Arcane Magic

There are nine schools of Arcane Magic. Each one counts as a skill in the Fate Core sense. Here’s what they are and what they can do. The stunt for your character is at the bottom

School Overcome Create an Advantage Attack Defend
Abjuration X X - X
Alteration X X - -
Conjuration X X - -
Divination X X - -
Enchantment X X X -
Evocation X X X X
Illusion X X - -
Nature X X X X
Necromancy X X X -

theme-protection from threats
trappings-protection, concealment from divination, countermagic, alarms, seal
rituals-make a large area impervious to scrying, set up a standing anti-magic field, seal off an entire building, establish large shield bubble

Overcome: obstacles that involve remaining undetected wrt magic can be overcome using abjuration. Keeping your soul-stealing scepter undetectable while in you meet with the Council of Elders, sealing your door with magic to keep it safe while you’re out and about, and stopping a wannabe wizard from hurting you with his uncontrolled fire blast would call for an abjuration roll.

Create an Advantage: advantages related to abjuration are speak to magic that prevents other magic from getting to the target. You might roll abjuration to ward your friend from the rays of necrosis from a necromancer so that his defense roll of physique will benefit from the fact that not all of the magic was able to reach him.

Attack: abjuration is inherently defensive magic, so it can’t be used to attack

Defend: you can defend yourself or others from any sort of magic with abjuration. It cannot be used to defend against attacks made with fight or shoot, not without a stunt or invoke for effect.

Force Field (Special): when you take a full defense action, all allies within your zone benefit

theme-change physical reality
trappings-alter object/person, manipulate passage of time, enchant object
rituals-effect a lasting change to someone’s appearance, create complex objects, extreme slowing or quickening of time (in an area), high-level enchanting

Overcome: alteration helps you to overcome obstacles by changing their composition, changing the flow of time, or imbuing an object with a useful property. Roll alteration to change an inconvenient wooden door into paper, to slow time so you can read a chapter of a book in a matter of seconds (to outsiders), and to make a lump of clay “remember” the face of a kidnapper so you point him out to the guards.

Create an Advantage: advantages from alteration are about useful changes to universe. Making your skin harder than dragonscale, making the bandits move slower so you can avoid them easier, and charging your sword with magical energy would all call for an alteration roll.

Attack: alteration is restricted to inanimate objects, so it can’t be used to directly harm a target.

Defend: alteration does not actively block an incoming arrow or warhammer, so it cannot be used as a defense.

Winds of Change (Special): any time you create an advantage with alteration it has a free invoke for effect.

theme-bring things from one place to another
trappings-dimensional backpack, summon object (includes self and others), create minor objects
rituals-create demiplane, summon powerful outsiders, teleport on the order of tens of miles

Overcome: conjuration can overcome obstacles by circumventing them. Teleporting to the other side of the iron bars, hiding the 40 pound gold statue you just stole, and creating bread and water for hungry refugees all call for conjuration rolls.

Create an Advantage: combat advantages from conjuration come from you/your target being able to move from its place in a moments notice. Outside of combat it’s about having “just the thing” to help you with your greater goal. Lubricating a negotiation with wine, making yourself blink between two locations to better avoid incoming arrows, and teleporting a burning candle onto the cloth drapes to make a distraction are examples of conjuration advantages.

Attack: conjuration cannot be used against unwilling targets, but sometimes you can create or move hazardous objects near enemies, though that is best done as an advantage.

Defend: teleporting with conjuration takes time and focus, things that are difficult to come by when someone is swinging a weapon or aiming a spell at you.

From Thin Air (Special): any time you create an advantage with conjuration it has a free invoke for effect.

theme-acquiring knowledge
trappings-augury, locate person/object, detect magic, luck
rituals-prophesy, locate person/object over vast area, long-lasting clairvoyance/audience
on an area

Overcome: Divination can be used to overcome obstacles that revolve around a lack of information. Seeing if a door is warded by magic, finding where the princess is being held hostage, and looking into the future of a decisive council meeting all call for divination rolls. The caveat of divination magic is that the more material you can get that is associated to the object of your query, the more specific the question you can answer. For instance, asking “where is Letheirax?” might yield the answer “in the steel district”, but asking it while holding his dagger (that you took from his room) might yield the answer “on the second floor of the Boys, north tower”.

Create an Advantage: Creating an advantage with divination requires that you go through most of the same stuff as overcome actions, except that you can tag the knowledge you have about the council meeting to enter at a dramatic time and tag it when make your rapport roll to convince them not to go to war. Most of the time you use divination to create an advantage, your following action makes you seem like the all-knowing type of wizard.

Attack: While knowledge can be very dangerous, it’s inert without other actions, so you can’t make attacks using divination.

Defend: Divination might tell you when the ogre will swing his club, but you still have to jump out of the way with athletics. Divination cannot be used as a defense.

Guidance (Special): Once per scene you can use divination instead of lore, empathy, or investigation.

theme-accessing the minds of others
trappings-charm, break mind, speak into mind, encourage/discourage
rituals-bind a person to your will, get someone to divulge their deepest secrets, long-lasting telepathic link

Overcome: obstacles that have to do with swaying the minds of others can usually be overcome with enchantment. You can charm a guard into letting you into a restricted area, make a group of bandits decide that they should go back home instead of robbing you, and forcing the orc lieutenant to spill the beans on a raid that his lord is planning all call for enchantments.

Create an Advantage: advantages from enchantment are about bending the minds of others to your will. Making the Boss of Taalar think of you as a friend will make him more receptive when you ask him about the gangs that he allows in his city, and making the Auroran warriors terrified of you so that they run straight into the axe of your burly friend are both examples of how you can use enchantment to set up other actions.

Attack: Enchantment can be used to attack a target’s psyche. This can be used in your typical interrogation scene to wear down the target’s mind.

Defend: enchantment is an offensive ability, and cannot be used to protect yourself from attacks on your mind. For that, you need will.

Mind Break (Special): once a session, when you deal a composure consequence using enchantment, you may step it up by one level

theme-manipulate the elements (choose one from fire/light, cold/darkness, water, earth, lightning, and wind/force)
trappings-manipulate element, create/project element, “resist” element
rituals-create a elemental storm, make something “element-proofed”

Overcome: evocation can be used to overcome physical obstacles like putting out a fire with a torrent of water, carving through a blocked underground passage by moving the earth, and grabbing the golden idol from its stand without triggering the traps by projecting force.

Create an Advantage: Since evocation deals with physical hazards, making advantages with it revolve around the placement of these hazards. You might set the haystack next to the bandit on fire so that he leaps backwards into your friend’s sword, fill an area with blackness so that you can sneak past the palace guards, or shock the guards in chainmail so that they are stunned when you run past them.

Attack: Evocation can be used to cause physical stress in a manner consistent with the element you choose. Fire burns, cold numbs, water drowns, earth smothers, lightning shocks, and wind flings.

Defend: You can use your evocation skill to counter the effects of physical hazards and evocation rolls of the same school (you can fight fire with fire).

Overwhelm (Special): You can always choose to reduce the value of your hit by 1 in order to create a boost. If this reduces the hit to zero, you gain an additional boost as if you had tied.

theme-create things that aren’t there
trappings-alter appearance, create illusory object, ghost sound
rituals-create a very complex or interactive illusion, effect a lasting change to someone’s

Overcome: Illusion can be used to overcome obstacles via misdirection. Creating the sound of a barking dog to annoy the guard away from his post, making yourself look like a no-name instead of the man on the wanted poster, and faking the seal of The Dread King so that you are allowed into the Orc Lord’s hall without question all call for illusion rolls.

Create an Advantage: Illusions can be used in any number of ways to give yourself an edge. You might create a horde of Republic soldiers to distract the Combine as your apprentice fires lightning into their ranks, or make a scroll appear as to be a dagger so that when you accuse the Lieutenant of being a backstabbing scumbag the “proof” is in his hand.

Attack: Illusion can be confounding, but not enough so to deal composure or physical stress.

Defend: Illusions can only help you defend yourself by, say, creating duplicates, but it cannot be used to directly oppose attacks without a stunt or an invoke for effect.

Versatile Trickery (Special): When you choose the illusion skill, choose stealth or deceive. Illusion can be used in place of the skill you pick.

theme-control the powers of life and nature
trappings-heal, invigorate, slow disease/poison/curse, communicate with plant/animal, control
rituals-resurrection, free a person from a serious enchantment, create a network of animals or
plants with which to communicate, large-scale plant growth

Overcome: obstacles that have to do with health, plant life, or nature can be overcome using nature. Beginning the healing process on a severed limb, feeding the party by making an apple tree bear fruit in the winter, and communing with a hawk to learn what it has seen while flying over the countryside all call for nature rolls. Nature can be used to heal physical stress in a conflict. A stress box can be cleared if the nature roll meets or exceeds twice the number of the stress box (Clearing the second stress box requires a nature roll of great or better). Only one stress box can be cleared at a time.

Create an Advantage: nature can be used to gain the upper hand by enhancing life energy or by turning nature against your enemies. Making yourself overflow with life energy to repel a blast of necrotic energy or causing roots to grow uncontrollably and hamper the oncoming orcs are examples of advantages from nature magic.

Attack: only undead can be harmed by nature magic.

Defend: Nature can be used to defend against necromancy, since they are diametrically opposed.

Natural Fortitude (Special): you can take an additional minor physical consequence

theme-control the powers of entropy and death
trappings-necrosis, control undead, curse, communicate with spirits
rituals-large-scale death of nature, raising or creating powerful undead, place a long-
lasting curse, communicate with the spirit of a long-dead person

Overcome: Necromancy can be used to overcome obstacles that involve the dead or decaying. Making a path through the dense brush by withering the plants in front of you, communicating with the spirit of the recently deceased guard, or commanding the group of frenzied zombies to stop in their tracks call for necromancy rolls.

Create an Advantage: Getting an advantage from necromancy comes from bringing death or entropic forces to your enemies. Cursing an auroran chief with weakness so that he can’t handle the weight of his heavy armor so that he becomes a slow-moving target, or rotting a wound that your enemy has suffered to make him vulnerable again are examples of how you can use necromancy to create an advantage.

Attack: Necromancy can be used to attack the bodies of living creatures with bodies of flesh

Defend: Necromancy cannot be used to defend against harmful actions, as it’s main function is to cause harm.

Death’s Door (Special): Once a session, when you deal a physical consequence using necromancy, you may step it up by one level

In order to play a character that has arcane magic, you must have an aspect reflecting your training and the following stunt:

Arcane Magic (1 refresh): gain access to a magic skill. You also require a focus to use your magic effectively. Without it, you are subject to compels that cause your spells to fizzle, choose targets of their own, and generally not behave how you want them to. Every time you “cast” (roll your magic skill), it’s skill level is treated as one lower. So the first time you use your great conjuration, it is rolled at great, the next will be rolled at an effective rating of good, then fair, and so on. Your skill can be brought back up to it’s normal level by taking an action to regenerate mana, which is a difficulty 2 will overcome. Since it’s an overcome roll, you can choose to succeed at a cost, which would manifest as you failing to contain your magical strength and injuring yourself. Alternatively, you can pay a fate point at the beginning of your turn to count as fully regenerated, allowing you to resume casting immediately.

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Arcane Magic

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