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Spell Information

Anatomy of a Disaster: or, How and Why Our Spells Fail UsEdit

The following is excerpted from Thomas Redwine's treatise "Practical Magick", with permission from the author. All information on Spells is given in addition to the information found in the "Spells" section in Chapter 2.

A practicing mage has no greater enemy than over-confidence: there are a thousand-and-one ways that a Spell can come to naught, even when formulated and cast with the utmost precision. And what could be more frustrating, more humiliating, more disappointing and darkly dangerous than a failed Spell? No matter whether we succeed or no, the caster still pays the full cost in Fatigue for any attempt to marshal mystical forces. Weariness is not the only possible consequence of a failed Spell, however; I have seen a fellow mage seriously injured and even killed when a Spell failed to achieve its intended effect!

What many novice sorcerers fail to understand (and many more experienced mages forget) is that one's target for any given work of enchantment may possess some unknown property of Resistance--and when met with sufficient Resistance, even the most expert incantations fail.

As a general rule, any Spell cast on a living creature is prone to meet with Resistance from either the Constitution or the Will, depending on whether one's magic is directed at the Physical or Cerebral faculties. If the target's luck holds, and the dice roll a value which is equal to or less than that of the Statistic of Resistance, your intended target will be unaffected by your Spell--no matter how perfectly the Spell was cast!

It was in the interests of health and safety for my fellow mages, especially those of tender years, that I set about compiling the following notes on the Magic of Arcanum. In the pages to come I have carefully listed every Spell which is known to me, from all the Sixteen Colleges of Magic. In each listing I have tried to give the would-be caster some notion of the Intelligence which will be required to cast the Spell, the minimum Level of Experience necessary to learn its use. When possible, I also name those Statistics of Resistance will provide the caster with the greatest obstacles to success.

At times I have indicated the Spells which are easier or more difficult to resist with a plus or minus sign; those numerical values will be applied to the offending Statistic of Resistance before any roll of the dice is made. It should be obvious that the plus symbol works in the target's favor, while the minus sign works in the caster's favor: a Spell resisted by Constitution+10 will be Resisted far more often than one which is resisted by Constitution-5!

On the Subject of All-round Magical ResistanceEdit

If the intended target of a Spell has an innate quality of Magical Resistance, the intrepid mage may find himself in a pretty pickle! This particular form of Resistance acts before any "saving throws" are made, and if successful, the mage will notice one the following four possible results, these depending on the Spell being cast:

1. If the Spell in intended to cause damage, its damage is reduced by the amount of the target's resistance

2. If the Spell has a cost in Fatigue to maintain, that cost is increased by the factor 100/(100-resistance), and cannot be maintained at all on a 100% resistant creature

3. If the Spell does not do damage, but has a "saving throw" instead, the target will enjoy a +1 bonus on the save for each 10% of resistance it possesses (e.g. +1 for resistance 1-10%, +2 for resistance 11-20%, etc. up to +10 for resistance 91-100%)

4. Otherwise, the Spell may simply fail to affect the creature at all, with the chance of this dreadful embarrassment's occurrence being equal to the target's Magic Resistance.

The mage should check for these results in the order they are given above. By way of example: a Fireflash which has been thrown at creature with a Magic Resistance of 80% will do only 20% of its normal damage, while a Shield of protection will cost more Fatigue per second to maintain on that creature. A Charm Spell is resisted by the same creature at +8 to its saving throw, while a Spell of Unseen Force has an 80% chance of failure to push the creature even slightly away from the caster.

A creature with great Resistance to Magic cannot willfully change this aspect of its being. The consequences of this Resistance can be immeasurably frustrating and even tragic, especially at those times when a mage is unable to get the full effect from a helpful Spell (Heal being the prime example!). The target of such a Spell may resist the effects of magical interference even if those effects are desperately desired and urgently necessary: a mage of my acquaintance was once forced to watch a dear friend bleed to death before his very eyes, while all the White Necromantic Spells at his command were nearly useless.

In short: the self-same quality of Magical Resistance which makes it difficult for magical enemies to harm us will make it equally difficult for friendly mages to help us.

A Spell and Its TargetEdit

If a Spell must be cast upon a specific target, the caster must indicate the appropriate target after casting the Spell. He does this by moving a target cursor to the object or tile to be affected and left-clicking (a right-click will cancel the spell). A few Spells, like Divine magic, are cast on objects in the player's inventory, thus serving as exceptions to this rule; there are also a select number of Spells which do not have any specific target whatsoever, such as Sense Hidden.

Spells and VicinityEdit

According to some of my notes, many Spells operate only in the immediate vicinity of the caster. For the player's purposes, the caster's "vicinity" is defined as the area visible in the isometric view centered on the caster; as the caster moves, this vicinity changes to include just the area visible in the isometric view.

Spell DescriptionsEdit

The following convenient chart of Spell descriptions has been divided into sixteen horizontal columns, one for each of Arcanum's famous Colleges of Magic. Each College contains five spells of progressive difficulty and power.

College First spell Second spell Third spell Fourth spell Fifth spell
Conveyance Disarm Unlocking cantrip Unseen force Spatial distortion Teleportation
Divination Sense Alignment See Contents Read Aura Sense Hidden Divine magic
Elemental (Air) Vitality of Air Poison vapours Call winds Body of Air Call Air Elemental
Elemental (Earth) Strength of Earth Stone throw Wall of Stone Body of Stone Call Earth Elemental
Elemental (Fire) Agility of Fire Wall of Fire Fireflash Body of Fire Call Fire Elemental
Elemental (Water) Purity of Water Call fog Squall of ice Body of Water Call Water Elemental
Force Shield of protection Jolt Wall of Force Bolt of lightning Disintegrate
Mental Charm Stun Stupefy Nightmare Dominate will
Meta Resist Magic Disperse magic Dweomer shield Bonds of Magic Reflection shield
Morph Hardened Hands Weaken Shrink Flesh to Stone Polymorph
Nature Charm beast Entangle Control beast Succour beast Regenerate
Necromantic (Black) Harm Conjure spirit Summon Undead Create undead Quench life
Necromantic (White) Minor healing Halt poison Major healing Sanctuary Resurrect
Phantasm Illuminate Flash Blur sight Phantasmal fiend Invisibility
Summoning Plague of insects Orcish champion Guardian ogre Hellgate Familiar
Temporal Magelock Congeal time Hasten Stasis Tempus Fugit

ConveyanceEdit

The college of Conveyance holds spells that deal with motion and transportation.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Disarm 1 Dexterity if the target fails to save against Dexterity, its weapon will be knocked out of its hands.
Unlocking cantrip 1 n/a the target is unlocked (but not opened) if your Magical Aptitude exceeds the lock's difficulty rating. Obviously, this spell is only effective on locked doors and chests. Also, unlike the Pick Locks skill, this spell is very loud and attracts the attention (and perhaps hostility) of nearby creatures.
Unseen force 5 n/a the target is pushed back several squares, directly away from the caster. If a solid object is encountered, such as a wall or tree, then the target will stop prematurely and a small amount of damage may be inflicted.
Spatial distortion 10 n/a the caster is magically transported to any empty tile of his choosing. It will not take the target through walls or closed doors.
Teleportation 15 n/a casting this spell will bring up the World Map interface and the player can click on any known location and be transported there instantly.

DivinationEdit

The college of Divination concerns itself with the gathering of knowledge through magical means.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Sense Alignment 1 n/a this spell will reveal the alignment of any creature. If the caster examines the creature while this spell is maintained, its alignment is revealed in the creature's description in the Message Window.
See Contents 1 n/a this spell shows the caster the contents of a target container.
Read Aura 5 n/a this spell will reveal the underlying attributes of the target creature.
Sense Invisible 10 n/a this spell will reveal all invisible creatures and objects in the vicinity of the caster. They will appear as translucent images. It will also impart a rank of 20 in Spot Traps to the caster.
Divine magic 15 n/a this spell will determine all of the magical properties of one item in the caster's inventory. The caster must select the item using a special cursor that appears after casting the spell.

Elemental (Air)Edit

The College of Air holds the spells that manipulate the first elemental material, that of air and wind.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Vitality of Air 1 n/a this spell raises the Constitution of the target creature.
Poison vapours 1 Constitution this spell creates a large cloud of caustic gas centered on the target tile. Any creature within the cloud must save or take damage, which can be reduced by poison resistance. If a creature remains in the cloud, he must repeat his save every few seconds or suffer repeated damage.
Call winds 5 Constitution-5 this spell creates a gust of wind, centered on the caster and blowing away from the caster in all directions. Any item that weighs less than 5 pounds will blow away from the caster. Any creature must save or be blown back several squares and take damage if striking a solid object.
Body of Air 10 n/a this spell transforms the target's body into air, making him translucent. The target's Speed is reduced to 1. The target engage in combat and is difficult to injure by normal damage while under the influence of this spell, but spells and fire can affect him, and the Call winds spell will cause severe damage.
Call Air Elemental 15 n/a this spell summons an Air Elemental, who will appear in the target tile and immediately attack the caster's enemies. The elemental will remain until killed or until the spell is canceled.

Elemental (Earth)Edit

The College of Earth holds the spells that manipulate the second elemental material, that of earth and stone.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Strength of Earth 1 n/a this spell raises the Strength of the target creature.
Stone throw 1 Constitution-5 this spell creates a stone missile that unerringly travels from the caster to the target and inflicts damage. The missile disappears after impact.
Wall of Stone 5 n/a this spell creates a block of stone in the empty tile indicated by the caster. The stone wall lasts until it is destroyed or until the spell is canceled.
Body of Stone 10 n/a this spell transforms the target's body into stone, imparting a damage resistance of 50%. The target's Speed is reduced by 5 points, but an unarmed attack by the target causes an additional 5 points of damage to his opponent.
Call Earth Elemental 15 n/a this spell summons an Earth Elemental, who will appear in the target tile and immediately attack the caster's enemies. The elemental will remain until killed or until the spell is canceled.

Elemental (Fire)Edit

The College of Fire holds the spells that manipulate the third elemental material, that of fire and heat.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Agility of Fire 1 n/a this spell raises the Dexterity of the target creature.
Wall of Fire 1 n/a this spell creates a wall of fire across the specified empty tile. Any creature passing through the wall takes fire damage. The fire wall lasts until it is destroyed or until the spell is canceled.
Fireflash 5 Constitution-5 this spell creates a ball of superheated plasma, which streaks from the caster's hand to the specified tile and explodes. Any creature in that tile or the surrounding tiles will take fire damage from the resulting explosion. A successful save will halve the inflicted damage.
Body of Fire 10 n/a this spell immolates the target creature, who gains extra fire resistance and will do extra points of fire damage with any unarmed attack. Further, any creature striking the target with an unarmed attack or a melee weapon will take a few hit points of fire damage as well.
Call Fire Elemental 15 n/a this spell summons a Fire Elemental, who will appear in the target tile and immediately attack the caster's enemies. The elemental will remain until killed or until the spell is canceled.

Elemental (Water)Edit

The College of Water holds the spells that manipulate the fourth elemental material, that of water and ice.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Purity of Water 1 n/a this spell raises the Beauty of the target creature.
Call fog 1 n/a this spell creates a billowing mist, centered on the target tile. Vision is reduced to zero within the mist, and no line of sight is possible through it.
Squall of ice 5 Constitution-5 this spell creates a storm of ice and sleet centered on the target tile. Any creature within the storm must save or take damage. If a creature remains in the storm, he must repeat his save every few seconds or suffer repeated damage.
Body of Water 10 n/a this spell liquefies the target creature, making him translucent. The target's Speed is reduced by 5. The target cannot start combat and is difficult to injure by normal damage while under the influence of this spell, but spells and fire can affect him.
Call Water Elemental 15 n/a this spell summons a Water Elemental, who will appear in the target tile and immediately attack the caster's enemies. The elemental will remain until killed or until the spell is canceled.

ForceEdit

The College of Force contains spells that manipulate and direct pure energy.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Shield of protection 1 n/a this spell creates a deflective energy screen about the target, increasing its Armor Class and damage, fire and electrical resistances . Cumulative applications of this spell have no effect.
Jolt 1 Constitution-10 when this spell is thrown, a surge of electricity will flow from the caster into all adjacent creatures, causing electrical damage. A successful save will halve this damage.
Wall of Force 5 n/a this spell creates a shimmering wall of force in the specified empty square. This wall is impassable unless dispelled or disintegrated.
Bolt of lightning 10 Constitution-5 this spell creates a bolt of lightning from the caster to the specified tile or target. Any creature struck by the bolt will be subjected to electrical damage, or half that damage if a saving throw is successful.
Disintegrate 15 Constitution-5 this spell eliminates the binding force between atoms, reducing the target to its constituent particles and dispersing them. If the target is a creature, a successful saving throw will avoid this fate. Otherwise, the creature and its inventory are utterly destroyed, and resurrection is not possible.

MentalEdit

The Mental College contains spells that influence and control the minds of their targets. Obviously, these spells have no effect on creatures that are mindless, such as zombies and other undead.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Charm 1 Willpower-5 this spell increases the target's reaction to the caster. When the spell wears off in a few minutes, the target will have a reduced reaction towards the caster. This spell has no effect in combat or on player characters.
Stun 1 Willpower-5 this spell will stun the target for a few seconds, if a save is not made. During this time, the target is dazed and cannot move or attack.
Drain Will 5 Willpower-5 this spell will cause the target creature's willpower to drop by half while the spell is maintained, if a saving throw is not made.
Nightmare 10 Willpower-5 this spell causes all creatures within the vicinity of the caster to save or flee in terror. These fleeing creatures will move as far from the caster as possible.
Dominate will 15 Willpower-5 this spell places the mind of the target under the control of the caster, unless a saving throw is made. The creature will follow the caster as long as the spell is maintained (regardless of the caster's Charisma), and in combat, it will attack the caster's enemies. While the spell is maintained, the creature will also act as if Charmed by the caster, with the same negative reaction effect when the spell is removed. This spells costs more fatigue for higher level creatures, and it has no effect on player characters.

MetaEdit

The Meta College contains spells that affect other spells.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Resist Magic 1 n/a this spell increases the target's magic resistance
Disperse magic 1 n/a this spell cancels existing spell effects on the target. If the target is a creature or magically treated object (such as a door with Magelock on it), all spells being maintained on the target are canceled. If the target is a magically created object, such as a Wall of Fire or a summoned Ogre, it is destroyed.
Dweomer shield 5 n/a this spell prevents magic from operating on the target. It automatically cancels any existing spells on the target, as per a Disperse magic.
Bonds of Magic 10 n/a this spell prevents the target from casting any spells. In addition, magic item spells will not function for the target while this spell is maintained.
Reflection shield 15 n/a this spell creates a protective field and any spell is completely reflected back to the caster, exactly as if the target had thrown the spell on the caster. The act of reflecting a spell causes the shield to drain more fatigue.

MorphEdit

The Morph College contains spells that change the substance of the target.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Hardened Hands 1 n/a this spell makes the hands of the target creature do more damage.
Weaken 1 Constitution-5 this spell weakens the substance of the target, reducing its damage resistance for the duration of the spell, and lowering its Strength. If the target is a creature, a successful save will negate the spell.
Shrink 5 Constitution-5 this spell reduces a creature to half its size. While shrunk, it moves half as fast and does only half damage with any physical attack, and has a lowered Strength. This spell has no effect on inanimate objects.
Flesh to Stone 10 Constitution-5 this spell converts flesh to stone. When cast on a creature, it will turn that creature to stone unless a successful save is made. A petrified creature gains a 95% resistance to damage, fire and electricity, but cannot move, attack, talk or do anything else until the spell is canceled.
Polymorph 15 Constitution-5 this spell transforms the target creature into a small innocuous creature, such as a bunny rabbit or a sheep, for as long as the spell is maintained. The creature can move normally and retains its original stats, but it cannot talk, attack, or throw spells. This spell has no effect on inanimate objects.

NatureEdit

The College of Nature contains spells that control plants, animals, and natural forces.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Charm beast 1 Willpower-5 this spell is similar to Charm, except it can only affect animals. Every animal in the vicinity will gain a Good reaction to the player. If in combat, the target animal will cease to attack the caster, although subsequent hostile actions may precipitate a new attack
Entangle 1 n/a this spell imbues a patch of vegetation with motion; the target creature is then incapable of walking, and is slowed down (Speed at -10) as the plants attempt to grasp and hold them.
Control beast 5 Willpower-5 this spell is similar to Dominate will, as this spell places the mind of the animal under the control of the caster, unless a saving throw is made. The creature will follow the caster (regardless of the maximum followers allowed by the caster's Charisma), and in combat, it will attack the caster's enemies.
Succour beast 10 n/a this spell summons an animal, which will appear in the target tile and immediately attack the caster's enemies. The animal will remain until killed or until the spell is canceled.
Regenerate 15 n/a this spell causes all party members to heal faster for as long as it is maintained.

Necromantic (Black)Edit

The Evil Necromantic College contains spells that negatively affect the life force of a creature.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Harm 1 n/a this spell causes damage to a targeted creature.
Conjure spirit 1 n/a this spell allows the caster to speak with the spirit of the target corpse upon which it is cast. If cast upon a dead NPC, the caster can often learn secrets which would not be otherwise revealed.
Summon undead 5 n/a this spell summons an Undead creature that will attack all nearby creatures (including the caster)
Create undead 10 n/a this spell animates the target corpse, which will follow the caster (regardless of the maximum followers allowed by the caster's Charisma), and in combat, it will attack the caster's enemies.
Quench life 15 Constitution-5 this spell does a large amount of damage to the target creature, unless it successfully saves. This spell has no effect upon undead.

Necromantic (White)Edit

The Good Necromantic College contains spells that positively affect the life force of a creature.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Minor healing 1 n/a this spell heals a small amount of damage on the target.
Halt poison 1 n/a this spell reduces the Poison Factor of the target
Major healing 5 n/a this spell heals a great deal of damage on the target.
Sanctuary 10 n/a this spell protects the caster from Undead, causing them not to attack.
Resurrect 15 n/a this spell returns the target creature to life, with full hit points and a poison level of zero.

PhantasmEdit

The College of Phantasm contains spells that concern the control of light and illusion.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect

The College of Phantasm contains spells that concern the control of light and illusion.

Illuminate 1 n/a this spell raises the light level in an area surrounding the target creature. If cast on a creature, the area will move with the creature.
Flash 1 n/a this spell temporarily blinds a target creature.
Blur sight 5 n/a this spell increases the armor class of the caster
Phantasmal fiend 10 Willpower-5 this spell creates the illusion of a formidable monster. If a creature fails its save, it will believe the illusion and attack the monster in favor of the caster. The illusionary monster lasts until killed or dispelled.
Invisibility 15 n/a the target becomes invisible. He cannot be seen by any other creature unless he attacks, when he is seen briefly as a translucent image and may be targeted for attack.

SummoningEdit

The College of Summoning contains spells that concern the summoning of creatures of progressive power.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Plague of insects 1 n/a this spell summons a swarm of insects, which surrounds the target creature. They cause no damage, but they effectively halve the Speed of the creature as it swats and slaps at the bugs.
Orcish champion 1 n/a this spell summons an orc into the specified empty square. This creature will fight the caster's enemies until killed or dispelled.
Guardian ogre 5 n/a this spell summons an ogre into the specified empty square. This creature will fight the caster's enemies until killed or dispelled.
Hellgate 10 n/a this spell summons a demon into the specified empty square. This creature will fight the caster's enemies until killed or dispelled. However, there are rumors that sometimes the demon fails to go away when unsummoned!
Familiar 15 n/a this spell summons a familiar to join the caster. This creature will remain until killed.

TemporalEdit

The Temporal College concerns spells that control the flow of time.

Name Min. Lvl. Resisted by Effect
Magelock 1 n/a this spell effectively locks any portal. The door cannot be lockpicked, although the door can be destroyed to allow passage.
Congeal time 1 Willpower-5 this spell halves the Speed of all creatures in the vicinity of the caster who fail their saving throw.
Hasten 5 n/a this spell doubles the target creature's Speed.
Stasis 10 Willpower-10 this spell paralyzes the target creature, unless it makes its saving throw. The affected creature cannot move, attack, talk, or perform any other action.
Tempus Fugit 15 n/a this powerful spell speeds the caster and his entire group, granting a +10 to Speed, while slowing down every other creature in the world, with a –10 to their Speed. Note that only one Tempus Fugit can ever be active at the same time in the world. Any secondary casting, by any caster, automatically dispels the first spell. Also note that to dispel the spell directly, Disperse Magic must be cast on the caster himself.

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