From Edge of Darkness Wiki
- Ten Arcana are the spheres of magic used in a spell:
- Duration is the Spell Factor governing how long a spell lasts: Prolonged or Transitory
- Spell Factors also determine what a spell can affect (a person, place or thing): Area-Affecting, targeting a Pattern, or Aimed
- Spells can invoke Paradox, based on their Spell Aspect: Covert or Vulgar
- Spells are cast as Improvised using Gnosis + Arcana as the dice pool or as a Rote using Attribute + Skill + Arcana
- Spells can be cast in the immediate area of Sensory Range or remotely with Sympathy
Improvised spells are based on the mage’s enlightened will and knowledge of the Mysteries. A mage can cast improvised spells by dint of her Path; she needs no training from other mages (although training certainly helps!). Any spell listed in the Arcanum descriptions can be cast as an improvised spell, provided a mage has the proper Arcanum dots. No additional experience point expenditure is required.
Rote spells, also known simply as “rotes,” are tried-andtested magical formulae, handed down from master to apprentice, and developed over the course of a mage’s training and practice in the Art. Every rote started out as an Improvised spell. A mage comes up with a spell for a particular purpose and finds it useful enough to use the same spell over and over again. The mage teaches others to envision the spell’s Imago and perform its casting gestures, and they in turn pass it on. Over time, the spell becomes a standard, known to many or all mages in an order, learned and cast by rote.
The Arcanum descriptions explain discrete spells and their effects. Sometimes, however, a mage wants more than one of these spells to take place with a single casting. The result is called a combined spell. The chief advantages of a combined spell are that it counts as only one spell toward the total the mage may have active at the same time (see above), and all its effects activate simultaneously. Combined spells are still limited by the normal rules for Spell Accumulation.
A mage can tolerate only a certain number of spells cast on him before the resonance’s signal-to-noise ratio interferes with his ability to cast magic. This effect is called “contagion,” and a mage’s ability to withstand it is called his Spell Tolerance, determined by his natural Stamina.
Spells that lasts for only an instant (one turn) do not count toward the mage’s Spell Tolerance total, as the effect is too fleeting to interfere.
Enchanted or Imbued Items counts as only one spell toward Spell Tolerance for every two spells (or fraction thereof) that are enchanted or imbued into it. For example, an item imbued with one or two spells counts as one spell toward Spell Tolerance, while an item imbued with three or four spells counts as two spells.
Each spell cast upon him (by himself or others) in excess of his Stamina levies a –1 dice penalty to any spellcasting roll made for him. He suffers this penalty for as long as the total number of spells exceeds his Spell Tolerance.
Mages can maintain only a certain number of active spells simultaneously, equal to Gnosis +3. The more potent their Supernal will, the more spells they can keep active. A mage cannot exceed this limit. If he has already reached it, he must cancel one of his active spells before he can cast a new spell.
When casting a spell in a scene it is considered to be cast at the time and place the scene occurs. Spells cast using duration factors may be assumed to be cast in advance, but not in excess of the time allowed by the penalty noted in the dice roller. Note that aforementioned spells cast in-scene are potentially visible by all characters present, and in public this may include Sleepers.