The magic of Breaking Worlds takes many forms. The two main types of magical ability within the game are spells and rituals.
A Spell is a supernatural effect that is cast quickly by a single person. These almost always have a call to indicate the effect.
Spells can be targetted in five ways:
- A self range spell only affects the caster.
- A close range spell requires the caster to be close enough to touch the target (though they do not need to actually touch). Unless it is also explicitly a self range spell, the caster may not use it on themself.
- A ranged spell can be used on a target up to five metres away, and requires the caster to clearly indicate the target (such as by calling their name or description).
- A mass spell uses the MASS call, which affects anyone within a five-metre radius of the caster. The caster may delineate an area of effect with their arms.
- A wide spell uses the WIDE call, which affects anyone within a ten-metre radius of the caster. At an interactive, it affects everyone present.
The caster must use a vocal (speak a few words appropriate for spellcasting). They must also have one hand free (that is, not ruined by CLEAVE and not holding a weapon or other item) to cast a spell.
An exception is that you may cast while holding a clearly magical implement such as a wand, rod, or staff. This may be weapon-safe - if so, it is considered a weapon and you may strike with it in melee for implied SINGLE (if you are proficient with a weapon of that size) or ZERO, but you may not use it to deliver more powerful blows using stamina.
After casting a spell, a character cannot start casting another spell for five seconds.
A Ritual is a supernatural effect that may have multiple participants and takes more time than a spell. Rituals are categorised as Minor, Major, or Epic, in the same way as EFFECTs.
- A minor ritual is slower and more complex than a spell, but still fairly routine. Anyone with the required skill is able to perform a minor ritual with two minutes of appropriate roleplay. However, they can sometimes increase the effect of the ritual by making additional efforts (see below). A character may be the target of any given minor ritual up to twice per day.
- A major ritual is a significant and impressive work of magic. Performing a major ritual takes at least two minutes and requires additional costs (at least two or three from the list below, and ideally more). A character may be the target of any given major ritual up to once per day.
- An epic ritual is an exceptional feat of magic. Performing such a ritual takes several minutes and requires substantial additional costs (examples from the list below) as well as a suitable plot opportunity - the Guides can advise on this.
Sources of power for a ritual include, but are not limited to:
- Performing the ritual with several participants
- Performing the ritual with the assistance of one or more spirits
- Performing the ritual in a place of power
- Sacrificing a significant amount of silver - usually at least 16 SD
- Sacrificing gold
- Sacrificing something with inherent magical or spiritual power (including people!)
For each ritual performance, its goal is determined by the leader, who must have the appropriate skill. The leader can conceal or obfuscate the goal from observers or even from the other participants. However, all participants will become aware of the effect of a ritual when it is completed, and any non-participant with the ability to examine a magical effect can use this ability on a ritual in progress.
Each ritual performance should be obvious to observers, even if its goal is concealed.
The skills Elemental Ascendancy, Elemental Mastery, and Mastery of Evocation allow a character to improvise rituals within a particular theme. These improvised rituals are less efficient than standard rituals and have additional requirements:
- Improvised rituals always require one more source of power than a standard ritual of the same power level (examples from the list above).
- Improvised rituals always require some kind of material sacrifice as one of the sources of power.
In the right circumstances and at ref discretion a character may be given the opportunity to turn a suitable improvised ritual into a standard ritual, which can then be learned as a skill.