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Chapter 2

Casting Spells

In this campaign the basic rules from the Player's Handbook are supplemented by several new books. These include Spells & Magic, Tome of Magic, and the Wizard's & Cleric's Spell Compendium series. There are many more spells available to cast than there were in the original lists. How these spells are cast varies based on the type of spell caster.

There are four classes of spellcasters: Mages, Priests, Runecaster, and Shamans. Shamans are covered in the accessory Shaman, and follow the rules given therein. Runecasters come from the lands that follow the viking way. This is a different kind of magic than the innate ability of Runecasters of the Giant Races. The two types of casters the average player will encounter most frequently are Mages and Priests.

Whenever these rules refer to Mages this includes Bards, and Witchdoctors (Mages in a primitive setting). Whenever these rules refer to Priests included are high level Paladins and Rangers, as well as shamans, who are Priests in a primitive setting. These shamans are different from the Shamans mentioned earlier. Care should be used regarding the terms Witchdoctor and Shaman. These rules use the terms slightly differently than the way they are used in other rule books. All spellcasters should be aware of the casting subtlety of the spells they choose as well as the sensory signature that they create.

Mages

Mages use Intelligence to cast their spells. The Reason sub-ability governs the maximum spell level that can be learned, and the maximum numbers of spells that can be learned at each spell level. Extremely high Reason scores also grant immunity to certain illusion/phantasm spells. The Knowledge score covers how many non-weapon slots the character gets (applicable to everyone) as well as the percentage chance to learn a new spell. See Charts 1 & 2 for the exact numbers. The number of spells a mage can memorize is based on his level, as shown on Chart 3.

These numbers are applied in a straightforward manner. When the mage encounters a new spell, he makes a roll against his chance to know spell. If the roll is lower than his chance to learn, the mage understands the spell and can add it to his spellbook (covered later in this chapter) Of course this assumes the mage has not already learned the maximum number of spells he can for that level. During play the mage must chose what spells to memorize at the beginning of the day. These spells are picked from the caster's spellbook, which must be read from to memorize the spells. Mages can only cast spells they have memorized or to use a scroll to cast the spell. They can not use their Spell Books and cast directly from them.

First the mage must be completely rested, at least eight hours of restful sleep. Battle or spellcasting in the middle of the night is considered a disturbance and ruins this rest. After this time the mage can start to memorize the spells chosen for that day. The time spent memorizing is 10 minutes (1 turn) per spell level. Once memorized the caster will not forget the spell until cast, or the caster becomes unconscious. The caster may sleep, go through magical changes, or any of a multitude of adventures and not need to re-memorize spells. However each spell may be cast only the amount of times it was memorized. If the caster wishes to he can "blow" the spell and take the time to memorize a new spell in its place. For example if a mage is 3rd level with the spells Magic Missile, Mount, Read Magic, Detect Magic, and Burning Hands (all first level spells), along with the second level Rope Trick spell in his spell book he has several options. He could memorize 2 Magic Missile spells, and Rope Trick. Or he could chose Magic Missile, Burning Hands, and Rope Trick. Any combination of 2 first level spells can be chosen. However if the only second level spell the caster knows is Rope Trick, that is the only way to fill the 2nd level spell slot. It cannot be used to take 2 first level spells. To fill all of the above slots it would take 40 minutes of memorizing time (4 turns), regardless of the combination of spells chosen.

One problem to consider when choosing what spells to memorize is the components on hand for casting. Each spell has three possible components to casting: Verbal, Somatic, and Material. The Verbal and Somatic components are contained in the memorization process, but must still be performed at the time of casting. The Material component of the spell must be on hand at the time of casting. The caster need not have the component at the time of memorization. Some material components are fragile, or perishable, and will need to be replaced on a periodic basis.

Priests

Priests differ from mages in both how their spells are cast, and how they gain their spells. Priests use the Wisdom statistic to govern how well they can cast spells. Priests with a high Intuition score gain bonus spell slots, as well as a lessened chance of spell failure. The bonus spells are cumulative as the character's intuition score increases. Priests with a high Willpower score gain a bonus against magical attacks, as well as spell immunities with very high scores. Charts 4 & 5 show the effects of Intuition & Willpower scores. Chart 6 shows the spells per level a priest can cast.

Priests cast their spells differently than a Mage does. A priest has a certain number of slots of spells they can cast each day. Unlike a Mage, a Priest does not have to choose which spells they want to cast at the beginning of the day. Instead each morning, after eight hours of rest, the Priest must spend time meditating and praying for his or her spells. This time is 10 minutes (1 turn) per spell level. This is for any "used" slots the Priest has from casting spells the previous day. As the Priest adventures during the day they may cast any spell that is on their list of available spells as desired. This "casting on the fly" follows all the other rules for spellcasting. The list of spells a Priest has to cast from will vary depending on the god worshiped, and the campaign area the Priest is from. The Priest must follow the same restrictions as a Mage in regards to material components needed for casting spells.

Special Circumstances

There are several points to keep in mind about casting during game play. The first is that spellcasting is considered a full move action, and the Mage or Priest cannot move in the same round that they cast a spell. When a caster is hit or is required to make a saving throw in the middle of casting a spell, it is considered "blown" and does not work. It still counts against the caster's total spells for the day. One way to avoid this from happening to a character is to declare "delayed casting" at their initiative phase. This allows the spell caster to delay starting the incantation of the spell until the player decides to start. This will mean the spell will go off at least one phase slower than normal. However, if the caster is hit before the spell is started the spell is still memorized and is not lost.