To cast a spell the magic user creates a spell effect that has two main components, a ‘bid’ damage and a ‘consequence’ damage. If the user’s action check is successful the spell takes effect, dealing the consequence damage. If the action check is not good enough, the user also sustains the bid damage. In the case of a critical success or failure, a magical side effect happens.
There are 4 schools of magic. Each magical spell lies within one of the schools. While there is no direct specialization in schools, they serve as guide for aspects and stunts. The four schools are:
- Life – Body, Mind, Spirit
- Perversion – Undeath, Void, Abyss
- Providence – Time, Chance, Planes
- World – Space, Matter, Energy
Spellcasting in Verse is a little bit different than your everyday magic system.
How it works
When a character wants to cast a spell he or she reaches into The Tapestry, the magical continuum from which all reality is made. From The Tapestry he or she extracts the desired effect in magical energy, but must release break the barrier holding it in place. If this barrier isn’t cleanly broken, it lashes back at the caster causing damage. If it isn’t broken fast enough, it will fade from existence.
To cast a spell, you first decide on the spell you want to cast. The spellcaster then creates a ‘lacon’ with the spell effect inside it. A lacon is a container that holds the spell effect inside of it. To release this energy, the lacon must be shattered.
Lacons are described as NPCs with specific attributes, stresses, aspects, and stunts. In general a lacon looks like:
- Max Stress = Core Modifier + Basic Modifier + Advanced Modifier
- Static Attack Modifier = Core + Basic
- Static Defense Modifier = 0
- Because I am a lacon, I deal Bid Damage to anyone who attacks if I do not die.
- Because I am a lacon, I deal Consequence Damage to the target described in my spell effect when I die if they fail their defense action.
- Because I am ephemeral, I can disappear and never be seen again if I am not interacted with for 1 minute.
The lacon has to be dealt stress equal to the total spell modifier before it releases the effect. When the lacon is destroyed, it then attacks our reality with its Attack Modifer. The stats for the lacon are found using a method described in Creating Spells.
You want to cast a spell that causes the target to take 4 stress due to bludgeoning damage. There are two ways to do this
You cast a spell that summons a magical club that whacks a target in the chest for 4 bludgeoning damage. Since this is a Control spell, it will have a bid damage of 4, a core modifier of 4, a basic modifier of 2 and an advanced modifier of 0.
Conjuring the lacon is free and instantaneous, so you roll your attack on it the same round. This particular lacon has a maximum stress of 4+2+0=6. For the spell to take effect, you must roll 6 or higher. If you want to not sustain the bid damage you must roll 7 or higher.
If the lacon is not destroyed, you sustain the bid damage and can reattempt to destroy it within the next minute. The stress the lacon takes is cumulative, so if you rolled a 4 the first time, you only have to roll a 2 to cast the spell or a 3 to cast it without sustaining bid damage again.
When the lacon is destroyed, it attacks the target with the spell effect. It doesn’t roll; it has a static attack of 4+2=6. The target, a goblin named Balg, tries to quickly dodge out of the way of the magical club, and gets a result of 4. Balg gets smashed and sustains 4 stress. He places it in a moderate consequence “Broken Ribs”.
In this method, instead of conjuring a magical club to do damage, the effect of the spell simply is that the goblin sustains broken ribs.
Here the spell will have a bid damage of 4, a core modifier of 4, a basic modifier of 3 and an advanced modifier of 0. The basic mod is higher since the spell effect has changed from “Implicit” to “Explicit” since the damage will now be forced into the moderate consequence “Broken Ribs” instead of allowing the goblin to decide how the stress is distributed.
When Balg rolls his defense, he can no longer quickly dodge the spell, since that doesn’t make sense anymore. His defense options have changed so now he tries to Forcefully endure and overcome the spell effect. He now has to achieve a 4+3=7 to stop the spell effect, and has no choice but to put it in that consequence slot.