Magic

Making Arcane Heroes

The first thing an arcane hero must do is buy the Arcane Background Edge and choose which type of supernatural power he practices. Two different types of powers are presented in Dark Legacies: the Arcanist and the Priest. All types of powers use the same basic rules but with a few very important differences in the details.

Arcane Skill

Each type of background has a particular arcane skill: The Voice for Priests, and Spellcraft for Arcanists. You need to take the skill for your character’s particular Arcane Background and put points into it as usual, so if you’re planning to take an Arcane Background, make sure you put some skill points into the corresponding arcane skill. The Voice is linked to Spirit, and Spellcraft to Smarts.

Starting Powers

Arcane heroes start with a number of powers that may be chosen from a specific list, dictated by the Arcane Background they practice—see the Arcane Background entries for specifics.

Learning New Powers

An arcane character can learn a new power by selecting the New Power Edge. As soon as he chooses this Edge, he can begin using whichever power he chooses for his new power. In-game, the power comes through practice or research if the hero is a priest, but this occurs in the hero’s “down time” between sessions and is ignored. Arcanists must find or purchase spells when learning a new power in order to take advantage of the New Power Edge.

Using Powers

Most powers follow the rules as presented in the SWEX, requiring an action and costing a set amount of power points. However, a few powers require a set amount of time to successfully use. These powers are generally used outside of combat and involve more ritualistic trappings.

Arcanist Powers

Bypass Barrier (Rare)

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 1 (requires 1 hour)
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Trappings: Metal spike, hammer (focus); The caster embeds the spike in the ground next to what he wishes opened. As he invokes the spell, he continues to tap the spike at regular intervals. The spell activates when the spike is fully embedded, marking the spot from which the demonic arms emerge.

By invoking a lengthy ritual, the caster can call upon slithering demonic arms to bypass an otherwise impassable barrier. If it is a locked door, they defeat the lock. If the door is barred, they smash it open. Whatever the case, the caster has no control over the manner in which the spell open the way for him (or the commotion that it causes). In an active trap was set to trigger on the door or object being opened, it is triggered normally.

Call Demon (Rare)

Rank: Seasoned
Power Points: 5 (requires 1 hour)
Range: Smarts
Duration: Special
Trappings: A living humanoid creature; blood and ash if using a binding circle (see below); If the caster wishes to contain the demon for as long as possible - a necessity when he or another caster wishes to immediately deconstruct it - he can set up a binding circle. Doing so requires that he paint a symbol of Azrae along with specific glyphs of restraining within a perfect circle. The caster must use a brush constructed from a skull and human hair, with paint made from the victim's blood mixed with ash. Constructing a binding circle requires an additional hour of preparation and a Spellcraft check with a -2 penalty, all the while ensuring that the sacrifice does not die of blood loss. The GM makes the check secretly. If it fails, the circle is ineffective. Failing to use the proper materials also renders the circle ineffective. In order for the spell to take effect, the sacrifice must be incapacitated but alive. If using a binding circle, the sacrifice is placed in the center of the circle. As the spell is cast, a portal opens to the Abyss directly above the sacrifice. Halfway into the casting, the terrified victim is pulled physically into the portal, all the while bellowing out screams of agony. The final note of these screams remains audible until the spell completes, at which point a demon materializes from the conduit and silence descends.

This spell opens a one-way conduit from the Abyss, through which a demon is transported. Demons are usually called for a specific purpose, such as immediate deconstruction for use in creating a demonic item of power. Calling a demon with an intention to negotiate some service typically results in deception on the demon's part, followed by the caster's slow and painful death. Each demon reacts differently to being called - some are enraged at being manipulated by mortal hands, while others may be entertained. The final attitude of the called demon is ultimately up to the GM (who may decide to roll randomly on the NPC Reaction Table).

In order to bring a creature of the Abyss to Earth, the caster must exchange a living humanoid as trade - one from the Abyss, one to the Abyss, the latter presumably to be tortured, eaten, or beaten about as sport. The type of demon that appears is based upon the success of the roll. With a raise, the summoner gets the specific demon he wants; otherwise he must draw a Chaos card. If the caster rolls a one on his skill die regardless of the wild die, and the summons is successful, the demon appears and is uncontrolled (appearing outside of any binding circle). Should the caster roll snake eyes, he is both Shaken and an uncontrolled demon manifests.

A summoned demon is disoriented for 1-3 rounds after being called, during which it is considered Shaken. If it is attacked, however, it automatically recovers. If a binding circle has been set up, the demon cannot affect the world beyond the edge of the circle with attacks, abilities, or by any other means for an additional 1-4 rounds, but it may communicate normally. After this time has passed, the demon is freed from its bondage.

Cardiac Assassin (Rare)

Rank: Veteran
Power Points: 2
Range: Smarts x 2
Duration: 3 (1/round)
Trappings:
The caster violates the chest cavity of a single creature from a distance, crushing its heart by proxy of a surrogate heart squeezed within his hand. On the completion of the spellcasting, a single creature within range becomes paralyzed as though suffering from a severe heart attack, and remains completely paralyzed for the duration of the spell and has a Parry of 2. Targets of this spell may resist with a Vigor roll opposed by your Spellcraft roll. The spell ends…

Cascade of Spikes ()

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 1-6
Range: 12/24/48
Duration: Instant
Trappings:
Cascade of spikes is a standard attack power of arcanist. The damage of the spiked chain is 2d6.
Additional Chains: The character may cast up to 3 chains by spending a like amount of Power Points. This must be decided before the power is cast. The chains may be spread among targets as the character chooses. Firing the additional chains does not incur any attack penalties.
Additional Damage: The character may also increase the damage to 3d6 by doubling the Power Point cost per chain. This may be combined with the additional chains, so firing 3 chains of 3d6 damage costs 6 Power Points.

Locate ()

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 2
Range: Smarts x 2
Duration: 3 (1/round)
Trappings:
This spell is useful when hunting for objects. The character must name the object he seeks when casting. He can be vague (a trap, secret door, or pile of gold coins) or specific (Baron Alphonso Garcia or an orc chieftain). The power cannot be used to locate supernatural objects, persons, or effects.

With a successful arcane skill roll, the caster senses the direction and distance of all objects within range named during the casting. He can detect objects concealed by mundane means, but cannot discern how to reach them, or sense invisible objects.

Umbilical Guardian ()

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: 3 (1/round)
Trappings:
Deflection powers work in a variety of ways. Some actually deflect incoming attacks, others blur the target’s form or produce other illusionary effects. The end result is always the same however—to misdirect incoming melee and missile attacks from the user.

With a standard success, attackers must subtract 2 from any Fighting, Shooting, or other attack rolls directed at the user. A raise increases the penalty to -4. This also acts as Armor against area effect weapons.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License