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Magic Guide
See Also: The Affects of Lore Skills on Spells


Magic consists of harnessing the forces that are present in all animate and inanimate creations in the universe of Elanthia. Magic users bend these eternal forces to their will according to their profession, degree of skill and knowledge of spell circles.

The study of the various branches of magic is primarily the prerogative of "full circle" spell users such as wizards, empaths, and clerics, although other professions can attain them with relatively greater difficulty.

 

 

The Concept of Magic Mana
Elemental, Mental, and Spiritual Spheres Mana Point Cost
Spell Circles Mana Point Regeneration
Spell Casting Mana Control - Elemental, Mental, Spiritual
Prepare - Cast - Release Spell Results
  Magic Items

 

The Concept of Magic

Magic is the manipulation of the fundamental forces of the universe, such as Spirits and Elements, to create magical effects and to cast spells. Magical forces are also brought to bear when a spell user employs spiritual forces via the power of his/her patron deities. These forces may be commanded to some extent by all beings of Elanthia, with non-magic users doing most poorly, followed by semi-spell users, hybrids, and then full magic users, specialists excelling in their chosen Spheres.

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Elemental, Mental, and Spiritual Spheres

There are three major spheres of magic in Elanthia. While the magical powers found within each of these spheres are primarily purely of one sphere, some professions have studied more than one sphere of magic, and have learned the secrets of combining the mysteries of the spheres to create hybrid magic.

Elemental Sphere
Elemental Power is the power that exists in everyone and everything of a given world or universe or system of beliefs. A spell user who partakes of the Elemental Sphere taps this power, molds it, and diverts it to spells. Most powerful element-based spells reflect their origin in the natural phenomena.

Mental Sphere
Mental Power is derived from the spell user's ability to shape reality and affect others through the mysteries of psychic energy. A spell user of the Mental Sphere draws on the power of the mana weave and molds it with his mind, channeling this psychic energy into a wide variety of spells.

Spirit Sphere
Spiritual Power is the power the deities of Elanthia deign to share with their followers or other spell users. A spell user of the Spirit Sphere draws directly on the power of the deity, usually without the conscious cooperation of the higher force.

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Spell Circles

Spell Circles are groups of spells that are similar in function or base application. They are grouped into categories depending on professions and spheres of power—Elemental, Mental, or Spiritual. Spell circles order spells in a hierarchy based on the correlation of spell level, intricacy of the spell and potency. Spell circles are learned in stages, as the character progresses in experience, knowledge and power.

Often, a magic user will have learned a list only up to a certain level. In that case, the user would know and potentially be able to cast all the spells on that list up to and including the highest-level spell he/she has apprehended to that point, provided it does not exceed his/her own level.

Spell circles are divided into three types: Minor, Major and Profession Based. The Minor Spell circles are the easiest concepts to master in each sphere of power, thus both pure and non-pure users can study them. Major Spell circles are the deepest and most powerful concepts common to each sphere of magic, and may be mastered only by pure or hybrid users from their respective spheres.

Minor/Major Elemental Circle
The Minor Elemental Circle is learnable by any profession, which shares in the Elemental Sphere, including non-spell users and semi-spell users. The Major Elemental Circle is learnable only by pure Elemental users – Wizards.

Minor/Major Mental Circle
The Minor Mental Circle is learnable by any profession, which shares in the Mental Sphere, which includes Monks, Savants, Bards, and Empaths. The Major Mental Sphere is learnable by only pure Mentalists – Monks and Savants.

Minor/Major Spirit Circles
As above, except the degree of specialization in the Spiritual Sphere determines whether a profession has access to the Major or Minor Circle.

Profession Based
Certain professions have spell circles learnable and usable only by members of that character class.

The professions have the ability to learn the following spell lists:

Bard Minor Elemental, Bard
Cleric Major Spirit, Minor Spirit, Cleric
Empath Major Spirit, Minor Spirit, Empath
Paladin Minor Spirit, Paladin
Ranger Minor Spirit, Ranger
Rogue Minor Elemental, Minor Spirit
Sorcerer Minor Elemental, Minor Spirit, Sorcerer
Warrior Minor Elemental, Minor Spirit
Wizard Major Elemental, Minor Elemental, Wizard

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Spell Casting

Once a spell circle is known up to a given level, a spell user can cast all the spells he or she has learned thus far. Normal restrictions on spell casting are preparation times and mana point costs.

The use of spells is a process requiring several stages. A spell, once learned, is ready to be cast by a magic user of its appropriate level or higher.

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Prepare - Cast - Release

Before casting, a spell must be prepared. The command PREPARE is used to warm or initiate the spell. If you choose not to cast a spell, you must RELEASE it before you can prepare another spell. Releasing a spell will result in the loss of some mana points, but not as many as if you had cast the spell.

Once a spell has been prepared using the PREPARE command, the spell is cast using the CAST command. Spellsongs from the Bard circle are released with SING, rather than CAST.

The casting of a spell may take several forms. You can cast a spell, such as a protection or camouflage spell, at yourself. You can cast at a monster, creature, NPC or character in either an informational, defensive or offensive capacity. You can cast a spell at an object, for instance in order to ascertain some property. Or you can cast a spell without specifying a target, as when casting a detection spell around a particular area, or an offensive spell, which affects everything in a certain radius.

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Mana

Mana is the raw magical energy found in each of the spheres of magic. It is by tapping into this energy that characters can power their spells, whether they tap into the magic through prayer to a god, focusing their inner will and psyche, or arcane words and gestures that harness the powers of the elements.

Each profession has one or more statistics that determine a character's base mana. A character's base mana represents his inherent potential at the start of his career. For a character to increase his maximum mana capacity, training in the Harness Power skill is required.

Base mana (at level 0): (Average Mana Stat Bonus)/2, round down

Each training in the Harness Power skill gains 3 mana for each rank up to your current level, and 1 mana per rank thereafter.

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Mana Point Cost

Mana points are measures of the mana needed to cast a certain spell at a certain level. The mana necessary to cast a spell is the number of mana points equal to the level of that spell (e.g., a 5th level spell costs 5 mana points to cast).

The maximum number of mana points a character can have is determined by his/her stats:

Bard Influence & Aura
Cleric Wisdom
Empath* Wisdom& Influence
Paladin Wisdom
Ranger Wisdom
Rogue Aura & Wisdom
Sorcerer Aura & Wisdom
Warrior Aura & Wisdom
Wizard Aura

* Until Phase II of GemStone IV, Wisdom will be the sole mana attribute for Empaths.

Note that Bardic Spellsongs have more complex mana point costs. In addition, there are spells in other circles with variable mana costs (notably some clerical spells), or that can provide higher benefits in exchange for a slightly higher cost. Consult the individual spell lists for details.

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Mana Point Regeneration

Mana recovery is currently 15% of max mana when off node and 25% of max mana when on a node. Mana Control training will increase that total by a fixed value (not percent), regardless of whether or not the character is on a node.

For professions with a single sphere of power: Bonus Mana Recovered = +1 per 10 ranks, rounded down.

For professions with two spheres of power: Bonus Mana Recovered = Evaluate higher of their two respective MC ranks as above. Evaluate lower MC ranks as above, divide by two (round down), and add to first result.

Example:
If a sorcerer has 170 skill (70 ranks) in Elemental MC and 120 skill (30 ranks) in Spirit MC, he will have a bonus of 7 mana recovery (70/10) for the Elemental training and a bonus of 1 mana recovery for the Spirit training (((30/10)/2) = 1.5, rounds down to 1) for a total bonus of 8 mana recovered per pulse.

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Mana Control - Elemental, Mental, and Spiritual

The Mana Control skill determines a character’s ability to manipulate mana, allowing the character to transfer mana to others. Mana Control is broken out into three spheres – Elemental, Mental, and Spiritual. Because these spheres of magic are so very different, the training in Mana Control of a particular sphere is required in order to manipulate the mana of that sphere. For example, a Sorcerer must train in Mana Control – Spiritual in order to successfully transfer mana to a Cleric with the appropriate training in that skill.

It is only possible to hold the maximum amount of mana, regardless of the amount transferred to the character. Finally, the transfer of mana to another character is not a perfectly efficient science; some mana will always be lost in transfer.

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Spell Results

Determining Hits and Misses
Elemental Attack spells use spell attack rolls to compute health point damage and severe hits in a way similar to combat rolls. Health damage from spells, as from weapon strikes, will result in accumulated damage to the target possibly leading to shock, bleeding, or death.

Spell Aim Skill
Spell Aim skill develops your ability to use and cast spells that are generally directed against a single target, as though you were hurling a missile or swinging a sword. The Spell Aim skill does not enhance a spell's ability in non-combative or on-targeted spells, such as a protective or a detection spell.

Elemental Attack Spells
Elemental spell attacks involve those combative or damage-inducing spells where the caster focuses nearby natural forces such as earth, water, fire, air, lightning, wind, heat, cold, light, etc. through the magic user, aiming at a specific individual target or adversary. Wizards are the primary users of elemental spells, being pure Elemental Circle users concentrating in this area.

Most minor attacks are dealt as regular ranged attacks, such as throwing a minor bolt of fire. However, the more major elemental attacks, such as a major ball of fire, can engulf entire groups of targets dependent on how they are situated.

Fumbles for Elemental Spell Attacks
Just as a fighter wielding a weapon can sometimes fumble an attack, so can a Wizard wielding a flame fumble their spell casting. These are determined along the same lines as normal combat, although in rare occasions can have some disastrous effects, dependent on the potency of the spell.

Spell Failure
For spell users, the use of encumbering armor makes the intricate gestures of spell casting more difficult. Most armor inhibits the use of spells somewhat, and spell casters tend to wear the lighter armors for this reason. The heavier armors can make it difficult to cast a spell at all, and failures will be frequent. When a character fails a spell because of this, the character loses the mana required by the spell, the spell misfires, and there is a short round time before the caster can prepare another spell.

Warding

Certain attacks occurring during play will require a character to make a warding roll to determine whether or how that attack affects the caster and the target. Warding rolls against spells are affected by various statistic bonuses depending on the type of attack, level of the attack, level of the defender, and the item used to make the attack (if there is one). When you advance a level, the factors influencing your ability to ward off attacks also change. Warding rolls are made against poison, disease, and some attack spells.

Non-Elemental Attack Spells
Non-elemental attack spells are spells that attack an opponent but are not elemental (heat, cold, etc.) in nature. These are resolved with the attacker making an attack roll, then applying the result to a warding roll made by the target. The net warding roll will indicate if the spell has affected the target.

Resolving Warding Attacks
Warding attacks are resolved by a number of comparisons: the level of the attacker, the level of the defender, magical modifiers on both combatants, and the armor worn by the defender. Some spells will have a difficult time penetrating armor, while others will ignore it completely. Once this comparison has been made, a random die roll is made and compared to the factors above in order to conclude if a spell has affected the target.

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Magic Items

The use of spells by your character is the main form of magical offense and defense. But items imbued with magical properties also are an important part of life in Elanthia. Enchanted weapons and armor impart extra offensive and defensive bonuses, as well as creating unusual effects.

Magic Weapons
Enchanted weapons are rare and precious finds in GemStone IV. Weapons with magical properties give the wielder specific bonuses in combat. They can give extra offensive bonuses when used to attack or extra defensive bonuses when held. They can inflict certain powerful critical strikes, which may be beyond the normal capabilities and level of the user. Magic weapons may also generate unusual effects, such as shocks or charges.

Magic Armor
Enchanted armor affords magical protection in terms of additional bonuses that lessen the severity of our foes' attacks. Magical armor can make you more difficult to hit, or it can reduce the severity of critical results you take in combat.

Magic Trinkets
Magical items also give the bearer special powers. Enchanted rings, helms, bracers, or amulets, for instance, may be imbedded with spells that operate continuously while worn, or that may be fired by manipulating the item.

Just as items can be imbedded with useful spells, so they may also be cursed to cause harm, injury or evil to the wearer or user of the cursed item. Cursed items cannot be dropped or removed without the aid of magic.

Magic Potions, Herbs and Salves
Magical potions, herbs and salves may have increased healing, strengthening or magic-giving effects, as opposed to the usual properties of non-magic herbs or draughts. Use of these items does not require skill. For a potion that makes you invisible, you would DRINK it, while a dose of magical leaves would be EATen.

Potions, herbs and salves do not last forever, and they contain a limited number of "charges" or doses, and usually cannot be renewed or recharged. You may find that after drinking five sips of a potion, for example, it gets used up, or that five applications of an herb exhausts the supply.

Wands
Wands and rods are enchanted tools that any profession can use to cast imbedded spells with. Training in the Magic Item Use skill enables you to use those items. To use the item, you WAVE <item> <target>. Again, these magic items have a limited amount of charges, and while they do not require preparation time or the spending of mana points when used, their magic is good for a limited number of spells. It can be very difficult, even dangerous, to attempt using the more powerful charged items without enough study of the Magic Item Use skill. Waving a wand can also result in considerable round times if the user is heavily encumbered.

The Magic Item Use skill enables you to use wands (and some other charged items) effectively. Your chance of success at waving a wand is determined by your Magic Item Use skill bonus, a bonus based on your degree of familiarity with the spheres of magic, the level of the spell in the item, statistic bonuses, armor worn, and encumbrance; all modifying the roll of a 100-sided die. If you wave the wand successfully, the spell will fire. If you fail, the spell could backfire on you or those around you, and the item may be destroyed.

Scrolls
Scrolls are magical items that have spells imbedded on them by inscribing spells, chants or characters on suitable media. The most common form is the scroll, a piece of paper or parchment with a written spell that must be examined and read to be used.

The Arcane Symbols skill enables you to decipher scrolls effectively. Your chance of success at deciphering a scroll is determined by your Arcane Symbols skill bonus, a bonus based on your degree of familiarity with the spheres of magic, the level of the spell written on the scroll itself, all modifying the roll of a 100-sided die. If you read the scroll successfully, you will have the spell ready, as if you had prepared it. You may then cast the spell at the appropriate target. If you fail to read the scroll, the spell could backfire on you or those around you.

A scroll must be used carefully. If you wish to attempt to determine the type of spell the scroll will cast, you must READ the scroll paper. Once you have determined that, you INVOKE the spell on the scroll in order to actually use the magic. When the scroll's charges are exhausted, it vanishes.

Activation
The following commands activate a magic item: TAP, RUB, WAVE, RAISE, EAT, DRINK & INVOKE

The TAP, RUB, WAVE & RAISE commands all require the Magic Item Use (MIU) skill in order to activate the magic item. TAP requires the fewest ranks, RUB is next, followed by WAVE, and finally RAISE.

The EAT & DRINK commands do not require Magic Item Use in order to activate a magic item.

The INVOKE command requires the Arcane Symbols skill in order to activate scrolls.

Duration
To calculate the duration of the spell effect based on the above activation commands, the spell's duration formula and the character's Magic Item Use or Arcane Symbols ranks are required. Spell duration formulas can be found in the spell documentation of this website.

MIU duration formula:
base duration + (MIU ranks * (half normal duration for spell ranks known))

When using the TAP command to activate a magic item, MIU ranks are halved.
When using the RUB & WAVE commands, use the normal MIU ranks.
When using the RAISE command, MIU ranks are 133% normal.

Example:

The spell Thurfel's Ward (503) spell duration formula is 1200 seconds +60 seconds for every Major Elemental spell known. Your character has 50 MIU ranks. What is the spell duration for the activation commands?

TAP: 1200 + (25 * 30) = 1950 seconds
RUB & WAVE: 1200 + (50 * 30) = 2700 seconds
RAISE: 1200 + (66 * 30) = 3180 seconds

When using the DRINK & EAT commands to activate a magic item, only the base spell duration is calculated. In the case of the Thurfel's Ward spell, it would be 1200 seconds.

Arcane Symbols (INVOKE) duration formula:
Base duration + (Arcane Symbols ranks * (half normal duration for spell ranks known))

Example:

Using the same spell example above and substituting the 50 MIU ranks for 50 Arcane symbols ranks, what is the spell duration when invoking a scroll with the spell Thurfel's Ward?

INVOKE: 1200 + (50 * 30) = 2700 seconds

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