Rules of Magic

From OSE SRD

Spells

Some character classes have the ability to memorize and cast magical spells. A spell consists of a pattern of magical energy memorized in a character’s mind. When a spell is cast, the spell is erased from the character’s mind until it is memorized again.

Arcane and divine magic: Spells are either granted by a deity or higher power (divine magic) or learned by esoteric study (arcane magic).

Spell list: The character’s class determines which spells they can cast. Each class has an associated list of spells.

Spells in memory: The character’s level determines how many spells they can memorize at one time.

Reversible spells: Some spells are reversible; this is indicated in each spell’s description.

Memorizing Spells

Rest and time requirements: A spell caster can memorize new spells after an uninterrupted night’s sleep. It takes one hour to memorize all spells the character is capable of memorizing.

Duplicate spells: A character may memorize the same spell more than once, as long as they are capable of memorizing more than one spell of the given level.

Casting Spells

A memorized spell may be cast by precisely replicating the required set of hand gestures and mystical spoken words.

Once only: When a spell is cast, knowledge of the spell is erased from the mind of the caster until it is memorized again.

Freedom: The character must be able to speak and move their hands. A spell caster cannot cast spells if gagged, bound, or in an area of magical silence.

Line of sight: Unless noted in a spell’s description, the intended target (a specific monster, character, object, or area of effect) must be visible to the caster.

Spell Effects

Selecting targets: Some spells affect multiple targets, either by area or by Hit Dice total. If the spell description does not specify how targets are selected, the referee must decide whether they are selected randomly, by the caster, etc.

Concentration: Some spells specify that the caster must concentrate in order to maintain the magical effect. Unless the spell description states otherwise, performing any other action or being distracted (e.g. attacked) causes concentration to end.

Cumulative effects: Multiple spells cannot be used to increase the same ability (e.g. bonuses to attack rolls, AC, damage rolls, saving throws, etc.). Spells that affect different abilities can be combined. Spells can be combined with the effects of magical items.

Arcane Magic

Memorizing Spells

Arcane spell casters memorize spells from spell books (see Spell Books) and are thus limited to choosing from the spells in their spell book, which must be at hand.

Reversing Spells

The normal or reversed form of a spell must be selected when the spell is memorized. An arcane spell caster may memorize both forms of a spell if the character is able to memorize more than one spell of the given level.

Divine Magic

Memorizing Spells

Divine spell casters memorize spells through prayer to their gods. When praying for spells, divine spell casters may choose any spells in their class’ spell list that they are of high enough level to cast.

Reversing Spells

Divine spell casters can cast the reversed version of a spell by speaking the words and performing the gestures backwards when it is cast.

Deity Disfavour

Divine spell casters must be faithful to the tenets of their alignment, clergy, and religion. If the character ever falls from favour with their deity, penalties (determined by the referee) may be imposed. These may include penalties to attack (–1), a reduction in spells, or being sent on a perilous quest. In order to regain favour, the character must perform some great deed for their deity (as determined by the referee), for example: donating magic items or gold, constructing a temple, converting many people to the religion, vanquishing a powerful enemy of the deity, etc.

Spells and Deity Alignment

A divine spell caster may draw disfavour from their deity when casting spells (or their reversed versions) whose effects go against the deity’s alignment:

  • Lawful characters: Will only use reversed spells in dire circumstances.
  • Chaotic characters: Will usually use reversed spells, only using the normal versions of spells to benefit allies of their religion.
  • Neutral characters: Will favour either normal or reversed spells, depending on the deity served (no deity favours both reversed and normal spells).