Spellcasting Overview

  1. Choose a spell
  2. Choose the force
    • For combat spells, base damage is equal to the force.
  3. Choose the target(s)
  4. Make spellcasting test
    • Spellcasting + Magic, modified by foci, totem, bound spirits, and/or visibility.
    • Direct combat spells resisted by (Body or Will) + Counterspelling
    • Indirect combat spells are ranged attacks, dodged with Reaction + Counterspelling, damage resisted with Body + half Impact Armor. Note elemental effects
  5. Determine effect
  6. Resist drain
    • Hermetic resists with Willpower + Logic
    • Shamanistic resists with Willpower + Charisma
  7. Ongoing effects

Combat Spells

Direct Combat Spells

Direct combat spells affect the target on a fundamental level with raw mana. Examples of direct combat spells are Stunball/bolt and Death Touch.

Caster’s Spellcasting + Magic vs. target’s (Body or Willpower) + Counterspelling. If caster wins, net hits increases DV

Armor does not help against direct combat spells.

Detection Spells

Detection spells have two qualities:

  1. Type
    • Directional (e.g., sight)
    • Omni-directional (e.g., hearing)
    • Psychic (e.g., telepathy)
  2. Action
    • Active (caster’s Spellcasting + Magic vs target’s Willpower + Counterspelling)
    • Passive h3.

Manipulation Spells


The Astral World: Astral Perception and Projection

Astral Perception:

While astrally percieving, a magician is considered dual-natured and can be attacked by astral entities including astrally projecting mages and spirits. Non-living objects viewed in the astral are nothing but hazy shadows lacking color and texture, which makes reading impossible and imposes a -2 penalty on any non-magical rolls made while viewing the astral. The auras of living creatures, astral spirits and magical constructs are bright and clear, though. Reading an aura or other astral presense in detail requires Assensing + Intuition, with successes determining the detail detected:

  • 1 success reveals the subject’s general health, emotional state and whether it is Awakened.
  • 2 reveals the presence and location of basic cyberwear, the class of a magical subject (type of spirit, spell or focus, etc), and allows you to recognize auras you’ve seen before.
  • 3 reveals alphaware cyber-implants, the level of their Essence and Magic (or Force for spirits) in relation to your own, any astral signatures on the subject, and allows a general diagnosis of any maladies they suffer.
  • 4 detects bioware implants and betaware cyber, gives the exact Essence, Magic and Force, and reveals the general cause of any astral signatures on them.
  • 5+ reveals deltaware implants, gene treatments and nanotech, gives an accurate diagnosis of any diseases or toxins that afflict them, and reveals if they are a technomancer.

Astral Projection:

While in astral form, you use Magic in place of any physical stats. Fighting in astral involves melee attacks with Astral Combat + Willpower or Mana spells (such as Stun Bolt). “Walking pace” in astral travel is up to 100 meters per Combat Turn. “Running pace” is 5 km per Combat Turn (roughly 6000 km/hour). Physical barriers do not impede astral travel at all, though they do block line of sight. Astral forms such as other projecting magicians, spirits and dual-natured creatures and plants are solid and block movement or attack. While projecting you can manifest in the physical world to observe and communicate, but cannot affect anything there, including casting spells.

Sorcery: Ralph’s Grimoire

The Sorcery skill group includes 3 skills: Spellcasting, Ritual Spellcasting and Counterspelling.


The Force of a spell has several effects on the spell’s effectiveness. You can never have more hits on a Spellcasting test than the Force of the spell. For spells with a threshold, casting with a Force lower than the threshold automatically fails, but still causes Drain. For Combat spells Force sets the base Damage Value, and also determines the maximum damage due to the limit on number of hits. Other spells limit the magnitude of their effect (duration, difficulty of resisting, material affected, etc) based on either the Force or the number of hits. Force determines the Drain Value of the spell (usually 1/2 Force + a modifier). Casting spells with Force greater than your Magic attribute (known as Overcasting) inflicts Physical Drain rather than Stun. And last but not least, the threshold for the Perception test to spot spells being cast is 6-Force.

Casting Spells (Summary):

  • Choose Force. Force affects many aspects of a spell:
    • Maximum Force is normally your Magic. Overcasting allows Force up to (2 x Magic), but causes Physical Drain.
    • You can never score more hits than the Force of a spell when casting.
    • Base Damage Value of combat spells equals the Force.
    • Since Force also sets max hits, you can never do more than (2 x Force) damage with a spell.
    • Non-Combat spells often have a Threshold to beat, usually the target’s Body or Will, or an inanimate object’s Object Rating (1 for a tree, 5+ for vehicles & complex electronics). Since Force limits max hits, too low a Force may not be able to meet this threshold.
    • Magnitude of effects from non-combat spells depends on net hits, again limited by Force.
    • Drain is determined by Force, usually Force/2 + X.
  • Choose the Target.
    • You must be able to either assense or see the target. Electronic vision cannot be used to target a spell unless it’s been paid for with Essence (cybereyes).
  • Make the Spellcasting Test:
    • Spellcasting + Magic, modified by foci, totem, bound spirits, and/or visibility.
  • Target rolls to resist/dodge:
    • Direct combat spells are resisted by (Body or Will) + Counterspelling and cannot be dodged.
    • Indirect combat spells are ranged attacks and are dodged with Reaction + Counterspelling.
    • Other spells are resisted by (Body or Will) + Counterspelling and/or have their magnitude determined by net hits.
    • Non-living targets do not resist, but require the Spellcasting Test to meet a threshold equal to their Object Rating.
  • Determine effects:
    • Net hits are added to the base Damage Value (equal to Force) for Combat spells (direct and indirect). Indirect combat spells allow a damage reistance test using Body + 1/2 Impact Armor.
    • For non-combat spells, see the spell description.
  • Resist Drain.
    • Hermetic Mages (like Ralph) resist using Willpower + Logic.
    • Shamans resist using Willpower + Charisma.
    • Drain Value is 1/2 Force plus a modifier based on the spell.
    • Unresisted Drain does Stun damage, unless the spell was Overcast, in which case the damage is Physical.

Casting Spells (TL;DR Version):

Once the Force is set, specify the target(s) and roll Spellcasting + Magic, modified by foci, totem/mentor, bound spirits, and/or visibility. Direct combat spells ignore armor and are resisted by Body or Will + any Counterspelling by opposing magicians. Indirect combat spells are treated just like ranged attacks, dodged with Reaction + Counterspelling, resisted with Body + 1/2 Impact Armor. Manipulation spells usually have to meet a threshold equal to the attribute being affected (Body or Willpower) or an inanimate object’s Object Resistance (1 for untouched natural objects, 2 for low tech manufactured items, 3 for high tech items, 5+ for very complex items like computers or vehicles). Other spells will have various effects based on the number of hits or the Force of the spell. Once the effects are worked out, resist the spell’s drain using Willpower + Logic. The spell descriptions below include the Drain value for that spell, with the drain at Force = Magic (the highest you can go without taking Physical Drain) listed in parenthesis. For higher or lower Force, just add or subtract 1 for every 2 points you raise or lower the Force. Drain can never be less than 1.

Ritual Casting:

  • Choose Force
    • As with normal spellcasting, based on the leader’s Magic, but maximum Force is equal to the Lodge being used.
  • Choose Target
    • Does not require line of sight to the target. Instead, use an Astral Spotter or Material Link.
    • Astral Spotter requires a member of the ritual group or a spirit bound to them to assense the target for the duration of the ritual. Note that magicians will die if the spend more than (Magic) hours astrally projecting.
    • A Material Link is either a tissue sample from a living target or an integral part of the structure of an inanimate target (a brick from a building, bolt from a machine, etc).
  • Make the Ritual Spellcasting Test:
    • The ritual requires 12 hours minus the leader’s Magic attribute, minimum 1 hour.
    • A number of magicians can assist equal to the Force of the Lodge being used or the lowest Ritual Spellcasting skill in the group, whichever is lower.
    • Each assistant rolls Ritual Spellcasting + Magic as if they were casting the spell.
    • Leader rolls Ritual Spellcasting + Magic + Net hits from assistants to cast the spell.
  • Target Detection Test:
    • One hour after the ritual begins, the target can make an Intuition + Assensing (20-Force, 1 hour) Extended Test to detect the buildup of mana.
  • Target resists the spell as per normal spellcasting.
  • Determine Effects as per normal spellcasting.
  • Resist Drain:
    • If the spell is disrupted for any reason, such as an interruption or the astral spotter being driven off, the spell fails and Drain is applied immediately.
    • All members of the group, including the spotter, roll to resist Drain seperately.
    • If the spell’s Force was higher than the leader’s Magic, Drain is Physical for all members.

Ritual casting allows multiple magicians of the same tradition to combine their abilities to cast a spell, up to the Force of the lodge being used to perform the ritual or the lowest Ritual Spellcasting skill of the group. It also allows casting at targets who are not within visual range, but this requires either a spotter able to assense the target to create an astral link (either a spirit bound to one of the group members or a member of the group in astral form, who does not contribute to the spellcasting) or a material link to the target in the form of a part of the target’s integral structure for inanimate targets or a tissue sample for living targets. When the link is established, the ritual leader begins casting the spell, requiring 12 hours minus the leader’s Magic attribute (minimum 1). Each member of the ritual team makes a Ritual Spellcasting + Magic test as if they were casting the spell, with their net hits added as a dice pool bonus to the leader’s own Ritual Spellcasting + Magic test to cast the spell itself. Once the spell is cast, or if the ritual is disrupted at all, each member (including the spotter, if any) must resist the spell’s Drain. If the ritual leader overcast then the Drain is Physical for all members. Any material link used in the ritual is destroyed when the spell is cast or disrupted. The target of the spell may notice the buildup of mana around them with an Assensing + Intuition (20-Force, 1 hour) Extended Test beginning an hour after the spellcasting starts.


  • Counterspelling adds to resistance tests against hostile magic.
    • Can be used for free on hostile magic you can perceive being cast at you, or extended to any team members within LOS with a Free Action.
    • Can be declared in advance to disrupt spells the character is unaware of, such as Detection or Illusion spells, and allow an Intuition + Magic (3) test to notice the spell being disrupted.
  • Counterspelling can be used to dispell Sustained or Quickened spell effects.
    • Must be able to perceive the spell itself (via assensing).
    • Takes a Complex Action to make an Opposed Test of Counterspelling + Magic vs. Spell Force + Caster’s Magic. Each net hit reduces the original spell’s net hits by one. If reduced to zero the spell ends.
    • Causes Drain as if casting the dispelled spell. This can cause Physical drain if the spell’s Force is greater than the dispeller’s Magic.

Counterspelling skill can be used to help resist spells cast at or affecting the magician. You can use a Free Action in combat to extend this protection to any number of other characters within line of sight. If more than one magician protects a target with Counterspelling, treat it as teamwork, with the supporting magician’s hits acting as a dice pool modifier for the primary. These dice are added to the resistance test for any magic targeting protected characters. Note that these dice can be used to help resist any number of spells in a single Combat Turn. Counterspelling also protects against Detection and Illusion spells that the magician may not be aware of, as a sort of magical jamming, and may grant an Intuition + Magic (3) test to notice when such a spell is disrupted. Counterspelling can also be used to dispel a spell being sustained by an enemy magician. This requiers the magician to be able to perceive the spell being targeted (via astral perception). Take a Complex Action to make a Counterspelling + Magic Opposed Test vs. the spell’s Force + caster’s Magic. Each net hit reduces the original spell’s net hits by one, reducing it’s effects accordingly. Dispelling causes Drain as if the dispelling magician were casting the targeted spell. Note that this can cause Physical Drain if the dispelled spell’s Force was higher than the dispeller’s Magic.

Spirits and You

Conjuring skill group includes three skills: Banishing, Binding and Summoning. Below are details on using each skill and information on each type of spirit that can be summoned. Spirit types are associated with particular types of spells and can assist/augment those spells, as listed next to the spirit types below for hermetic mages. Shamans and other traditions have different associations for spirits.


Requires a Complex Action. Opposed test of Banishing + Magic vs. an unbound spirit’s Force or Force + summoner’s Magic if bound. Each net hit reduces the services owed by the spirit by 1. If reduced to 0 services, the spirit will seek to depart on it’s next action. Any magician within line of sight can attempt to make a Summoning test against the spirit before it departs. Drain equals 2x the hits scored by the spirit during the test, minimum 2.


Requires a ritual taking (Force) hours to bind an already summoned spirit to service and magical materials costing 500ny per point of the spirit’s Force (250ny for Watcher spirits). Make an Opposed test of Binding + Magic against the spirit’s Force x 2. One net hit is required to forge the bond. Additional successes increase the number of services owed.


Requires a Complex Action, and only one spirit can be summoned at a time. Chose the Force of the spirit to be summoned and it’s type, then make an Opposed Test of Summoning + Magic vs. the spirit’s Force. Each net hit represents one service the spirit agrees to perform for the magician. Drain is 2x the hits scored by the spirit during the test, minimum 2. Summoning a spirit with Force > Magic causes Physical drain rather than stun. The maximum Force summonable is 2xMagic.


A watcher is a minor spirit that exists only on the astral plane. Watcher spirits are always Force 1, and all attributes are equal to their Force. They are clever, but single minded and literal. A Watcher spirit can be summoned using a Summoning + Magic test. Each hit gives the watcher 1 hour of life span. Drain equals the number of hits and is always Stun damage. A character can maintain a number of watchers equal to their Charisma, which do not count against their number of spirits on hand. Watchers have the Search power, and can be used for astral tracking. They can also be used to patrol astral space, attack astral targets (ineffectually, being only Force 1), or convey spoken messages or simple 2-d images to a specified place or person, or be used to spy on a person or irritate them.

Commanding Spirits:

Summoning or Binding a spirit grants you a number of services to demand of the spirit. This can include using one of it’s powers or taking physical form to perform various tasks. A continuous use of a power (using Concealment on a group, or Engulfing a foe) counts as a single service, but changing the parameters of that use (adding people to the group, attacking another target) counts as a new service. A summoned spirit performs it’s owed services until the next sunrise or sunset, at which time it departs regardless of what it was doing or how many services it still owes. A summoned spirit cannot move more than the summoner’s Magic + 100 meters away from it’s summoner. It can be sent farther away as a remote service, but this forfeits any other services owed. Bound spirits can be sent on remote service and go on standby after completing them.

Bound Spirits:

A bound spirit can be ordered to assist spellcasting and research in various ways. To do so the spirit must be of the appropriate type (see the spirit listing below). The spirit can only affect spells of Force equal to or less than their own Force.

  • Aid Sorcery: Adds the spirit’s Force to the dice pool for any Spellcasting, Ritual Spellcasting or Counterspelling attempt involving an appropriate spell for it’s type.
  • Aid Study: Adds the spirit’s Force in dice to the Extended Learning Test for learning a new spell appropriate to the spirit’s type. Only one spirit can aid learning a particular spell.
  • Spell Sustaining: A spirit can sustain a spell of the appropriate type and Force for the spirit’s Force in Combat Turns for one service. Multiple services can be used to sustain for longer periods of time.
  • Spell Binding: A spirit can sustain a spell for up to Force days. Each day permanently reduces the spirit’s Force by 1. When it’s Force is reduced to 0, the spirit is completely consumed. Obviously spirits will not normally perform a binding willingly, and other spirits will be reluctant to aid a magician who abuses spirits in this way. A spirit can be released before it’s Force reaches 0, in which case it is released from any remaining services, though it’s Force is still depleted.

Spirit Types & Powers:

All spirits have 2 Initiative passes except watchers, which have 3. They have the skills Assensing, Astral Combat, Dodge, Exotic Ranged Weapon, Flight (if capable of it), Perception and Unarmed Combat. They have the powers of Astral Form, Materialization and Sapience. All attributes except those noted in the individual entry are equal to Force (and all are equal to Force in astral form). A spirit has 1 optional power for every 3 full points of Force, chosen by the summoner during the summoning.

Spirits of Air (Detection): B F-2, A F+3, R F+4, S F-3, Init (Fx2)+3. Movement 15/75 (flight). Powers: Accident, Concealment, Confusion, Engulf, Movement, Search. Optional Powers: Elemental Attack, Energy Aura, Fear, Guard, Noxious Breath, Psychokinesis.

Spirits of Earth (Manipulation): B F+4, A F-2, R F+2, S F+4. Init (Fx2)+2. Movement 10/25. Powers: Binding, Guard, Movement, Search. Optional Powers: Concealment, Confusion, Engulf, Elemental Attack, Fear.

Spirits of Fire (Combat): B F+1, A F+2, R F+3, S F-2. Init (Fx2)+3. Movement 15/40 (flight). Powers: Accident, confusion, Elemental Attack, Energy Aura, Engulf. Optional: Fear, Guard, Noxious Breath, Search. Weakness: Allergy (Water, Severe)

Spirits of Man (Health): B F+1, R F+2, S F-2. Init (Fx2)+2. Movement 10/25. Skills: Spellcasting. Powers: Accident, Concealment, Confusion, Enhanced Senses (Low-Light, Thermographic Vision), Guard, Influence, Search. Optional: Fear, Innate Spell (any one spell known by the summoner, max Force equal to the spirit’s), Movement, Psychokinesis.

Spirits of Water (Illusion): B F+2, R F+2. Init: (Fx2)+2. Movement 10/25 (30/75 swimming). Powers: Concealment, Confusion, Engulf, Movement, Search. Optional: Accident, Binding, Elemental Attack, Energy Aura, Guard, Weather Control. Weakness: Allergy (Fire, Severe)


  • Accident: Complex Action for an Opposed Test of spirit’s Magic + Willpower vs. target’s Reaction + Intuition. Success causes a minor, distracting accident similar to a Glitch. If the target is a vehicle, it can force the driver to make a Crash Test with the spirit’s Magic as a dice pool penalty. If the spirit scores 4+ net hits, treat the accident as a Critical Glitch.
  • Binding: Complex Action to make the victim stick to any surface he is touching, requiring a Complex Action and an Opposed test of Strength + Body vs. the spirit’s Magic + Willpower to escape.
  • Concealment: Simple Action, Sustained, to subtract the spirit’s Magic from any perception test to locate the concealed subject. Can be used simultaneously on a number of targets equal to the spirit’s Magic. Can be used to hide from astral detection.
  • Confusion: Complex Action, Sustained, to make an Opposed test of the spirit’s Magic + Willpower vs. the target’s Willpower. Net hits act as a dice pool penalty to any action the target makes.
  • Elemental Attack: Complex Action, treated as a ranged attack using the spirit’s Exotic Ranged Weapon + Agility to attack. DV equals the spirit’s Magic and is resisted with half Impact armor. This can be Cold, Electricity or Fire as appropriate. The elemental type is chosen when the spirit is summoned and must be appropriate to the spirit.
  • Energy Aura: Automatic, always on. Melee attacks made by the spirit gain a +4 DV and are treated as Cold, Electricity or Fire as appropriate, resisted with half Impact armor. Any successful attack against the spirit forces the attacker to reist a DV equal to the spirit’s Magic, resisted with half Impact armor. (melee attacks only?)
  • Engulf: Complex Action, Sustained, touch range. The spirit makes a melee attack, and if it succeeds, draws the victim into itself or the terrain it controls, smothering them. DV is equal to the spirit’s Magic and is resisted with half Impact armor. This damage is inflicted on each of the spirit’s Action Phases. The victim can make an Opposeed Test of Strength + Body vs. the spirit’s Magic + Body to escape. Fire engulf inflicts Fire damage. Water engulf causes stun damage. Air engulf is resisted as if it were an inhalation-vector toxin attack that does Stun damage, so armor does not protect against it (though other protective gear may). Earth engulf causes Physical damage.
  • Fear: Complex action to make an Opposed test of the spirit’s Magic + Willpower vs. the target’s Wilpower. The target flees in panic for the nearest point of apparent safety for 1 combat turn per net hit. Even after the duration is over the target must succeed in a Willpower + Charisma test with a threshold equal to the net hits in order to return and face the spirit again.
  • Guard: Complex Action, Sustained, prevents normal environmental accidents (including the Accident power) and hazards (falls from a cliff, heat stroke, drowning, etc) from affecting a number of characters up to the spirit’s Magic attribute.
  • Influence: Complex Action to make an Opposed test of the spirit’s Magic + Charisma vs. the target’s Willpower. Success plants a suggestion in the target’s mind, which they will follow as if it were their own idea. If confronted about it, the victim can make a Willpower test to overcome it.
  • Innate Spell: The ability to cast a single spell as if the spirit was a magician, reisting drain with either Intuition or Charisma.
  • Movement: Complex Action, Sustained, to increase or decrease movement through the terrain the spirit controls (in the air, through the water, along the ground, etc) by a factor equal to the spirit’s Force. If the target’s Body exceeds the spirit’s Magic reduce this by 1/2. If Body exceeds the spirit’s Magic x2 then it has no effect.
  • Noxious Breath: Complex Action to make an inhalation vector toxin attack (speed: Immediate, Power: spirit’s Magic, Effect; Stun damage, nausea) in a cone out to the spirit’s Body in meters, able to catch up to two targets who are within 1 meter of each other.
  • Psychokinesis: Complex Sustained Action to manipulate objects at a distance with Strength and Agility equal to the hits scored on a Magic + Willpower test, similar to the Magic Fingers spell.
  • Search: Complex action to make a Magic + Intuition (5, 10 minutes) Extended Test to locate the target. Each kilometer away increases the threshold by 1. Searching for a non-living object or place increases the threshold by 5. The Concealment power or any mana barriers reduces the dice pool by the concealer’s Magic or the barrier’s Force.

A note on Fire, Cold and Electricity damage: All are resisted with one-half Impact armor, but armor mods add their full rating to the armor (fireproof, insulated and non-conducting, respectively). Fire attacks have a chance to catch items on fire if it fails a damage resistance test using the items Armor x 2 (or just Armor if easily flammable). Cold damage may cause mechanical systems to fail, liquids to solidify, etc. Electricity damage is treated as Stun, and metallic armor offers no protection. The target must make a Body + Willpower (3) test, with half Impact armor as a dice pool modifier. If the test fails, the target falls and is incapacitated for 2+ the attack’s net hits Combat Turns. Even if it succeeds, they suffer a -2 dice pool modifier for all tasks for the same duration. Electronic doesn’t suffer stun damage, but rolls Body + Armor (for drones and vehicles) or Armor x 2 (everything else) to resist the attack. If they resist fully, the attack has no effect. Otherwise they cease to function for 2 + net hits Combat Turns, and may need to be manually rebooted after that.


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