A character whose primary or secondary class is one of the Caster classes or a cleric may choose to cast a spell either in step combat or out of combat. If a hostile spell is cast out of step, it will immediately trigger the beginning of step combat. Ritual length spells take about twenty minutes to cast and cannot be used during step combat.
To cast a spell, the player must complete the casting method printed on the spell card and cross off the number of EP (energy points) on their passport equal to the level of the spell. The caster must also have enough experience to be able to cast the spell. They may not cast a spell higher than their casting class level. For example, a level three mage can only cast level three or below mage spells.
If you have access to spells, you will be given small index-sized cards with your spells written on them when you arrive. To keep these organized, you will probably want to bring either a small blank book and some scotch tape OR a small photo album to keep your spells organized. A caster must have their spellbook (and the specific card for the spell they are casting) in order to cast any spell beyond the initially granted basic spells.
Parts of a Spell Card
- Name: what the spell is called.
- Level: the level of the spell. Spells cost EP (energy points) equal to the level of the spell. Higher level spells tend to be more powerful, but cost more EP. Characters can only cast spells of their own class type at their level and lower.
- Description: what the spell accomplishes.
- Casting time: how many rounds or Steps are required to successfully cast the spell. The casting must be taken as the player’s action in the number of successive rounds required to cast the spell. A spell takes effect on the final count of its casting time. So, for example, a mage casting the “Blast” spell listed below might act like this:
- Count 1: Player clasps hands together and tells a judge what he or she is casting
- Count 2: Player flings a ‘ball’ outward towards his/her target. The judge then resolves the spell’s effect
- Effect: a technical description of the spell’s effect. Spell effects can be almost anything; from divining the future to detecting other magic, boosting stats, or causing damage.
- Saves: how the target may nullify or reduce the effect of the spell
- Range: how far away the caster can be from the target to be able to cast on them. Short range is ≤ 5 steps, Medium range ≤ 10 steps, Long range ≤ 15 steps (Steps are determined by the length of stride of the judge. This may vary slightly.)
- AoE: (Area of Effect) Specifies the target area or number of individual targets. AoEs include:
- Self: The caster only
- Specific number of targets: the number of targets listed, chosen by the caster unless otherwise specified
- Line: Everything in a line the specified length
- Radius: Everything within a circular area.
- Duration: How long the effect is in place. Durations include:
- Instant: Effect only takes place in the round in which casting is completed
- Encounter: Effect remains until the end of step combat
- Concentration: Effect remains as long as the caster spends an action concentrating on the spell. To concentrate, a caster must not take any actions other than their base movement action and a concentration action.
- Day: Effect remains until the next sunrise
- Phaze: Effect remains for the duration of the Phaze event
- Until Discharged: Effect remains until the discharge criteria listed on the card are met. Usually, this is combined with another duration (except instant), which determines when the effect ends if the discharge criteria is not met.
- Method: Directions for casting. You must role play the casting directions!
Some spells may take more than one round to finish casting. Each round, one step of the casting method must be completed. If the method is “only thought” it is helpful to let the judges know by saying “Casting.” Let the judge know when the “Spell goes off” and indicate the intended target(s) or area of effect.
If a caster is casting or concentrating on maintaining a spell already cast, they can be disrupted which stops the spell from being cast or ends its effect. If a caster takes damage, is stunned, or is the target of some other status effect that could force them to lose their concentration, they must make a mind save to continue with their spell.
“Magic is Jealous”
Casters can work in tandem or cast multiple spells in succession to achieve interesting effects, but spells with similar effect cannot stack on top of each other. Basically, you can’t buff the same stat twice. All effects are listed with an effect group, and then the specific effect. For example: Buff: Attack (+5).
The “Magic is Jealous” rule prohibits multiple effects from the same effect group (Buff, in the example above) to affect the same target.
The notable exception to this rule is the effects that performers cause with their songs. They bolster confidence in their party or cause actual distractions, which in turn help everyone fight better or make it harder for others to concentration. Their songs do not use magic to cause these effects, so if a caster’s spell boosts a stat for their party, a performer can also play a song to boost the same stat.
Different classes have the ability to create magic items. In effect they use a class ability to cast a spell and store it in an object outside of an encounter. This allows the caster to speed up their casting within a battle, to spend unused magic at the end of a day for use at a later date, or to give their magic to another player who may or may not also be a caster.
For more information on creating and using items, please see the item rules.
Some caster classes have the ability to write their own spells, coming up with unique effects based on their class and the character personality they are developing. If your character selects the “Spell Research” ability, you may spend EP to be eligible to research a spell between Phaze events.
To submit a spell, a player should submit the following information on their registration form (in the appropriate field):
- Spell name:
- Intended spell description:
- Preferences for spell card stats:
For example: A character that wants a long range fire damage spell might submit the following idea:
- Spell name: Fire Blast From Heaven
- Intended spell description: Blasts a target from long range with a bolt of fire from above. (Maybe sets them on fire?)
- Preferences for spell card stats: Long range is the most important stat. Amount of damage is not as important, but if they could be set on fire, that would be nice.
Preferences for spell card stats: I want it to do as much damage as possible and set the target on fire. If I have to have a shorter range, that is fine.
The more flexible you are in your request, they more likely the spell research will be successful. If you are too rigid, the weighting team might not be able to make the spell to your exact specifications and the research will fail and you won’t get a spell at all. It is sometimes helpful to submit one or two alternate ideas in case one of your spell requests is too powerful for your current level.
Spell ideas are due at the same time as registration forms for each Phaze event. If they are late, there is no guarantee that they will be ready in time for the event.