"...well, as you know, princess Carnelia de Belcadiz was giving us a guest lecture on history last week. It was the most awesome experience I have ever had!
The magic she used was like a human's. I
mean, elves usually have simple magic without to much complexity and sheer
power and it comes as natural to them as flying is to birds. I mean us
humans have to work extremely hard to memorise and prepare components of
spells while elves simply draw on some innate force from within. I think
its the same way we do "small magics" , you know, like when you light a
cigar with the tip of your finger or when you push coins on the table even
when your hand does not touch them. But Carnelias magic wasn't that simple
and she didn't look like she was concentrating to use it. Maybe she does
magic like human do it...maybe we can do magic like elves can... oh look
at the time I have multi-planar physics tomorrow morning!
Magic use on Mystara is usually divided into two methods of work-
1. spell magic - Causing a magical effect by creating conditions from fixed formulas and magic reach components, either from ones mind or from other magical resources. (magical items, spell components, spell words and/or gestures)
2. raw manna manipulations- Causing magical effects by controlling the magical field of the universe (or multivers).
There are several general characteristics to both methods (but these are directions- not rules)
Some mages specialise the kind of magic they learn to a specific genre or school this is usually subject to culture, race or personal preferences.
This is done because it is easier to learn spells which are similar to spells you already know. And after mastering the knowledge of a specific element of magic the wizard can accomplish greater magic in that field.
Popular specialisation's are: (some will be described in further detail later)
Hidromancy- elemental water
Pyromancy- elemental fire
Terromancy- elemental earth
Aeromancy- elemental air
Alchemy- the magic of quasi-science
Necromancy- the craft of life death and undeath.
Mind magic- the power of the mind.
Chronomancy- the lost art of time magic.
Technomancy- the lost art of magical machine making.
Lore magic- curses blessings and prophesy.
Illusion- the use of light and sound
-A song written by an old gnomish mage from whose name is lost in history:
Cultural and racial
characteristics of magic
It is known that different races use magic differently.
Raw manna manipulation is considered an elven method of controlling magic while spellcasting is considered a human method.
Here are a few concepts which have relevance to that subject.
* Magical races- those races who are considered magical usually use raw manna. These races are - dragons, who's magic is a manifestation of their power over nature, elves who learned their magic from fairies and so like them are naturally in tuned to manna. Finally, there are all those supernatural beings (including immortals!) who use raw manna.
*Gnomes- are creatures very in tuned with magic. Most gnomes have some magical ability (manna based) that is related to the element of there gnomish culture (skygnomes- air, cavegnomes- earth, seagnomes- water and the "ice gnomes" - fire) furthermore gnomes are able to cast spells as humans do and they usually specialise in elemental magic (aeromancy, pyromancy, terromancy and hidromancy) and in technomancy - an art that is lost to most humans.
*Elves - have learned magic from the fairy spirits that nursed them in the infancy of their race. That is why elves are so naturally gifted with the use of manna magic. Almost every elf is capable of a little amount of manna use. (like human mages). Elves who were isolated from sylvan going elves and were in integral part of human population cast spells the way humans do. The most famous example are the urban elves of Belcadiz.
*Magic in Glantri-
Glantri is the most magic advanced nation in the known world and it is a centre of magical study for most of Mystara. Mages in glantri tend to specialise in many different kinds of magic but there is a general common thread to most "Glantrian" spells. Note that Glantrian spells dominate the known worlds spell books.
Common traits to Glantrian spells:
1.Spells that originated in Glantri or were used by her mages usually have big names. A spell you might call "dragon summoning" will be called in glantri "Jaggar's flight of dragons", a spell that sends a magical spear at the enemy might be called "Flying weapon of doom".
2. Glantrian magic usually evolves a lot of noise and light. And is quite impressive to those not accustomed to magic.
3. Glantrian magic requires gestures, words and often physical components.
4. Glantrian magic is most often very powerful and effective.
5. Glantrians tend to specialise their spell use but this is not always true.
In Glantri one can find most kinds of magic especially at the great school of magic in Glantri city.
The percentage of specialising mage in the school is as follows:
non speciality- 25%
Necromancers - 5%
Mind mages -8%
Dream mages (an offshoot of mind magic concerning the state of dream and quasi-existence)- 5%
Lore mages- 6%
Technomancers- 0 (the school doesn't have information on this and most glantirians treat this school with contempt, it is practised elsewhere in the country though)
Chronomancers- 0.5% (this is a forbidden art almost lost in the known world.)
Dracologiests- 10% (this is a popular glantrian schools that deals with the innate magic in dragons)
others - 4.5% (there are a number of other fields in which to specialise in the great school but there are to numerous to mention.)
In the Alphatian homeworld humans had a very strong control over manna magic. After making landfall the Alphatians lost this ability almost completely. No longer all people were magic able and those who were had only minute power (cantrip strength like all human wizards). But in the few centuries after landfall the Alphatians learned the magical secrets of their new world and became strong spell casters. Their magic is although different from the magic of the known world wizards.
A few characteristics are as follows:
1. Alphatian magic usually requires only somatic components. It is quite and not flashy.
2. Some Alphatian spells are used only to replace regular tasks. That is to save on work. These spells are usually not impressive and are seen as unimportant to known world wizards.
3. Elements repeating in Alphatian spells are -
a. Creating peremment matter from thin air.
b. Animating or shpechanging of inanimate objects.
c. Imitating a craft or an art usually done without magic.4. Alphatians look at magic as a legitimate tool in everyday life and all aspects of living.
5. Alphatians tend to specialise in the following fields if they choose to specialise at all. (in order of popularity) the numbers in ( ) are the percentage of council members who specialise in that field:
About half of the Alphatian council are non specialists.
The areanas of far away Herath are a very special race of spellcasters. Although nature has gifted them with the usage of manna power areanas use this power only to mtheir shapeshifting ability. All other magic that areanas use is spell magic.
Herathian magic is mostly compose of these elements:
1. The alteration of biology (quasi-genetics)
2. Mind control.
3. Illusion and deception.
The magic of areanas mostly require only verbal components.
...as the young wizard stood in front of the mirror he realised the mistake he has done.
"A dual?! What was I thinking of? I am not Etienne d'Ambervile or Jagger von Drachshenfels to go inviting people to magical duels like a wizard prince. And what if I lose? hell I'll probably will lose! I forgot to mention to Miguel I haven't meant a dual to the death. But even if I won't die, still horrible things could befall me. I once heard of a dual loser who was turned into a green slime with ears and eyes. Oh I am not sure I really want to marry Juselitta anymore... I mean she's pretty and all that but maybe I should stick with human girlfriends... he is so protective of his sister. She is almost 100 years old for Rads sake! Oh I know what ill do, I will parry every spell he casts at me. I parry pretty well sooner or later he'll get bored and I will surrender. I just hope I'll have enough magic to last me that long...
There are several ways of contradicting magic. Mostly it depends on rather you are using spells or raw manna.
Dispelling- this means using a spell that negates magical affect. There are several spells that can accomplish this whilst the most common is "dispel magic" dispel magic allows you to use the same amount of power used to create the magical affect to make it "go away" or vanish.
Example- a wall of ice was created by a wizard using 25 magic points. Another wizard wants that wall vanished. She casts dispel magic (and an initial power expenditure of 5) and than puts in more power until she reaches 25 magic points and the wall disappears.
Parrying-this is a raw manna manipulation that spell casters can also use. It is the ability to negate a spell or manna manipulation (if initiative is gained) at the minute it is conjured by the other magic user. The parryer releases a power surge that intercepts the incoming spell and if the surge is of sufficient power it will negate the spell. (note that the parryer probably wont know what the other magic user is hurling at him).
Example- a wizard is trying to cast "Wall of Ice" to stop the party's advance. The party's wizard notices a spell is cast in her direction and she tries to parry him. She automatically wins initiative since the enemy wizard cast a spell (see later on initiative and battle magic) and she counters with 40 power points (she assumes an awful battle spell is cast on her friends!) the spell is parried and the extra 15 magic points go to waste.
Option- it is possible that parrying would be used to counter the damage from a magical effect, rather than the magic itself if the DM so wishes. In that case it is possible to defend oneself by "surging" power to protect ones body. Every 2 magic points will counter one hit point of damage.
Counter magic- this is the obvious way of contradicting a magical effect. In our example the wall of ice can be negated with enough heat generated by manna or by the effect of some fire based spell.
Some examples are less easy to counter.
Example- a witch has turned prince Arnold into a lizard. The elven princess Loedasya uses her manna power to change the prince back to his human form. Alas she can only master some amount of power and poor Arnold turns up still with a tail and is more elfish than he used too...
side note- some spells (curses for example) are not easily dispelled or countered and require other means of negation.