"You see, magic is reliably unreliable. It's so random that, on a large scale, you can really depend on it to do whatever you expect it wouldn't. The way I like to think of it, it's like you're trying to catch minnows, and they swim like crazy and explode and turn your hands into bagels when you try to grab them, and, well, you just get a big bowl and scoop them up. Let 'em stay random. Now they're your random, and at least you know which way they're gonna fly when you fling the bowl."Spellcrafting is the dangerous and difficult task of preparing a spell from raw spell elements. This is a parasafe, hemideadly task even for the highly trained. Only long and difficult training can prepare a person to survive the process, as most who get hasty or try to customize their stuff wind up as a charred smear on the nearest wall. For this reasons, the screening process for students of magic involves a long process of bureaucratic torture, intended to rile any hot-blooded applicants and so eliminate them from candidacy. Only the most level-headed, methodical, and, in short, boring of students typically survive to high levels of power in wizardry. The ideal student has all the passionate individuality of a waterwheel. For the people who carry out this process with the highest chance of survival, refer to Certified Wiz (C.W.) . For the quantified material-plane effect of high thrombin agitation, see Thaumic Charge and Metathaumetry .
TheoryEvery object or force in the observable world seems to secretly be encoded, or at least temporarily stored, in the form of invisible, intangible woven bulbs of raw meaning in the unreal Plane of Magic which are known as thrombins. These interact largely like filled tube balloons, curving and bulging around each other in wild, colorful, thrashing infinities of encoded causal relationships parallel to the material plane but quite unrecognizable in the small scale. Thrombins string along between logical causes and their effects, and only when the weave reaches a certain meaningful pattern enter back into the material world as some tangible mass or force. Actions of willed creatures are simultaneously annotated and structured in terms of especially ephemeral thrombins, and even thoughts have a reflection in the Plane of Magic, with minds generating whirling planets of chaotic color. Through many phases of ticklish abuse of the underlying mechanisms of reality, spellcrafters create stored thrombin structures which, when released from stasis by a preset trigger, have a controllable and repeatable effect on reality. These structures are known as spells. A willed creature can, if very precise, perform certain actions in the presence of selected objects which are handled poorly by the causal coding in the plane of magic, creating very specific tangles of thrombins. These cause a few thrombins at a time to be cemented in a quasi-inert state at the very edge of the material world, in a place called spellvoid. These liberated elements are useless until pressed back into the plane of magic. To create the "safe" "non-deadly" "sensible" spells which mankind prefers, these are cleverly pressed into certain nonexistent "bags" or spellspaces specific to the spellcrafter to contain and isolate the now-reactivated materials, and to permit more layers to be added for control and specificity. With special mental effort and more exploits in the invisible world, the crafter may draw complexes of thrombins and press these in on top of the current spellements which then resolve in spellspace as restraints or modifications on the previously trapped materials.
The CrunchBelow are listed the rules pertaining to spells and spellcrafting which might not be listed in the generic textbook upon the arcane.
DC = 10 + spell's effective level + spell's caster level
Since this check is made more difficult by a high caster level (equating to higher overall spell energy), it is never without risk to attempt a Cobble. If you fail a Spellcobble check made to cast a spell (such as when Casting Hastily or using Overcharge Spell), the spell become Unstable.
For possible ramifications of Spellcobble checks, see Spell Becomes Unstable .
Spell Becomes Unstable
The nature of the result is determined as below. Roll a d20 and add the failed spell's effective spell level (base level including metamagic adjustments):
Total ...................... Result
11-16 .................. Miscrackle
17-19 .................. Explosion
20-25 ......... Explosion and Miscrackle
26+ ........... Lasting Causal Scar
- Fozzle: Like fizzling, but leaves your head feeling fuzzle. Fizzy. Fuzzy. The spell dissipates harmlessly, but you become Confuzed for 1d3 hours. Every fifteen minutes, you can attempt a Will save (DC 20) to shake off the effect early.
- Miscrackle: The thrombins glevate miscongelularly. Roll on the table of effects for a Rod of Wonder once per effective spell level of the failed spell. If the original spell doesn't have it's caster or target present, you serve the deficient role.
- Explosion: A blast of energy is emitted from your handiwork as reality suddenly gets wise to what you were trying to pull. This blast deals 1d6 damage per effective spell level of a random type to all creatures and objects within 20 feet. Roll 1d6 to find determine the type. 1: fire, 2: cold, 3: lightning, 4: acid, 5: sonic, 6: cats.
A reflex save (DC 15+ spell level) halves the damage for anyone outside the exact square where the explosion takes place. Any knucklehead in that space gets no save.
- Lasting Causal Scar: The local thaumospace is badly widdled. Something really strange happens to the area around you, and its effects are permanent. The DM can make one up, or refer to the sample list provided separately.
Spell ArchitectureArcane Factor - The interface between the nonexistent Plane of Magic, where these spell elements reside, and the Material Plane. Not a real place or thing, but sorta part of the mystic brain-spellbook complex which comprises a wizard. The arcane factor is actually said to reside within the spellbook, though it's not understood why this is said. It sounds like nonsense, but if we cut all the seeming nonsense from the curriculum, well, students would be done in about one semester, and dead within a year, eh, what do you say.
Packing - Technical term for the process of spell preparation. In arcane magic, the spell must be built up in successive layers, and so order of spellement addition is crucial to functionality. This is the most dangerous task of spell creation. It has been observed that divine casters (other than druids) pack in spherical layers with the ability to add elements in parallel, but typically they prepare without any idea they are doing it at all.
Stack - The sequence of spellements pressed through the arcane factor during spell preparation.
Trigger - The seemingly arbitrary action which the spellcrafter predefines to release the stack back through the factor and into the material world. This must be sufficiently simple as to give no impediment to quick casting, but not so simple that it's accidentally performed in the course of normal daily activity.
SpellementsSpellcrafting is the act of packing spell elements (or "spellements") through an arcane factor to form a prepared spell. Spellements should be prepared ahead of time. Thrombins - Principal affectors which create effects. These are difficult to tell apart, and each has so many permutations that they defy exhaustive enumeration. Summoning the thrombins for a spell is the most time-consuming part of spell preparation, but is simple enough and relatively safe since captured thrombins are inert until packed. Each thrombin is drawn into spellvoid by specific material, somatic, verbal, and psychic actions, sometimes with the aid of materials. The general consensus summarizes their ranges in nine categories:
- Toragial - Associated with abjuration effects. Generated by extreme focus, normally assisted by loud shouts or haka.
- I/O Median - Associated with divinatory and mind-affecting effects. Generated by washing, polishing, or restoring things.
- Erastive - Employed as support in spells of various schools, and in undoing other effects. Generated by waving objects or forming circular patterns.
- Desnic - Associated with the creation of matter or its influx from from parallel planes. Generation requires breaking stuff that someone built.
- Rovagous - Associated with force effects, time effects, and some divination. Generation requires deep meditation, and a little blood.
- Sarenreial - Associated with evocation and illusion. Generation requires severe gestures and material component.
- Gozric - Associated with some transmutation and enchantment (except mind-affecting). Generated using a focus and lots of salt.
- Calistrian - Used heavily in illusion, but always with supplements of other thrombins. Generation requires a believable sample of some of the materials to be replicated to be exposed to a prism's light, though closing one's eyes and pretending to do this actually has a high chance of success.
- Lamashful - Associated strongly with transmutory effects. This is a very basal thrombin, generated by simple chanting and hand motion, but it is notoriously hard to control.
Control ElementsMost of the complexity of a spell comes from its control. Raw thrombins are maddeningly unpredictable. Also, careful structural tasks are needed to add multiple different thrombins into the same spell. The level of a spell is most affected by the finesse needed to impliment all requisite controls. Muxer - Based on the strop architecture. Links the targets of multiple elements to the desired thrombin or effect. Can link multiple thrombins, resulting in somewhat predictable new effects. Demuxer - Based on the shim archetecture. Takes up space in the prefactor, and can be used to structurally support, guide, or separate other elements. Henches - pinch off the prefactor or tie up thrombins. Restraint parts. Congelular - Denatures an element to suppress one secondary effect. Multiple congelular henches stack, applying sequencially to the secondary effects in a stack. Their interactions can be fairly random, so often a demuxer is used to spoof multiple secondaries in the stack and reassign the congelular's target. Dregular - Used to withold thrombins from the factor, or to maintain turgor during manifestation. Creates a longer duration. Can be attached specifically to a thrombin, but its target is semi-random and must be assigned. Strops - Pass a reference from target to host. Cannot assign into stack, must be attached in sequence. Whiffling - Conditional interlinking members which can be used to modify the activation or dissolution of other spell elements. Persistant. Tulgey - Used to assign the target of a spellement by direct index association with the exact stack point. Often can cause undesired rapid snap-coiling in large spells, requiring the use of shims or splints. Malcolm's (Minty Deans) - Creates a mintal link with a spell target. The nickname refers to a minty taste figment which the target percieves when the connection is attempted. This effect actually cannot be suppressed without compromising the whole strop. Dull - 3% less efficient version of Minty Deans, but without the mint effect. Takes an entirely different architecture. Shims - Thin, rigid wedges which can allow conflicting elements to be juxtaposed without interaction. Are also used to lever big thrombins into a small factor, but when used this way, they cannot be removed under normal circumstances, and can disrupt operation. Adds bulk, often increasing turgor. Can be used (delicately and at great risk) to peek through a factor which has been henched off. Splints - A form of specialized shim with an integrated Multzer complex, effectively acting as a strop between the adjacent thrombins. Provides support and selection of specific interaction modes. Adds bulk. Hellborgen Matrix - An advanced but elegant shim-demuxer complex which conducts whiffling strops in real or spellspace.
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild