4. Class (2)
Magic is commonday practice in Gushémal, just like dragons and undead, therefore wizards are not really that extraordinary. Still, there isn’t a wizard on every street corner – probably because it takes a long time of study (and quite a bit of innate abilities) to become a wizard.
What is a wizard, and how does one become a wizard?
Magic is everywhere, in the people as much as in any objects, but the fewest can develop a sense of magic. It is an energy that a wizard can absorb and shape for his spells. To do this he uses an ancient, arcane language, the origin of which is completely unknown. Presumably the gods themselves invented this language to make magic usable.
Most wizards use tools to aid them in their spells. Aside from magical items (“appliances”), they employ various substances but also gestures to shape their spells to the desired effect.
Over the course of millenia this has given birth to a written form of the magical language, which enables wizards to record their spells and open their use to others.
To become a wizard is not an easy affair. A person needs to have a talent for magic – the ability to absorb magical energy, which is measured by the thaumaturgical level (TL). Wizards claim that every living thing possesses a TL; but the vast majority of people have one so low that they cannot even feel its presence.
A potential student is always tested for his TL. If the level is found to be very low, it would be practically useless to train the person – the talent for magic is too small.
But even a person with a powerful, natural TL cannot necessarily become a wizard, since a good deal of intelligence is required to understand the complicated processes, to learn the language. Therefore only a small selection of people remain who can hope to become wizards.
The operative word here is “hope”, since the students have to go through many years of demanding studies, which tax many students overly much. There are so many different kinds and applications of magic that no wizard in the world knows everything about his craft or commands every variety. There are also specific schools in which one can specialize, such as black magic for instance.
It also takes a long time until wizards can understand the complicated patterns from which the spells are weaved. Not surprisingly since wizards constantly work on crafting more and more difficult spells for more and more powerful effects.
There are two important qualities for a wizard: One is the TL, the other the spell level.
TL defines the strength of a wizard, or rather the amount of magic a wizard can absorb. He has to train every day to increase his TL – or just stay at his present level. These practice sessions consist mostly of meditation and concentration; the wizard reads and practices familiar spells (from his spell book), but doesn’t speak and execute them. Rather he holds them within himself, to feel the flow of magic.
Each spell actually cast drains a wizard’s TL, since magical energy is expended. He can cast spells as long as there is sufficient magical energy in his TL, after that he needs to replenish his magical energy.
Fortunately the latter is rather simple: A wizard needs to rest physically and tune his mind into magic, then the energy will flow into him. It is simple but not always convenient – in a battle, for instance, the wizard hardly has the opportunity to sleep for a few hours before he may rejoin the fight.
The spell level indicates the complexity of a spell. The higher the spell level, the more difficult it is to properly execute the spell – but the more potent is the result.
There are two basic strategies a wizard can pursue: The first is to try and acquire as many spell levels as possible, so that the more powerful spells are available to him. The other is to expand one’s TL, while remaining at relatively low spell levels; in this case the wizard can cast lots of simple spells and their effect might equal that of a single powerful spell.
While it certainly requires a very long time before a wizard can execute the simplest of spells, it should not be forgotten to mention what a powerful and experienced wizard can achieve later on.
Wizards can not only cast spells directly, they can also give them a physical shape and thus store them for later use – usable even by non-wizards, in some cases. These physical shapes are called magical appliances, which can look like metal rings for instance. There is a multitude of them, both by form and function.
Wizards are rarely equally treated, their status in the world differs from place to place. Some nations are aware of the great value of magic, they promote colleges of wizardry, support the wizards – or hire them directly. On the other hand, many of the more powerful wizards dislike being in someone else’s service, and prefer pursuing their own interests.
Then there are countries or areas where wizards are feared or at least less respected. Especially the rural folk respects and fears magic, harboring doubts about wizards, preferring to stay as far away from their kind as possible.
Yet again there are some areas where the use of magic is forbidden. Any captured wizard is executed. Fortunately – for wizards -, these places are very rare, indeed.
A wizard who doesn’t travel the world in search of new magical lore, can quickly find employment which either pays well or provides a high standing in the society (or both, admittedly). Many are interested in money only insofar as it advances their studies, which never end. As indicated above, there is always more to be learned about magic and spellcasting.
To learn new spells or new information on magic, a wizard carries a spell book in which she has noted every spell she has learned thus far. But she will also write down any spell she has just heard of, to learn and understand it at a later time. That understanding is absolutely required before any spell can be cast!
For a wizard to understand and master a new spell, she requires as many weeks as the spell level of that new spell. A first level spell can be mastered in one week, but higher levels can swallow many weeks, even months.
Wizards are free to learn and use any weapon, but since most put little value on training with weapons, a wizard may choose only 5 weapons for Weapon Mastery Level 1 (cf. 8.1.1. Weapon Mastery). If he desires to use more than these weapons, he has to buy them with experience points.
Wizards may also wear armor, but only those marked with an asterisk (cf. 7.4. Armor). These kinds of armor consist mostly of leather and do not hinder the wizard when casting spells. Wearing another kind of armor, the wizard can no longer spellcast.
Combat Casting: 60,000 EP
Ordinarily whenever a wizard is interrupted during the casting of a spell, she loses concentration and the spell can no longer be spoken.
Using the ability of combat casting, the wizard has to pass a willpower check to save and execute the spell.
Create Potion: 50,000 EP
Wizards can also create magical potions, but unlike clerical potions they do not serve for healing or protection but store a certain spell. (In that they are similar to magical appliances.) The spell can be used by anyone who drinks the potion.
Create Rings: 100,000 EP
These are, of course, no ordinary rings but those which contain magical abilities. In general they carry protective spells, but they may also contain other spells. The main advantage of these appliances is that their effect is durable, unless the magic is not dissolved through other spells.
The production of these objects is very time- and cost-consuming, the wizard requires excellently forged jewelry and diamond dust of no less than 2,000 gp (gold points) per ring or function.
Create Scroll: 50,000 EP
Unlike clerics, wizards can store their magical abilities or spells. One form of this is a scroll – which means the written form of a spell into which the required amount of TL has been infused.
To cast the spell, the wizard only has to read it from the scroll to effect it. He does not need to have any TL left; it is already stored within the scroll. Therefore scrolls are a magnificent method to store spells for emergencies. (The only problem is that during combat situations it takes a while to pull out a scroll and read the spell.)
It is rather difficult to create scrolls, not to mention expensive. It takes 100 gp / Spell Level for the base material alone.
Scrolls can only be used by wizards, but they are not required to have the necessary spell level nor do they need to know or understand the spell to work it.
Create Wand: 100,000 EP
Wizards use magical wands to store attack spells. (They may also be used for other purposes, but this is the most common application.)
The wizard needs a thin wooden staff, if possible from a very old and very hard wood. Elftrees are best suited for wands. It is possible to store up to 100 TL points worth of spells in the wand – beyond this the wand might explode.
Level 1............................................ 3,000 EP
Level 2............................................ 6,000 EP
Level 3............................................ 20,000 EP
Level 4............................................ 65,000 EP
With this ability, the wizard can summon supernatural creatures – i.e. demons – from places beyond the world of Gushémal. The wizard learns how to create protective runes and a protective magical circle to contain the summoned creature.
For further information, see 4.2.8. Summoning Demons (Wizards).
TL Points: 1,500 EP
A wizard has to gather a lot of TL to cast his spells. He isn’t done with just studying the spells to comprehend their complexity; he also needs to learn how to control more TL, which allows him to cast the more demanding spells – or cast a higher number of the smaller spells.
With 1.500 EP, he can buy one additional point of TL.
Unarmed Combat: 1,000 EP
This style of fighting is so easy that anyone can use it – depending on their abilities, of course. The base value for this style is the same as the base value of the character class, i.e. 25% for fighters, 20% for priests, 15% for thieves and 10% for wizards.
Add to this the strength bonus and further practice. An inexperienced fistfighter receives only half his normal values.
Otherwise unarmed combat is considered a weapons ability, and therefore the rules of Weapon Mastery apply. To increase your experience, you need to spend 100 EP per increased point.
Table 11: Spell Levels
Spell Level 1:
The spells from this level are the first – and simplest – that a young wizard can generate. They require generally very little TL, in turn their effect hardly lasts long.
A brief flash – like a flame to light something – or to glue together two small objects, these are two examples of spells from this level.
Spell Level 2:
Other than being more complex, the most important difference to the previous level is that these spells last a good deal longer. For instance, if the wizard creates a light in his hand, he can maintain it as long as his TL lasts.
Spell Level 3:
The spells in this level are the first to have an effect that endures without TL having to be constantly fed into them. They last (comparatively) long, or until they are triggered.
Examples are a door that has been magically locked or a spell book which closes automatically.
Spell Level 4 – 8:
The spells of these levels are more complex and powerful; only experienced wizards can reach these spells. (Should the party encounter one of these wizards on the opposing side – well, they are powerful indeed.)
From these levels onward, it becomes possible to create solid objects only through magic.
In order to summon a demon, the wizard first has to create the protective circle in which the creature from beyond is to be contained. (In other words, the circle protects the wizard, not the other way around.)
This summoning circle has to be powerful enough to grant the wizard control over the demon – which is not necessarily the case.
The easiest – and most dangerous – way is to paint the circle onto smooth ground (with chalk, for instance) or use a pulver to mark the circle. It is dangerous because there are several ways that the circle may be broken; the runes could be washed away, the pulver blown away. Once the ring is broken, the demon can freely escape.
The best and most expensive method is to carve or burn the runes into the ground.
Afterwards a coal fire is lit in the center of the summoning circle. Specific herbs are strewn into the fire, then the wizard begins the summoning ritual.
Wizards are able to summon specific demons if they know the creature’s name. Otherwise, in a generalized calling, they summon any kind of demon (which might be one who far exceeds the power of the protective circle).
When the ritual has been completed successfully, the demon appears in the circle, unable to leave its confinement. If the circle is correct and sufficiently powerful, the wizard has complete control over the demon and can now assign various tasks to the creature.
One is to ask questions which the demon must answer truthfully, provided it knows the answer. But as far as that is concerned, demons are by their nature very knowledgeable, including past and future.
It is important to ask the name of the demon, so that in a later summoning, this exact demon can be called again. After all, if the wizard survives this encounter, he can be fairly certain he will be able to control this demon in the future as well.
There are, according to current wizardly discoveries, five levels of demon. Demons of the second level and above generally control smaller, less powerful demons.
The wizard can now command the summoned demon to call one (or more) of its subjects, reveal the lesser demon’s name and command the lesser creature to execute the wizard’s orders.
On those orders, the lesser demon can leave the circle – but the originally summoned creature must remain confined in the summoning circle. Otherwise the wizard loses any control at all, and both demons will attack him.
Fortunately, the lesser demons are bound telepathically to their controller and cannot counteract its commands. In turn, the summoned demon has to obey the wizard in charge. Therefore it is safe for the wizard to allow the lesser creature outside and thus give it, in theory, the chance to attack him.
(It needs be remembered that the summoned demon may also be controlled themselves by another demon, one who is not only more powerful but also – more importantly – in no way bound by the summoning circle. This can apply to a second level demon as well as to a fourth level demon; in the latter case the controlling demon would have to be a fifth level creature.)
A demon confined in the circle can be sent back by the wizard at any given time, provided the circle remains intact. But should there still be lesser demons about on the wizard’s business, they will be instantaneously cut free from any commands as soon as the higher demon vanishes.
The chances are very high that the lesser demon will now track down the wizard and try to kill him, in order to prevent that the magic-wielder can ever summon their master (or themselves) again to do the mortal’s dirty work.
In other words, the wizard interested in self-preservation will make sure that all the lesser demons have been returned to their home abyss via the protective circle before he allows the higher demon to return as well.
(An interesting fact here is that the demon in control can also sense much of what its lesser brethren feel. To a certain degree, the demon can report the progress of its subjects to the wizard. It definitely knows whenever one of the lesser creatures is destroyed.)
As mentioned before, there are five levels of demons, each level more powerful than the one below. Wizards have ascertained this from legends and folktales as well as from the collected field reports of their own kind. (With some trepidation it has to be mentioned that many of those field reports were on rather charred and bloody paper.)
Unfortunately, current knowledge only allows wizards to create summoning circles of only four levels, adapted to each of the first four levels of demons.
A third level summoning circle safely holds a demon of first, second and third level – a fourth level demon effortlessly breaks through the protective runes and can inform the wizard in its usually rude manner how it enjoys being summoned by a mortal.
It is easy to see that a fifth level demon, the most powerful kind, cannot be bound by any summoning circle known to wizardkind today.
Since a generalized summoning might fetch a creature beyond the level of the summoning circle, the only – relatively – safe method to summon a demon is to call it by name.