yourself.

  4. Opposing elements will cancel out. This can be very helpful if you want a neutral spell against something resistant to either element.

  5. Don't read spell component descriptions too literally, the system is designed for creativity. Applied liberally, almost any effect can be created.

  6. If you can't figure out how to achieve an effect, make up your own component! Contact Nuku in the game for further details.

  7. Shock hurts, try to keep your spells with low shock until you have plenty of Arcana and Arcana/Shock skills. Your mage profession level also helps to resist mana shock.

  8. Target-Self can be used if you're clever. If you touch the target(A brawl check to do in a fight if they don't want to be touched), target-self will work. If, in the example of a poison spell, you're preparing a glass of wine, you could use target-self, and the next to drink the glass would be affected.

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FAQ

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How do I cast Spells?
   
Type +cast (component1)+(component2)+(componentx).. For example, +cast Fire+Target-Short
    See +help cast

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How do I get study points? What are they good for?
   
Study points are gained every day. Your level of intelligence, Arcana, Arcana/Research, and Lore, all help to determine how many study points you receive.
    Study points can be used to purchase Lore and Folk-Lore subskills without paying XP.
    Study points can also be used to create permanent spell chains with easier to type names. Your skill in these spells will help or hinder your casting of them, so it's advised that you make one spell and study it to a high level before making another.

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How do I cast a spell that I studied?
   
Simply use it like any component, +cast my super fireball, will work just fine, assuming you have a spell called 'my super fireball'.

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Can I see an example of status-inflict and status-null?
  
Sure you can! Let's say you wanted to poison someone, simply cast target-short(or long, depending on how far away they are)+status-inflict(this lets you give them the status)+poison(what status you're giving).
    Oh no, you've been poisoned by that last spell, how do we get rid of it? Just do the same thing, replace status-inflict with status-null, for example, target-short+status-null+poison.