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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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:
* 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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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
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.
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
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 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 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
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
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
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.
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
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%
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
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))
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