Amber: The Lost
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“I resolved, though, to lay in a decent supply of spells the first chance I got, both offensive and defensive…The trouble is that it can take several days of solitude to work a really decent array of them out properly, enact them and rehearse their releases to the point where you can spring them at a moment’s notice—and then they have tendency to start decaying after a week or so. Sometimes they last longer and sometimes less long, depending both on the amount of energy you’re willing to invest in them and on the magical climate of the particular shadow in which you’re functioning. It’s a lot of bother unless you’re sure you’re going to need them within a certain period of time. On the other hand, a good sorcerer should have one attack, one defense and one escape spell hanging around at all times.”
– Merlin, Blood of Amber
Sorcery is by far the most versatile of all Amber powers, it can be used to do most anything the sorcerer desires. Of course this is not without its limitations, a sorcerer is only as capable of his preparations, and unfortunately the preparations required for sorcery are quite intensive.
Sorcery (20 Points)
Every sorcerer must have a power source, beyond themselves to cast and hang spells. Sorcerer’s without power sources are dependent on the magic of the shadow they are within, and the Leylines. Generally sorcerer’s use Pattern or the Logrus as a power source, though it is possible that other sources would be just as viable.
“Then I spoke the spell, slowly and clearly, leaving out the four key words I had chosen to omit. The woods grew absolutely still about me as the words rang out. The spell hung before me like a crippled butterfly of sound and color…”
– Merlin, Blood of Amber
It takes a long time to cast a spell, and the more complicated a spell the longer it takes. Generally when a sorcerer needs a spell, he needs it right then, not in a few hours. The solution to this is “Lynchpins”. The A lynchpin is a word intentionally left out of a spell that when spoken will complete the already cast spell. The sorcerer casts the spell in advance, “hanging” it on his power source, but omitting the lynchpins. Lynchpins may also be used as qualifiers on a spell, allowing more flexibility. Most spells have at least two lynchpins, target and magic of shadow.
When the sorcerer releases the spell, he does so with a combination of words and hand motions. This makes spells beyond basic cantrips difficult to cast during combat.
- Target- Defines the target of the spell, could be an individual or an area etc.
- Duration- Defines how long the spell will continue
- Trigger- If the spell has a trigger, such as a ward
- Magic of Shadow- This defines the spell to function in the current magic environment.
- Power Source- Some spells require so much power that they must gather additional power to enact, tapping into a ley line or artifact of some sort.
- Through Shadow- Any spell that works across multiple shadows requires another lynchpin, and if the two shadows have differing magic types an additional Magic of Shadow lynchpin.
Note: While lynchpins allow adjustments to spells, that is what they are… adjustments. The basic nature of the spell must remain the same.
Racked Spells and Maintenance
When a spell is precast it is “hung” on a “rack”, and becomes a racked spell. Racked spells begin to degrade after a few days or so, and must be maintained. In addition, the more spells the sorcerer has wracked, the faster they degrade. A good way to measure how complicated the suite of spells you have is by counting the lynchpins. In general it requires a half hour of time per lynchpin to hang a spell. A person might think, well then I can hang 36 lynchpins worth of spells in 18 hours, and this is true, but hanging spells is a significant effort as most of the power for the spells is used at that time.
Below is listed the TOTAL lynchpins included in all of your hung spells, the time to hang them, and how much maintenance they will take to keep up.
- 1-6 Lynchpins: An afternoon to cast, and a half hour of maintenance per day.
- 7-12 Lynchpins: Half a day to cast, a half hour of maintenance per day.
- 13-24 Lynchpins: Full day to cast, two hours of maintenance per day.
- 25-30 Lynchpins: Two days to cast, four hours of maintenance per day.
- +6 Lynchpins: +1 day to cast, + 2 hours of maintenance
Some very simple spells do not need to be hung, spells that would for example light a candle or bring the coffee across the table can be cast very quickly, seconds usually.
Sorcery is an extremely versatile power, with few sorcerer’s using it in the same way.
Conjuration (10 Points)
Conjuration allows spells to create something from nothing. A character with conjuration may create creatures and items seemingly from nowhere. While these summoned creatures are not magical in nature, they may contain magical elements native to various shadows. These elements will only work in the appropriate shadow. Conjuration spells may be hung like regular spells, or free cast. The amount of time ranging from minutes to hours or days depending on the complexity. Once summoned a conjured creature or item is permanent. Conjured creatures are not hostile, but are not necessarily loyal until death.
Enchanting (10 Points)
Enchanting Permanent spells may be placed upon creatures or items. An enchantment takes some time to do but similar to conjuration, enchantments do not fade away. Enchantments on creatures might grant them abilities they did not have, or bolster certain attributes.
Durable Spells Spells may be cast that last far longer than previously. Wards and force shields cast by the sorcerer will last days, perhaps even months depending on the caster’s desire. Enhancement spells such as armor or night vision last far longer as well.
Advanced Sorcery (20 Points)
An additional Lynchpin may be included within a spell called “Control Words”. Control words are a series of command words that the sorcerer may use on a spell, even after it has been cast. These command words should be noted in the spell description. Some common command words might be: larger, smaller, new target, direction, end spell.
Spells may be cast upon a scroll, which may then be read by a non sorcerer. After being read the scroll dissolves and the spell effect occurs.
The spell caster may cast spells as if they had one lynchpin less (to a minimum of 1 lynchpin). This allows much faster casting. In addition spell casting in general is more subtle, making spells less obvious and easy to detect. Spells also only require words to cast, not both. This allows a sorcerer to cast spells more easily in combat as hand motions are not required.
Power Words (10 Points)
Simple, target lynchpin spells may be purchased as power words. These spells must be approved by the GM, and must always use low amounts of energy and be single target spells. The character may select 5 spells as power words. Purchasing Power Words from the sorcery tree does allow the character to expand into the power words tree.
Shadow Magic (5, 10, or 15 Points)
Some sorcerers are able to master a specific shadows magic to such a degree that they can use that magic in many shadows. Many shadow magics do not require lynchpins, though they have there own limitations, they may work in varying ways with differing effectiveness between shadows. The more potent the shadow magic, the more points it requires.