Magical Energy and Spells

V 2.2

          A great many thanks to Hellaurence for lending me her computer. I wouldn't have done it without her. Thanks also to the excellent Castle Falkenstein RPG for inspiration.

          Great news, guys and gals! As magical energy doesn't come from nowhere, spells now have an Energy cost. Yes, it's true, some spells are more potent, and thus more demanding, than others. Trust me. Energy is affected by elements such as the raw power of your spell, its complexity, range, duration...

          And still... A few words. This system is mostly untested, and, as every system using numbers, can be used and detourned by power-hungry players. As always, if it's done cleverly, without using a bug in the system, great! But if a player is taking you for a fool...

          OK. First, you'll have to know the complexity of the spell, in order to see if you can create it. Then, you'll calculate the energy cost of your spell. If you can handle it, you'll have to factor in Ambiant Magical Energies, or, in other words, Mana, in order to know the final energy cost of your spell. Then, you'll know the amount of personal energy you'll have to put into it, if, of course, you're willing and able to pay the cost.
          Of course, you won't always be in Shadow. Sometimes, you will Cast Spells in a Real Place. But if you must know Casting Time, you can calculate it easily.

          WARNING: As always, you don't have to take these rules into account everytime, but just when it is important. Most of times, all you'll have to know when crafting a spell is if you can cast it. That is, if you can control the energy of your spell.

          I) COMPLEXITY

     The complexity of a spell is equal to the number of microspells used in its creation.
     You can create a spell of a given complexity if the sum of your Psyche Finesse CPs and your Magical Expertise, divided by 3 and rounded up, is equal to its complexity.

Psyche Finesse+ Magical Expertise
0 to 3
3,... to 6
6,... to 9
9,... to 12
Maximum Number of Microspells

Back to Top

          II) ENERGY COST

                    2.1) Complexity

     The more complex a spell is, the more energy it'll need: energy cost is 2 points per microspell.

                    2.2) Potency

     Note that Levels 8 of potency are only available through (Power Type) Magic.

                              2.2.1)Dammage and Protection (as per the C&A rules)/Telekinesy

-2: Nothing/The same strength as 2 digits, a touch...
-1: Nothing/The same strength as an hand.
+0: Lvl 0 dammage or protection/Human Strength.
+1: Lvl 1 dammage or protection/Chaos Strength.
+2: Lvl 2 dammage or protection/Amber Strength.
+4: Lvl 4 dammage or protection/Low-Ranked Strength.
+8: Lvl 8 dammage or protection/Mid-Ranked Strength.

                              2.2.2)Shadow Opening

+1: Anywhere within a Shadow.
+2: A close Shadow (some Shadows Away).
+4: Same Shadow Area (such as the Golden Circle, or Gaïa).
+8: Same Shadow Region (such as the Pattern-dominated Shadows).

                              2.2.3)Shadow Manipulation

+0: A simple visual illusion, which is seen as an illusion: This spell only produces light, and cannot produce really strong illuminations (so, no, you won't blind someone). A possible example is the common Light spell.
+1: Can change a simple aspect of shadow, such as the appearance of a coin, change slightly a man's looks, restore damaged clothing... This can also create "true" visual illusion, which cannot be seen as unreal by sight, as well as create light intense enough to blind.
+2: Can change an minor feature of Shadow, such as transforming a man into a woman. Can create an illusion affecting sight, audition and smell. This is also the level at which one can create a mindlink.
+4: Can change the nature of an item down to the molecular level (as per a Petrify or Shapeshift spell), or create items from scratch (although they will be "mundane" items, without qualities or powers, unless you have Conjuration. The only exception is the creation of Spell Racks).
+8: Can change the physical laws of the Shadow, adding or suppressing Mana zones (though, of course, this won't last if you've not designed your spell for it, which requires at least a Create Magical Energy Microspell), creating anything, and mostly doing anything that someone with Mold Shadow can do. Of course, this is limited in scope by the Range, Duration and the Aera of effect of the Spell, although some changes can be permanent (a planet created stays created if it doesn't contradict the Laws of the Shadow).

                    2.3) Various Modifiers


-1: From Personnal to Touch Contact.
+0: Twice Brute Psyche meters AND Lign of Sight.
+1: Ten times Brute Psyche meters AND Lign of Sight or twice Brute Psyche meters without LoS.
+2: Lign of Sight or ten times Brute Psyche meters without LoS
+4: Arcane Connection/Known Place.


-1: Momentary (a few seconds)/Concentration.
+0: Less than an Hour.
+1: Less than a week.
+2: Less than a Year.
+4: Permanent unless dissipated. Only possible if the spell is linked to a regular mana supply. Otherwise, duration becomes a century.

                              2.3.3)Number of Targets/Aera of effect

+0: 1 Target/1mR.
+1: Named and Numbered Targets/10mR.
+2: A Horde of targets/200mR.
+4: An army/a country
+8: A Shadow.

                              2.3.4)Target Nature (Intrusive spells only)

     Some people are Innately Resistant to Magic than others, due to their Magic-resistant nature, Reality, or else. This resistance often extand to a few inches around them, so it also protects their equipement and possessions. This is in addition to any Psyche Finesse-based resistance (and most intrusive spells need to bypass such a resistance).
     Example of spells which require, or not, a Psyche Finesse Check: Mindlink: Yes; Detect Life: No; Petrify: Yes; Read thougths: Yes; Sense emotion: Yes; Destroy someone's clothes: No; Change the ground to mud under his feet: No (and Innate Resistance only apply under the target's feet when the spell is cast. If he moves after that, he's in the mud.
     If you don't meet the "Target Nature" requirement, the Spell's duration is reduced by one for each level that is lacking (but the reverse is not true!). That is, if trying to affect an Amberite with a spell designed to affet an Ordinary Shadow Creature, duration would be reduced by 4 levels. Any spell whose duration becomes less than Momentary has no effect.

-1: Ordinary Shadow Creature.
+0: Magical Creature/Sorcerer.
+1: Powerful Magical Creature or Sorcerer/Shadow Demon/Dwarf.
+2: "Real" creature (such as someone with Amber/ Chaos Blood, or a Chaos Demon)/Dragon.
+4: Bearer of a True Power (such as someone with Pattern or Logrus Imprint).

     Back to Top

          III) Magic and Control

     When you cast a spell, you often have to handle huge amounts of energy. Unfortunately for all the would-be sorcerers, there is a limit to the level of magical energies one can control.

     A magician can safely create or cast a spell with an energy cost lower than his (Brute Psyche CPs+Magical Expertise).
     Beyond this, he hurts himself as he struggles to control the energies he's summoned: each point beyond the safety limit causes the equivalent of 15 minutes of Heavy Exertion, and the GM may rule that the spell is a fumble, that the sorcerer has sequels, whatever (Karma, Expertise, Situation and GM Sadism all apply. As an untested rule of thumb, the spell is a fumble if the energy cost is greater than (Brute Psyche CPs + 2 times Magical Expertise + 1/3 Karma ).

Back to Top

          IV) MANA

     A Shadow's ambient magical energies are called Mana. These energies can be sensed by anyone with
Magical sight , or with any kind of supernatural sight. When crafting their spells, sorcerers can use these energies, thus lowering the energy cost of a spell.

     A Shadow's Mana can be exists in two forms:
                    -Ambiant Mana, rated from 0 to 10, is substacted to a spell's energy cost, which cannot be lower than zero. Some Shadows, known as Anti-magic Shadows, can have a negative Mana rating, which is added to the energy cost of the spell, as these shadows devour some of the energies used to cast a spell and/or resist your efforts to cast it.
                    -Power Pools, rated from 0 to 100, can be "taped" for energy. The Keep of Four Worlds is a good example of these rare and powerful commodities, that almost NEVER exist in a no-mana zone, as these would never replenish itselves when depleted. For a similar reason, these NEVER exist in negative-mana zones (as they would be depleted by their environment). When in a positive-mana zone, they regain a number of points equal to the Ambiant Mana Rating every 10 minutes.

     Some Magic items can provide additionnal Mana. There are two kinds of such items:
                    -Items that provide additionnal energy, called Mana Generators. Bought as per the usual C&A ranks (2,4,8), these provide additionnal energy equal to half their point cost (so, Level 1 doesn't exist).
                    -Items that provide a "pool" of magical energy, called Mana Providers. Once depleted, these pools need to be replenished of their energies in a positive-mana Shadow (each 10 minutes, a number of Mana Points equal to the Shadow's rating is regenerated). These items follow the C&A ranks (1,2,4,8) and have a containance equal to 05 times their point cost.

     Of course, both types of items can be combined, with a item providing a self-replenishing Mana Pool.

     Back to Top


     Mana cannot always provide all the power a spell needs. Whatever remains of the energy cost after substracting it must come from you. This expense of energy causes fatigue, the amount of which is equal to five times the energies expended minutes of exertion.

Back to Top


     All spells created with "true" Sorcery, as opposed to Shadow Sorcery, manipulate Shadow or create Shadow Openings. This is a lot more difficult in a real place, so spell may see their effect diminished or even canceled. For Shadow Opening between 2 places, consider the more real place as dictating the potency reduction.
-In Amber or a Primal Plane, spells are reduced in Potency by 2 levels.
-In a Shadow of the Realm, spells are reduced in Potency by 1 levels.
-In a Shadow of Desire, spells are not reduced in Potency.
-In a Chaos Shadow, spells are increased in Potency by 1 level.
-In the Heart of Chaos, spells are increased in Potency by 2 level.
     So, a spell can be reduced or increased in Potency, and an even have no effect if its new Potency is unsufficient. Alternatively, it may instead be reduced or increased (often resulting in wild effects) in anything from Range, Duration or Aera of effect. The GM is sole judge, save if the sorcerer has the Careful Magic (05 points) ability and has specifically designed his spells (additionnal time equal to 1 microspell, in which case he may dictate what will be reduced in power, and suggest possible effets.

     Another way to bypass these problems is to specifically designa spell to work in Amber, a Shadow of the Realm... You factor in the Potency modifier when crafting your spell, but it won't change the effect of your spell. For this purpose, consider that there are levels 16 and 32 beyond the Level 8 of potency.
Example: You want to be able to teleport quickly from Amber to the end of the Golden Circle (Same Shadow Aera), you'll need this: Shadow Opening Microspell=2, to a Near Shadow (+4, increased by 2 levels to 8, 16!), Range: Personnal (-1), one target (+0), Momentary Duration (-1), Target: Bearer of a True Power (+4) = 2+16-1-1+4 = 20 points!!! You'd better make a series of short jumps, like that: Shadow Opening 2, to a Close Shadow (+2, increased to +8), Range: Personnal (-1), one target (+0), Momentary Duration (-1), Target: Bearer of a True Power (+4) = 2+8-1-1+4 = 12 points. And even then, it's easier to use a Trump.
     If you use such a spell in a different type of Shadow that intented, it will vary in potency accordingly to the difference between the 2 types of Shadows. For Example, the aforementioned spell, cast in a Shadow of Desire, would act as a teleport spell to a Near Shadow, increased in Potency, Range, Duration or Aera of effect by up to 2 levels.

     Back to Top


     Casting time isn't dependant upon the energy cost, mana or else, but on the spell's complexity and number of microspells. So, Base time is 30 minutes, plus 1/6 per lynchpins.

     You may substract to base time your magical expertise, but there are limits on this:
                         - Up to 5 points: nothing special.
                         - Up to 10 points: You need at least the knowledge of 5 Power Words, as you will quicken casting by inserting special Power Words acting as magical "shortcuts".
                         - Up to 15 Points: You need the Knowledge of 5 Advanced Power Words. Everything is as before.
                         - Up to your Max: 5 Exalted Power Words required.

Back to Top

     Some sample spells are listed HERE.

     Back to Top
     Back to "Amber Rules"
     Back to MetalAmber