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 Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored. 
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Unread post Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
So as sometimes happens when I don't have anything to do. (Sadly that time seems over now but this was made before that.)
Anyways moving right along. Scholomance has some fun stuff and some bad stuff. One of our main bottlenecks always seems to be getting spell approval. Being half asleep and crazed from caffeine withdrawal I decided to come up with a system to fix that.

In the spoiler is that system. All the recent stuff with Shannon and the Headmaster finally motivated me to post it. So take a look and tell me what you guys think.


Spoiler: show
There are a number of assumptions here that I will attempt to explain.
First the assumption is that all spells cost at least one point in mana to initiate and start. However from that initial cost the particulars of the spell change and increase the cost of the spell. By going through the list one can figure out a basic mana cost on the fly. Or that is the intent.

The second assumption is that all spells can be shoehorned into a certain set of descriptions.


Basic Cost for all spells: 1

Immaterial: +2
Material: +4

Immaterial is used to refer to things like mind magic and spirit magic. Anything that does not change the physical world is considered to be Immaterial. Since it lacks a concrete reality or set pattern it is assumed to take less power to insert a change for Immaterial categories than material.

Adding: +6
Manipulating+3
Subtracting: +6

Creating or destroying matter and energy is assumed to be more power intensive than simply manipulating it.

Energy: +4
Combination: +6
Matter: +2

Energy lacks a set form that is easy to manipulate. Being something that is largely in flux it is assumed that it is harder to force it into the patterns you want. Matter although somewhat more fixed is easier to visualize and force into patterns and is assumed to be somewhat easier to use magic to change as a result. Using both costs more than either alone.

Internal: +4
Mixture: +7
External +3

Internal magic is very delicate and the users own magic fights it off. The body being able to auto correct many changes back into it’s original form is also a problem. Because of this it costs more to alter the self than it does to change things outside of the self. Again using a mixture of both costs more than either alone

Range: +2 per five ft
Duration +1 Per Minute


Subatomic +12
Size: Atomic: +8
Molecular: +6
Fine: +4
Very Small: +2
Small : +1
Medium: +2
Large: +4
Very Large +6
Huge: +8
Colossal: +12


So as an example from my own invisibility spell which could be considered to have these categories applied to it.
Material, Manipulating, Combining, External, Medium
So before adding range and duration we get.
1+4+3+6+2+2= 18
Range is probably 10ft or so. So 20 more Mana
Duration is 5 minutes. Going by that we get a mana cost of
18+20+5=43 mana cost before mitigations.

Mitigation Guide
So from this we get fairly steep power requirements.

The biggest one is that mitigations of the same pattern or theme have a secondary mitigation effect on top of the original mitigations. So saying a spell fully in Greek would gain this benefit while using Greek and Latin would not. It is up to the Head Masters discretion how much this ‘thematic’ mitigation is worth.

The second assumption is that repetition has a progressively weaker effect. Saying that Greek Spell a second time would only produce half the result of the first time in terms of mitigation. Saying the Greek Spell a third time would only have half the effect of the second time and so on.


Ex:
Spell phrase: 2 mitigation
1st repetition: 1 mitigation
2nd repetion: 0.5 mitigation
Ect....

Mitigations have been divided into 5 categories
Ritual, Somatic, Verbal, Material and Symbolic.
Furthermore each category has it’s own power levels.

Rituals are spells that have been cast before by others previous to the current caster. Depending on the power of the original discover and previous users. Ritual inherently carry at least 2 mitigation under this system.

Symbolic are items that has been used or created by previous casters that carry their own intrinsic power that helps mitigate the cost of the spell. This category also includes magical writing systems such as runes. . All symbols carry a minimum of 1 point of mitigation

Both Rituals and Symbols are categorized along two separate lines. How well known they are and how powerful the original caster/maker was. The higher both categories are the higher the amount of mitigation involved.

Unknown and low powered= 2
Unknown and medium powered=4
Unknown and high powered= 8

Semi-known and low powered =3
Semi-known and medium powered= 6
Semi known and high powered= 10

Well-known and low powered=4
Well-known and medium powered=8
Well-known and high powered=14

Somatic is gestures or movements. Each one handed gesture carries half point of mitigation. Two handed gestures carry a full point of mitigation. Movements are small or big and have the same cost. Small movements have half a point and big movements have a whole point.

Verbal components are phrases not words. Depending on the length of the phrase the mitigation amount changes. The phrases must make sense and be applicable to the situation at hand. If you over-run the word limit for one phrase category it defaults into the next. However if the phrase goes over the limit for long phrases. No more mitigation is granted.

Short Phrases(1-4 words) carries 1 mitigation
Medium Phrases (4-8 words) carries 2 mitigation
Long Phrases (8-12 words) carries 3 mitigation

Materials: Mitigations that directly relate to the particular spell at hand. Material mitigations are also divided into categories. Material mitigations all carry an intrinsic mitigation of 2 points

The categories for material mitigations are
Very Minor= 1 mitigation: These are only tangentially related to the spell in question. As an example if casting a scrying spell and you used silcon beads as a mitigator.

Minor= 2 mitigation: These are connected but it is not something you would normally think of for the spell in question. Going back to the scrying example using say a microscope

Medium= 3 mitigation: These have a definite link but lack a specialization to that particular spell. For example for your scrying spell you use a bowl of water. It's connected to scrying but you could also use it for healing, potion making ect.

Major= 4 mitigation: These are focused and connected to the spell in question and thus very powerful. For example using some of the herbs that the Oracle at Delphi used would be very useful for our scrying spell.

Very Major=5 mitigation: These are permanently linked to a spell and couldn't really be seen as useful for anything else. Going back to the scrying having the skull of the Oracle at Delphi would be a great motivator

Each material component gives a separate bonus to mitigation.

Experience and Power
Naturally the more you practice a certain spell the better you get at it. Having more mana helps in casting it too as your magic becomes used to going in certain paths to rewrite reality.

So for each level of competence you get +1 multiplied by ⅓ of your mana pool. You can only go one step above your year.
(So Level 1 at year 1 would give you +3, In second year you would get +4 and so on.)

Level 1: Cast the same spell 64 times

Level 2: Cast the same spell 256 times

Level 3: Cast the same spell 1024 times

Level 4: Cast the same spell 4096 times

Level 5: Cast the same spell 16384 times

Level 6: Cast the same spell 65536 times

Level 7: Cast the same spell 262144 times

Level 8: Cast the same spell 1048576 times

Level 9: Cast the same spell 4194304 times

Now that number might sound like a lot and for pure grinding it is. But a really commonly used spell should reach the upper limit by the time you reach final year.

Thematic Mitigation.
The idea here is that doing things within a given theme empowers the caster’s belief and abilites to make the spell even easier. How much mitigation is given by a general theme is up to the Headmaster

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Last edited by gman391 on January 28th, 2012, 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.



January 28th, 2012, 1:45 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
I asked Gman to post this up, as it is indeed one of the more annoying bottlenecks. I endorse this thread, and welcome input from players and nonplayers alike interested in helping make a more coherent system for us to use and abuse. I realize this likely will disrupt any spells we previously had worked out, and I apologize for that. Please don't feel that what he's posted is anything official yet; it isn't. I want to involve everyone in making this an easier transition than it has to be.

This semster's going to suck pretty much 90% of my time/rational thought, and we all know how much I had of each going into it, so I'm trying to set up things so you all can RP things without me there. It won't advance most of your individual stories, but perhaps you all might amuse yourselves/do character development/bother Ancell like you know you really wanted to. I haven't forgotten about you lot (well, maybe some of you) but that there's this nasty little thing that keeps interrupting. "Real life." :panic:

If there's any questions or concerns, don't be afraid to ask. I'll have a lacky answer them for me

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January 28th, 2012, 3:08 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Okie dokie, let's try this.
Floor spear!
Spoiler: show
Base 1
Material 4
Manipulation 3
Matter 2
External 3
Distance < 5 ft 0
Duration (NA) 0
Size Medium 2
Total = 15

Alchemy type spell -1
Phrase -1
Gesture -1
Symbols well known and low powered (alchemy circle tats) -4
Materials (Intrinsic, do I get this as well as the one below?) -2
Materials (Medium when casting on iron) -3
Thematic (current location) -1
Total = -13


And my spell is down 2 mana, which is what I've been paying for it.
When Shannon's dealing with stone instead of iron and loses the thematic bonus it jumps up to 5.

Huh, I'm impressed. It seems a good system for alchemy, the other schools will have to let me know how it goes.

I would say 'time' has to be included, maybe as a part of size. Say if I pay for a spell at 'small' size and it takes 30 seconds to complete then I should be able to cast that same spell at 'medium' size cost and it takes 3 seconds type thing. Or otherwise find a way to work spell speed in for those whose spells have physical effects (sorcery and alchemy mostly).

I think we need intrinsic complexity, there are only basic examples there are plenty more:
It also keeps the lower years more separate in power from the uppers, feel free to rearrange things.

Spoiler: show
Low: +0 for your own field, +1 for another
Shape change (alchemy), basic kinetic energy (sorcery), tricking a sense (enchanters), inanimate object (conjurers)

Medium: +2
Transmutation (alchemy), emotion manipulation (enchantment), fire (thermal) or electrical (EM) manipulation (sorcery), gravity - low level (sorcery), summon living being - non sentient (conjuration)

High: +6
Making someone believe something (enchantment), fine shape change - shape not well known, say watch gears etc (alchemy), complex transmutation - several elements, poorly understood process etc (alchemy), summon resistant sentient being (conjuration), nuclear - strong and weak forces manipluation/use (Sorcery), gravity - mid level, up to 10 x Earth norm (sorcery)

Super high: +12 (?)
Changing someone's beliefs/major mental manipulation (enchantment), making something highly complex and poorly understood - eg complex poisons (Alchemy), Summoning Cthulhu (conjuration), sending back Cthulhu (conjuration), Eldrich WTF is this hand wavy magic power (sorcery), gravity 10x Earth norm or more (sorcery)

Though one could argue some of this is taken into account with 'size' already.



Also I think 'size' sometimes needs to be counted twice. Say I want to change something on the subatomic level (transmutation), that's +12, but how much do I want to change?
Spoiler: show
Let's make some super simple grenades out of the floor
Base +1
Material +4
Manipulating +3
Matter +2
External +3
Range/duration NA
Subatomic (change stone to iron and aluminium) +12
Medium (shape manipulation, make 6, smaller than fist size) +2
Total = 27

Alchemy type spell -1
Ritual (inherent, do I get this on top of below?) -2
Semi-known and medium powered (transmutation and duplication circles) -8
Gesture -1
Phrase -3
Material (intrinsic) -2
Material Major (here's one I prepared earlier!) -4
Total = -20

Overall cost = 6 mana

Ahaha, you know I don't think slamu and I ever went through what I paid for this one as it was something Shannon was doing in her free, RP less days but my mental cost for it was 6.


Edits for I keep figuring out my maths is wrong XD

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Last edited by serbii on January 28th, 2012, 7:31 pm, edited 5 times in total.



January 28th, 2012, 9:06 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Gonna look over this later and try to figure out my gloves, which are pretty much my most heavily enchanted objects and probably have something like two or three hundred mitigation points each.

And that's just the unfinished versions.

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January 28th, 2012, 9:20 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
No game breaking Dark, and how could you possibly get that high? How could they physically be big enough? Plus sooner or later there must be a point where you oversaturate and things start clashing.
Seriously. Do Not Try To Break The Game.
It's not cool.

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January 28th, 2012, 9:33 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Wasn't planning to. I was just going to stat out my gloves that I worked out with Slamu with the old system by using the new system.

Turns out I can't, they're broken now. And not in the broken powerful way, more in the broken no longer work way.

Kinda sucky that you think I'd try and ruin the game for everyone else though.

Also, calced it out. If you use a one mana spell nine times a day for nine years you'll only have used it 29565 times. Of course, each year we get 3 more mana added to the pool. That works out as 68985 mana points over the entire nine years. So if you focused entirely on a single one mana spell for your entire tenure in scholomance and used it the maximum amount of times every day you could get it up to level six. Assuming the mana pool stopped growing at that point it would take an additional 342 years to get a single one mana spell up to level 9.

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January 28th, 2012, 11:34 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
The numbers could use improvement but I wanted to make it relatively easy to reach say level 4 or proficiency with a spell but incredibly difficult to master one.

Assuming for the moment that you can reach level 9 proficiency in the first year (Time magic somehow..)
You are getting +9 to that spell's mitigation permanently and it only goes up in second year it's +18 3 year is +27

By 9th year you have 81 mitigation for that spell. Meaning you could do it just by thinking about it with no mana at all in most cases.

So clearly there is some room for improvement here, I admittedly forgot to factor in how many days there were in a year. :faill:
If someone more math inclined could come up with better numbers?

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January 28th, 2012, 6:35 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
How about this?

Level 0 = 0
Level 1 = 50
Level 2 = 100
Level 3 = 200
Level 4 = 400
Level 5 = 800
Level 6 = 1600
Level 7 = 3200
Level 8 = 6400
Level 9 = 12800

That way you can master 5 spells by the last year, or get 86 spells up to level 5 if you do nothing but grind.

More likely with RP and all you'd be able to master one or two spells or get about 40 spells up to a decent level.

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January 28th, 2012, 6:46 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Darkandus wrote:
Kinda sucky that you think I'd try and ruin the game for everyone else though.
Don't you try to guilt me. >:(

300 point gloves. Now we'll put the spell at 'colossal' level and say a cost of 32 for the base spell as everything else is a bonus to give them stats. Now, assuming you get pretty much maximum everything (ignore materials for now) you're sitting on a mitigation of 21 with no thematic. Now each material has an intrinsic of 2, and we'll say you've got Very Major mitigators.

You are going to need 40 heads-of-Oracle-of-Delphi-related-to-glove-spells.

Forty.

You've got gloves made with 40 ancient treasures or 56 medium mitigators.
(Or as the wording is ambiguous, you've got gloves with the same effects as 40 very major mitigtors).

I might add that you said 200-300 mitigation points each, and that was unfinished.

Now even if it wasn't deliberate, do you see how it looks like game breaking?

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January 28th, 2012, 7:29 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Dark, why were you assuming 9 mana a day? Yeah, full restore every night is standard, but I remember getting back mana from resting and eating well. That's not to mention finding magical ways to increase mana regen.

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January 28th, 2012, 7:48 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
serbii wrote:
Darkandus wrote:
Kinda sucky that you think I'd try and ruin the game for everyone else though.
Don't you try to guilt me. >:(

300 point gloves. Now we'll put the spell at 'colossal' level and say a cost of 32 for the base spell as everything else is a bonus to give them stats. Now, assuming you get pretty much maximum everything (ignore materials for now) you're sitting on a mitigation of 21 with no thematic. Now each material has an intrinsic of 2, and we'll say you've got Very Major mitigators.

You are going to need 40 heads-of-Oracle-of-Delphi-related-to-glove-spells.

Forty.

You've got gloves made with 40 ancient treasures or 56 medium mitigators.
(Or as the wording is ambiguous, you've got gloves with the same effects as 40 very major mitigtors).

I might add that you said 200-300 mitigation points each, and that was unfinished.

Now even if it wasn't deliberate, do you see how it looks like game breaking?


I was applying the mechanics of the old system to the new one, sorry if it came across as game breaking, but I had to literally put that many minor mitigations on it. With the new system I might be able to replicate most of the effect for 40 or less.

Wittgen wrote:
Dark, why were you assuming 9 mana a day? Yeah, full restore every night is standard, but I remember getting back mana from resting and eating well. That's not to mention finding magical ways to increase mana regen.


Just taking it as a baseline really. I don't know any magical means of increasing mana regen so I didn't want to assume they existed just in case it came back to bite me later.

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January 28th, 2012, 8:10 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
*tries to read*
*fails, goes off and rages at Gman for a while*
*realizes she was being a jerk, is really sorry, repeatedly apologizes*
*tries again*
...I still fail to understand this. Let me see if I can rewrite it in a more comprehensible form, based on what I think you were trying to say, before adding my own suggestions.

This spoiler is intended to be a paraphrasing of what Gman said, making no changes to the actual system, only changing the wording to be more easily understood. If any of the wording changes affect the meaning of the sentence, please let me know; I may have misinterpreted some of the proposed system's rules. There will be a few in-text notes requesting clarification regarding the meaning of something.
Spoiler: show
This system makes a number of assumptions.
First, that it costs one point to initiate a spell, and the rest of the mana cost is what actually powers the spell.
Second, that all spells can be shoehorned into a certain set of descriptions.
The intention of this system is that by going through a series of steps and deciding which description in each category fits your spell, you can determine the cost of a spell on your own. Just add the necessary modifiers based on spell type, then subtract the bonuses granted by your mitigations.

The steps are as follows:
Basic cost for all spells: 1

State:
Immaterial: +2
Material: +4

Immaterial refers to things like mind magic and spirit magic. Anything that does not change the physical world is considered to be immaterial. Since it lacks a concrete reality or set pattern, it is assumed to take less power to affect the immaterial than to affect the material.

Effect:
Creation: +6
Manipulation: +3
Destruction: +6

Creating or destroying matter and energy is assumed to be more power-intensive than simply manipulating it.

Affects:
Energy: +4
Matter: +2
Both: +6

Energy lacks a set form that is easy to manipulate, being something that is largely in flux; it is assumed that it is harder to force it into the patterns you want. Matter, although somewhat more fixed, is easier to visualize and force into patterns and is assumed to be somewhat easier to use magic to change as a result. Changing both costs more than changing either one alone.

Locus:
Internal: +4
External: +3
Both: +7

Internal/external refers to internal or external to the user. Internal magic is very delicate and the user's own magic fights it off. The body being able to automatically correct many changes is also a problem. Because of this, it costs more to alter the self than it does to change things outside of the self. Again, using a mixture of both (that is to say, trying to affect another person directly) costs more than using either one alone.

Range: +2 per five feet of distance from the user.
Duration: +1 per minute.

Size:
Subatomic +12
Atomic: +8
Molecular: +6
Fine: +4
Very Small: +2
Small : +1
Medium: +2
Large: +4
Very Large: +6
Huge: +8
Colossal: +12


So as an example, my own invisibility spell could be considered to have these categories applied to it: State: Material, Effect: Manipulation, Affects: Both, Locus: External, and Size: Medium.
So before adding range and duration, we get:
1+4+3+6+2+2= 18
Range is probably 10 feet or so. So +20.
Duration is 5 minutes. Going by that, we get a mana cost of
18+20+5=43 before mitigations.

Mitigation Guide
So from this we get fairly steep power requirements.
((Editor's Note: I have no idea how this paragraph leads to the following paragraph, so I gave up on trying to edit it to make sense. If the original author could provide clarification as to how the two ideas are related, it would be much appreciated.))

The biggest one ((EN2: biggest what?)) is that mitigations of the same pattern or theme have a secondary mitigation effect on top of the original mitigations. So saying a spell fully in Greek would gain this benefit while using Greek and Latin would not. It is up to the Headmaster's discretion how much this ‘thematic’ mitigation is worth.

The second assumption ((EN3: You already mentioned a second assumption; is this the third one, or is it not an assumption at all, but rather a new rule?)) is that repetition has a progressively weaker effect. Saying that Greek Spell a second time would only produce half the result of the first time in terms of mitigation. Saying the Greek Spell a third time would only have half the effect of the second time and so on.

Ex:
Spell phrase: 2 mitigation
1st repetition: 1 mitigation
2nd repetition: 0.5 mitigation
Etc.

Mitigations have been divided into 5 categories: Ritual, Symbolic, Somatic, Verbal, and Material. Furthermore, each category has its own power levels.

Rituals are spells that have been cast before by others previous to the current caster. The usefulness of a ritual depends on the power of the original discoverer and previous users. Rituals inherently carry at least 2 points of mitigation under this system.

Symbols are items that have been used or created by previous casters that carry their own intrinsic power, which helps mitigate the cost of the spell. This category also includes magical writing systems such as runes. All symbols carry a minimum of 1 point of mitigation.

Both Rituals and Symbols are categorized along two separate lines. How well-known they are and how powerful the original caster/maker was. The higher both categories are the higher the amount of mitigation involved.

Little-known and low-powered = 2
Little-known and medium-powered = 4
Little-known and high-powered = 8

Somewhat known and low-powered = 3
Somewhat known and medium-powered = 6
Somewhat known and high-powered = 10

Well-known and low-powered = 4
Well-known and medium-powered = 8
Well-known and high-powered = 14

Somatic mitigators are gestures or movements. Each one-handed gesture carries half a point of mitigation. Two-handed gestures carry a full point of mitigation. Small movements have half a point and big movements have a whole point.

Verbal mitigators are spoken words. The value of the mitigator depends on the length of the phrase. The phrase must make sense and be applicable to the situation at hand. If you overrun the word limit for one phrase category, it defaults to the next.

Short Phrases (1-4 words): 1 point of mitigation
Medium Phrases (4-8 words): 2 points of mitigation
Long Phrases (8+ words): 3 points of mitigation

Materials are physical objects. They are also divided into categories. Material mitigatiors all carry an intrinsic mitigation of 2 points.

The categories for material mitigators are:
Very Minor: 1 point of mitigation. These are only tangentially related to the spell in question. As an example, casting a scrying spell and using silicon beads as a mitigator.

Minor: 2 points of mitigation. These are connected, but not something you would normally think of for the spell in question. Going back to the scrying example, using, say, a microscope.

Medium: 3 points of mitigation. These have a definite link but lack a specialization to that particular spell. For example, for your scrying spell you use a bowl of water. It's connected to scrying but you could also use it for healing, potion making, etc.

Major: 4 points of mitigation. These are focused and connected to the spell in question and thus very powerful. For example, using some of the herbs that the Oracle at Delphi used would be very useful for our scrying spell.

Very Major: 5 points of mitigation. These are permanently linked to a spell and couldn't really be seen as useful for anything else. Going back to the scrying, having the skull of the Oracle at Delphi would be a great mitigator.

Each material component gives a separate bonus to mitigation.

Experience and Power
Naturally, the more you practice a certain spell the better you get at it. Having more mana helps in casting it too as your magic becomes used to going in certain paths to rewrite reality.
So for each level of competence you get +1 multiplied by ⅓ of your mana pool. You can only go one level above your year.
(So Level 1 at year 1 would give you +3, in second year you would get +4, and so on. Additionally, in year 1 you can only get up to level 2, but in year 2 you could get to level 3, and so on.)

Level 1: Cast the same spell 64 times
Level 2: Cast the same spell 256 times
Level 3: Cast the same spell 1024 times
Level 4: Cast the same spell 4096 times
Level 5: Cast the same spell 16384 times
Level 6: Cast the same spell 65536 times
Level 7: Cast the same spell 262144 times
Level 8: Cast the same spell 1048576 times
Level 9: Cast the same spell 4194304 times

Now that number might sound like a lot, and for pure grinding, it is. But a really commonly used spell should reach the upper limit by the time you reach final year.

Thematic Mitigation:
The idea here is that doing things within a given theme empowers the caster’s belief and abilities to make the spell even easier. How much mitigation is given by a general theme is up to the Headmaster.
((EN5: I just have no idea what that was supposed to be about.))

*takes a deep breath*
All right. Now then. I have a very large number of issues with this system, which I will try to state calmly and rationally.
This spoiler contains the reasons why I dislike Gman's proposed system.
Spoiler: show
First, I want to say that I like the general idea of having a system for the players to use. It removes the underpower/overpower component of the Scholomance system to a large degree (you always know how much your spells cost and so can use the amount of mana required at any time), but I consider that a small loss against the reduction of bottlenecking. However, I find this system very... well, to be frank, shoddily put together and confusingly written.

Cost:
One point as the base cost for spellcasting and everything else being additions to that: sure, I can get behind that.
Shoehorning everything into a small set of descriptions: I really do not think you can. There will always be something that fails to fit your neat categories.
Immaterial/Material: Meh, fine. Not really sure why affecting the immaterial should be easier than affecting the material - it feels like it would be more difficult to reach, not having a solid form, but not that big a deal.
Creation/Destruction: Now this I have a problem with, because at some point it was stated that in Scholomance, magic never creates or destroys matter absolutely. It merely reconfigures it, on the subatomic level if necessary. When an alchemist makes things "out of thin air", they literally make them out of air. They transmute the air into whatever they wanted, even if that was not how they thought of it.
Energy/Matter: Why is this necessary at all? It seems to just be the immaterial/material distinction all over again. On top of that, it seems to unfairly penalize Sorcerors, whose power is centered around manipulating energy, by making their spells inherently more difficult than, say, Alchemists, whose power is centered around manipulating matter. And what about Enchanters, who most often affect neither? They get an unfair advantage. Just add a 'combination' option to the immaterial/material distinction and get rid of this entirely.
Internal/External: This feels... wrong. Why should your own magic resist what it is trying to do to you? Also, with the way things seemed to be previously, just having magic does not make you any more resistant to spells than a mundane; you need to deliberately set up some kind of defense or be actively defending yourself in order to get any extra resistance. It would make more sense to have an organic/inorganic division, frankly.
Range and Duration: Fine, makes sense even. The costs seem a bit high, but the general concept here is sound.
Size: You need to define your size categories. Although, really, size being a factor only makes sense for some things.
Thematic mitigation: You mention this again at the very end, less comprehensibly. Since the only thing I can really say about that final paragraph is "What does that even mean?", I will say what I think about thematic mitigation here: It is a good idea, but it needs to be better defined, and leaving anything up to 'Headmaster's discretion' kind of defeats the whole point of having a system; namely, being able to create spells without input from our very busy Headmaster.
Repetition being progressively weaker: This is sometimes but not always the case; for example, if one were invoking the power of three and repeated the incantation three times, the third repetition would be the most powerful. I suppose that falls under thematic, though. Still need to define that.

Mitigators:
Rituals: I see absolutely no reason why something having been done by someone previously should make it any easier for you to do it. Additionally, it requires a horrendous amount of bookkeeping, as you would need a master list of everything that had ever been done. I suggest that, instead, a 'ritual' should be something that the caster has done previously. Perhaps you always/usually start your incantations with a certain phrase, or make a certain gesture. Perhaps you have a different gesture to use for alchemy than for sorcery. That kind of thing makes more sense to me as being 'ritual'.
Symbolic: To be honest, I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Clarification would be appreciated.
The entire 'how well known and power of original caster' thing makes no sense at all. Are you saying that a ritual or symbol had to be imprinted on the fabric of reality itself by some previous mage? And why should a better-known ritual or symbol be more powerful? Are you saying that they are powered by belief, in a manner akin to (WARNING, TV TROPES) Clap Your Hands If You Believe? And how are we going to judge how well-known a ritual is or how powerful the caster who established it was, except by, again, Headmaster's discretion, the very thing this system is designed to avoid?
Somatic: My only real complaint with this is that I think we should avoid half-point mitigators. Everything should be in whole points, since you cannot spend half a point of mana.
Verbal: Yes, fine, but your wording needed work. I rewrote that for you, hope I kept the spirit of what you meant in there.
Material: ...Are you saying that a material is 2 points plus the minor/medium/major points? Because that is what it sounds like. It seems like you might have made material components too powerful compared to everything else, but the general concept seems sound.

Experience/Power:
Your idea of experience making things easier makes sense, but why should more mana do so? What does having more mana have to do with "going in certain paths"? That sounds more like a Mastery thing.
Also, the 1/3 mana thing is great in first year, not so great in years when your mana pool is not divisible by three.

And your final note on thematic mitigation is just completely incomprehensible other than the fact that you seem to be calling for Headmaster's discretion in a system intended to allow us to do things without the Headmaster.

*takes another deep breath*
Now, that was a lot of complaining, and it would be rather unfair of me to complain about everything without offering any kind of alternative or solution, ne? So this spoiler is my suggestions; what I think would improve the system. Some of these I already stated in with my complaints, but I will try to collect all proposed changes here.
Spoiler: show
Costs:
I think we should drop the Creation/Manipulation/Destruction and Energy/Matter categories. The former does not fit with previously established rules and the latter seems to me to be the Immaterial/Material category all over again. Maybe branching paths? Have one set of categories for material things and a different set for immaterial things, rather than making that distinction a cost modifier?
Either drop the Internal/External division, or have it just be that doing things to yourself is easier than doing them to anyone or anything else.
Define the size categories better.
Hmm, with me suggesting so many categories be removed, the costs that I thought were too high might actually be reasonable.
If one feels that all that results in too few categories, I suggest adding an Organic/Inorganic category, with organic material more difficult to affect than inorganic material. Although that would only be for material things... hmm... honestly, I think you need different systems for different kinds of magic, but I understand the desire to have just one system for everything.
Also, Serbii is right, a complexity component would be a good idea.

Mitigation:
Rituals: A ritual should be something the caster has done repeatedly, and not require that the calculator of the spell's cost know what everyone else has ever done.
Symbols: I need to understand this better before I can suggest a way to improve it.
I would say drop the whole 'how well known the ritual/symbol is and how powerful the original mage was' stuff, because, again, it seems to require too much bookkeeping and Headmasterly input. The power of a ritual should depend on how intricate it is and how often it has been performed by that particular caster. Not sure about symbols, I would, again, need to understand them better to suggest how that should work. Maybe the power of symbols depends on how many you use and how closely related they are to the spell?
Somatic: Redo the numbers to avoid half-points is my only suggestion for improving this part.

Experience/Power: Keep the experience thing, but drop the 1/3 mana pool stuff.

*sigh of relief* There we go. Now, I realize this is a bit short on numbers. I am terrible at balancing these things in a precision sense, and so must beg for others to handle coming up with appropriate numerical values.
Oh, and I would like to conclude by thanking Gman for going to the trouble of coming up with a system at all. You have a good concept in here, it just needs... a lot of polishing.

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January 29th, 2012, 4:50 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Wow Long Post Aldraia thank you for the time and effort.


Before I get on to your complaints and explain my reasoning, first let me say how I see magic in Scholomance. I don't see magic as only existing within a few beings. I see it as a sort of intrinsic force of the universe; it exists everywhere there is life. However, only a few people have the means to access it and manipulate it.

These individuals can only access and channel so much magic at a time because their bodies can't handle any more. It's like overworking a muscle until it sprains, then doing it some more until the muscle snaps. This is why we have limits on our mana.

So yes it's kind of like the Force only without the Light/Dark Side aspect and limitations.
("In Scholomance it's all Dark Side."
"Shut up, Shawn.")

Now on to the complaints.
To be clear the Material refers to all things that actually exist in the real world or it did when I wrote it up. Immaterial was meant to take into account things like astral projection, dream magic, and summoning beings with no real counterpart to the world.

My reasoning behind the Immaterial being easier to use, was because it was at least partly based on your own beliefs about it. So your beliefs made it more malleable.

Creation and Destruction: I thought Magic allowed you to ignore those laws and thus added in the ability to destroy and create. If what you say is true, then yes this category can be and should be removed.

Energy and Matter: Having explained the distinction between material and immaterial this category makes more sense. But, the point about it penalizing sorcerors is a good one. We may have to add in a sub-clause so that the costs are reversed for sorcerors.

For Enchanters well they would usually fall under a combination of energy and matter for me. So because of that they get that +7 thrown on to their spells. Which makes up for the fact that they usually have immaterial as their spell type.

Internal and External: You have some points and it probably could be rewritten as organic and inorganic. Now if you remember from my opening bit about magic being everywhere? That includes cells. The cells themselves know what they are supposed to do and why. Thus their internal magic is naturally against you monkeying around with it. That was the idea anyway.
Inorganic stuff has no inherent magic to fight back with. Although admittedly enchanted items would also resist being monkeyed around with in the same way by that logic.

Ah Size this is perhaps the one that actually gave me the most difficulty in terms of figuring it out for costs.
The idea here was to make it possible (If very difficult) to manipulate everything from individual electrons and protons all the way up to manipulating things like mountains. However this one I am quite willing to use an alternate form of.

Thematic mitigation was meant for two things. First, giving the Headmaster a way to say no on a spell while still following the system. The second was to encourage people to specialize in a particular style of casting rather then being in a mishmash of casting styles for that one extra mitigation point.

Nothing quite makes a scene seem silly like having a person carve norse runs into a wiccan circle while chanting "Yu Mo Gwai Gui Fai Di Zao!" and doing a voodoo dance. The addition of thematic mitigation was meant to avoid that.

As for repetition making things weaker. True this is not always the case. However I implemented this because I didn't want someone to just use the same mitigator over and over in order to bring the cost down. No one wants someone chanting "Om" 500 times and summoning Cthulu.

Rituals why do they work? Now the concept here was that much like water eventually gouges out a streambed given enough time. Magic would if used the same way eventually cut a path in reality to make things easier for itself. The bookkeeping is a point, I would suggest that rituals be redefined to just be specific magic practices that have been done repeatedly and give them age. So old rituals are more powerful then young ones. It should be possible to intuit whether a ritual is old or not depending on where you got it from.

Symbols... honestly this could be folded into materials. So yeah, the idea was that using, say, a necromancer's scroll for a necromancy spell would make things so much easier for the spell... but yeah, fold it into materials I say.

Somatic components: I agree on the half points. I say we should double them so a one handed gesture is one point and two handed gestures are two points.

Verbal components:
The point about not having half point mitigators is sound. I think this was meant to force a law of diminishing efforts in terms of repeating a spell phrase over and over for that extra point of mitigation. The "Om" problem again. However, there were more elegant ways to do this. Off the top of my head, simply make there be no mitigation for a repetition, except in cases where it is invoking numerology, which would need its own subsection.

Hmm, this does make materials very powerful but my initial readings of the setup suggested that they should be. However I am quite willing to see this revamped. Off-hand I would say only there is no inherent mitigation in using materials. They have to be somehow connected to the spell to help.

Experience and Mastery
The idea here is that the more you use a spell the easier it should be to perform, tying back into that cutting a path in reality thing. I also think that if you get stronger magically, then spells that were difficult for you to perform before would become easier.

Admittedly the numbers are a bit high and I would honestly prefer to go with Dark's version.

Now, to be honest, I wrote this for us, but also for Scholomance players in general. I think it's a fairly decent system but needed a bit more fleshing out. S o I included thematic mitigation as a way so that the HM could have some control on what spells his players had access to.

However, I am more then willing to have us hash out how much a thematic mitigation should be worth in general and just have HM Fiat be the ultimate arbitrator of what we can't do in a situation.

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January 29th, 2012, 6:21 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
I take the opposite view of magic; I see it as intrinsic to certain creatures (not all of them human) and to nothing else; if magic is in something else, it was put there by a magical being. But honestly, that difference should not matter.
Let me explain what I mean by that. At some point, it was stated that no one in-universe really knows how Scholomance magic works; whether magic is some kind of field we manipulate, or an inner well we draw upon, or something else entirely. The magic system should reflect that. To the greatest degree possible, our spell creation system should work equally well regardless of how magic actually works.

Ah, I see what you meant by "Immaterial/Material" now. Probably should be renamed to make that clearer, umm, Real/Unreal or something? Will come up with better terminology when am not up three hours past bedtime.

If costs are reversed for sorcerors you move into the "separate systems for different types of casters" thing and also run into the question of whether you need to do something weird for alchemists too, since they manipulate matter, and it just gets messy. I still advocate not having a category that includes things involved in the Masteries.

If magic is everywhere, that would include inorganic things. But see my point about how the system should be independent of how magic actually works.

Considering that transmutation is a massive part of alchemy, I think going very small should be easier than going very large. But that might be Kirana telling me to not nerf her, so take that with a grain of salt.

I do not think thematic mitigation is a good way to give the Headmaster the final say. Just make it an explicit rule that the Headmaster has the final say.

Point on repetition, I did say that repetition being more effective likely fell under thematic; a repetition is more effective than doing it just once only if it contributes to some kind of theme (such as, using a spell we created as an example, doing everything in threes).

Problem with duration that I meant to mention in the earlier post but forgot; your system makes no provision for permanent spells.

Regarding rituals, even if magic was a field, I imagine it would be like water or air rather than stone; it would fill in any cracks or thin spots rather than letting a path be carved into it. Ritual, to my way of thinking, is a psychological trick as much as anything else; a way of settling your mind and preparing yourself and your magic. It works because you believe it works. It makes no difference how many others did it before you, for how many years; what matters is that you do it now, and that you have done it before. Also, see yet again the point that the spell creation system should work the same no matter how magic actually works, to the greatest degree possible.

Folding symbols into materials: Should work.
Doubling somatic components to avoid half-points: Sounds good.
I think you missed my point about verbal components; I thought what you had was fine, it was just poorly said.
Dropping the inherent two points would seem to fix the "overpowered materials" problem I saw.

I agree that practicing a spell should make it easier, though I look on it as like learning a motor skill rather than cutting a path in reality, but see no reason why simply being more powerful should make everything easier. Having more mana lets you cast more powerful spells because you can use more mana, not because it automatically makes everything easier for no clear reason.
Darkandus's numbers look good to me.

I honestly think it would be better to have theme be part of the system, since this system should require as little Headmaster input as possible to use, and just let the Headmaster fiat anything he wants to.

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January 29th, 2012, 7:06 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Right. I'm going to do my best to try improve this system by the best way I know how.

Asking questions.

1: Permanency, how is it achieved outside of the Alchemy branch?
2: Summoning, due to the range involved how could it possibly be affordable considering most summoning is cross dimensional?
3: How do you determine the strenght of effect? Lets take as an example, a fireball. Now, size is easy enough to determine, but what about speed?
4: Do size catagories take mass into account? For example, a tablespoon of Neutron star would probably fall into the fine catagory, but it would have a mass of 5×10^12 kg.
5: Lets say you empowered an object to make anything you put on it resist the effects of gravity. Would you have to constantly supply more mana to it to sustain the effect?
6: How would you determine the cost of empowering an object with a permanent magical ability that costs nothing to activate?

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January 29th, 2012, 11:50 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
1 is a great question Dark. I feel like a lot of things should just be permanent. You alchemy up something and it exists forever, but you break someone's mind and it fixes itself up right quick? Seems weird.

2: For summoning, shouldn't distance be not how far away the object is but rather how far away from the summoner you're summoning it to? Like, how far away/how big/how complex/ how powerful the object is should go into the power cost, I would think.

3: Does speed particularly matter?

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January 30th, 2012, 1:19 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
1: I agree to be honest.
2:Well the summoning requires two points doesn't it? One where the summoner is, another where the creature/item/person is. As far as I know you summon actual creatures and Items instead of concepts. I might be wrong though, so take that with a pinch of salt.
3:I'd say so yes. Lets say you were fighting something particularly fast with high reflexes. As a random example off the top of my head, Agent Smith from the Matrix. If your Fireball or whatever isn't faster than a bullet, he'll just dodge right around it. I think velocity might be a very important cost to take into account.

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January 30th, 2012, 5:13 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
No idea how to actually implement any of these, it's just my thoughts.

Unfair penalties to sorcerers: In general this system makes our specialities less relevant as there's only a single bonus mana point gained for it. Like with tweaking the system so sorcerers have a much lower cost for energy spells I think every speciality should have one area where they get a significant boost in order to keep our choices relevant rather than "everyone does everything with a single point difference".

Regarding biological internal and external: If you're going to have this I think your body should not resist your own magic, but like a disease or other foreign body it should resist foreign magic, particularly ones that go against natural biological processes. Stimulating hormones for example should be easier than shutting down healthy systems.

Regarding size: As Dark said, you've got the issue of mass, as well as volume to be taken into account. I'd count a thimble-full of neutron star bits as a colossal level. I know this is horrible defined but it seems to me to be "size of the feat" as we hit a snag with the physics size (below) and it doesn't apply consistently across specialities.
The size as a physical measure doesn't really work, for example say I wanted to change an atom of iron to two of aluminium, that's subatomic, but I want to change a kilogram of iron to aluminium so do I count it as subatomic or small or both at once?

Magic objects: The way I see it some objects are inherently magic. Harry Potter type stuff; phoenix feathers, Red Sand, pixie dust, roc feathers, skirts in G rated anime, souls.
Most of the 'power' the older years have is from having enchanted items as much, or more than, as their own magic. To enchant an object you basically give it a magic power source, either by integrating something inherently magic (such as above), or creating a kind of battery (probably inevitably some kind of precious stone) by pumping your mana into it or sacrificing a virgin on a Tuesday or whatever. The object itself can be it's own battery. The point is you need to charge it somehow. Do this well enough and you could effectively have something that doesn't lose its magic enhancement, (have it draw from ambient magic or what not).

For what it's worth I like the idea of thematic mitigation. Even though it's difficult to judged. For example necromancy spells should be easier in graveyards and so on. It leaves more room for creativity in spells and situations, more sense of atmosphere so to speak and gives it a less clinical feel.

Rituals old and new: Something that crossed my mind is an old idea in magic that the more people believe in something the more powerful it is. The fae exist as long as people believe in them, the old Gods lose their power as they lose followers, and if you point a stick at someone yelling "expelliarmus" you've got an excellent disarming spell mitigator as a billion people associate that word with a disarming spell.
The idea that the more often preformed rituals have a little extra boost has merit, it's where we as players get these spells in the first place that's the problem.

Quote:
Considering that transmutation is a massive part of alchemy, I think going very small should be easier than going very large. But that might be Kirana telling me to not nerf her, so take that with a grain of salt.
Shape change is what I've always taken to be the easiest part of alchemy.
Transmutation is a big part yes, but as I said above there's also how much you're transmuting that needs to be taken into account. There's subatomic (transmutation), atomic (chemical reactions) and everything above that is shape change.
So maybe for alchemists at least, there shouldn't be a penalty for working on the subatomic scale and it's how much you change that matters, not what level you change it on.
Rambling regarding head-canon alchemy
Spoiler: show
I don't scale all my transmutations as the same difficulty (mentally at least, Slamu normally just nods and smiles and lets me do it).
Iron-26 becomes 2 atoms of Aluminium-13. A nice and easy halving involving no creation or destruction.
One Al-13 can not be turned into Iron-26 without a creating matter. Something that is going to cost a heck of a lot more. E=mc^2, how much mana does it take to create mass or energy from mana?
Mind you there's always going to be some form of matter around so it probably doesn't bear thinking about.

Quote:
but you break someone's mind and it fixes itself up right quick
In my experience no. You screw with someone's head they're as injured up there as surely as you messed them up physically. Though this should be a matter of scale maybe. Making someone see a duckling walking past one time, as oppose to burning it into their brain so they think everyone is a duck for the rest of their life.
Once again we come back to spell "size", but alchemy is always going to have the advantage in making permanent changes I think.

It has the disadvantage in that it's the least 'magical' so to speak you can't be as creative with it as enchantment or conjuration and in my opinion it's harder to fight with than sorcery. It tends to be a much more passive skill than the others.

Aaaaand as I said in one of my previous posts I think we need something for intrinsic complexity.
Also I'd like to say again for those tl;dr out there: Make what speciality we picked matter. Each type should have some kind of advantage.

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January 30th, 2012, 9:06 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
All right, so time to start over, I think. Although I still see magic as being an intrinsic force, in my foolish ignorance I forgot that others might not see it that way. With that said, here is my second version. I would like to give a huge thank you to Aldraia Dragonsong for helping me with this system for days, often at the risk of her own sanity. Serbii also gets credit for coming up with the equations for thematic mitigation. You guys are both awesome.

Spoiler: show
All spells still cost a minimum of 1 mana. Mitigating past this point is not possible, barring the Headmaster deciding to have his or her fun.

Making a magical item will be called thaumaturgy in this system, to cut down on confusion. Not the best name, I know, but work with me here.

In writing this system, I soon found that I had to essentially make separate subsystems for each school of magic. As such, I am going to go through each school for its own modifiers. There will be a set of universal modifiers after the school modifiers.


Sorcery

Sorcery spells are divided by the type of energy they are manipulating: Thermal, Electrical, Kinetic, Luminous, and Sonic Energy, or manipulating heat, manipulating electricity, manipulating movement, manipulating light, and manipulating sound.

Energy Type:
Thermal +4
Electrical +6
Kinetic +8
Luminous +6
Sonic +4

Thermal is considered the easiest to manipulate, because it’s constantly moving and therefore you just have to shunt it to where you want it to go.

Electricity is somewhat harder to manipulate, as you have to make a circuit for it. At the same time, that is the hardest part, making it more difficult than manipulating heat, but not so difficult as other types.

Kinetic Energy is the hardest type to use effectively, as removing and imparting energy to make things move takes a lot of work. However, it is also the most versatile, being considered the category that mechanical energy falls under.

Luminous Energy is an esoteric type, but requires about the same amount of work to set up as Electrical Energy.

Sonic Energy is perhaps the easiest to understand, and although a bit tricky to create, it’s no harder then creating heat energy, seeing as how it’s vibrations in the air. Vibrations do not require some great talent to manipulate; as such, it is not hard to control sound.


Once you have the energy’s type, you must determine how much of it you want. For ease of use, I defined power separately for each energy type.

Power:
+1 for every step.

A thermal energy step is a change of 300 degrees Celsius. So making it up to 300 degrees colder or hotter is +1, 300-600 degrees colder or hotter is +2, and so on. As a sidenote, your average fire is a little under 600 degrees Celsius, but air fires (which is what you make if you create a fire without specifying a fuel source) are typically around 2000 degrees.

An electrical energy step is 200 megajoules. So up to 200 megajoules is +1, 200-500 megajoules is +2, et cetera. As a sidenote, average lightningbolts are 500 megajoules.

A kinetic energy step is 800 pounds*meters/seconds under normal Earth gravity. That is to say, moving 1 pound 800 meters in a second, moving 800 pounds one meter in a second, moving 2 pounds 400 meters in a second, et cetera.

A luminous energy step is 40,000 lumens. If you want to restrict the distance the light travels, divide that by the number of meters you want to restrict it to, rounded up to the nearest meter (so restricting it to traveling one meter does not decrease step size, restricting it to traveling two meters decreases the step size to 20,000 lumens, et cetera). As a sidenote, bright sunlight delivers 100,000 lumens per square meter at Earth’s surface.

A sound energy step is 40 decibels. So up to 40 decibels is +1, 40-80 is +2, and so on. As a side note, human shouting is around one hundred decibels.

It is assumed that to shield yourself from energy backlash requires a separate spell. So no calling down fireballs on yourself, okay? Although you could use a protective item as well.


Alchemy

Life:
Living +2
Nonliving +1

Living things often have self-correction systems; they have a sense of what they ‘should’ be like, and seek to remain that way. Nonliving things, on the other hand, lack such a sense.


I am breaking up size into, well, size and mass. Something can have a lot of size but low mass, and vice versa.

Mass is defined according to how much something weighs under standard Earth gravity.

Mass:
Very Tiny: +1 (With so little mass it is very easy to manipulate. This is anything that requires an electronic scale to actually measure.)
Tiny: +2 (This would be a few ounces or so)
Small: +3 (This would be about 1 or 2 pounds)
Medium: +4 (This would be 2-100 pounds)
Large: +5 (This would be the weight of average human; 100-300 pounds)
Larger: +6 (This would be, say, the weight of a cow; 300-800 pounds)
Very Large: +7 (This would be, say, a ton)
Huge: +10 (Think a tank; 5-7 tons)

Add an additional +1 for every hundred pounds over Huge.


Size is a bit different. It’s assumed that very small things are hard to manipulate because they require such fine control. At the same time, very large things are also hard to manipulate.

Size:
Tiny: +7 (This would be something you cannot see with the human eye.)
Very Small: +5 (This would be something like a pin or pebble.)
Small: +3 (This would be, oh, let’s say a medium-sized dog.)
Medium: +2 (This would be adult human-sized, more or less.)
Large: +3 (This would be, oh, the size of a horse.)
Very Large: +5 (Think semi-haulers.)
Huge: +7 (Railroad Train or so)

Add +1 for every 100 cubic meters beyond the size of a Railroad Train that you manipulate.


Enchantment

This style is something of an odd one out. Being focused on manipulating others, there are two categories that I see it falling into. Projection, putting what you want into a person’s mind, and Retrieval, taking what you want from a person’s mind.

An enchanter could send you the image of Edward from Twilight making kissy faces at you in order to make you freak out. That would be projection. Or he could call on your own darkest fears to bring that same image out. That would be retrieval.

It is inherently harder to take than it is to give in this case, so projection is easier than retrieval.

Direction:
Projection +2
Retrieval +3

Moving right along then, after deciding whether a spell is projection or retrieval, you have to decide what part of the mind it’s affecting.

I have divided the mind into roughly four parts (I apologize to any Psych majors that this scars horribly): Current Thoughts, Memory, Beliefs and Senses.

Aspect:
Thoughts: +1
Senses: +1 per sense affected
Memory: +3
Beliefs: +7
Fortitude: +1 and another +3 per point of change

Memory is difficult to manipulate, as it’s usually fairly ingrained into our minds.
Current thoughts are easy to manipulate, as they are almost constantly in flux anyway.
Beliefs are deeply held parts of a person. The core principles or ideals that they hold dear. Even if that principle is simply “Survive”. Changing these beliefs is incredibly hard and thus costs the most mana because of how deeply ingrained these beliefs tend to be.
It’s difficult to manipulate every sense perfectly. However, individual senses aren’t hard to trick. So while each individual sense only costs 1 mana, multiple senses cost as much as all of their individual costs put together. So a sight spell would cost +1, a sight and sound spell would cost +2, and so on.
Fortitude is pretty much your mental stats, Essence and Will. It is not really an Aspect, but is defined that way for convenience. You can use Enchantment to raise them or lower them; it costs +1 to choose this Aspect and then +3 for every point of change. So +2 to Essence would cost +7, -3 to Willpower would cost +10, et cetera.

The final stage is to decide how blatant you are with your manipulations. The more blatant the manipulation, the harder it is.
This is tracked on two levels, Awareness and Willingness. If someone is aware that a spell is being performed, they are much more likely to be capable of resisting and throwing up barriers.

Awareness:
Unaware: +1
Somewhat Aware: +3
Very Aware: +5

Unaware means that the target has no idea someone could be around to do things to him, nor does he expect anyone to. This is admittedly rare in Scholomance, but it could happen. It also includes being asleep or unconscious, or heavily drunk/drugged.
Somewhat aware means that the target knows someone is there and is on guard, but not actively searching.
If the target is very aware, the target knows that he is under attack and is actively trying to resist mind attacks.


Willingness:
Fully Willing: +1
Somewhat Willing: +3
Unwilling: +5

It’s much easier to mind-whammy people if they want you to. However, the mind is subconsciously against this, so there will always be some resistance. As a side note, a person who is willing to allow you to perform mind magic on them is considered Unaware. Conversely, never add more than +3 for the unwillingness of an Unaware person, no matter how unwilling they are.

As a note, all animals that are not sapient (able to tell the difference between right and wrong) are assumed to be Unaware (Why would they expect magic mind attacks?) and Somewhat Willing, as they don’t have a very strong will to fight back with.

A final consideration is how subtle you are. Although this won’t be tracked as a mitigation, the more subtle you are, the less likely someone will notice and fight back.


Conjuration:
Ah, Conjuration, you get no love, not easy to understand like the others and not really focused enough to categorize... or are you? Well, yes, although not having used much Conjuration, I have to make some guesses on how this works. If a Conjuration specialist wants to make his own system, that’d be nifty.

First, categorizations.

Summon Type:
Force/Concepts: +6 (These are things like summoning gravity or death to do your bidding. It’s possible, but they really don’t like doing it, thus it costs a fair amount of mana to do. As an aside, summoning the anthropomorphic incarnation of death or somesuch would include both this category and the next, and you would have to pay both costs.)

Beings: +3 (This would be your magical beasties and the like.)

Objects: +1 (This would simply be objects that don’t exist here. There’s no reason they can’t exist, they just don’t.)

Now, the second distinction. Are they sapient or not? Sapient beings are assumed to not really want to go hurtling across realities to do what you tell them to. Thus, they instinctively try to resist. If you could somehow make one agree to being summoned by you, then they would have the nonsapient cost.

Sapience:
Sapient: +3
Nonsapient: +1


That covers most of what Conjuration is considered to do, but the question of how far past Earth you are reaching in order to grab something remains.

Origin:
Earth: +1
Near Earth: +2
Somewhat Earthlike: +4
Not Earthlike: +7
Beyond: +11

Earth is basically home plane. You must know where something is and where its destination is in order to move things around within a plane via Conjuration.

Near Earth worlds are pretty similar and save for a few key differences aren’t too hard to grab stuff from.

Somewhat Earthlike worlds have some major differences but still run on (most of) the same basic principles. For example, your standard D&D world would be a Somewhat Earthlike world.

Not Earthlike worlds don’t have much in common beyond still having life (usually) and some form of physics.

Beyond. This is essentially where the eldritch abominations find things to be freaky and possibly insane. Reaching here and bringing it back is incredibly difficult.

As an aside, it is assumed that life force or souls that you summon come from the afterlife, which is dependent on which deity (or deities) you follow. So it can be anything from Near Earth to Beyond. Choose your religion carefully. Also, this is why you don’t worship Cthulhu.

Summoning a spirit to yourself to let it possess you carries a +3 cost, along with how much it costs to pull that spirit from where it resides to you.

Additionally, summoning something bigger than yourself costs +1 mana for every additional time your size it is over the first. (Where X is how many times your size it is, rounded up to the nearest whole number, add (x-1) mana to the cost of the spell.)

So if it’s only twice as big as you, that’s +1, three times is +2, etc.


General Modifiers

Okay, so now that you’ve added your own special modifiers, time to add the general modifiers.

Range. +1 mana per five meters, minimum +1. Affecting yourself, however, is +0 instead.

Duration. Assuming you haven’t made a spell permanent, duration costs +1 per five minutes, minimum +1.


Permanency for Alchemy and Sorcery:

Permanent spells cost 1.5 times as much.
So a +14 spell would be +21 if it was permanent.

It should be noted that most basic alchemy and sorcery is of instant duration; that is to say, it has no duration cost and does not have to be made permanent to retain the effects.

Example: Shannon uses her floor spear spell. That spear sticks around forever unless something else happens to change that. A permanent floor spear spell would continuously make spears.

Example 2: A sorceror uses a nonpermanent spell to light a piece of wood on fire. The fire will continue to burn merrily without any additional mana being used for as long as it is supplied with fuel, provided it was just a normal fire. Getting a fire to burn eternally without need for fuel, on the other hand, would require a permanent fire spell.


Permanency for Enchantment:

Permanent spells cost 1.5 times as much plus five mana.
So a +14 spell would cost +26 if it was permanent.

The mind is, to me anyway, something that normally tries to self-correct into being healthy and not whammied (although such healing takes time), so it is very difficult to make a mind enchantment permanent.

An example of a nonpermanent enchantment with lasting effects: Using illusions to condition a dog to fear a certain sound.
An example of a permanent enchantment: Implanting a permanent fear of a certain sound in a dog’s mind.


Permanency for Conjuration:

Permanent conjurations cost 1.5 times as much plus the spell’s Summon Type cost.
So a +14 Object spell would cost +22.

Unlike most other kinds of magic, summons tend to snap back to their original location for some reason. However, it is possible to effect a permanent shift, should you wish to do so.

Examples of nonpermanent conjuration: Summoning a griffin to attack your foe and then vanish. Appearing where a friend is to assist them briefly.
Examples of permanent conjuration: Summoning a griffin to guard your Atelier. Warping directly back to your Atelier after class.



Mitigation

As a note, a Headmaster still has the ability to veto spells if he or she feels like it. Even if they worked before. This is explained in universe by some higher power screwing with you. Possibly the in-game headmaster, for that matter.


Verbal Mitigators

Verbal mitigators are spoken words. The value of the mitigator depends on the length of the phrase. The phrase must make sense and be applicable to the situation at hand. If you overrun the word limit for one phrase category, it defaults to the next.

Short Phrases (1-6 words): 1 point of mitigation.
Medium Phrases (6-12 words): 2 points of mitigation.
Long Phrases (12-18 words): 3 points of mitigation.

+1 point of mitigation for every 6 words past 18.


Somatic Mitigators

Somatic mitigators are divided into two categories: positions and gestures.

Positions are, as the name suggests, when you hold your body a certain way. For example standing in a firebender’s stance while casting a fireball spell. This would be a major position; a minor position would be say holding your hand in the sign for stop when making a time stop spell.
Position:
Major: +2
Minor: +1

Gestures are moving your body around. They, too, are divided into Major and Minor. A minor gesture would be something like snapping your fingers for a sonicboom spell. A major one would be making a chopping motion with your arm to generate a razor wind.
Gesture:
Major: +2
Minor: +1


Material Mitigators

Material mitigators are physical objects. They are divided into levels.

The levels for material mitigators are:

Very Minor = 1 mitigation: These are only tangentially related to the spell in question. As an example, if casting a scrying spell, you used silicon beads as a mitigator.

Minor = 2 mitigation: These are connected, but it is not something you would normally think of using for the spell in question. Going back to the scrying example, using, say, a microscope.

Medium = 3 mitigation: These have a definite link, but lack a specialization to that particular spell. For example, for your scrying spell, you use a bowl of water. It's connected to scrying, but you could also use it for healing, potion making, etc.

Major = 4 mitigation: These are focused and connected to the spell in question, and thus very powerful. For example, using some of the herbs that the Oracle at Delphi used would be very useful for our scrying spell.

Very Major = 5 mitigation: These are permanently linked to a spell and couldn't really be seen as useful for anything else. Going back to the scrying, having the skull of the Oracle at Delphi would be a great mitigator.


Locational Mitigation

Locational mitigation is casting in an environment that fits with a spell. For example, casting a fire spell is a lot easier in, say, a volcano, even without the added heat decreasing the Power required. This means picking your battleground is very important. If you tend to summon demons, don’t fight someone on holy ground.

Location:
Very appropriate: 4 mitigation.
Appropriate: 2 mitigation.
Mildly appropriate: 1 mitigation.
Neutral: 0 mitigation.
Mildly inappropriate: -1 mitigation.
Inappropriate: -2 mitigation.
Very inappropriate: -4 mitigation.

Examples:
Very Appropriate: Summoning a dryad in a forest.
Appropriate: Summoning a dryad near a single tree.
Mildly Appropriate: Summoning a dryad in a grassy field.
Neutral: Summoning a dryad on dirt.
Mildly Inappropriate: Summoning a dryad on rocky ground.
Inappropriate: Summoning a dryad in a stone room or a cave.
Very Inappropriate: Summoning a dryad in a desert or volcano.


Thematic Mitigation: Now I like this, I like having it so that you get more bang for your buck if you use one type of casting rather than multiple ones. However, Aldraia did have a point that leaving that up to the Headmaster was kind of defeating the purpose of the system being easy to self-run.
And so, rules for thematic mitigation:

Thematic mitigation is a theme within a single spell. For instance, doing everything in threes (saying the chant three times, using three of each material mitigator, et cetera). You need at least two things fitting the declared theme to get points for it; those two give you +1 mitigation total. This is on top of any mitigation they already grant you.

You can continue to add things that fit the theme to get additional mitigation, as follows:
1 additional thing gives you +1 mitigation. (1 thing over the previous level.)
3 additional things give you +2 mitigation. (2 things over the previous level.)
6 additional things give you +3 mitigation. (3 things over the previous level.)

And so on. In general, each level of “thematicness” requires one more thing to reach from the previous level than the previous level did.

Multiple themes do stack, but the second theme requires twice as many things in all categories

(four to count as a theme at all, two more for another +1, another four for the next +1, et cetera), the third three times as many (six to count, three for the extra +1, six for the next +1, et cetera), and so on.

So to outline:
Two items total (0 extra): +1 mitigation (total)
Three items total (1 extra): +2 mitigation (total)
Five items total (3 extra): +3 mitigation (total)
Eight items total (6 extra): +4 mitigation (total)

The levels are determined by the number of additional items and go up as a basic addition series.
1 = 1 additional item needed
1+2 = 3 additional items needed
1+2+3 = 6 additional items needed
1+2+3+4= 8 additional items needed
1+2+3+4+5= 15 additional items needed
etc.

Each time one of these numbers is reached, the spell gains an additional point of mitigation.
To tell how much mitigation you get, simply look at the last number in the addition series (so, for example, 15 items gives you +5); this is added on top of the +1 for fitting a theme.
Themes can be stacked, but your second theme will cost twice as much: four to start, then
2(1) = 2 additional items needed
2(1+2) = 6 additional items needed
2(1+2+3) = 12 additional items needed
2(1+2+3+4)= 16 additional items needed
2(1+2+3+4+5)= 30 additional items needed


Mastery

Each level of Mastery in a school gives you 1 point of mitigation for all spells in that school.
In addition, it expands the range of correct mana cost by +/- 1.
Example: Kirana has level 1 Alchemy Mastery. If she were casting an Alchemy spell that costs 15 points, she could spend and mitigate anywhere from 14 to 16 points of mana and that would count as perfectly meeting the cost. Her Mastery would also count as one point of that mitigation.

Thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy can be described as a means of preparing a spell and paying its mana cost in advance so that you can use it quickly and without fear of mana exhaustion when you need it. In order to do so, you must store the preprepared spell in an object. The item can also be made usable by someone else, should you wish it to be so.

Once a stored spell has been used, it is gone; each stored spell can only be used once. However, you can imbue a spell into an item, which is to regular storing what permanent spells are to nonpermanent spells. An item with an imbued spell is always a usable item.


Now, in general, when you store a spell, first you go through the entire process of calculating the spell’s cost normally, except you leave out the one mana of spell initiation, because you are not casting the spell yet. You then set that number aside and calculate the cost to store the spell.
At this stage, you can leave any variable “undefined”; if you do this, you pay the cost of that variable at casting instead of at storage, and also set the variable’s value at that time.
Example: You could store a fireball spell, but not specify a range; you would then have to specify a range when you used the spell and add the appropriate Range cost to the cost to use the item.

If you wish to predefine a target-based variable at storage, simply choose any value you like; this value is the upper limit of the spell’s effect. (For instance, you could predefine the Mass variable of an Alchemy spell as Very Large; the spell would then affect any creature of Very Large mass or less.)


There are two main divisions of spell storage:
Consumable Item: Something which is ingested/burned/otherwise used up in order to release the stored spell. A consumable item cannot have a spell imbued into it, nor can a spell stored in it have undefined variables. Examples: A potion which is drunk to receive its effect; a scroll which is burned to release the spell stored in it; a disk which is snapped in half to activate its spell.
Usable Item: Something which is triggered in a way that does not damage the item. Example: A wand which one waves while yelling “Fuego!” to cast its stored fire spell.

A consumable item costs +3 mana to create, while a usable item costs only +1. However, activating a usable item costs one mana just like initiating any spell, while activating a consumable item costs no mana.

Then add:
+1 if the item is not magical in any way yet.
+2 if the item already contains an identical spell (same effect, same parameters for things like range and duration, etc.; trying to store two ten-meter fireball spells in one rock, for example).
+3 if the item already contains a similar spell (not exactly the same effect, but sort of similar; two fire spells with different durations, say).
+4 if the item already contains a spell which is in the same school but otherwise dissimilar (a fire spell and a lightningbolt spell, for instance).
+6 if the item already contains a spell which is in a different school entirely (a fire spell and Shannon’s floor spear spell, for example).
Add twice as much for an imbued spell instead of a stored spell.

Note that these costs are cumulative; you must add to the mana cost for every spell stored in the object.

An illustration:
Suppose you have an amulet which contains a spell to throw lightningbolts, a spell to summon griffins, and a spell to throw fireballs. You wish to add to this amulet a spell that creates a wall of fire. You would need to add +13 mana in multistorage costs: +3 because of the fireball spell (still fire, but in a different shape and likely with differing range and duration), +4 because of the lightningbolt spell (same school, but different energy type), and +6 because of the summoning spell (different school).

For those who are confused as to the distinction between “similar” and “dissimilar within a school”, you can say that if at least one of the general categories has a different value, you add +3, and if at least one of the school subsystem categories has a different value, you add +4. If categories in both subsystems have differing values, you add the higher cost only.

Finally, you need to set a trigger for your stored spell. A trigger can be anything you like, as general or specific as you want: activates if anyone other than the maker picks it up, activates when the maker holds it in the light of the sun, activates when waved in the air while someone shouts “Hoogabooloo!”, activates when anyone holding/wearing/touching/near it wants it to, whatever. If it is a consumable item, this may include destroying, damaging, or using up the item; otherwise, the item will likely damage or destroy itself. If it is a usable item, the trigger must include paying at least one point of mana plus any ‘undefined variable’ costs.

In general, there are two types of triggers, voluntary trigger and trap trigger. A voluntary trigger is something that the user does; a trap trigger is something that the target does. A trap trigger spell must have all of its variables defined, including “costless” variables such as the shape of a fire spell (fireball, fire wall, et cetera) or the exact type of creature summoned by a Conjuration (griffin, hippogriff, et cetera). Trap triggers do not take any mana to activate, even if they are usable-type items.

Trigger:
Consumable: +0
Voluntary: +0
Trap: +2

Voluntary or trap only matters for usable items; for a consumable item, the activation cost has already been prepaid and does not have to be paid again.

To imbue a spell instead of merely storing it, calculate the total cost to store the spell, then quadruple that cost. This is the cost to imbue the spell.

Imbued spells come in two types, active and passive. The cost to imbue them is the same, but the effects are different:
An active imbued spell is exactly like a stored spell, except with infinite uses.
A passive imbued spell is always “on”, affecting whoever is holding/wearing/wielding the item in question. The cost of such a spell should always be calculated as if its duration is instantaneous.
A passive spell costs +3 to imbue, but has no activation cost; it is essentially cast as it is imbued and remains activated permanently. It has no trigger. (This is applied before the quadrupling.)

Thaumaturgical costs can be mitigated just like any other part of the spell’s cost, but note that all mitigation is applied after the thaumaturgical modifiers.

Some examples of thaumaturgy:

1. Creating a potion that temporarily grants +1 to Form.
This would be Alchemy, as it affects your physical body, so we follow the Alchemy track.
Life: Living. +2.
Mass: Large; this is intended to affect normal adult humans. +5.
Size: Medium. +2.
Now general modifiers.
Range: Self. +0.
Duration: Hmm, say an hour for this one. +12.
Total that up, and the cost of an hour-long +1 Form spell is 21 points of mana.
Then we go through the thaumaturgy track.
A potion is a consumable item, so +1.
This potion has no other magic in it yet, so +1 for that as well.
Trigger is, naturally, “target drinks the potion”. (Trigger: Consumable. +0.)
The total cost to create a potion that grants +1 to Form for Medium-sized or smaller creatures of Large mass or less for one hour is 23 points of mana.

2. Storing a fireball spell in a bracelet that already contains several other spells.
This is, naturally, a Sorcerous spell, so to the Sorcery track!
Energy Type: Thermal. +4.
Power: Going for a pretty average fire, say 650-ish degrees. +3.
Shape: Sphere. +0.
General modifiers:
Range: Ten meters sounds good. +2.
Duration: Instantaneous; the fireball appears on the spot and either sets things on fire or fails to do so. Either way, no need for it to stick around. +0.
Cost to create a fireball ten meters away: 9 points of mana.
And the thaumaturgy now:
This bracelet is a usable item. +1.
The bracelet already contains several other spells:
An identical fireball spell (the caster wanted two, just in case): +2.
A spell to generate light: +4.
A notice-me-not spell: +6.
Trigger is, say, “user is wearing the bracelet, points at target, and recites the first two lines of The Raven”. (Trigger: Voluntary. +0.)
Total cost to add the fireball spell to the bracelet: 19 points of mana.

3. Imbuing a summons into a dais that calls a guardian beast to protect the sacred ground.
This would be a Conjuration. Conjuration track, initialize!
Summon Type: Being. +3.
Sapience: Nonsapient. +1.
Origin: Somewhat Earthlike. +4.
Size: Four times caster’s size. +3.
General modifiers:
Range: Right on the dais; +1.
Duration: Say... half an hour. +6.
This conjuration costs 18 points of mana normally.
Now, the thaumaturgical costs.
The dais is considered a usable item. +1.
This particular dais has no other thaumaturgy in it. +1.
Set the trigger as “target enters the sacred ground without praising Alu’matra”. (Trigger: Trap. +2.)
This spell would cost 22 points of mana to store. However, we want to imbue it, so we quadruple that to get a cost of 88 points of mana.

4. Imbuing a passive-type blindness spell into a necklace.
An Enchantment this time, so to the Enchantment track with us!
Direction: Projection. +2.
Aspect: Senses (sight). One sense, so +1.
Alertness:
Willingness:
General modifiers now.
Range: Self. +0.
Duration: Instantaneous. +0.
Cost of an instantaneous self-blinding spell: 3 points of mana.
And the thaumaturgy:
Considered a usable item. +1.
Suppose it already has a passive deafness spell on it. That would be a similar spell, imbued. +6.
This is a passive spell, so +3.
13 points quadrupled is 52 points to imbue this spell.



Okay, that should cover everything. If you have any questions, just ask. Any suggestions, comments or well-wishes are welcome.

_________________
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."
----Jack Layton


Last edited by gman391 on February 7th, 2012, 5:24 am, edited 2 times in total.



February 2nd, 2012, 1:57 am
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Joined: January 20th, 2011, 5:14 pm
Posts: 1642
Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Alright, let me see if I got this right.

Assuming that a student (let's call him Sam) wanted to call up the shade of Gaius Julius Ceaser, then assuming they were a Conjurer.
He’s from near earth +2
He’s sentient +3
He’s a being (shade) +3
You want to have a conversation with him, call it five minutes. +2
You don’t want to summon him right on top of you, but five meters seems a bit much. Call it 2.5 meters, round to the first increment +1
2+3+3+2+1=11 to hit, assuming 1 mastery 10/12 to succeed perfectly

You summon him on a day of astrological significance, the Ides of March +4 (when someone says 'Ides of March', that's what you think of, and it's a *very* important day in his life)
You use 2 silver denarii as part of the ritual, to pay Charon +1 relevent as a part of his cosmology (paying the return fare)
You call him by name, listing his liniage +3 (makes it easier to 'find him' in Hades, would likely fall in the 12-18 word phrase area)
You pour out water from the Rubicon River, an important event from his life +1
You have dice on hand (“It is time to roll the dice”) +1 (very minor material mitigator)
You use a laurel wreath (a symbol of his reign) +1
You have the number 13 (Ceaser’s legion) chalked out somewhere +1 (part of his life, but can also be applied to other things)

Spending one point of mana to activate it, you get 1+4+1+3+1+1+1+1=13, and you overshot it. On top of whatever consequences you might have for overdoing it, you’ve got Ceaser here, jabbering at you in Latin. Oh dear, why did you have to take French in High School instead?

---

Now, next scenario, a young man (let’s call him Kentabe) is kidnapped and held hostage by someone, his girlfriend (Kyoko!) is trying to find him so she can be BIG DAMN HEROES. But, alas, her scrying attempts have been thwarted! She goes to a cult to a love deity, in this case Aphrodite, and since this is a case for TRUE LOVE!, they agree to help.

They each have a red string tied to their ring fingers +4 It’s not inherently magical, but this is a perfect case of ‘two lovers have a red string connecting them’
Read a poem about two lovers finding eachother again +2 probably longer than 11 words, but doesn’t seem to be worth the skull of the Oracle at Delphi either
Has a picture of Kentabe +2 Good for finding people in general
A bowl of clear water +3 per the above example
So mitigations give us 4+2+2+3=+9, and another 12 mana from her pouring in all her mana into the spell, is not enough to get past the threshold of 30 ward against scrying. She seeks out the Cult of Aphrodite, and they help with a ritual, pooling their mana for an extra 10 to beat the ward and find that poor Kentabe’s being held in the dungeons! Time to rock and roll!

---

Last example I can think of, right now. A young man, let’s call him Jacopo because I like the name, wants to invent a spell that bends light around textiles, so they are invisible but still there. It would allow him to use tapestries as windows, hide a set of clothes, and (purely by coincidence, surely) render a young lady’s underthings visible.

Luminous +6
Range 10 m +2

Sorcery 1 makes it 7/9
Mastery +1
clear plastic garment (like you might see on an umbrella or poncho) +2
A short little chant +1
a minor gesture +1

So now Jacopo only needs to use 2 mana to see what she's wearing today hide his ugly but warm scarf.

This seem about right to everyone else?


February 2nd, 2012, 8:40 pm
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Joined: January 20th, 2011, 5:14 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Okay, so, sleep and talking with people has brought up a few things that the posted system didn't cover. I'm going to toss them up here and see your opinions.

Conjuration:

So apparently souls don't work like that in Scholomance, so ignore the soul’s afterlife coming into play. All souls are from a Near Earth plane, according to Darkandus.

Now, the second elephant in the room. Our beloved (if insane) Headmaster has pointed out that we did not include compulsion cost in our summonings.

This is a problem, largely because under the current system, a first year can summon Death, but has no way to control it. This is bad. Almost as bad as giving 10 year-olds access to the god of time and space.

All sapient summons require an Essence check to be controlled. The difficulty of this check is equal to half the cost to summon them, rounded up. You can forego the check if you wish, but the summons will not be under your control if you do so. Note that if you are storing or imbuing a Conjuration, you calculate the Essence check’s value before applying thaumaturgical costs. Also note that only the summoner can make this Essence check; if anyone else wants to control that summon, they had best make with the Enchantment.

So a summon that costs 14 mana to summon would have an Essence Check of 7, meaning you would need Essence 7 to control it. Better practice your thaumaturgy.

Summoning multiple beings:
New Conjuration category: Number.
Number:
Single Summon: +0, otherwise:
Objects: +1 per additional object.
Beings: +<Spell’s Size cost> per additional being, or +1 per additional being, whichever is greater.
Forces/concepts: Cannot be done in multiples. Must be summoned individually.

If you are summoning multiple sapient beings, they get one collective Control check, with a difficulty of one-half the spell’s cost as normal, but multiplied by the number of beings summoned. So a 20-mana spell to summon five beings would have an Essence check of 50 to control them all.

MANA BUDDIES!

So, mana transfers are possible in this game. They happen at a 1-to-1 ratio, that is to say, it costs one point of mana to restore one point of mana to someone else.
If you overcharge a mana pool (give someone enough mana that their current mana would total more than their maximum mana; for example, giving 2 points to a first year with 8 points left), bad things happen. Said bad things may include explosions of a magical nature and spontaneously changing genders after being exposed to sunlight; really it's Slamu's call.

Multiple mana pools. So what happens when you use people to help power your spell? Well, calculate your spell and mitigation as normal. Now each additional person chooses how much mana to give up. That is added on as additional mitigation.

So if we have a +12 summoning spell being casted by Jack, Jill can help by adding some of her own mana. She adds 6 mana, and so Jack gets 6 mitigation on the spell.

A person helping in this way may contribute as much as he or she wants. However, if someone contributes more mana than the caster, that contributor may attempt to take over the spell. Contested control is determined by Essence checks. If control is successfully wrested away, apply the new controller’s Masteries instead of the original caster’s, and allow the new controller to redefine the spell as they wish. Yes, this may result in the spell being over- or under-powered and requires recalculating everything. Sorry about that. (But, this is an incentive to use people you trust to do the big stuff.)

If you at any point end up with fractions of mana point, continue calculating, and after you finish, round up to the nearest whole number.

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February 3rd, 2012, 12:38 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Warning: annoyingly large, long spell enclosed.
Ladies and gentlemen; let's make a permanent item.
Spoiler: show
Shannon wants to get her mail system up and running again after the laws of the universe changed, and maybe explain it instead of
"Hey can I have this?"
"Sure."
So we put a letter in a statuette and it's delivered to another one. Instead of duplication we'll make it straight conjuration as it would have that factor anyway.

Making the statues themselves is fairly straightforward alchemy.
Start cost: 1
Nonliving: 1
Mass small: 3
Size small: 3
Cost = 8

Which is mitigated down with
Alchemy type spell -1
Medium phrase, general bad French about making a statue -2
Gesture major (moulding) -2
Material minor* (a different statuette) -2
Material minor (metal to mould) -2
That's already at 9 so I'll stop adding mitigators, it'll cost 1 regardless.
*Could say it would be 'major' but eh, will leave it lower as I've already hit 1.


Now we're going to use Thaumaturgy with a trap activation, so anything put inside one statuette will automatically be sent to the other.

The summoning itself will be
Nonsapient: 1
Object: 1
Origin: "Earth" (scholomance seems to fit the defined criteria): 1
x 1.5 + 5 for a perminent transfer
Total = 10

So it's a usable item, but we'll trap activate it and only one statue will be magic summoning from its twin. The trigger is something being placed in the 'sending' statue.
Usable: 1
Not yet magic: 1
Trap: 2
Active

To place the spell will cost 14 mana and it'll be a one off use.
To make it perminent it'll cost 56 (ye gods)

Shannon gets to mitigating.

Verbal ("We'll make up something damn it!") -3
Position minor ("Pick your favourite 'I'm doing magic' pose!") -1
Material major (mail) -4
Material major (the other statue) -4
Material minor (pens) -2
Material medium (stamps) -3
Material minor (copy of going postal) -2
Materal major (magic circle, symbols for mercury/hermes, air etc) -4
Material medium (Statue of Hermes) -3
Material medium (Statue of post box) -3
Material medium (mail bag) -3
Material medium (pigeon) -3
Location (a study) -2
Thematic -4

At this point 15 points are still needed and Shannon is considering some elaborate messenger pigeon sacrifice ritual before asking a mate over, like when moving house; beer and pizza is promised.

Shannon 8 mana.
Friend 7 mana.

DONE!

:dizzy:
*Waits for people to point out where she went wrong and why this didn't work*

And once again serbii goes to a stupid length for something unimportant, but I got this for nothing before so I wanted to see what it costs now. Hmm, a couple more mitigators and I could set up a network by myself...

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February 3rd, 2012, 9:59 am
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
More mitigators I thought of for your spell Serbii.

If History and English has thought me anything, it's that quotes are important, and if you don't have them you won't amount to anything. So let's go with one for the verbal component, fresh from the Persian empires courier service.

"It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed"

That's a 58 word quote, which rounds down to 9 points of relevant mitigation. Completely useless in a combat situation, but perfect for high cost enchantments.

If you want to cut it down because you think a 9 point quote is too much and your character isn't a history buff or doesn't have access to magical wikipedia we can go with "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

A 21 word quote earning you a very reasonable 3 point mitigation. As a bonus everyone who has ever watched that abomination of a film "The Postman" will have it seared into their hindbrain for all eternity like some eldritch sigil.

If you are a masochist and happen to posses a copy of aforementioned film you could combine it with going postal.

Another option is a piece of fancy paper whose sole purpose is for you to write letters on, the kind that is embossed with your initials or a pretty picture. (2 points)

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February 3rd, 2012, 2:33 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
gman391 wrote:
So a 20-mana spell to summon five beings would have an Essence check of 50 to control them all.


We have a minor problem here.

5 is peak Human mental ability and willpower. We're talking things like Audie Murphy crossed with Steven Hawking. The 21 Sikhs crossed with Aristotle. A normal person will most likely never meet a person with 5 Essence. A person with 10 Essence would be so completely indomitable and intelligent a 5 essence Human wouldn't be able to grasp even a glimpse of what the Creature with ten essence thought about. I say creature, because at 10 essence it simply isn't human anymore.

50 essence would be utterly incomprehensible, so far above Humanity it would tower above Gods from multiple Pantheons, making them look like slow children.

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February 3rd, 2012, 2:50 pm
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Unread post Re: Magic System: Or what happens when gman gets bored.
Fair point. But remember Dark, you can buff your essence checks with Enchantment.

So if you really want to summon that many beings you can. You'll just need to buff that Essence insanely high. So it might be a good idea to find an Enchanter willing to work with you. Or just take the mastery yourself when you can.

The addition of Essence Checks was mostly to stop first years from summoning Gods for funsies as without the checks it's really easy to do.

_________________
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."
----Jack Layton


February 3rd, 2012, 5:38 pm
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