Magic

In addition to the 12 common skills all characters have access to, another 4 skills may be accessed by some characters. These skills represent the 4 magics present throughout the land.
The 4 magic skills work mostly the same as the other skills: they can gain both training and mastery. They are subsequently used as the active skill in various checks, and are defined with several basic actions ready to use.

Types of Magic

There are 4 types of magic in the kingdoms. They are:
  • Revel - magic native to Xan'rius; it is passionate and pure, and focuses on charms and damage
  • Mirror - magic native to Sh'than; it is calculating and precise, and focuses on traveling, spying, deception, and obfuscation
  • Fae - magic native to Fae'rela; it is wild and alluring, and focuses curses and harm
  • Dawn - magic native to Zh'vael; it is complex and challenging, and focuses on manipulation of time and reality

Affinity

The primary difference between these skills and the 12 common ones, however, is affinity.
Each character has an affinity attribute for each of the four magic types; by default, these values are 0. During character creation, player characters may gain some starting affinity; the Bestiary templates will also suggest affinities for various species.
A character cannot use a magic skill without at least 1 affinity in that skill. The skill is entirely cut off; no checks may be attempted, and anything that would use that skill from that character automatically fails. Once a character has at least 1 affinity for the associated magic type, that character may use that skill as normal.
In addition to enabling the use of a magic skill, affinity serves a second purpose: augmentation of actions. Many magic actions offer a scaling effect based on the user's affinity. For example:
RevelfireRevel Action • heart, dire
Make a Revel vs DV10+Fortitude check against a far target; if successful, the target suffers d4 magic damage for each revel affinity you have.

Hearts

Each magic skill has four basic hearts, and many more are found throughout the various tales - a heart is a magic action. It can be used exactly like any other action found in any normal skill, however, magic is fluid, and can be shaped to match its user. Custom magic actions can be composed by a character to suit their needs, each composition, however, must use one of the hearts.

Charms and Curses

Many hearts have an additional type - charm or curse. These types are referenced by other effects in the game; notably, when weaving machines, some machines require the woven heart to be a charm or curse (baubles and bindings, respectively). Charms and curses work the same as any other heart, but share a few common features:
  1. These hearts affect characters for a limited duration, as specified in the effect
  2. Charms are helpful, and are not resisted by the target, while curses are harmful, and are resisted by the target
  3. A target cannot benefit from, or suffer from, multiple of the same charm or curse heart at the same time

Attractions

To assist in overcoming the resistance of the target of a curse, an attraction may be used. When making the check, you may use an attraction if available:
  1. True name - if the target's true name is known to you, reduce the DV of the check by 1
  2. True desire - if the target's true desire is known to you, reduce the DV of the check by 2
  3. Vial of blood - if you have a vial of the target's blood (or a lock of hair, or similar), it can be consumed to automatically pass the check
All curses can benefit from the use of an attraction, if available.

Compositions

A composition is a custom spell created by a character ad hoc; when a character takes an action that is a heart, they may use the action as is, or they can create a composition which will modify the effects. Characters are free to do this each time they use the heart; compositions are not recorded or limited in any way. A composition consists of two parts:
  1. A heart - one of the hearts (actions) found in a magic skill or tale available to the character
  2. A number of hexemes - hexemes are modifications to a heart, affecting various elements of its functionality, including its core effects
To compose a spell, when taking an action based on a heart:
  1. Select a heart available to you
  2. Select a number of hexemes available to you - you can select no more than your affinity for the heart's magic skill. Each hexeme you select must be unlocked; you can select the same hexeme multiple times, but no more than the number of unlocks you have for that hexeme. Some hexemes found in tales will specify that they apply to a certain heart only - beware of this restriction.
  3. Apply the changes to the heart's effect from the hexemes you assigned, to render the final effect of the action
  4. Take the action as normal (roll for any checks, select targets, etc.)

Hexemes

Hexemes are modifications used when composing a new spell based on a heart. In order to select a hexeme, the character must have unlocked it. Hexemes are available for unlock in two ways: first, a generic list available to all characters is found below; second, specific hexemes are available as talents to be unlocked in various tales. Each hexeme can be unlocked a number of times as specified (and at the cost indicated) - each unlock allows a single composition to have up to that many of the hexeme included (subject to other limitations).
Hexeme Unlock 1 Unlock 2 Unlock 3 Effect
Sha 3 6 12 +1 damage
Mux 4 8 -- +1 target
Sil 10 -- -- gains fast keyword
Xan 2 4 6 -1 DV
Cro 2 4 6 +1 time (unit)
Fel 3 -- -- +1 range (level)
Gar 4 8 12 +1 size (level)
Aff 8 8 20 +1 affinity (when casting)

Machines

In addition to the four hearts found in each magic skill, each skill also has an action that allows for the construction of one type of machine. Machines are magical items imbued with a spell and bound with a thread. Each magic skill allows for the construction of different types of machines - the complete rules for machine construction are found in the Machines section.
  • Revel - construction of baubles, which encapsulate a helpful charm
  • Mirror - construction of reflections, which augment attributes of their wielder
  • Fae - construction of bindings, which contain a curse that is applied to those they are forced on
  • Dawn - construction of channels, which contain a composition that the wielder can use