Tower of Shadows: Sorcery
In effect, Sorcery replaces all of the rules for the use of the Force found in Force and Destiny and other Star Wars RPG supplements.
Unless otherwise noted, all of the rules associated with the use of the Force apply to Sorcery. And a summary is as follows:
- Casting a spell through the use of Sorcery is always an Action unless the Spell, Talent or similar specify otherwise.
- Characters with magical aptitude have an Arcane Rating, instead of a Force Rating. Arcane Rating functions identically to Force Rating in all respects and is used in an identical way.
- Characters with an Alignment score of 30 or above, use Results unless otherwise noted by the Spell, Talent, or effect. Characters with an Alignment score of 29 or less use unless otherwise noted by the Spell, Talent, or effect.
- Characters may choose to use Arcane Results other than / but to do so, the Character suffers a number of Strain and Conflict equal to the Results used. The Character must also Spend a Destiny Point.
- NEW RULE: Channeling - Often an Arcanist will be unable to generate sufficient in a single role to get their desired effect. This does not mean, however, that they are unable to do so, simply that they must take more time to gather power - this is known as Channeling or Ritual Casting. Once a character with an Arcane Rating has rolled as part of a Sorcery Check, they may choose to hold the generated and roll again the subsequent turn, adding the generated by both rolls together. They may do this a number of times equal to their Arcane Rating (so a Character with an Arcane Rating of 1 could make and combine two rolls). Each time a Character chooses to do this, they suffer 3 Strain.
In order to Cast Spells and make Sorcery Checks, Characters must be able to clearly speak and their hands must be free and carrying no objects.
- NEW RULE: Sustained Effort - While Committing can grant powerful effects that remain in place - keeping the Arcane energies contained requires effort on the part of the Caster. For each you have committed, you suffer 1 Strain at the end of each Combat Round or Minute, as appropriate.
Sorcery in the Realms
Arcane energies permeate everything within the Realms. While true Magical Objects are rare to the point of Mythical, there are many who possess the ability to call upon the Arcane and perform amazing feats.
The terms Sorcery, Arcane, Occult, and Magic are used interchangeably and have the same meaning. Arcane power is known to be divided into two energies, that of the Light and that of the Shadow. While either can often be used to achieve the same effect, the Light is most commonly considered to be a source of inner strength, peace, and order. The Light is also the fundamental foundation of the beliefs of the Holy Church. Its polar opposite is the Shadow. Known to be deceptive and corruption, the Shadow is commonly believed to be a source of aggression and enslavement.
Further, the Holy Church teaches that the Light has a will of its own, driving all of the peoples of the Realms to their destiny. But the Shadow, with it's corruptive influence, actively tries to undermine the will of the Light and twist others to stray from their predetermined path.
Because of this corruptive influence, untrained or unsanctioned Sorcerers are universally feared. Arcane power can turn a common man into a near god, and abuse of that power has driven many to become tyrants, warlords, and villains of every sort. The history of the Realms (such as it is) is filled with such accounts, and these Eclipsed (the term for someone that has been turned to the Shadow) individuals have become the antagonists that legendary heroes have defied and defeated.
Within The Kingdom practicing Sorcery is outlawed unless the practitioner is Sanctioned by either the Throne or the Church. The Throne maintains an organization where it puts such individuals to use - known as the Order of Battle Mages. They are trained within Enclaves scattered throughout The Kingdom, and can be called upon at any time by the Throne, the Court or a member of the local Nobility. When not in such service, Battle Mages are free to travel the lands as they wish. It is customary for any local authority or Nobility to provide a Battle Mage with room and board, if so requested, while they are within their lands.
The Holy Church is also authorized to sanction practitioners of Sorcery within the Kingdom. This is normally reserved for clergy of the Holy Church and the Holy Order of Justicar Knights, though it is not unheard of for the Church to offer Sanction to others that have proven themselves devout and of great service to the Holy Church and The Kingdom. It should not be mistaken, however, to assume that the Holy Church only exists within The Kingdom. The Holy Church spans across all of the Realms, though in most cases, the individual dioceses generally have no true authority over their neighbors.
The Holy Order of Justicar Knights is an anomaly within The Kingdom. While technically a part of the Holy Church, it stands apart from the clergy and is not directly answerable to it. The Justicars maintain their own fiefdoms and fortresses, which stand outside of the authority of the Nobility. They pay no taxes to the Holy Church or the Throne, but are duty bound to answer a call for action. By ancient law, the ruling of a Justicar is final and not even a Bishop or the King himself can reverse it. In practice however, Justicars are often careful to prevent such conflict between themselves and such bodies of authority. Justicars act, in many cases, as roving judges and enforcer or the will of the Holy Light and in many cases the Kings Law.
Outside these sanctions, the use of Sorcery by the people of The Kingdom is forbidden, though treaties with neighboring Realms often makes exception for their people - such as the Stoneshapers and Mystics of the Dorrin. Those found practicing Sorcery without such sanction are subject to harsh punishments in some circumstances. Generally, if found by an the Throne, the Church, or the Justicar Knights, if such an individual has not fallen to the influence of the Shadow, they will be inducted into that organization - so long as they have not serious violated any other laws. Poor souls that do not meet this criteria are subject to summary execution in many cases.
Because of this harsh penalty, there are many who are born with Arcane potential that practices their powers and spells in secret. This has created an entire underworld of persecuted and secretive Spell Casters. Unfortunately, in most cases these underground movements succumb to the corruption of the Shadow - severing to reinforce the belief that only sanctioned Orders are safe.
Powers of Sorcery
In addition to various Talents that Characters can develop through one of the four Arcane Classes, there are three broad categories of mystical spells. They are Divination, Evocation, and Enchantment.
Each Spell has a listed cost that must be spent in Experience Points to learn that Spell. Further, Spells also have Empowerments, that alter or improve how a spell works. Once an Empowerment is purchased, it is always considered available, normally as part of the Sorcery Check, but you are not required to make use of it.
Divination is the term used to define the broad category of Spells that are used to gather information, read minds, and foretell the future or past. Such Spells are:
Evocation is the power to channel energy. It covers the ability to move objects, shield and protect, direct bolts of force, fire or lightning, and heal.
Enchantment is the term used to define Spells that influence the mind, manipulate the earth, and cast illusions.