Spellcasting Rules

This is where you will find the information to create your Mage, and any house rules.
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Spellcasting Rules

Post by fairfolk » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:47 pm

Base Casting Roll: Arete
Bonuses: Highest Sphere is Rank 1 (+2), Highest Sphere is Rank 2 (+1)
Penalties: Highest Sphere is Rank 4 (-1), Highest Sphere is Rank 5 (-2), Spell is Vulgar (-1), Spell is Vulgar with Witnesses (-2)

Magical Difficulty Modifiers

Tools and Rituals

Using a Personalized Instrument: +1 Die
Using a Unique Instrment: +1 Die
Using a Unique and specialized instrument: +2 dice (total)
Working with unfamiliar instruments: -2/-1 dice
Working without usual instruments: -3 dice
Using Instruments when you don't need to: +1 dice
Using a personal item from target (sympathetic magic): +1 to +3 dice
Appropriate Resonance (personal, instrument, ritual, or Tass): +1 die
Opposed Resonance (personal, instrument, ritual, or Tass) -1 die
Manipulating Mythic Threads / Hypernarrative: +1 die

Time and Effort

Spending Quintessence: +1 die per point, max. +3 dice
Spending extra time (per additional turn each roll): +1 die per extra turn, max +3 dice
Fast-Casting: -1 die
Turning Time Backwards: -5 dice

General Circumstances

Researches lore about subject before using magic: +1 to +3 Dice
Near a Node: +1 to +3 dice
Distant or hidden target or subject: -1 die
Juggling several effects at once: -1 die per two effects
Mage distracted: -1 to -3 dice
Mage in conflict with Avatar: -1 to -3 dice
Domino Effect: -1 per two coincidences after the first; see MtA20 p.539
Outlandish to godlike feat: -1 to -5 dice

Posts: 1811
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:02 pm

Re: Spellcasting Rules

Post by fairfolk » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:51 pm


  1. One Turn
  2. One Scene
  3. One Day
  4. One Story
  5. Six Months
  6. Storyeller's Option - Permanent Requires Double Successes
Damage: Each success on a spell, beyond those needed to cast the spell itself, inflict two levels of health damage or heal two levels of health. This also reflexts the health levels healed by the Life Sphere, or the points of Quintessence channeled by the Prime Sphere. Forces inflicts an additional level of damage.

Targets: Each success beyond the base can add one additional target.

Posts: 1811
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:02 pm

Re: Spellcasting Rules

Post by fairfolk » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:10 pm

Targetting other individuals
Spellcasting rolls which target another individual require at least two successes - one for the other target, and at least one for the effect (more, depending on if the effect itself would require multiple successes). Furthermore, if a change on an individual is unwarranted, an individual may resist, dodge, or otherwise attempt to resist the effect. A character's resistance is determined based on the kind of effect.

An Effect which uses the spell as a sort of projectile (lightning bolt, laserbeams, etc) casts the spell, and then rolls a roll to determine if they hit appropriate to the effect used (Wits + Occult for a Lightning Bolt, Dexterity + Firearms for a laserbeam), penalized by defense (if applicable).

Barring this, any effect in which the effect increases the more successes applied (such as through damage) is resisted. If it affects the mind, penalize the roll by half the target's resolve (rounded up). If it affects emotions, penalize it by half the target's composure. If it affects the body, penalize it by half the target's stamina.

If the effect is an all or nothing effect - that is, if the number of successes doesn't matter, the effect simply works or does not work - then the roll is contested instead of resisted. Instead of penalizing the roll, the target rolls the appropriate resistance attribute + power stat to resist.

Posts: 1811
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:02 pm

Re: Spellcasting Rules

Post by fairfolk » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:13 pm

Rituals and Extended Duration Spells

The Base Dice Pool for a Ritual Spell is the same as above - Arete +/- dice determined by sphere rank and whether or not the effect is vulgar. When performing a ritual, however, keep the bonus dice or penalties of the base in mind - they provide that same bonus / penalty to a number of rolls in a ritual casting.

(Example: A Ritualist casts a Vulgar Level 1 Spell. They get a +2 for it being level 1, and a -1 for it being vulgar - granting them a total of +1. Keeping that bonus in mind, they will add that bonus to any future rolls that call for it.)

Maximum Amount of Rolls: Willpower + Arete

Failed Rolls: On a ritual, a failed roll penalizes further rolls by 1. This penalty is cumulative.

Dramatically Failed Rolls: If you dramatically fail, you may spend a turn, a willpower point, and 1 of your successes to keep the whole thing from blowing up in your face. At this point, your mage is holding the ritual together through sheer determination. You can either stop there or else keep going with a -1 penalty. A second botch, however, spells immediate disaster...

Interference: If an outside party disrupts the ritual the mage in charge must roll Resolve + Composure or else dramatically fails as though it is the -second- time it has dramatically failed. If she successfully keeps things together, the ritual proceeds as if there had only been one dramatic failure (though a second interference will be disastrous)

Rituals and Paradox
Magickal rituals stir up a lot of reality. And so, every roll after the first one adds one point of Paradox to the caster’s total. If the ritual concludes successfully, then those extra points of Paradox go away. If the caster botches the ritual, however, then the Paradox backlash adds those additional points of Paradox onto the Paradox that the mage would suffer to begin with.

Paradox point accumulation does not reset after a botch; once you botch and take those two points, you can continue at +1 difficulty (see above), but you would take three Paradox points in the next turn, then four after that, and so on.

Rituals and Stamina: Mages may perform a ritual for a number of hours equal to their stamina - after that, the mage needs to roll their stamina - modified by the above base bonus or penalty. If they succeed, they reroll once every hour at a cumulative -1 penalty. If they fail, they may spend a willpower to continue, but further rolls take a -3 penalty.

Rituals and Mundane Abilities
By their nature, rituals tend to employ mundane Abilities – Crafts, Computer, Occult, Science, and so forth. In story terms, the activity provides the focus for that ritual; and in game terms, the Attribute + Ability roll (modified by the same base modifier of the spell itself - and no other modifiers) grants a +1 die bonus per success.

Rituals are broken down into three different categories

A brief rite (one to five success effect) reflects a short observance: a song, a quick prayer, activating a mechanical sequence, sticking pins in a doll, that sort of thing. Game-wise, this involves one or two rolls and five minutes or less of story time. Magick-wise, the rite conjures a simple Effect through either a focus or sheer force of Will, depending on the mage’s abilities. More involved Effects require...

A ceremony (five to 10 success effect), which commits time and effort to the casting of an Effect. A mass, a concert, a session in the workshop, a trance, a series of katas, an evening of debauchery – such things count as ceremonies. The ceremony doesn’t have to be a social event but can involve solitary practice as well as a communal gathering. In game terms, each Arete roll performed within a ceremony reflects an hour or so in story time and may run for up to five hours, after which it becomes...

A Great Work (10 successes or more effect) – a serious devotion to the Effect at hand. High Ritual invocations often involve Great Works, as do mechanical inventions, major spiritual observances, alchemical research, festivals, and other forms of hard time in the lab, workshop, dojo, or temple. Game-wise, each Great Work roll reflects five hours of commitment to the task, which can run as long as it needs to before the mage either reaches his goal, fails horribly, or hits the end of his endurance, as shown under Rituals and Stamina and Maximum Rolls. A major investment of time, materials, effort, and skill, a Great Work is the sort of thing mages do when they’re trying to move the world.

Taking Breaks During a Great Work
Great Works aren’t usually one-sitting projects. A mage could spend days, weeks, or longer dedicating himself to a Great Work. In game terms, you may consider the option of stopping for a break during a Great Work, hanging the process by spending a Willpower point and then resuming the effort after a short interval.

To pick up where you left off, make a Wits + Occult roll (or Wits + Science for acts of enlightened hypertech). That roll is rolled as normal but gains a bonus or penalty depending on the rank of the highest sphere and the level of vulgarity of the spell, and takes a -1 penalty for each roll beyond the first. So long as the work area remains undisturbed, and no more than 48 hours pass between sessions with the Great Work, the mage may continue to extend the process. One failed roll, however, ruins the process and forces the mage to begin again... which explains why so many Great Works take a long time to perform

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