Savage Fey Magic

Magic in FeyTale is powerful, flexible and a cornerstone of the stories about the Fey and the magical world.   It works a little differently than it does in the main Savage Worlds rules.  This post describes some of the design principles and ways that magic differs from the core rules.

There are two basic Arcane Backgrounds in FeyTale (More on each in a separate post):

Arcane Background (Blood-Born)

Blood-born magic is magic born of a natural ability, such as fire magic cast by someone with demonic blood, or illusions cast by someone with faerie blood.  Those who are blood-born have innate magical powers.  They do not have to select casting methods to practice their magic; they use their powers instinctively and roll Spirit to activate their powers.  Each blood-born must choose a single trapping when selecting their Arcane Background and any powers must fit along their particular theme, such as fire, cold, shadow, illusion or healing.  

The innate powers of the blood-born have the same Trappings every time they are used; select the trapping when the power is taken.  Innate powers can be extended or modified with edges (and sometimes with Bennies).  For a blood-born to cast Bolt with two different trappings, they must take the power twice.

Blood-born start with the Second Sight power for free.  Second Sight allows a blood-born to feel the presence of magic, and to peer into the spirit worlds at the true form of the supernatural.

Blood-born have a Magic Power attribute and start with 2 powers of their choosing.

The power modifier for a blood-born power is Magic Power – 1/2 Power Points (yes, more powerful blood-born may have  apositive power modifier).  Innate powers are activated with a Spirit Check, modified by (MP – 1/2 PP).  If they have a negative power modifier, the blood-born will take a Magic Fatigue level after using the power.  Magic Fatigue can be prevented through expending one point of Essence (See Channeling & Essence).

Arcane Background (Gifted)

The Gifted are those who have dynamic magical energy.  Gifted wield invoked powers, which can be re-created each time they are invoked.  They can have different Trappings every use, different manifestations, and can even be activated using different methods.

Invoked powers are activated with a casting skill, Sorcery for quick hexes, Ritualism for spells or rituals.  Hexes take only an instant to cast, and are useful for combat magic, spells take a few minutes and are useful for more longer-lasting manifestations, rituals take hours, require the roll of a dramatic task, and are useful for larger-scale, more powerful use of a power.

Gifted gain the power of Second Sight for free.  Second Sight allows the Gifted to sense the presence and power of magic, or to shift their senses into the spirit worlds to see the true forms of magic and the supernatural.

Gifted start with Elemental Manipulation, Dispel and one other power of their choosing.

Each Gifted must work within a magical tradition.  Magical traditions determine the Trappings available for their invoked powers.  Each tradition starts with three method Trappings and three element Trappings.

For example, a necromancer might choose blood, chanting and sacrifices as their methods for invoking powers, and might choose darkness, cold and death as their energies.  For any known power, the necromancer could invoke darkness, cold or death using blood, chants or sacrifices.

Magical Trappings

In FeyTale, Savage Worlds trappings are divided into three pieces.  

  • Method: The tools or actions required to activate the power.  Such as spoken words, sacrifices, gestures, sygils or materials.  If a magic-wieldger cannot access their known methods each missing method applies -2 to their power modifier.
  • Element: The energy manifested when the power is activated.  Any of the standard Savage Worlds Trappings count as elements.
  • Form: The shape and structure the power takes when activated.  The form of a power is set by the power itself, such as a bolt, a blast, a cloak, an aura, a shield and so forth.

Power Points and Magic Power

For FeyTale, Power Points (PP) rate the power required to activate a power; they are not a resource players manage and spend.  Powers are activated using a variation of the No Power Points rule.  This helps provide a way of ranking the energy required to cast powers.

Those who are magically active (have an Arcane Background) have a Magic Power (MP) stat which represents their personal magic energy.  Magic power starts at “1” at Novice and increases by +1 for every Experience Rank.  Each Arcane Background describes how Magic Power and Power Points are used in activating Powers.

Magic Fatigue and Essence

Some powers are harder to activate than others; any time Power Modifier is negative, activating the power may cause a Magic Fatigue level.  Magic Fatigue is a type of fatigue caused by magical over-exertion.  Magic Fatigue levels can be restored in 5 minutes of rest at a place of power, a location that is magically active, through 15 minutes of spiritual practice, or by 30 minutes of rest or sleep.

Magic Fatigue can also be prevented, or restored, through the consumption of one point of Essence.

“Essence” represents raw magical power; the raw material of creation.  Essence flows through and accumulates in all things.  It can be tapped to enhance magic in a variety of ways.  The Channeling Skill is required to manipulate Essence.  Essence can enhance either Innate or Invoked Powers.  Every being has a natural, personal essence source equal to (Spirit + 1/2 Vigor).  Draining personal essence is emotionally tiring and can even be dangerous.

Next up; The Channeling Skill and Essence

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