Magic rules

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Magic System

The use of magic is open to any human willing to take the risks involved. Drawing on magical power requires the caster to take doses of fos (rhymes with dose) that have been specially prepared from a rare purplish root of the same name. Fos puts the caster in touch with the underlying source of magical power in the universe.

Fos is a purple powder derived from the root of a plant, and must be processed by a trained herbalist and consumed orally. It dissolves rapidly in the mouth once ingested. 1 dose is approximately equivalent to 1 teaspoon of powder. Fos can be consumed as a move action in any round. The maximum amount of fos that can be consumed in one round is equal to your Constitution score, and the maximum amount that you can have in your system at one time is equal to double your Constitution score. Constitution is also the key ability for all concentration checks (1d20 + caster level + Con modifier).

Normally, consuming the raw (unprocessed) fos root, provides only one dose per root consumed, and you can only eat one root per round as a move action. Additionally, using unprocessed root to cast spells has a 5% chance of creating a wild surge for every dose used.

Fos is a general-purpose consumable - once consumed, it can be used for any magic spell / effect permissible. The Prohibited Spells list details the range of spells that are permissible and forbidden.

To cast a spell, consume some fos and then make a magic check.

The base number of doses of fos is equal to twice the spell level, plus metamagic modifiers if any. The spell level of a spell that is in the sorcerer/wizard spell list is as listed. If a spell is not on the sorcerer/wizard list, the spell level is the highest of all the spell levels among its listed classes. Mystics reduce the number of doses needed by -1 at 1st level, increasing by 1 every level divisible by 4 above that. 0-level spells require 1 dose of fos each. If a mystic has consumed any amount of fos in a given day, they can cast as many 0-level spells as desired without taking any additional fos.

Metamagic feats may be taken by any character. Treat the level modifier given in the standard ruleset as a doses modifier (i.e. each +1 increases the number of doses needed by +1). Mystics do not receive any additional reduction in the doses required to use metamagic feats. Metamagic feats do not affect the spell’s level nor do they increase the casting time of spells.

Your magic check is 1d20 + Base Magic Bonus (BMB) + Intelligence modifier (plus any additional modifiers), with a DC of 10 plus the number of doses needed to cast the spell. If the check succeeds, the spell effect happens normally. If the check fails by 4 or less, the spell still happens and a side effect occurs (consult Table 1). If the magic check fails by 5 or more, the spell fails and a side effect occurs (consult Table 1). A roll of natural 1 on the magic check always indicates a bad effect, although the spell does not necessarily fail. If the side effect is not possible for the given spell (such as the duration of an instantaneous spell being halved, for instance) then roll again. Manifests roll twice whenever they are required to roll for bad effects, and can choose whichever of the two effects they prefer.

The save DC of spells is 10 + spell level + Intelligence modifier.

Verbal and somatic components, as required by the spell, must be used, but there are no material spell components (other than the fos itself). The words and gestures involved are not learned or memorized, and are not written down in any book - rather, they are created, like speaking in tongues, by the caster at the time of casting, tapping into the Source of the universe, and forgotten immediately afterwards. Mystics do have their own ancient language in which they write their texts, but this is an ordinary human language used to keep their lore secret.

Characters wearing light armor do not experience arcane spell failure penalties. Characters wearing medium or heavy armor do have the penalties listed.

Once fos is consumed, the source power can be held for up to 1 round per level. At the end of that time, if not expended, the caster must make a concentration check (1d20 + level + Con modifier), with a DC of 15 + the number of doses remaining unused. If made, the caster may hold the source for an additional 1 round per level, but if failed, the remaining doses are lost, and a wild surge occurs. If at the end of that time, there is still power remaining unused, another check can be made with a +2 cumulative penalty to each check beyond the first. Manifests can hold magical energy for twice as long (2 rounds per level) as other casters, and receive a +4 bonus on concentration checks. If you take damage while holding unused magical energy, you must make a concentration check with a DC of 10 + damage taken + unused doses, or else a wild surge occurs and you lose the unused doses. Whenever a wild surge occurs, roll on Table 3A, with a +2 modifier to the roll for every dose lost/expended.

Prohibited Spells

In general, casters may use magic to create any spell effect at any time, as long as they have the required fos. You do not need to prepare spells in advance. Subject to GM discretion, any spell listed in the Pathfinder spell lists may be used, other than the following:

  • Spells that control life and death or that affect the undead are not permitted; this is a matter for religious practitioners. Most necromancy spells are not permitted but some will be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Spells that summon or transport other creatures (animals, monsters, elementals, etc.) to you are not permitted. Spells that attract local creatures are permitted.
  • Spells that have alignment-based effects are not permitted, because there is no alignment system.
  • Spells with a duration of ‘Permanent’ are not permitted, because magic is dependent on there being some source of energy available to fuel the effect.
  • Spells that create energy out of nothing are not permitted. These include, primarily, spells from the evocation school, although case-by-case exceptions will be permitted. Spells that draw on local sources of energy (water, lightning, wind) or that create light or sound, are permitted.
  • Spells that heal damage or remove afflictions are not permitted (these are largely spells of the healing sub-school).
  • Spells that involve contact with, or transportation to and from, other planes of existence, or that affect creatures from other planes, are not permitted.

Table 1: Spell Effects

Whenever you fail a magic check, compare the number of doses of fos expended (including metamagic) with the number by which you missed the DC, below. Then roll on the appropriate bad effects table (2A, 2B, or 2C). If you fail by 1-4, the spell still works as usual despite the bad effect. If you fail by 5 or more, the spell fails entirely and the bad effect occurs.

Header text Fail by 1-4 Fail by 5-8 Fail by 9+
1-5 doses Table 2A Table 2A Table 2B
6-10 doses Table 2A Table 2B Table 2B
11-15 doses Table 2A Table 2B Table 2C
16+ doses Table 2B Table 2C Table 2C

Table 2A: Mild Effects

Roll Effect
01-05 spell's results are delayed for 1 round
06-10 spell is accompanied by olfactory effects (harmless but obvious)
11-15 spell is accompanied by auditory effects (harmless but obvious)
16-20 spell is accompanied by visual effects (harmless but obvious)
21-25 Area in a 10 ft radius around the caster becomes uncomfortably cold or hot for 1d6 rounds
26-30 caster suffers a nosebleed (1d4 points of damage)
31-35 caster loses control of bladder
36-40 caster nauseated for 1 round
41-45 vegetation dies in a 10 ft radius around the caster
46-50 caster becomes ravenously hungry/thirsty
51-55 spell's results are delayed for 3 rounds
56-60 caster stunned for 1 round
61-65 spell's duration is halved
66-70 spell's range is halved
71-75 caster experiences hallucinations for the following 1 minute
76-80 caster's memory of the previous 1 minute is erased
81-85 caster takes 1d10 points of damage
86-90 caster falls unconscious for 1 minute
91-95 all numeric effects of the spell are halved
96-00 Go to Table 2B

Table 2B: Moderate Effects

Roll Effect
01-05 Go to Table 2A
06-10 caster nauseated for 1d10 minutes
11-15 caster stunned for 1d10 minutes
16-20 caster experiences hallucinations for the following 10 minutes
21-25 caster's memory of the previous 10 minutes is erased
26-30 caster suffers 1 point of ability damage to an attribute determined randomly
31-35 caster takes 2d10 points of damage
36-40 caster blinded for 10 minutes
41-45 caster deafened for 10 minutes
46-50 caster rendered mute for 10 minutes
51-55 all numeric effects of the spell are minimized (as if each die rolled a 1)
56-60 next time the caster expends fos, twice the normal dosage is needed
61-65 any wounds suffered by the caster in the past or subsequent 10 rounds continue to bleed until a successful Heal check is made, or re-open if already healed
66-70 caster takes 3d10 points of damage
71-75 caster ages 1 year
76-80 caster's Str, Dex, and Con are reduced by -4 for 1 hour
81-85 caster's Int, Wis, and Cha are reduced by -4 for 1 hour
86-90 caster falls unconscious for 1 hour
91-95 spell affects the wrong target (chosen randomly from available targets)
96-00 Go to Table 2C

Table 2C: Severe Effects

Roll Effect
01-05 Go to Table 2B
06-10 caster loses all fos and cannot consume fos for 1 day
11-15 caster nauseated for 1d10 hours
16-20 caster takes 4d10 points of damage
21-25 caster falls unconscious for 1 day
26-30 caster goes into a berserker rage, attacking the nearest target for 10 rounds
31-35 caster's memory of the previous 24 hours is erased
36-40 caster ages 1d6+1 years
41-45 caster’s Str, Dex, and Con are permanently drained by -2
46-50 caster’s Int, Wis, and Cha are permanently drained by -2
51-55 caster develops an addiction to fos
56-60 caster ages 2d6 years
61-65 caster becomes desensitized to fos and now needs an extra 50% to cast
66-70 caster takes 8d10 points of damage
71-75 caster rendered mute permanently
76-80 caster deafened permanently
81-85 caster blinded permanently
86-90 caster driven insane
91-95 All caster's stats are permanently drained by -4
96-00 caster dies instantly

Table 3A: Wild Magic

Roll Result
01-02 The caster takes 1d6 points of damage.
03-04 The caster is affected by a slow spell for 5 rounds.
05-06 The caster is affected by faerie fire for 1 round.
07-08 The caster is confused for 1 round (as confusion).
09-10 The caster takes 1 point of Constitution bleed.
11-12 The caster takes 1 point of Intelligence bleed.
13-14 The caster is dazed for 1 round (as daze monster).
15-16 Every door or container within 100 feet of the caster is affected by a knock spell.
17-18 The caster takes 1d4 points of bleed damage.
19-20 The caster falls asleep for 1 minute (as sleep).
21-22 The caster can’t cast or concentrate on spells for 1 minute.
23-24 The caster is affected by reduce person for 1 minute.
25-26 The caster becomes sickened for 5 rounds.
27-28 A zone of truth appears, centered on the caster.
29-30 Heavy rain falls for 1 minute in 60-foot radius centered on the caster.
31-32 The area around the caster is filled with darkness, as per the spell.
33-38 All creatures within 30’ of the caster are healed of 1d8+1 points of damage.
39-43 All creatures within 30’ of the caster become affected by silence for 3 rounds.
44-50 All creatures within 30' of the caster become invisible for 1 round (as invisibility).
51-58 The area around the caster is filled with daylight.
59-64 A shatter spell affects a 5-foot radius around the caster.
65-71 The area around the caster is coated in grease.
72-74 The caster is affected by haste for 5 rounds.
78-78 Anyone adjacent to the caster is pushed back 5'.
79-80 Strange, shifting curtains of color, akin to an aurora borealis, manifest in the sky. Every creature in this area must make a Will save (DC 10 + caster level) or be dazed by the shifting colors for 1 round.
81-83 The caster teleports to a square of her choice within 30 feet of her current location.
84-86 The next spell targeting the caster is turned back, as spell turning.
87-90 The caster gains 2d6 temporary hit points that last 1 hour and don’t stack with any other temporary hit points.
91-92 The caster can push or pull a chosen target 10'.
93-95 The caster is affected by tongues for 10 minutes.
96-00 Roll on Table 3B

Table 3B: Even Wilder Magic

Roll Result
01-06 Creatures and objects within a radius equal to 5ft/level are drained of color for 5 minutes. All in this area must make a DC 15 Will save to avoid being shaken by this effect for the duration of the loss of color. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
07-10 A swarm of strangely colored centipedes appear in the area — these centipedes ignore those without fos in their system and attack only those who have consumed fos and not yet cast or discharged it.
11-14 Strange music fills the air for 1 minute. Possible choices include the following (roll 1d4): Battle chants, Instrumental music, Prayers, or Folksongs. The music instills in those who hear it a strong urge to sing or dance along. A creature who does so gains a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls and saving throws for the duration of the music.
15-18 A zone of unluck and a strange pale violet radiance equivalent to candlelight fills a 5 foot/level radius around the caster for 1 hour. All d20 rolls made in this area must be rolled twice, taking the lower of the two rolls.
19-22 One creature’s body and all its possessions reverse into a mirror image of themselves. The binding of any book in its possession is reversed, though the text within remains normal and legible. This effect is unusual but has no actual game effect.
23-26 A circular pit opens under the feet of a random target. The pit is 5 feet deep per caster level, but otherwise functions as create pit.
27-32 A rain of small objects (anything from flowers to rotten fruit) pelts an area with a radius equal to 5 × caster level for 10 rounds. This strange hail is not harmful, but during this time all creatures in the area gain concealment and must make concentration checks (DC 15 + the caster's level) to cast spells.
33-38 The caster is overwhelmed with the urge to speak or sing, causing all who can hear her to become enthralled (Will save DC 10 + caster level to resist). Those affected give her their undivided attention, ignoring their surroundings. They are considered to have an attitude of friendly towards the caster while the effect lasts. The effect continues for up to 1 hour, but is broken if the caster stops speaking or singing for any reason.
39-44 An area equal to a radius of caster level x 5 feet is blackened as if burned, and any flammable items within that area that are not being held or carried catch fire.
45-48 An area with a radius of caster level × 10 feet becomes utterly dark, as if from a deeper darkness spell.
49-54 The environment itself suddenly springs to life and attacks all creatures in the immediate area.
55-62 1d6 randomly selected creatures in the area become confused unless they succeed at a Will save (DC = 10 + caster level). For each affected creature, this effect persists until that creature’s confusion effect results in “act normally,” at which point the effect ends for the creature. This is a mind-affecting effect.
63-68 A storm of energy (with an equal chances of being acid, cold, electricity, or fire) sweeps through the area in a caster level × 5-foot-radius spread. Each round, the storm inflicts 2 hit points of damage per caster level; a Reflex save (DC 15) halves the damage done. The storm persists for a number of rounds equal to the caster's level.
69-74 Strange telekinetic forces rip through the area, attempting to trip all creatures in a caster level × 10 foot radius. The event makes a trip combat maneuver check against all available targets, using a CMB of 10 + caster level. Any creature tripped by the event is tripped, and has its equipment reorganized and tangled by the mischievous telekinesis. Until a creature takes a minute to reorganize its belongings, retrieving a stowed item is a full-round action.
75-78 Choose two random creatures in the area, then randomly pick one to be the “wielder” and one to be the “target.” Roll on the rod of wonder table to determine what sort of strange effect occurs between these two creatures.
79-88 A teleportation storm occurs. All creatures in the area must make a Will saving throw (DC = 10 + caster level). Those who fail are teleported, as if via dimension door, so that they randomly shift places. If this places a creature in an area too small to accept its space, it instead appears in the closest adjacent space that can contain it. If only one creature is affected, it teleports a number of feet equal to caster level × 5 in a random direction.
95-98 A magic jar-like effect affects two randomly chosen creatures in the area. A Will save (DC = 10 + caster level) negates the effect. If one creature fails this save but the other succeeds, the creature that fails the save is merely stunned for 1d4 rounds. If both creatures fail the save, their minds are switched into each other’s bodies for a number of rounds equal to the caster's level.
99-100 Roll twice, discounting results of 99–100. Both events generated by these rolls occur simultaneously.