A quick summary of OLD v1.2 MAGIC changes

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
In OLD v1.2, there are some changes to magic. This is a brief summary.

New Magical Careers
There is a whole range of new magical careers in v1.2. The full list is Archmage, Battle Mage, Cleric, Diabolist, Druid, Enchanter, Healer, Fire Mage, Ice Mage, Illusionist, Inquisitor, Mage, Magician, Necromancer, Shaman, Soothsayer, Witch/Warlock.


Elements of Magic Is Optional
The Elements of Magic chapter is entirely optional. Each career contains enough standalone exploits that you can create a very playable character with magical abilities without touching the spell creation rules. EoM should be considered the "advanced" rule.


Casting Spells
There is no longer a skill pre-requisite for using spell enhancements. However, every spell (including cantrips) now requires a MAG attribute check. The difficulty is 10 + MP Cost, or the DEFENSE of your target, whichever is higher. Note that even with a MAG of 0 you could technically cast a spell using just a skill, if you can get your dice pool high enough (this would represent a pure ritualist with no innate magical power).

This means that while skills are not mandatory, they are highly desired as powerful spells will be difficult to cast if the "skill" part of your dice pool is zero. Even with a pure MAG score of 15 (5d6) your average roll is 18, meaning you would fail to cast an MP 10 spell half the time if you don't have the relevant skill. But there's nothing to stop you trying.


Secrets & Careers
You gain secrets in the form of exploits, either as universal exploits, or as career exploits granted by magical careers.

Secrets are also often pre-requisites for some magical careers (after all, you can't have a Firemage who doesn't know the secret of fire!) The Mage, Cleric, and Loremaster careers all grant secrets, as does the Wizard's Apprentice origin, and can be viewed as convenient generalist starting points for an aspiring magical specialist. Alternatively, you can always pick up a secret via the Arcane Secret universal exploit.

Not Using Secrets? If your campaign is not using the advanced magic rules found in the Elements of Magic chapter, you can still take secrets. They still act as pre-requisites for certain careers. However, in this case, they also grant +1d6 to MAGIC checks related to that secret. This only applies if you are not using the Elements of Magic rules.

Following is the list of secret prerequisites. Those not listed have no secret prerequisite (though they might have other prerequisites).
Diabolist - secret of demons
Druid - secret of nature
Enchanter - secret of humanoids
Healer - secret of life
Fire Mage - secret of fire
Ice Mage - secret of ice
Illusionist - secret of light
Necromancer - secret of undead
Shaman - secret of spirits

A spellcaster might consider using their free starting exploit to purchase a secret.

Note also that all core rulebook races have (humanoid) as part of their Size/Type, so the secret of humanoids will work with your entire party. As before, humanoid = person.

Spellcasting Is Easier

Spellcasting takes only one action now, and the new Focus exploit works just like Aim and Feint, but for magic.


Implements

Wands, staves, etc. have been simplified. They're also very important - you wouldn't have a knight without a sword, after all. These grant extra MP and - more importantly - form the "equipment" part of your dice pool. They use your spellcraft skill.
 
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easl

Explorer
I have mixed but generally positive feelings about these changes.
1. Figuring out skill requirements for a spell was a pain in the butt. This was bad. So, positive feelings there.
2. The skill requirement kept the setting relatively low-magic (i.e. you only get to sword & sorcery type spell-slinging after a few grade increases). I'm guessing the new target number rule is the substitute that's intended to keep mages casting monster spells right out of the gate. I'm optimistic it will work. But even if it doesn't... low- vs. high- magic is a preference thing.
3. Magical equipment that adds to dice pool makes sense. Positive feelings here. This also prevents every spellcaster from swinging a longsword (because, under the old system, why not?)
4. Glad for new players that the EONS spellcaster careers are in the new main book. Looking forward to seeing the new/tweaked versions. Hoping you didn't screw too much with the shaman, that career v1 was awesome.

So...thanks Morrus! Looking forward to downloading.
 

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