Magic had long been absent from the world. The stories of it turned to legend. People moved on, living life as comfortably as they could in the mundane world around them.
Then something happened. Magic began to return. People found they had power. And with power also came fear. Each land in Atheles has reacted differently to the return. In the Westlands it is feared, but not outwardly punished in many places. In the Eastlands, the use of magic is punishable by death. In the Northlands it is viewed as curious and a great advancement for the world, but still feared by many. In the Southlands it is controlled and used solely by the Wizard’s Guild.
The History of Magic
“The history of magic has been greatly disputed throughout the human ages. Since I cannot speak of the experiences of the elves or elflings, the dwarves or the gods, I can only attest to my own studies of magic in the human realms. Our records show that the Druid Council was formed over 2000 years ago. It existed before that as small groups, but we formed our first Grove deep inside the Mysthorn forest. Other groups formed later. The Wizards of Ish formed when that empire rose to power around a thousand years after the Druid Council formed. The Mages of the West formed in 4699 CE. Before the Mages of the West, many of those gifted would spend their days locked away in small cottages on the edges of the wilderness experimenting and testing their powers.
Then there was Uthgard and the Necromancers. Olaekin Baleband, popularly known as the Warlock King, was obsessed with extending his own life. He brought his kingdom to power and his people prospered, but he used that power to subjugate those who opposed him. He gathered some of the best minds and most gifted magic wields under his care. He believed that the greatest weakness of the powerful was death. His Necromancers found ways to extend his life ten times longer than a normal human’s lifespan. During his war against the Aradan Kingdom, his top Necromancers formed the Nulthari, who were the ones who used unspeakable magics to destroy the Eastlands.
And then the War stopped. Magic disappeared in a flicker. Those races most in touch with the power also disappeared. Many theories have tried to explain the Disappearance, but none have proven completely true. The old groups fell apart. The Druid Council fell from grace as people began to mistrust those who once used magic. The Council fell apart and most of our knowledge lost over the centuries. The Mages disbanded when Eredar was destroyed during the Great War, and only reformed a mere 80 years ago.
“The old lands of the Aradan Kingdom to the east are uninhabitable wasteland. A twisted land that stretches around the old northern Kingdom of Uthgard to the deep south. Magic has been abused throughout our history, and I am here to make sure it does not happen again.”
Grand Lord Archeon Techaan, sitting upon the Warden’s Throne in the Tower of the Guardian.
Magic System (SagaBorn RPG)
“Magic has the Foci; Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Spirit, and the sources; the Self, the World, and the Navirim. Magic is not an external force, it is a link between all these things. We are all connected, and magic binds us. It has no morals, no agenda, it is just the link. What we do with the link defines us as a being.”
Under the Sagaborn rules, mages are able to cast spells due to mana. Mana is a mix between personal energy, energy from the environment around the caster, and energy from the Navirim – the Dream World. They have a limited amount of mana per day, although by ravaging or focusing a mage may be able to cast more spells than their mana pool normally allows.
After 8 hours of rest, a spellcaster gains a base mana pool to pull from in order to cast spells. This mana is based on two factors: (1) the character’s caster level and (2) their primary spellcasting ability score.
The following table indicates the base mana gained each day (after 8 hours of rest) based on the caster’s level.
|Caster Level||Wylder, Luminar Mana per Day||Bard Mana per Day|
Spellcasters can also receive bonus mana if their primary Spellcasting Ability Score (i.e. Intelligence, Wisdom. or Charisma) is high enough. At first level, a player chooses their spellcaster’s primary ability, which all their bonuses are based upon. They cannot alter this choice, unless they change a spellcasting class, such as changing from wylder to luminar, or wylder to fighter.
Most spellcasters in Atheles use Intelligence as their primary spellcasting ability; however, the Game Master should feel free to allow the use of Wisdom or Charisma for the primary spellcasting ability if it makes for a better story or character development.
To determine your mana bonus, simply consult Table 2 and find the intersection of the row for your primary spellcasting ability score and the column for the maximum spell level your character is capable of casting.
|Spellcasting Base Ability Score||Level of Spellcaster|
For example, a 5th level luminar with an Intelligence of 17 would gain 9 extra mana points per day to add to her base mana of 16, for a total of 25 mana per day (assuming her base ability is Intelligence).
A spellcaster can cast any spell that they know. They do not have to memorize or pray to gain access to the spell. If the spell is on their known spells list, they are allowed to cast it, as long as they have the mana to do so.
Learning New Spells
Since magic has been gone for so long, much of the knowledge and lore of spellcasting has been lost as well. While being part of a magic group such as the Otari gives a better chance of expanding your spell knowledge, most spells are learned from ancient scrolls, or directly from other casters. One of the most common ways to learn is through Spell Sight, which is detailed later in this section. If a spellcaster receives spells at level-up, their mana cost cannot be higher than the spellcaster’s level. A spellcaster can learn spells higher than their level through Spell Sight.
Spell Sight: A mage can use Spell Sight to learn a spell that he witnesses being cast from memory, but not a spell cast from a scroll or device. To successfully memorize a new spell, a mage must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the spell’s mana cost) immediately when he sees a spell being cast. If his Sight is successful, the spell can be recorded in the luminar’s spellbook, or take a part of the wylder’s Spell Memory. If a wylder already knows the max amount of spells, they must forget one in order to memorize the new one.
Mana is the source of a spellcaster’s essence. As their mana is consumed, it puts a strain on a spellcaster’s mind and body. Even though this may not manifest as actual damage or a condition affecting your character, try to think about this when roleplaying your character to add a layer of story to your gaming session.
Each spell has a specific minimum or Basic Mana Cost. Spells are cast at their basic mana cost but can be modified by adding more mana. A mage can add two (2) mana to any spell to add another die to the spell’s dice pool.
Example: Caedric casts Heal, which at its basic mana cost of one mana point, heals 1d8+1. If Caedric spends two additional mana points in the spellcasting, the spell does 2d8+1. He can do this until he is out of mana. The same rule applies for casting spells that have a dice pool for damage. For every two additional mana points spent, the mage adds an additional die to the damage roll.
If there is a savings versus a spell, the player is rolling against the spell DC. Spell DC is based on the spell’s mana cost.
|Spell Mana Cost||Save DC|
Armor and Magic
A mage can cast any spell in armor, unless the armor consists of steel or iron. Iron and steel negate the drawing of magical energy, and can harm the spellcaster if the metals and spellcasting are combined.
Once a spellcaster has exhausted all her mana for the day, she must typically rest for 8 hours to regain it. However, if the need is desperate, a mage can attempt to pull energy for their spells from themselves or the world around them to continue casting, despite their lack of mana.
There are two different ways of regaining mana after it has been spent. Resting and meditating are the best and safest ways to regain mana, but sometimes spellcasters find themselves in a situation where they need enough mana for one last spell. If this is the case, then a spellcaster can either focus or ravage to gain more mana. These are not common or safe ways to regain mana and they have consequences, either to the caster or those around them.
Focusing – Wardens
If a spellcaster wants to pull energy directly from herself, she must Focus on her own life essence. Focusing requires concentrated effort to ensure that the spellcasters only uses energy from within themself, and do not accidentally draw the life force from any creatures or plantlife nearby. This philosophy is called warding, and in ancient texts some identified themselves as Wardens of the Lands.
Converting life energy in this manner is extremely dangerous and draining, and can cause great harm to the spellcaster. When casting a spell without sufficient mana, a spellcaster must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell cost). If he fails this check, he takes Mental Fatigue damage equal to the spell’s mana cost. If he succeeds, he only takes half damage rounded down.
Roll a Spellcraft Check: Focusing DC = 15 + spell’s mana cost
Ravaging is a dark and violent act, even when a caster does it out of desperation, or by accident. If a mage is about to die, but must use magic to save his companions, he must make a tough decision to turn to such a desperate act. Other times a mage might make a careless mistake. If a warden mage rolls a natural one (fumble) on his Focus check and has a Spellcraft skill less than 10, he will accidentally ravage his surroundings, despite his best intentions. However, once a Warden has trained thoroughly and has a skill of at least 10 in Spellcraft (skill plus ability modifier), he needn’t worry about this happening by accident.
When a Warden accidentally ravages, all creatures within a radius equal to 10’ times the spell’s mana cost take one hit point of damage. However, if the same warden tries to Focus again on the same day, before recovering their mana and fatigue, and they accidentally ravage again, all living creatures within a 10’ radius of the caster will take physical damage equal to the spell’s mana cost.
Mental Fatigue damage can be treated similar to non-lethal damage. It is not deducted from your current hit points, but a running total is kept. If, at any point, your Mental Fatigue exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious. Also, as long as a character has at least one point of Mental Fatigue, he is considered fatigued.
Mental Fatigue is also unique to other forms of damage; it cannot be healed using the Heal spell. It only regenerates with time. After a full 8 hours of rest, all Mental Fatigue is removed and all mana is recovered.
Ravaging – Ravagers
Ravaging is a way to gain mana for those who do not concern themselves with where the energy comes from… as long as it is not from themselves. Once they exhaust their mana points, they can attempt to continue casting spells by drawing on the life force of all living things around them.
Ravagers have no need to concentrate on where the energy originates from, and no concern for what is harmed by their evil acts. When casting spells in this manner, all living creatures within a specific radius of the spellcaster take physical damage. At the Ravager’s discretion, one of the following occurs:
(1) All living creatures within a 10’ radius take damage equal to the spell’s mana cost, or
(2) All creatures within a radius equal to 10’ times the spell’s mana cost take 1 hp of damage.
A ravager’s act is instantly recognizable. Anyone within the circle feels their life essence drain from them, usually accompanied by a headache and chills. But even those outside of the affected radius are instantly aware. Small plants, such as grass and weeds, shrivel and turn black. Nearby surfaces of inhabited waters become speckled with small dead fish. Insects become desiccated instantly, like a cicada’s molted skin.
As Ravagers continue to perform these heinous acts, many experience physical changes to their appearance. The effects are subtle at first; dark bags under the eyes, a lingering cough, dry or chapped lips, etc.; but they become more noticeable over time, displaying sunken or discolored eyes, sickly complexion, and dark veins running under their skin, etc. Some scholars claim that tales of hideous twisted crones with greenish skin, long hooked noses, and warts were the result of ravagers who overused their powers. If you choose to play a Ravager, be creative with the effects of the magic, to make the character your own.
Ravage Points (optional)
Every time a spellcaster Ravages, on purpose or by accident, her appearance can change as well as how others perceive her. As you gain Ravage Points, you become corrupted and your appearance shows it. An adventurer can rid herself of Ravage Points by doing things that the Game Master deems as redemptive.
|Ravage Points||Suggested Corruptions|
|1-2||No appearance change.|
|3-4||Warts on face or nose, bags under eyes.|
|5-6||Dark shadows around eyes, bluish lips.|
|7-8||Pale skin, slight showing of veins.|
|9-10||Hair becomes stringy or turns grey or white, gain cough.|
|11-12||Eyes become pale or bloodshot, fingernails elongate.|
|13-14||Eyes sink, skin becomes pale and sickly, with a yellow, green or bluish tint.|
|15-16||Loss of weight, people feel uncomfortable around you.|
|17-18||Teeth become stained or rotten and some may fall out, body stench.|
|19||Stooped posture, pale skin becomes wrinkled or glossy.|
|20||Eyes become all white. Cannot hide the aura of evil around you.|
|21-30||Hair falls out, skin pulled tight over bones, lose 1 CON.|
|31+||For every ten Ravage points after 30 you permanently lose 1 CON.|