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Falk Practiced Spells

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 9 months ago

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Most of this game mechanic is found in The Book of Sigils, page 125; it is called 'custom spells' there.



     Sorcerors construct spells in Castle Falkenstein from the Lore, adding definitions and restrictions to produce the final spell. A particular spell, with specific definitions, can be devised and then memorized by lots of practice, to allow the spell to be cast more quickly and accurately.

     Construct the spell as usual, determining its thaumic energy costs; some parameters can be left "blank" to allow for some flexibility in the actual casting. Side effects, manifestations, and other descriptions of how the casting and final effect look and feel should also be defined -- the more specific the descriptions, and the more restrictive the definitions, the more efficient the spell casting will be.

     The custom spell, when defined, reduces the base spell (the Lore) cost to 1/2 or 1/4 of its normal value. Definitions, if specified, are also reduced in cost, but must always be paid even if a less restrictive definition would suit for a particular spell casting.


     Example:  Countess Ostrowsky incorporates a range definition of "in another time" for her Mighty Portal spell. Normally, that definition adds 7 points to the final thaumic cost; but since it is specified and fixed for this spell, it only adds 2 or 3 points. However, the 2 or 3 points are paid even if only using the spell to create a portal out onto the lawn ...


     The amount by which the thaumic cost is reduced is dependent on how strictly or loosely defined the final spell is:


  • loosely defined:  the base Lore, the general special effects, and at least two definitions are described. Reduce base Lore cost by 1/4.

  • moderately defined:  the base Lore, the special effects, and at least half of the definitions are described. Reduce base Lore and specified definition costs by 1/3.

  • strictly defined:  the base Lore, the detailed special effects, and all of the definitions are described. Reduced all costs by 1/2.


     Practiced spells require, as one might guess, practice. The first three or four castings of the practiced spell won't get the full benefit of all the thaumic cost reductions -- the sorcerer is "getting the hang of it." For minor or inoffensive spells, these practice castings can be assumed to occur off-stage; but practicing the Destroy A Continent spell will have to be played out! Oh, and give the spell a name!


     Example:  Countess Ostrowsky wishes to have a practiced spell using the Lore of Portals to Lands in New Europa, from the Scrolls of Dimensional Movement. She is willing to practice a very strictly defined spell. Her player describes the effects and requirements for casting, and the final effects, in some detail (e.g.:   "I must create a large and complicated circle on the ground, filled with many mystic runes. The casting proceeds with a growing sound of wind and howling magical forces. The portal appears as a swirling vortex of fog with an ominous red glow behind it; small sparkles of lightning are given off by it from time to time. Clothing tends to lose its starching in the portal."). The duration (1 hour), range (to another country), number of subjects (up to 100), type of subjects (up to and including wizards), and knowledge of subject (subject totally unknown to caster) are all defined. The normal thaumic cost would be 6 + 3 + 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 = 24 points; but once fully practiced, this spell will only require 12 thaums (in the suit of Diamonds, as usual for Portals) -- however, it always requires 12 thaums, no matter how long it lasts, how far away apart the ends are, etc.. Since the Countess has a Great Ability in Sorcery (magic rating 8), she only needs to gather 4 thaums to cast it successfully. She names the spell ""Portail de Mon D├ęsir".


     A sorcerer may only have a limited number of practiced spells, equal to their rating or face value. Player-character sorcerers begin at the Good level; one supposes that cadets, students, apprentices, etc. might be at the Average level, but they don't get any practiced spells.


Sorcery Ability















     Beginning characters may start with at most one practiced spell. Practiced spells may not be forgotten, so choose wisely. A sorcerer with more than two-thirds of their possible practiced spells can be considered, hmm, studious or dedicated. Adding another practiced spell to a character is a sort of off-screen task -- usually, between adventures, or during a long period in prison, or on a round-the-world voyage (and not a fast one), etc.

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