Magic Archetypes

From Guidebook

All magic on Three is based on the different ways players can interpret Keywords in the meta, although characters are entirely unaware of Keywords themselves. While this page explains some of the flavour around archetypes and types of magic, as well as elaborating some lore, mechanical rules relevant to the Keywords must still be followed.

Ritual Magic[edit | edit source]

"You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy�enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point."

- Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

Ritual magic is both art and science. It is an ancient practice by which humanity is able to exert control over their realities, change their fates, and create magical artifacts. However, it is also a fickle and dangerous thing.

Though humanity has used ritual magic for thousands of years, it is not fully understood and likely never will be, as knowledge constantly expands. One thing is certain, however: there is very little room for error - when a ritual goes wrong, the results are universally disastrous. One wrong move and an arcanist may find themselves in the clutches of an angry demon or infected with an interdimensional parasite. Or, if they're lucky, they may simply blow up their workspace.

The use of blood in rituals is essential, but what type of blood used informs the result. Human blood is the safest option and the most effective. Human practitioners use their own without issue, but if the blood of a nonhuman is used the ritual is likely to go awry to a potentially destructive effect. This also includes cursed humans, who have had their blood tainted. If a nonhuman attempts a ritual, they may use the blood of a human in place of their own, but the ritual will be weakened.

Enchantments[edit | edit source]

Enchantments are an Arcanists bread and butter. While a full ritual takes time and preparation, arcanists have found ways around this limitation by creating enchanted items. With runes, arcanists are able to 'program' spells into physical objects, which opens up a world of utility and possibility. If you're looking for an enchantment, look for runes.

The process is simple, but not easy: by marking an object with their chosen runes, the arcanist then empowers the runes in a ritual, enchanting the item with their chosen spell or spells. The possibilities are endless- For example, an arcanist can fill a bottle with lightning, enchant a wand to shoot fireballs, create a flying vehicle, or create an automaton of a walking corpse. The most skilled arcanists can even permanently enchant living people, if they're able to mark their bones with runes.

One major limitation is the quality of materials. Whatever object they use will be channelling the primal forces of magic and wear and tear is expected. Unlike those who use blood magic, inanimate objects don't naturally heal. Natural materials, such as wood, metal, or stone, seem to have a great deal of staying power, while human-made materials like plastic tend to fall apart more quickly.

Marking runes into someone's flesh is a dangerous process, but many arcanists have risked it, empowering people with magic tattoos or scarification. Runes can also be used on a space for warding, or as the centre point of an area of effect.

Blood Magic[edit | edit source]

Unlike ritual magic, blood magic is innate, requiring no runes, circles, or components. Instead, its practitioners can pull energy directly from the aether and form it with their thoughts and intentions. The primary limitation of blood magic is that the practioner's body becomes the conduit, meaning it often takes a variety of physical tolls. The second biggest hurdle is that a person often needs to be born with their abilities. The only other option is for a human to become possessed or cursed, neither of which are pleasant.

Wild Magic[edit | edit source]

Very little is known about the magic employed by the shifters. Those born this way are clannish and secretive while those afflicted with the shifter curse are often doomed to an early painful death, too often drawing the attention of hunters or other magical beings with their lack of control.

What is known is that even if their magic may seem limited, it is powerful, consistent, and native to this plane of existence. A shifter's body seems to be completely woven through with their power, changing them mind, body, and soul. And although the afflicted face a great deal of stumbling blocks while learning their new powers, given the chance, they too eventually settle into their power.

It is not a charmed life, however. Shifters are dangerous to others and themselves without proper control. For both born and afflicted shifters, there is a very real possibility of losing themselves to their monstrous urges and instincts. For whatever reason they were made or evolved, they are built to be predators, hunters, and warriors.

Healing Magic[edit | edit source]

Magic can do many miraculous and fantastical things, but there are still limitations to how far it can go. Healing magic is a field all of itself, but it can take many forms, unique to the manner of magic used. Healing comes at a cost, taking something from the caster or requiring hard-to-find components, and only Shifters have so-called 'perfect healing.'

It cannot regrow limbs and organs from nothing; it needs something to build from and build on. As such, it can only offer replacements in whatever form is available to the caster. Gems for new eyes, living wood wrapped around bone for new muscle and tendons, transplanted flesh mutated over a gaping wound, the heart of a naiad to replace a dying one.

Healing can save someone from death, but depending on how grievous the wound is, it cannot spotlessly mend what was broken.

Mind Magic[edit | edit source]

Hypnotism, mind manipulation, whatever one might call it, it falls under the category of mind magic. Although not a formal area of magic, it loosely defines an effect of magic that many are suspicious of, but is not necessarily evil. Anything that would influence another person to feel, think, or do something they would not do without that push falls under the rules pertaining to mind affecting magic.

When using mind magic on another character, a character initiates the 'attack' with a Cinder roll and measures it against the DC or the Success Range. If they succeed, the target can choose to resist with a Cinder roll in their next post, initiating a contested roll.

Anything that goes completely against the target's ideals and beliefs may be ignored. If this magic is used against a PC, communication is critical. When mind affecting magic is used with the intent of lasting over time, the magic fades when the target is exposed to sunlight, either daylight or True Sunlight.

Iron Will[edit | edit source]

Humans without a Cinder pool have no defense unless they possess Iron Will. In this case, they can roll to resist with a 5d6.

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