Lands of Brixia
Divine Magic is gifted by the gods and is usually available only through membership of a cult–and even then, only to cult members who have attained an appropriate level of standing within the cult. Lay members of a cult– those who follow the cult’s precepts and generally adhere to the faith but make no formal commitment to it – have no access to Divine Magic. Initiates and above– those who have opted to serve the cult and their god directly– do have access to Divine Magic and Divine spells are often a signifi cant enough lure to secure this depth of commitment. An Adventurer may be initiated into more than one cult and thus have several concurrent Pact skills, reflecting extreme dedication to a godly pantheon, for example.
Divine Magic has a number of essential characteristics separating it from other types of magic:
- Spells reflect the runes the particular god embodies. Most gods are inextricably linked with one or two runes– sometimes three– that reflect their creation, their nature, their power and their sphere of influence. Divine Spells are, to some extent, a more powerful demonstration of runic power but they are not, in themselves, literal runes. They are the channelling of runic forces via the behaviour of the god associated with those runes– meaning that two different gods associated with the same runes may provide very different Divine Spells.
- Divine spells are significantly more powerful than Common Magic spells in that no Magic Points are needed to cast them; instead they are channelled directly from the god. However, the amount and strength of Divine Magic any Adventurer can use is dependent on how deep a relationship that Adventurer has cultivated with his god, through the dedication of POW and increasing the Pact with the deity.
- Divine Magic relies on two skills: the Pact skill (See below), which reflects the strength and depth of the divine relationship and is used to both gain and regain spells; and Lore (Specific Theology) to channel the spell.
Essentially a Pact is a commitment to serve a god through devoting one’s soul through worship. The making of a Pact is represented by dedicating one or more points of POW to the god. The Adventurer still possesses the POW for the purpose of calculating skills but it is the god which harvests the Magic Points from the dedicated POW.
- Making a Pact is simple: the character, at the point of cult initiation, declares how many points of POW he intends to dedicate to the Pact. He must dedicate a minimum of 1 point and a maximum of one quarter of his available POW. The dedicated POW then forms the basis of his Pact Skill.
- The starting value of the Pact skill is equal to CHA + Dedicated POW. Like any other skill it can be developed through the spending of Improvement rolls, improving the CHA characteristic,or dedicating further POW.
Pact can also be increased in other ways (see Pact Improvement table). The higher the Pact skill, the more dedicated the follower. It is not a measure of how much an Adventurer knows about the cult or god; that is still measured by the Lore (Specific Theology) skill.
As the Pact increases, so does the propensity to act in the way or ways the god or focus of veneration acts– much in the way that Myth Resonance influences behaviour. The higher the Pact, the more like the god, or object of veneration, the character becomes. Thus his character, judgements, deeds and actions refl ect those of his god, because the character is essentially becoming more and more like his god.
Dedicated POW Prerequisites and Limits
The amount of POW that can be dedicated to any particular Pact is dependent on the rank and the cult itself. Some cults will have a minimum dedication but all cults have a maximum dedication, based on the rank.
- Lay Member– No Dedicated POW
- Initiate– ¼ of POW
- Acolyte– ½ of POW
- Priest– ¾ of POW
- High Priest– All POW
Lore (Specific Theology) (INT x2)
A specific theology skill is associated with every god. Thus Lore (Storm God) exists discretely from Lore (Moon Goddess). The skill is used in two ways: first as a measure of the knowledge the Adventurer has of the god’s myths, aspects, behaviour and so forth and of the rituals, ceremonies and practices associated with the god’s cult.
Secondly Lore (Specific Theology) is used as the skill roll for casting any Divine Spells associated with the god successfully. So, an Adventurer with Lore (Storm God) 60% has a 60% chance to cast any of the Divine Spells he has gained from his worship of the Storm God.
If a deity is part of a wider pantheon then the Adventurer understands the Lore of gods associated with the pantheon at half his Lore (Specific Theology) value but he cannot use this to cast Divine Spells. Pantheistic cults do, frequently, teach the spells from one member god to cult members of an allied cult and where this is permissible then the Adventurer uses his full Lore (Specific Theology) for spell casting.
Casting Divine Magic
Divine Magic spells are prayed for by the worshipper before they can be called upon. Divine Spells do not cost any Magic Points when cast, as the caster is channelling the power of their god and is not fuelling the spell through his own, personal, magical reserves.
- Dave’s House Rule- Divine spell’s do not take up points of Dedicated POW to store. The same Divine Spell can be cast multiple times, depending on the casting test’s result.
- To cast the spell the Adventurer must successfully roll against his Rites (Specific Theology).
- Critical Success: The spell is successfuly channeled and may be channeled again.
- Success: The spell is successfuly channeled and is then placed beyond use until the Adventurer can regain it as per his rank in the cult (see the Regaining Divine Spells).
- Failure: The spell was not successfuly channeled but the Adventurer can attempt to channel it again later.
- Fumble: The spell was not successfuly channeled and is also placed beyond use until the Adventurer can regain it as per his rank in the cult (see the Regaining Divine Spells).
When a spell is placed beyond use it is merely the case that the Adventurer cannot channel his god’s power via that spell again, until he has successfully regained the god’s favor.
Divine Spell Magnitude
As a measure of the faith of the worshipper, when a Divine spell is channeled it possesses an inherent Magnitude of 1/10 of the caster’s Pact skill. Rune Priests and Rune Lords are able to channel so much of their god’s power that their spells are exceptionally hard to block or dismiss.
Pact Tests and Regaining Divine Spells
Depending on their rank within the cult, a spell can be regained upon a successful Pact test, showing that the Adventurer has re-established their faith with the god and is able to channel that god’s power once more through a Divine spell. The Adventurer must choose a typical time at which he must spend 1 hour, each day, in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain his daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting has no effect on whether an Adventurer can prepare spells.
- Lay Members– No access to Divine spells.
- Initiates– May test to regain a Divine spell only after returning to his cult shrine or temple to pray for the spell. It requires a successful Pact test to recover; failure requires that they try again the following day.
- Acolytes– May test to regain a Divine spell; however, if the test fails they must return to their shrine or temple to recover the spell there.
- Rune Lords– May test to regain a Divine spell an hour after it was used; however, if the test fails they must return to a shrine or temple and recover the spell there.
Rune Priests– May test to regain Divine spells an hour after they have been used; failing the roll simply incurs a delay of another hour before they can try again, whereas a fumble means the spell must be recovered at a temple.
Dismissing Divine Magic Spells
Like Common Magic, a caster can dismiss any Divine Magic spell(s) he has cast as a single Combat Action. Ceasing to maintain a Concentration spell is immediate and not a Combat Action.
Acquiring Divine Magic
Learning Divine Magic requires a sacrifi ce of time and effort. To acquire a new Divine Magic spell, the Adventurer must possess the Lore (Specific Theology) skill appropriate to the religion from which the spell is requested and be of sufficient rank within the cult.
Pacts and Magic Points
The Magic Points available to the Adventurer are limited to the amount of his undedicated POW. Thus, a character with a POW of 12 dedicating 7 points to his cult would have only 5 Magic Points available for use elsewhere. Once a point of POW has been dedicated to a cult, it cannot be used for any other Pacts, until membership of that cult is renounced.
Thus, a follower of Orlanth Dragonbreaker with a POW of 10 might dedicate 6 points to the
Dragonbreaker cult but this would leave only a further 4 points to be dedicated to another cult. Leaving a cult reduces the related Pact skill to zero and prevents him from using any Divine Magic from that god– but releases the POW previously dedicated to that Pact.
Dedicated POW forms the basis of a ‘pool’ of points used to power Divine Magic spells. For example, a Rune Lord with 4 POW dedicated to his god has 4 POW to invest in Divine spells.