” I, along with a number of my friends, designed 2d6 because we felt a lot of other RPGs on the market today were too complex and took too much time to set up. Thus, 2d6 is engineered to be simple, quick, and fun, while still allowing you to have a lot of control over the game you’re playing. The entire game can be played with little more than pencils, paper, and two six-sided dice for each player. Character creation, which is discussed more later on, can take as little as ten minutes once you know the rules.”
“Ich habe, zusammen mit einigen meiner Freunde, 2d6 entworfen, weil wir viele andere Rollenspiele auf dem Markt als zu komplex und zu zeitaufwändig empfunden haben. So ist 2d6 einfach zu verstehen, schnell und macht Spaß, während Du immer die Kontrolle darüber behältst. Das ganze Spiel kann mit wenig mehr als Bleistiften, Papier und zwei sechsseitigen Würfeln je Spieler gespielt werden. Die Charaktererstellung … dauert gerade mal zehn Minuten, wenn Du die Regeln kennst.”
The following rules are meant to be used with the 2d6 RPG rules above.
Strength (STR) – a measure of your character’s brawn, Strength is often used to modify damage from Melee ( ) attacks and is a part of their Athletics bonus.
Agility (AGI) – a measure of your character’s speed and grace, Agility is often used to modify Melee ( ) combat rolls and certain Perform ( ) checks like dancing (whenever the character needs to use his whole body). Agility is also used to determine a character’s Athletics bonus.
Dexterity (DEX) – a measure of your character’s control over their own body when it comes primarily to fine movements of the hands or fingers. Dexterity is often used for Ranged () combat rolls, Sleight of Hand checks, Trade ( ) checks used to craft delicate objects, pick locks, or perform surgery, and some performance checks like juggling or piano playing.
Toughness (TOU) – a measure of your character’s overall hardiness, Toughness is used to determine their total Resolve bonus.
Intelligence (INT) – a measure of your character’s ability to learn and solve problems by thinking, It is used to modify Knowledge ( ) checks, Language ( ) checks, and Research checks. Intelligence is also used to determine their number of starting languages, whether or not they’re literate, their Speech and Notice bonuses, and their starting experience points (XP).
Willpower (WIL) – a measure of your character’s force of personality and desire to live, Willpower is used to determine their Resolve bonus. Willpower may also be used to modify spellcasting rolls in games that use magic.
Charisma (CHA) – a measure of your character’s wits and physical appearance, Charisma is used to calculate their Speech score, as well as some Perform checks like storytelling, oration, or singing.
Empathy (EMP) – Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. Empathy is used to define their Notice bonus.
Strength is the stat that modifies damage for successful Melee () attacks, but no longer used for modifying the Melee () attack check itself. Agility and coordination are considered much more important for close combat than pure physical strength.
Agility and Dexterity are close to another, they both represent mind-eye coordination and training, the ability to “feel” the body, it’s potential and limits and to make use of it as a physical tool. Agility defines the gross motor skills of a character like climbing, someraulting, archery and the like. Dexterity is used for fine motor skills that usually only involve using the hands or fingers – like lock picking, playing an instrument or performing magical card tricks. The overall movement ability (like running speed) is defined by the Athletics stat.
Empathy replaces Perception. Perception is now considered to be part of a characters Reason and Empathy (sharpness of the mind and awareness for fine social signals. It is no longer considered a physical aspect alone (like having good eyesight).
Athletics (STR + AGI)
Notice (REA + EMP)
Resolve (TOU + 1/2 WIL)
Speech (REA + CHA)
Spellcasting [WIL] *Trained Only*
The Spellcasting skill determines how proficient a character is at casting spells from memory. In a setting including magic of some kind as a force of nature, characters might learn how to use that power, producing awesome effects, by sheer will. In the traditional way this requires the incantation of complex magic spells, often in extinct languages. It’s difficult to learn and magic users are rare and are often treated with suspicion or even persecuted. In many settings you also find amateur or fake magic users, producing weak potions and medications, but can’t cast spells.
Checks & Difficulty Ratings
|DC||Bonus (Stat + Skill + Item)|
NPCs, Animals & Monsters
Only important NPCs or “endboss” monsters require a character sheet of their own and stats that follow the rules of character generation outlined in the 2d6 book. Especially monsters or animals don’t need stats like charm or intelligence.
Body (BOD) – a combination of strength, toughness and resolve. The physical power (and normally the size) of a creature.
Move (MOV) – a combination of athletics, agility and dexterity.
Mind (MIN) – wisdom, wit and awareness.
Social (SOC) – social adaptation and interaction, a combination of charisma and speech.
Hitpoints (HP): 10+BLD.
Energy Points (EP): 20 + BLD.
I do not agree that bosses should be generated as characters, with stats from 0 to 10, and given huge amounts of LP to make them superior. This creates a totally unrealistic game of endless boss bashing. I always hated this mechanism from the das of old D&D, where you could shoot hundreds of arrows into a large monster and it would neither slow down nor die from bleeding or anything. This is boring and does not emphasize smart play, it’s all about who can dash out more damage to tick off those LPs. Bosses should be individuals and dangerous because they have soecial talents no one else has. Some creatures could have even better armor than 3 (heavy armor) or they have Talents like Incorporeal or Teleport. Simply having ten times the amount of LP than a character should be the last thing that makes a boss or powerful creature special. The problem with stats beyond 10 is, they make dice throwing obsolete. The bonuses alone generated with such stats are high enough for all tasks. So 10 or higher is already demi-god or god-level.
Another way to provide starting items for characters is to pay them in XP. Every character gains up to ten mundane items, usually pieces of equipment that are not very expensive, rare or special, like a rope, a lantern, a blanket. Items that are considered special in the hands of a commoner in your setting are called special items. A character may spend 1 XP to gain a special item from the start, like a sword, a riding horse or a wizard’s staff. These items are more valuable than mundane items or rare (they could be banned or not be allowed in the hands of adventurers) but they are still common items of their type. Expending more XP allows the character to buy special qualities for those items, maing them more powerful. It is a good idea to limit the amount of XPs players may spend on starting items, like 3 XP maybe. Most qualities cost 1 XP per power level (if they have levels). An item can only hold one quality at a time, unless the player spends another XP to create another “quality slot”. An item can hold many qualities (usually not more than 3).
To use the qualities of a magical item, the wielder must have a WIL bonus that equals or surpasses the combined amount and power levels beyond 1 of the qualities of the item. A magic sword with the quality Burning 2 would require a WIL of +2 to make use of the Burning quality. The sword is a mundane weapon for all characters with less WIL. Technical items (no magic involved) use the same rule but use the INT stat instead of WIL. Using a sniper rifle with the qualities Accurate and Brutal requires the shooter to have INT +2 or higher to gain the bonuses granted from the qualities. A character with INT+1 can only use one quality at a time (his choice), a character with INT+0 would not understand how to use the gun effectively.
Magic System (sample)
Characters with the skill Spellcasting (see above: Skills) have learned how to read, write, incantate and use spells – ancient rhymes and verses that trigger the hidden forces of magic. Spells are designed to create a specific effect by using the power of the will to bend magical force into a required form. Characters lacking the Spellcasting skill can’t make a Magic Check at all.
The most important stat for a magic user is WIL, it is used to roll the Magic Check (2d6 + WIL bonus + Spellcasting bonus). The spell level lowers the final result as a negative bonus.
A wizard with WIL +3 and Spellcasting +2 casts a Level 3 spell. He rolls 2d6 (7) and adds +3 and +2 from his bonuses. Then he reduces the result by -3 for the high spell level , the final result would be 9.
INT is also of value, it allows a wizard to learn the required ancient languages easier and it sets the amount of different spells a magician can remember or handle. The Arcane Language used to write and pronounce spells is alien and complex. Casting a spell might not take overly long (usually 1 combat round), yet a single flaw in pronounciation, melody or speed would ruin the effect, probably with catastrophic results. Magic users don’t learn and remember spells like bards learn poetry or songs. Magic is a fleeting and constantly changing force of raw energy. A wizard needs to meditate often (at least once a day for 1 hour) and has to constantly check and adjust the energetic structures of the spells that he has learned in his mind’s eye. This is exhausting and requires great willpower when the situation around him is constantly changing. If he can not afford this achievement for a longer time, the magic connections of the spell disintegrate in his mind and he must laboriously learn it from scratch.
The DC for casting a spell is always 13 (Professional). Yes, handling magic isn’t easy. Spellcasters usually make us of aids to get a few bonuses that help them succeed. The following aids are normally used (depending on your setting):
Take your time: The wizard can cast the spell very slowly and carefully to increase his chance for success. An extra round of casting adds a +1 bonus, 1 minute of casting (10 rounds) adds +3, 1 hour adds +5, all day adds +7 and a full week would add +9 (usually nobody can do anything for such a long time without break, food, sleep, etc.). Some spells require to be cast as a ritual and can’t be cast faster than within an hour or longer. On the opposite a wizard can decide to cast a spell faster than normally necessary. Casting a 1 round spell within a half-round gives a -3 modifier to your test result. Casting it as a quick action adds a -5 modifiert to the result. Both modifiers can be countered by the Talents Fast Caster and Faster Caster,
Blood Magic: Depending on the setting, wizards may use blood magic to power to increase their chances of success. They can use their own blood or the blood of a victim (not necessarily sacrificing someone in the process). Many people consider using blood magic as evil and won’t trust a spellcaster using it (if they trust him at all). Practically it means spending HP to get bonuses for your magic checks. For every 1 HP spent the caster may add a +1 bonus to his spellcasting check result. He can not gain a higher bonus from this than his Spellcasting lvl, though – having Spellcasting at level +3 means, he can spend 3HP and gain a +3 bonus per spell.
Magical Amplifier: There may be ingredients (common or rare) like herbs, bones, feathers or bodyparts from mystical creatures, that give a bonus to your casting roll. Or there might be magic items in your setting, that are capable of increasing your character’s spellcasting abilities. Like a Wand of Casting (+2) or a Wizard’s Ring (+1). Characters should not be allowed to combine too many of those special items (see rules for Starting Items). You can use the INT stat or the WIL stat to limit the amount of items (no more than stat lvl) or even limit the total bonus gained from one or multiple items (which is rather strict).
Normally spells are learned for 1 XP at spell lvl 1. They are capable of producing a specific effect described in the Spells section. All numbers involved to define the sheer power of the spell (and use them in checks and combat resolution) for a Lvl 1 spell are 1. You may double the spell’s stats for each power lvl gained by more spending more XP on it. Thus, a lvl 3 spell is actually four times as strong as a lvl 1 spell.
Create Light (level 1): creates a sphere of light (1m diameter) that moves with the spellcaster and can be sent by him to any place within 1m reach. The light is cold and white, it has the intensity of a torch or weak ligh bulb. It moves at walking or running speed as the caster commands and can be used to blind an opponent (Throw Attack) for 1 round per success. The light vanishes if the caster commands it to or after 1 minute (10 rounds).
Fireball (level 1): produces a fist sized sphere of magical fire next to the spellcaster, that can be sent towards any target 1m away by pointing at it. It moves as fast as an arrow and can be evaded like a normal missile. It has the Burning quality.
Teleport (level 1): transports up to one person or man-sized object (that is within 1 m) up to 1m away. The target vanishes and reappears instantly at the new destination (which can be in mid-air or underwater, too). This magic attack can only be defended against with Dispel Magic or similar skills.
This is a version of the original magic spell rules from Dragonlance 5th Age SAGA RPG. I found a variant here and used it as a basic spell construction ruleset. This system requires to specialize the Spellcasting skill to a specific school of wizardy, like pyromancy or necromancy. A character can only cast spells from his school or schools, the player has to keep that in mind when designing instant spells with the following rules. A Fire Mage would not be able to cast an Ice Bolt spell. The GM can decide, that he can attempt to do it, but add +5 difficulty to unknown school spells and rule that a critical failure (snake eyes) will result in terrible consequences for the wizard and bystanders.
This system fits into a setting where magic is chaos tamed by the wizard and where no cast spell is like the one before. Settings that make use of spellbooks with spells written down hundreds of years ago and where you always can expect that a fireball flies 30m, this might not be the best set of rules. Some players also do prefer predictable magic where everyone knows how a certain spell works everytime.
Step 1: Casting Time
As specified in the name, this is the time that it takes for the caster to complete the spell he is formulating for use. Find the time you want to take for the casting, and take note of the point value (the bold number) listed next to it.
Step 2: Range
A spell’s range is how far from you it can reach. After deciding upon how far you wish the spell’s effects to extend, also take note of the point value listed next to the desired range. The ranges are as specified in the Player’s Handbook, however their exact meaning is reprinted here for clarity’s sake. A note on the “Unlimited” range: This doesn’t apply for damage spells, and the exact area can only be selected if your character has been there before.
|+1||Touch / Reach|
|+2||Close (1m + 0.25 m per Spellcasting level)|
|+3||Medium (10 m + 1 m per Spellcasting level)|
|+4||Long (100 m + 10 per Spellcasting level)|
|+5||Extreme (1.000 m + 100 m per Spellcasting level|
|+6||Extreme (10.000 m + 1.000 m per Spellcasting level|
|+7||Anywhere on the planet|
Step 3: Duration
The duration of a spell is how long a spell can last. Take note that mystical and primordial magic spells may be intended any time before the duration’s end if the spellcaster so desires it, or loses consciousness. Once more, keep the point value that corresponds to the desired duration in mind.
|+2||1 rounds per Spellcasting level|
(10 rounds maximum)
|+3||1 minute per Spellcasting level|
(10 minutes maximum)
|+4||1 hour per Spellcasting level|
(10 hours maximum)
|+5||1 rounds per Spellcasting level|
(10 days maximum)
Step 4: Area
The area of a spell is the amount of three-dimensional space that the space occupies. Most spells can only target either people or a an area in space or a certain time span. The first column “people” lists how many individuals can be affected at a time. Those individuals should be in close vicinity of each other, either as a group or a long chain like a caravan. Larger gaps in between them will stop the effect from individuals further away. The GM decides which indviduals are considered to be within a group. The second column “places” lists the three-dimensional space of each selection. In said column is first a general description of a typical area size for comparison, followed by a listing in meters of radius (much easier to handle than square meters). The third column refers to how far back and how far forward in time divination spells can look.
|+1||1||Individual area (1m radius)||1 minute|
|+2||2||Small Room (5m radius)||30 minutes|
|+3||5||Large Room (10m radius)||1 Hour|
|+4||10||Small House (25m radius)||1 Day|
|+5||25||Large House (50m radius)||1 Week|
|+6||50||Keep (100m radius)||1 Month|
|+7||100||Town (500m radius)||1 Year|
Step 5: Effect
For spells that have an effect that either damages or heals, go by the first two columns in the effects table respectively. The number stated is the max amount of damage/HP that can be inflicted/restored. The final column is for effects that can’t be quantified in either damage or healing. Spells such as one to read a person’s mind or change your own shape to that of a griffon use this column. Spells that have a painful effect on the spellcaster cause 5 points of EP. This last column is also used when enchanting armor or weapons with a bonus. The point cost taken is equivalent to the bonus granted the armor or the weapon. (i.e. choosing a point cost of +2 will allow a +2 enchantment to armor or a weapon).
HP or EP
HP or EP
End Result: Now, after selecting all five desired categories, add the point totals on the side of the tables up. This number is the Spell Casting DC.
Raven, the sorcerer with Spellcasting +2, INT +2 and WIL +3 is attacked by an ogre. She has access to the school of cryomancy, needs to hurry quickly and can’t waste much time. She decides to cast a spell to painfully chill the ogre to the bone, doing some damage and slow him down. For her casting time she chooses 1 Action – she’s in a hurry. The Ogre is already at Close range, thus she naturally uses that to conserve points. For duration she chooses Instantaneous. The area she chooses is 1 person since it’s only the ogre, and finally for effect she chooses +3 points of damage. She then adds up the spell points involved:
+4 1 Action
+1 1 Person
+3 +3 damage
Total: 11 Points
She now rolls 2d6 and adds WIL +3 and Spellcasting +2. Assuming she rolled an average 7 the result would be 12, one point above the required DC 11. The spell turns the Ogre’s skin an icy white and he howls in pain as he looses 3 HP. Yet, he still is getting closer to Raven…
Spell Energy Cost
Spells come in one of 4 varieties: 1XP, 3XP, 5XP or 7XP. This is a low-magic setting, so spells cost 3EP per point of XP to cast. That means a 3XP spell would cost 9EP to cast, while a 5XP spell would cost 15EP. Spells that have multiple varieties (say a 1, a 3, and a 5 XP version of the same spell) must be purchased in order (meaning that before you can buy the 3XP version, you must first buy the 1XP version).
Spell Energy Costs
1XP : 3EP
3XP : 9EP
5XP : 15EP
7XP : 21EP
There are ways to store energy points. Kesshō is a magically conductive form of rose quartz that can act as a sort of magical storage device.
Kesshō can hold 1EP per 30 grams. It drains 1EP/30g/round of physical contact with a living being. Mages must learn the spell “Energy Shunt” to be able to draw energy back out of Kesshō. The material also gathers energy from sunlight. If left out in the sun, a chunk of Kesshō is “charged” to maximum capacity at a rate of 1EP per hour. Many professional mages carry chains made of copper for storing Kesshō, so that it can be exposed to the sun. The copper allows currents of energy to flow freely between the pieces of Kesshō, allowing those hidden against the mage’s body to pull energy from those on the sun-facing outside of the bag, since copper is also magically conductive. A failed spell (such as one where a target succesfully makes a Resolve check to resist a spell’s effects) still costs the caster the EP cost of the spell.
Magical Dampening: Salt and Silk both dampen magical fields (much as copper and Kesshō conduct them). This causes problems, especially for casters at sea. A character wearing a silk head covering may roll twice and take the better result when defending against an enchantment spell cast on them. Because of this, many military officers’ helmets are lined with silk. Casters cannot cast into salt water directly, and must roll twice and take the worse result if they are doused in salt or salt water. In many mage academies the rooms are divided by silk hangings to prevent magical leakage, and to contain botched spells.
Spell Backfire: On a roll of snakeyes (the dice display two 1s) a cast spell backfires on the caster. It is up to the GM to determine the exact effects, but in general they are similar to what the effects would have been, just directed at the caster. The caster must still pay the EP cost for the spell, as with any failed spell.
All spells are a full round action unless otherwise stated. This can be reduced to a half-round action by taking the “Fast Caster” talent. Most spells (except those that cause immediate, permanent effects) can be undone or countered by the same spell. In addition, many spells are listed as Spell1/Spell2. These spells are two sides of the same coin. That is, they operate on the same basic principle turned in two different directions. Thus, characters don’t have to take them as seperate spells.
Binding (1, 3, 5, 7XP)
This spell causes a pliable material to become rigid. It has numerous uses, including turning clothing to armor, making rope as hard as iron, or paralyzing enemies. When used to make armor, the 1XP version turns cloth to light armor, the 3XP version creates medium, and the 5XP version creates heavy. The 7XP version also creates heavy, but the damage reduction from this armor is also applicable against attacks by firearms, unlike normal armor. When used to paralyze a creature, the caster rolls 2d6 + the XP cost of the spell + their Willpower against a Resolve check by the target. All versions of this spell last for 1 hour per XP cost of the spell.
Call/Calm Storm (3, 5XP)
This spell can be used to attract or repel a storm. The 3XP version is only enough to change the intensity or direction of wind, while the 5XP version can actually call or dispell entire storms. The results can be somewhat unpredictable, as the kind of storm called is based on the climate of the region. For instance, in the rain-poor desert, only fierce winds will arrive, resulting in a sandstorm, while in the frigid north, a blizzard is more likely. At sea, this spell most often causes violent lightning storms, while in the south it calls monsoons with heavy rains and brutal winds. Calming works as the name implies, pacifying violent weather.
Create Light (1, 3, 5XP)
This spell can be used to create light (which can be used to make an illusion). The brightness level is limited by the XP cost of the spell. The 1XP version is as strong as a candle, the 3XP has the brightness of a torch, and the 5XP is as bright as daylight, though it can only illuminate an area roughly the size of a ballroom at most.
Deflect (1, 3, 5, 7XP)
Deflect allows a caster to defend in combat using magic. They may roll 2d6 + the XP cost of the spell used + their Willpower to defend from any type of attack, including ranged attacks or electricity, heat, or cold damage that would normally be impossible to defend against.
Detect Life (3XP)
This spell enables the caster to feel the web of energy around them. The longer a character focuses, the more detailed information they can gather. One round tells the caster how many animals are in the immediate area and their rough location. Two rounds tell them roughly what species those animals are and extends the range out to a thousand feet. Three rounds tells them the sex of these creatures, their exact locations, and extends the range to a quarter mile. The EP cost of this spell must only be paid once per casting, though the spell can last for multiple rounds. If a caster concentrates, they can maintain this spell for an hour, keeping tabs on the movements of the living things around them.
Dispel Magic (1, 3, 5, 7XP)
This spell is a favorite of professional casters who go into combat or deal with catching criminals. It allows a caster to negate a spell’s effects or even to prevent a spell from being cast. To stop the effects of a currently cast spell like Illusion or Heat/Cool, the caster makes a roll of 2d6 + the XP cost of the Dispel used + their Willpower against 2d6 + the XP cost of the spell being dispelled + the Willpower of the mage who cast the spell being dispelled. If they succeed, the spell ends. To prevent a mage from casting a spell, this spell can be cast pre-emptively on a target. If, on their turn, the target tries to cast a spell, the same rolls apply as previously stated. Should the target fail to overcome your dispel check result, they fail to cast their spell, but still expend the EP that would have been used.
Dream Sending (5XP)
This spell allows a dream (or nightmare) to be sent to a target many miles away. The caster must know the person, and their general location.
Enchantment (1, 3, 5, 7XP)
Enchatment affects a single target’s mind, allowing the caster to influence their emotions or even their senses. Enchantment can be used to make a target docile or violent, to cause them to sleep or wake up, to get them to believe a lie or disbelieve the truth, forget something, or to fill them with fear or courage. The caster rolls 2d6 and adds the XP cost of the spell used and their Willpower against a Resolve check by the target. The effects of this spell last for roughly an hour or so, with the exception of causing fear, which takes more effort on the part of the caster and lasts for a number of rounds equal to the amount by which the caster beat the target’s resolve roll (much like damage in combat).
Energy Shunt (1, 3, 5, 7)
This spell is unique, in that it takes no energy to cast. Rather, it’s a way to move energy from Kesshō or even from other living creatures. When used on Kesshō, this spell allows a caster to pull 3, 9, 15, or 21EP from the stone per round (usually to augment or replace their own energy when casting other spells. This is a passive effect that doesn’t take any time or require any roll. When used to move energy from one creature to another, there is a significant amount of energy loss. The 1XP version allows the caster to shunt 3EP out of one creature and put 1EP into another (including themselves. The 3XP version drains 9EP and shunts 3EP, the 5XP version drains 15EP and shunts 5EP, and the 7XP version drains 21EP and shunts 7EP. An unwilling target may make a Resolve check to avoid this energy drain, against the caster’s roll of 2d6 + the XP cost of the shunt used + their Willpower. The fact that most professional casters know this spell is one of the reasons they command so much respect (some would say fear), since this spell is legal to use in most regions for self-defense or the prevention of a crime. Casters can even use this to drain energy from the surrounding animal or even plant life in a lush environment, though this is frowned upon by certain schools of thought, especially the Walkers in the Green. Shunting energy from one organism to another is a full-round action.
Healing (1, 3, 5, 7XP)
In general, healing allows a caster to heal physical damage. The 1XP version of this spell heals 1HP, the 3XP heals 3, the 5XP heals 5, and the 7XP heals 7. Healing can also cure certain diseases, though this must be applied with care, since it can make others disastrously worse. Essentially, healing increases the metabolism of the target to incredible speeds, allowing for quick (if painful) healing of serious injuries. Illnesses or doses of poison that the target would normally be able to recover from can be healed instantly by any level of healing spell. However, illnesses that would normally kill the victim will be sped up as well. This includes cancers, lethal doses of poison, and diseases that the victim wouldn’t have recovered from. It’s also worth mentioning that certain procedures can be botched without proper medical training. For instance, Healing can instantly heal a broken bone, but if the bone isn’t set properly before the spell is cast, it will heal wrong. Common uses for healing include: Physical trauma, minor illnesses, lethargy, sobering the drunk, and instant healing of diseases after treatment with medicine. Magic should never be used to treat the following: cancer, untreated serious illness, improperly set broken bones, or high doses of toxins. Magical healing has no effect on: mental disorders, nausea, or certain magic-resistant diseases. Magic healing must NEVER be used on a pregnant woman, as it causes disastrous results for both mother and child. Magical healing is extremely painful, and leaves the target incredibly hungry and thirsty. It also leaves scars the way normal healing would.
Heat/Cool (1, 3, 5XP)
This spell enables the caster to heat or cool an object by touching it. The 1XP version heats as a candle or cools as an ice cube, the 3XP version heats as a campfire or cools as a snowdrift, and the 5XP version heats as a kiln or cools as the waters of the North Sea (enough to freeze a person to the bone in under a minute). The 1XP version does no lasting harm, and is often used to treat fevers or hypothermia, but if the 3 XP version is used on a person, it deals 3 HP damage per round. The 5XP version deals 9HP damage per round. Targets having this spell cast on them (objects do not get a defence roll against this spell as they would against a Hex or a normal attack) are entitled to a Resolve check in order to resist the magic against the caster’s roll of 2d6 + the XP cost of the spell + their Willpower. The heat anargy that this spell manipulates is never lost, rather it is transferred to or drawn from the surrounding area. Thus when a caster uses this spell to cool an object, the excess heat is vented into the surrounding air, while the heat used to heat an object with this spell is pulled from the surrounding air. This has given rise to the phrase “Colder than a blacksmith’s attic” in reference to the fact that the air near a forge is often many degrees colder than the ambient air temperature elsewhere in the area. The use of this spell on people, even in self defense, has been banned on penalty of death in nearly every nation on the continent since the end of the Great War (Kololand and the Land of the Chosen are notable exceptions, as neither participated too heavily in the Great War). The Walkers in the Green take a particularly serious view of this crime, and perform spot executions without a trial when they judge there to be sufficient evidence of this spell’s use on a person (that is, when used maliciously, not as in the medical uses mentioned above). Most frequently this spell is used by meat or produce shippers to cool goods during transport, or by artisans like potters, smiths, or cooks to provide heat for their trade.
Hex/Ward (1, 3, 5, and 7XP)
Hexing damages objects just as a normal attack would. The caster rolls 2d6 and adds the XP cost of the Hex used + their Willpower against the object’s defense. This can be extremely useful for breaking small, critically important objects like tree branches, the chain on a chandelier, the axle on a wagon, or the rudder of a ship. Warding functions in quite the opposite. A warded object can “defend” itself from attacks (including hexes). While a normal unattended object gets nothing but a defensive roll of 2d6 (no modifiers), a warded object defends itself using the casting roll of the mage who did the warding. This roll is 2d6 + the XP cost of the ward used + the caster’s Willpower. A warding lasts for a number of days equal to the XP cost used.
Illusion (1, 3, 5, 7XP)
This spell allows the caster to bend actual light, creating an image from nothing. Onlookers are entitled to a Resolve check against the caster’s roll of 2d6 + the XP cost of the spell used + the caster’s Willpower to realize the illusion is fake (though they still see it, which can be useful if all you need to do is obscure their sight). This spell cannot be cast in complete darkness, though it can be used to bend light away from an area, creating a patch of darkness. The size of this area is largely up to the GM, but usually can’t exceed the size of a large ballroom, even among the most powerful mages. The image can be anything the caster can visualize, though extremely unlikely images may allow the target a chance to roll twice and take the better result on their Resolve check. A static image or an image that moves on a repeated loop will persist for one hour per point of XP in the cost of the spell (thus a 3XP illusion spell would last for three hours) without the caster having to focus on it. Moving images that are required to interact with a target must be maintained by constant focus on the caster’s part. Spells cast in such a way last for up to an hour before the energy cost must be paid again.
Pact/Curse (1, 3, 5, 7XP)
A pact is a way of setting conditional triggers for a spell, while a curse is a pact laid upon an unwilling subject. These spells takes a minimum of 1 minute to cast, but can take longer depending on the length of the specifications laid out in the pact (curses are often less complex than pacts). Part of the spell involves casting one or more spells that are triggered by breaking the pact. However these extra spells don’t need to be paid for in EP by the caster, rather they are paid for by the target if the pact is ever broken (or the curse is ever triggered). While a pact is entered into willingly, a curse entitles the target to a Resolve check against the caster’s roll of 2d6 + the XP cost of the spell + their Willpower. The amount of spells that can be put into a single pact or curse is equal to 3EP worth of spells per XP cost of the spell used. Thus, a 3XP pact can contain 9EP worth of spells, while a 5XP pact can contain 15EP worth of spells. For example, let’s say there are two merchants negotiating a trade agreement. In order to ensure that they both stick to the contract, a caster is hired to cast a pact on both of them. The caster uses a 3XP version of pact (for a cost of 9EP to the caster for each of the merchants, total of 18EP), that containts three 1XP enchantment spells. Since the targets enter into the pact willingly, 1XP spells can be used, as there is no chance the spells will fail. The first enchantment causes the target to feel an unrelenting compulsion to find a public place, the second causes them to feel an insatiable desire to disrobe, and the third makes them want to act like a chicken more than anything in the world. Such pacts are often used to ensure public humiliation for any merchant who breaks a contract. In fact, some cities even have a small pedestal in their square called a “shame dais” which are typically used as targets to make an example of anyone who would break a pact. A popular magic item for wealthy resaurants or other buildings is an enchanted archway that curses anyone who walks in with a pact that prevents them from commiting violence with penaties ranging from simple enchantments to placate violence all the way to energy drains.
Root lets a caster cement themselves or an object to another object or surface so that a DC 17 Athletics check is required to pry them apart. This can be used while falling to grab a flat wall or cliff, though it usually results in a broken arm and some HP damage. Any part of a caster’s body can be rooted. This cannot be cast on others, or even any creature able to manipulate magical fields (magical beasts).
Silence/Amplify (3, 5XP)
This spell can be used to muffle or project sound. The 3XP version completely nullifies or doubles the sound produced by one target. This entitles that target to a reroll on a failed stealth check that involves being silent if Silence is used. The amplification allows the target’s voice to project above the din of a large crowd, and is useful for making speeches. The 5XP version can completely dampen the sound in a ten foot radius of the caster, or allow the sound of a single person’s voice to become powerful enough to deafen listeners for 1 minute. This spell lasts for ten minutes, and cannot be defended against by an unwilling recipient.
Massive Spells, Group Casting, and Rituals
Some spells, especially those used in regional defense or other large-scale casting, have energy requirements too high for a single caster to ever fulfill on their own in a single round. Two options are generally available to get around this. The first is group casting. Multiple casters who maintain physical contact, often in the form of a mage circle, may all contribute energy to the casting of a single spell. These casters act like batteries to fuel the spell cast by the lead mage, who makes any rolls that need to be rolled. Rituals are very long spells cast by a single individual. They involve the storage of massive amounts of energy in Kesshō over a long period of time (hours to days depending on the method used). This energy is released all at once and focused through the caster, often at considerable risk to their mind and body. Characters performing rituals must make a Resolve check at a DC of 7 + 1 per 30EP in the spell’s energy cost. Should they fail, they are drained entirely of energy (rendering them unconscious), and their Intelligence bonus is permenantly reduced by 1. Casters may take 7 on this check.
Powerful spells are not given in detail here. They are mostly meant to be used by GMs to come up with special huge spells for the sake of a plot. EP costs for powerful spells could be anywhere from 30 to several hundred XP.
Creating Magic Items: Magic items are made of a number of small 1oz chunks of Kesshō tethered by copper bindings to a larger spellstone. This spellstone contains a single spell and acts as a sort of lens for the energy in the smaller chunks to focus through. Creating a magic item costs enough 1oz chunks of Kesshō to hold the energy required for the spell as well as a spellstone large enough to hold the spell. The copper wire cost is negligible compared to the cost of the Kesshō. In addition, the labor involved takes 1 day for each XP in the cost of the spell. The laborer must know the spell, and labor costs are worked into the overall prices given above. Prices in parentheses to the right are the prices of raw materials (should a character make their own items after taking the “Magewright” talent, thus eliminating the cost of labor).
Magical ammuntiion: Magical ammunition is either an arrow with a Kesshō head or a firearm cartridge with Kesshō mixed into the gunpowder. 3EP worth of spells can be put into a cartridge for a pistol or an arrow for a shortbow (one that can be used from horseback), while 9EP worth of spells can be put into a cartridge for a musket or a scattergun, or the head of an arrow for a longbow. Typical spells used for these purposes are: Binding or Root to paralyze enemies, Create Light to send up a signal flare,
Potions are liquid suspensions of Kesshō with a spell cast onto them. They use the energy of the caster during creation to cast a spell, rather than sapping the user’s, as a magic item normally would. Potions are typically used for Healing, Enchatment, Binding, or Dispel Magic specifically to remove a curse.
Magic candles are made with Kesshō mixed into the wax and a spell cast over them. By burning them, you generate a continuous spell effect. This is most frequently used for the spells: Heat/Cool, Enchantment, Illusion, Dispel Magic, Hex/Ward, Deflect, Silence/ Amplify or, ironically, Create Light. This effect has a radius of roughly 10 feet centered on the candle and lasts for 10 minutes. Larger candles can be made, and the price should be multiplies accordingly (thus a candle that burns twice as long costs twice as much).