|Mithril||Maeon Wind||Magical Fields||Maeon Repulsion|
|Maeon Heat||Maeon Atoms|
|Bridge Sheath||Bridge Energy||Space Bridge Thrusters||Bridge Classes|
|Casting Solenoids||Spell Bridges||Targeting Solenoids||Bridge Rings|
|Spell Slots||Spell Preparation||Controls||Practicing with Spells|
|Spell Level||Charging for Spells||Sorcery||Psionics|
|Conjured Fluid||Conjured Sponge||Conjured Rubber||Conjured Wood|
|Conjured Cloth||Conjured Rope||Spirit Fluid||Spirit Sponge|
|Spirit Rubber||Spirit Wood||Spirit Stone||Spirit Cloth|
|Hot Stones||Luminous Stones||Scrying Eye||Sibilant Membrane|
|Grand Flash||Obscuring Cloud||Poison Cloud||Scan|
|Animation I||Asphyxiate||Circle II||Confusion|
|Conjured Structure||Fireball||Hold Portal||Rectangle|
|Silent Flash||Slice||Thaumaturgical Forge||Vacuum Thruster|
|Annihilate||Bridge Suppressor||Circle III||Escape|
|Fire Lance||Fireworks||Indirect Sponge||Mute|
|Animation II||Enslave||Grand Surrounding Sponge||Lightening Ball|
|Shock||Targeted Slice||Vacuum Thruster II|
|Destroy||Atomizing Barrier||Escape II|
|Animation III||Indirect Lightening||Paralyze||Spirit Structure|
|Enfeeble||Escape III||Sixth Sense||Grand Lightening|
For a description of how magic affects day-to-day life in SAGA's universe, see Introduction to Magic. Here we present the laws of that govern the magic in the SAGA universe. Neither the dramaturgist nor the contenders can violate these laws. If the dramaturgist wishes to amaze the contenders with magic, she must do so by applying the existing laws in new and ingenious ways. She cannot simply invent a new magical phenomenon and amaze the contenders with that.
We made every effort to give SAGA clear and unambiguous laws of magic. We tried also to keep the laws simple, so that they might be easier to understand. Nevertheless, you can expect to spend several hours studying the laws of magic before you understand them well enough to act as a dramaturgist. We can hardly blame you for asking why a silly adventure game should require many hours of study to play, and before we embark upon our presentation of the laws of magic, we will present our own reasons for making the magic so precise.
If the laws of magic were poorly-defined, pragmatic contenders would find themselves unable to assess the risks of confronting magical phenomena. They would have only two ways to deal with magic. Either they would have to avoid it, or they would have to entrust their characters to the benevolence of the dramaturgist. Relying upon the benevolence of the dramaturgist detracts from the immediacy of the game. This is not a game for children in which the dramaturgist acts as a mother to the contenders, judging the quality of their play, and keeping them safe from harm.
Example: The adventurers stand before a gateway to another world. Can they step through it safely? Can they get back? If no constraints are placed upon the behavior of the gateway, they cannot justify going through it. Couldn't it chop them in half? Couldn't it vanish behind them? Why risk losing their characters? But surely the dramaturgist would not put a gateway in their way unless it was safe to use?
Clear laws of magic give the players a chance to realize that someone is deceiving them about magic.
Example: The adventurers are relaxing in their camp. A crow lands among them and starts scratching letters in the dirt. "It is I, Godfried. I have been turned into a crow by the evil witch Gertrude. Go kill her, and the spell will be reversed. I will make you all rich." The contenders think about this for a while. Their wizard says, "The crow is possessed. It is true that killing the possessor will break the possession, but it is not true that the crow will turn into a human. It is just a crow. Whoever is possessing the crow is trying to mess with us." Another says, "How do you know it isn't a demigod?" The wizard says, "I scanned its head. It's chemical."
Contenders enjoy seeing through deceptions. Their adventures always involve magic to some extent, so their ability to see through deceptions is contingent upon their knowing what can and cannot be done with magic. Once it is established that the contenders have no-one to blame but themselves when they are deceived, they both take responsibility for their own survival and recognize that the lives of their characters are not at the mercy of the dramaturgist. The dramaturgist finds that she must use all her advantage of forethought to draw a skilled contender into a dramatic confrontation. Such a contender will not allow his character to walk blindly into danger.
Example: The adventurers find a bottle of green liquid marked "To find the treasure you seek, drink this." The contenders say, "Nobody's going to drink it. If we can't find the stuff ourselves, we'll go home." If the dramaturgist's adventure relies upon the characters drinking the potion, the adventure goes no further. It would be pointless for the dramaturgist to try to persuade the contenders that it is okay to drink the potion. Who do we know that goes around drinking unknown green liquids from mysterious bottles?
Another advantage of clear laws of magic is that the dramaturgist knows exactly what magic looks like. She can give accurate and self-consistent descriptions. Effective dramaturgy is like effective writing. It does not say, "The goblin is angry at you." It says, "The goblin spits at you and draws his weapon." Similarly, it does not say, "You've just been hit by an Enveloping Sponge spell.". It says, "The air around you solidifies. Your entire body is gripped in an invisible cast. You can't hear the din of the battle around you. You are caught mid-stride and topple over, but you don't hit the ground. Instead, you settle a meter above it, face down. You can still breath, but with difficulty."
If you are not yet convinced, we invite you to look at our Invisibility spell. This spell bestows invisibility, with some limitations, upon its user. Invisibility may seem incredible, but it is possible with SAGA's magic, and at the same time, unambiguous in its implementation. You can imagine exactly what it would be like to use, and deduce its limitations and powers for yourself in any situation. Take a look at the questions following the spell. Wizard players are supposed to be able to answer these correctly.
The biggest advantage of clear laws of magic is that they allow the contenders to use spells in new ways, and to invent new variations of spells that suit their purposes. With clear laws of magic, problems in SAGA can be open-ended. The dramaturgist does not, for example, have to set up each trial with three possible actions, two of which lead to disaster and one of which leads to success. She can set up a problem that appears intractable, and leave it to the contenders to figure out some way to solve the problem. The contenders can use magic in ways that the dramaturgist did not anticipate, and there is no problem with them doing so, because the laws that they must follow are clear, so that the new uses they propose are either possible or impossible. It is, of course, for the dramaturgist to decide whether the new uses are possible or not.
Assuming you are convinced that clear laws of magic are worth the study, you will agree also that when a contender playing a wizard does not have a thorough understanding these laws, he is dependent upon the dramaturgist to explain what the magic can do. The timing and content of these explanations require the dramaturgist's concentration. She is distracted from her central task, which is to keep her non-contender characters moving autonomously and accurately.
Each wizard spell is accompanied by several questions. In order for his character to use a spell for the first time, a contender must answer three questions posed to him by the dramaturgist. The questions at the end of each spell description are examples of such questions that relate to the spell. He can attempt to answer the questions from the moment his wizard attains the level of proficiency required to cast the spell, until the moment his wizard first attempts to cast it. Failure on any question requires that the contender wait until his wizard is next awarded experience points before he tries the test again. To the next test, the dramaturgist adds one more question. The question added by the dramaturgist need not be specifically related to the spell at hand, but can be a general question about the laws of magic. Here are some examples of such questions.
A dramaturgist must be able to answer all these questions. That's not to say that he always has to have the correct answers, nor even that the correct answers are always to be found in our rule-books. But the dramaturgist must be able to come up with an answer that is satisfactory to all players.
Before we proceed, let us define some terminology. When we say 10x we mean 1 with x zeros after it. When we say 10-x we mean 1 with the decimal point moved x places to the left. So we have 13 is 1,000, and 1-1 is 0.1. We use the following abbreviations for standard international (SI) units: G is for giga (109), M is for mega (106), k is for kilo (103), m is for milli (10-3), μ is for micro (106), n is for nano (109) and p is for pico (10-12). When we talk about money, one gold piece (1 gp) is equivalent to $100 US. The rest mass of a particle is the mass you would observe it to have if you were to stop it moving. Its effective mass is the mass you observe without stopping it moving.
The basis of all magical phenomena in SAGA's fantasy universe is the existence of a family of sub-atomic particles called maeons. There are free maeons, which are heavy, and atomic maeons, which are light. Maeons have magical charge, either positive or negative. The interactions of maeons with one another, and with ordinary matter, give rise to prescience, space bridges, and spell-casting.
Mithril is the magical element. It is the source of all magical phenomena in that it is the creator of the magical particles that are the stuff of magic. Mithril in its pure form is soft, shiny, gray metal. It occurs naturally in its pure form, but more often as thin veins of mithrilite, a gray crumbling ore that smelts easily to provide the pure metal. Most often, mithrilite is found in small quantities with other ores. The best mithrilite veins are those that are mixed with iron ore, because separation by smelting is comparatively straight-forward. But the most common deposites are mixed with lead and tin. Smelting results in molten metal with a tiny proportion of mithril. The mithril must be separated chemically. This separation is complex process, and contributes to the great cost of mithril, which is around a million Olympian dollars per kilogram on Clarus.
|Smelting Point||mithrilite: 1000°C|
Mithril atoms catalyze the spontaneous generation of magical particles called maeons. The energy and mass required to create maeons does not come from the mithril atom. Nor does it come from any other known source of mass or energy. There are negative maeons and positive maeons. They are produced in pairs, one positive, one negative. The particles move off in opposite directions. One kilogram of pure mithril produces 1019 pairs of maeons per second.
Maeons interact only weakly with matter. Most maeons generated in the core of a planet will pass through the entire core, mantle, and crust, to emerge at the surface and pass out into spae. Of the maeons that don't make it to the surface, most have been absorbed by gold, scattered by diamond, or transformed by electric fields. The flow of high-energy, or hot, maeons out of a planet core is the planet's maeon wind. The table below lists the properties of hot maeons, both positive and negative.
|Rest Mass||10−27 kg||10−30 kg|
|Momentum||1.7×10−19 kgm/s||1.7×10−19 kgm/s|
|Kinetic Energy||1.4×10−11 J||5.2×10−11 J|
|Effective Half-Life||1.15 s||577 s|
The strength of a maeon wind is measured in Yardley (Y). In a maeon wind of 1 Y, 1021 positive and 1021 negative maeons pass through each horizontal square meter per second. A magical planet is one with a maeon wind of 0.01 Y or more. When we describe the effects of spells in the sections below, we assume a maeon wind strength of 1 Y unless we say otherwise.
The rest mass of negative maeons passing through each square meter of planet surface per second per Yardley is 1 mg (10−6 kg), and of positive maeons is 1 μg (10−9 kg). Although maeon generation violates the law of conservation of energy, it does not violate the law of conservation of momentum. The momentum of the negative and positive maeons is equal: 170 kgm/s per square meter of planet surface per second. If a square meter of some material were able to absorb all negative maeons in a 1-Y wind, it would experience a force of 1700 N, enough to lift 170 kg. If the sheet absorbed both positive and negative maeons, the force would be 3400 N. If the same square meter were able to convert the kinetic energy of the negative maeons into heat, the heat generated would be 14 GW, enough power to provide electricity to a city of a million people. The kinetic energy of the positive maeons would provide 52 GW. But maeons interact only weakly with a few forms of matter, with electrical fields, and with other maeons. It is difficult to harness even a tiny fraction of the momentum or energy carried by the maeon wind.
The maeons of the maeon wind are unstable. When they at rest, they decay with a half-life of one second. When they decay, they vanish, leaving no trace of their existence. We call their disappearance maeon disintegration. There is no release of energy in maeon disintegration. The mass and energy of the maeon, which came from nothing, returns to nothing. To an observer on the planet surface, the half-life of a hot negative maeon is 1.15 s, as a result of its relativistic motion, and that of a positive maeon is 577 s. Ten light seconds from a planet (three million kilometers), almost all of the negative maeons of its maeon wind have disintigrated, leaving only the positive maeons, which can be detected thousands of millions of kilomaters from the planet surface.
Stationary magical charges create an aura field. The aura field is analogous to the electrostatic field created by electrical charge. The dweomer field is generated by circulating magical charges. It is analogous to the magnetic field created by circulating electric charges. Disturbances in both aura and dweomer fields propagate at light-speed.
Because hot negative maeons are moving at half the speed of hot positive maeons, they take longer to leave the planet. Consequently, there are twice as many negative maeons in the planet at any moment than there are positive maeons. The planet has a net negative magical charge. In almost all planets, maeon production is symmetric with respect to the planet. That is to say, the production of maeons is centered upon the center of the planet. These planets are surrounded by an aura field whose lines of force radiate from the center of the planet. The field pushes negative maeons away from the planet, and pulls positive maeons towards it.
A planet's maeon repulsion is the repulsive force per microgram of slow-moving negative maeons at the planet surface. Its maeon attraction is the attractive force per microgram of slow-moving positive maeons at the planet surface. The maeon attraction is always one thousand times greater than the maeon repulsion because the magical charge of 1 μg of positive maeons is always one thousand times greater than that of 1 μg of positive maeons.
The maeon repulsion of Clarus is 10 N/μg. Its maeon attraction is therefore 10 kN/μg. In Clarus's gravity of 10 m/s/s, 1 μg of slow-moving negative maeons experience an upward force sufficient to lift 1 kg, while 1 μg of slow-moving positive maeons experiences a downward force equal to the weight of 1000 kg. The maeon repulsion constant of a planet is proportional to its maeon wind strength, and inversely proportional to its
Most spirit and conjured matter has density 1 μg/m3. A microgram of spirit matter occupies one cubic meter and weighs the same as a cubic meter of water. A microgram of the most common forms of conjured matter made by wizards will occupy one cubic meter also. It will experience a force sufficient lift a 1-kg mass. On Clarus at sea-level, where the atmospheric pressure is 100 kPa, conjured matter provides the same lifting power per unit volume as hydrogen gas.
The maeon wind, W, maeon repulsion constant, R, and the gravitation acceleration, g, of a habitable planet are related to one another by the average density of the planet, ρ. The mass of the planet is proportional to ρr3, where r is the planet radius. But gravity is proportional to mass divided by the square or distance, so g ∝ ρr3/r2 = ρr. Meanwhile, R is proportional to the excess number of negative maeons within the sphere of the planet, which together act as a concentrated magical charge at the planet center. The excess charge is proportional to the wind strength multiplied by the planet volume, Wr3. The repulsion decreases with the square of radius, so R ∝ Wr3/r2 = Wr. Thus R/g ∝ W/ρ. The density of most habitable planets is close to that of Clarus, which is 5.5 g/cm3. For most habitable planets, we have R ≈ kWg for a constant k. We obtain the value of k using Clarus as a reference point, k = 1 Ns/Yμgm2. The repulsion constant on Olympia is 26 N/μg, compared to 10 N/μg on Clarus. Its gravity is 13 m/s2. Thus its average density is almost exactly that of Clarus.
The maeons produced by Mithril are fast-moving, and we call them hot maeons. A hot maeon can lose its momentum by colliding with other hot maeons, a process we call maeon arrest. Maeon arrest takes place only in maeon winds of strength greater than about 0.01 Y, and in the presence of a catalyst of some sort. The catalyst can be an electrostatic field, a dweomer, or the edge of a space bridge. The slow-moving maeons produced by maeon arrest are called cold maeons. Cold maeons are in all respects identical to hot maeons, except that they are at rest with respect to the catalyst that took part in their arrest. Hot and cold maeons move individually through space. We call them free maeons. All free maeons are unstable, with a half-life of one second. Cold maeons of opposite magical charge can destroy one another in a process called maeon annihilation. Maeon annihilation produces electromagnetic radiation that ends up as heat and light.
When cold maeons are brought together, they are likely to turn into atomic maeons. Hot maeons can do the same, but with less likelihood. Atomic maeons are lighter versions of free maeons. A negative maeon turns into a negative atomic maeon, and a positive maeon turns into a positive atomic maeon. Atomic maeons bind themselves to one another in structures called magical atoms. The formation of atomic maeons is always accompanied by the formation of at least one magical atom, because atomic maeons exist only within magical atoms. The creation of magical atoms is called maeon combination. Unlike free maeons, atomic maeons are stable, so long as their magical atom remains intact.
Magical atoms are the constituents of magical matter. Of particular interest to wizards are two pure forms of magical matter called conjured and spirit matter. Conjured matter is made of negative maeons. Spirit matter is made of positive maeons. There are forms of magical matter that combine positive and negative maeons to form compounds with properties that neither conjured nor spirit matter can attain on their own. Contemporary wizards can make only pure spirit matter or pure conjured matter, but creatures such as the illuminati contain more complicated magical compounds.
Conjured and spirit matter atoms are toroidal. The rest mass of an atomic maeon is only a fraction of that of a cold maeon. The missing mass is accounted for by orbital kinetic energy of an atomic maeon in a magical atom. The effective mass of an atomic maeon is equal to that of a cold maeon. The orbital energy of maeons in a magical atom give it a gyroscopic resistance to distortion. This resistance gives conjured and spirit matter their physical stiffness despite being one billion times less dense than air.
Magical atoms are unstable. They are prone to break down with the release of energy or the creation of mass. This process is called maeon dissipation. It can be delayed by hundreds or thousands of years, but in the end, all magical atoms decay. The maeons released by maeon dissipation revert immediately into cold maeons with a half-life of one second. Maeon dissipation does not occur at random. If you could examine a magical atom closely enough, you could determine when it will dissipate. The calculation is akin to determining how long it will take a collection of similar pendulums to get out of beat with one another. We use the word dissipation to distinguish the dissipation process from that of maeon decay, which is an entirely random event, in which the likelyhood of decay is independent of the age of the maeon. The age of a maeon atom and its initial state almost entirely determine the longevity of most materials used by wizards, although not all of them. The Bridge Suppressor spell uses a large conjured atom with random longevity.
Both the external size and the internal harmony of a magical atom can be affected by a dweomer field. The use of a dweomer field to affect magical atoms in this way is called maeon tuning. The longevity of a piece of magical matter is the length of time it will last without maeon tuning. Maeon tuning can delay dissipation indefinitely.
Both the conjured and spirit matter made by wizards has density of of the order 1 μg/m3 (compare to ≈1 kg/m3 for air). In a 1-Y maeon wind, the 1021 negative maeons that pass through a horizontal square meter every second has rest mass 1 mg, which is enough maeons to make 1000 m3 of conjured matter of density 1 μg/m3. The 1021 positive maeons that pass through the same square meter every second have rest mass 1 μg, which is enough to make 1 m3 of spirit matter of the same density.
Conjured matter has negative magical charge. It is repelled by the net negative charge of a magical planet. As we described above, the maeon repulsion of a planet is the repulsive force per microgram of conjured matter at its surface. In the spell descriptions, we assume that the maeon repulsion is 10 N/μg. The corresponding attractive force on spirit matter, called the magical attraction, would be 10 kN/μg. A cubic meter of spirit matter would weigh the same as a cubic meter of water, and a cubic meter of conjured matter would lift a liter of water (assuming gravity is 10 ms-2).
There are three fundamental interactions between maeons and chemical matter, and they are particular to three specific forms of chemical matter: mithril, gold, and diamond. The study of these interactions form the foundation of alchemy, which is the study of the interaction of chemical matter and maeons, magical materials, and space bridges.
Pure mithril is a soft, malleable metal. It is extracted from various ores, all exceedingly rare. As mentioned above, mithril generates hot maeons at a rate of 1019 pairs per second per kilogram. When placed in a maeon wind, pure mithril catalyzes the arrest of both positive and negative maeons. It slowly absorbs the cold positive maeons until it is saturated with one nanogram of spirit matter per kilogram of metal. The spirit matter forms a strong mesh within the body of metal.
The generation of hot maeons by mithril occurs irrespective of the chemical environment of the mithril atoms. Mithril atoms in ores generates hot maeons just as fast as those in the pure metal. Only alloyed mithril, however, in concentrations greater than about ten percent by mass, will catalyze maeon arrest or absorb cold positive maeons.
The alloy of mithril and iron is called adamantine. Adamantine is almost always one part mithril to nine parts iron by mass. This is the minimum amount of mithril required to create a mesh of spirit matter in the metal. Mithril is expensive, and no blacksmith wants to use more of it than he has to. Adding more mithril does not improve the material properties of the alloy.
Adamantine that is ten percent mithril absorbs 100 pg (100 pg = 100 picograms = 100×10−12 g) of positive maeons per kilogram. A 5-cm cube of adamantine has mass roughly one kilogram. In a 1-Y maeon wind, enough positive maeons pass through this cube every second to make 250 pg of spirit matter. But the adamantine absorbs only a small fraction of the maeons that pass through it. It takes months for a blacksmith to saturate adamantine with spirit matter.
When the full 100 pg/kg is present in adamantine on a planet with maeon attraction 10 kN/μg, the spirit matter adds 1 N weight to the iron. If the gravity of the world is 10 m/s/s, the iron alone weights 10 N. So the spirit matter increases the weight of the adamantine by ten percent.
When adamantine is appropriately treated, by cycles of heating and hammering in a maeon wind, the spirit matter within it makes the metal as hard as quartz, while remaining as tough as mild steel. The surface of the metal is coated with a layer of spirit stone. This layer is only a few microns (millionths of a meter) thick, but it is as hard as glass, and replenishes itself within minutes of being chipped. It is impermeable to water and oxygen, so it protects the metal from corrosion.
SAGA's "magical swords" are made out of adamantine. They do not corrode. They are hard enough to cut through ordinary metal, and they are to some extent self-sharpening in that their coating of spirit stone replenishes itself.
Spirit stone coats the surface of any mithril alloy with more than 5% mithril by weight. Under the right magical conditions, this coating will act as a catalyst for the creation of conjured or spirit matter. The bridge rings wizards use either have a mithril coating, or are made of a mithril alloy.
Adamantine tends to be far less magnetic than normal steel. The finest adamantine is barely magnetic at all.
Gold atoms absorb hot negative maeons. When a gold atom absorbs a negative maeon, the maeon forms its own conjured matter atom in the neighborhood of the gold atom. The maeon gives up most of its kinetic energy to the gold, which heats up accordingly. Absorption of negative maeons generates fifty watts of heat per kilogram of gold per Yardley of the maeon wind strength (5 W/kg/Y). A 4-cm cube of gold is too hot to touch in a one-Yardley (1-Y) wind, if carried in bag, and a large enough volume will melt from self-heating, depending upon how well it is insulated. Larger volumes get hotter because their surface area, through which they dissipate their heat, is smaller in proportion to their volume. All other things being equal, the temperature above ambient of a cube of gold increases as its width.
The heat-generating power of gold can be amplified a thousand-fold by the right magical conditions. The Hot Stones spell is an example. The spell stops the formation of conjured atoms within a thin layer of gold, by coating the gold with conjured material. Because the conjured atoms cannot form, the hot negative maeons that interact with the gold atom end up scattering away, losing half their kinetic energy, and making way for another negative maeon to interact with the same gold atom, but still heating up the gold material.
The conjured matter atoms in gold have a longevity of an hour. When they dissipate, they release a cold maeon. Cold maeons are useful for refreshing conjured matter structures, especially conjured matter muscles. Creatures that use conjured matter muscles, such as demons and divine dragons, love gold. When they sit upon it, their muscles rejuvenate in a fraction of the time they would take in the presence of only hot maeons.
When certain gold alloys are held in a maeon wind of strength thirty Yardleys or more, the concentration of conjured atoms within the alloy becomes so great that the individual gold atoms separate, and the metal swells up to millions of times its original volume. The resulting substance is called swollen gold. It can be manipulated like putty. Within a few hours of its removal from the intense maeon wind, swollen gold shrinks down to its original size. Thaumaturgists use this phenomenon to make structures of gold thread so small that the conducting threads of gold imitate the conducting synapses of a wizard's brain, and so generate magical effects. To make the intense maeon wind, they use the Thaumaturgical Forge spell.
Crystalline carbon, or diamond, even in powdered form, will scatter hot negative maeons, generating light at a rate of fifty microwatts per gram per Yardley (10 μW/Y/g, and 1 g is 5 carats). The color of the light depends upon the orientation of the carbon lattice with respect to the maeon wind. A large, flawless diamond generates light from the near-infra-red to the near ultra-violet, depending upon its orientation. The light generated by a one-carat diamond is clearly visible in a dark room. Powdered diamond generates white light. The grains are at all angles. The light-generating power of diamond can be amplified over a thousand-fold by the right magical conditions. The Luminous Stones spell is an example. Conjured matter at the surface of diamond particles greatly increase the chance that hot negative maeons will interact with the diamond crystals.
A space bridge joins two points in space at two flat surfaces. The two surfaces are the halves of the bridge. Particles and radiation passing through one half emerge out the other. The halves are always flat. Because they are always flat, it is impossible to bring two space bridges into contact except at the edges. Bridges are usually circular, but they can other shapes as they are in invisibility pyramid. They are always of exactly the same size and shape. Their edges are infinitely sharp, although they are almost always enclosed in a sheath of magical matter.
The two halves of a space bridge are complimentary magnetic monopoles. One is the north half, the other is the south half. Each has two faces, back and front. Whatever passes through the back face of one emerges out of the front face of the other. Conversely, whatever passes through the front face of one emerges out of the back face of the other. A particle entering one half of a space bridge at a particular angle will emerge from the second half at the same angle with respect to the second half.
All bridges allow chemical atoms and subatomic particles to pass through undisturbed, and some classes of bridge will allow both chemical and magical matter to pass through undisturbed. But the electric, magnetic, gravitational fields do not pass through a space bridge. Indeed, the electrical and gravitational fields are entirely undisturbed by the presence of a space bridge. Their field lines, for example, follow the same course as they would if the bridge were absent. The magnetic field is disturbed only because of the magnetic field generated by the bridge surface, not by any passage of magnetic field through the bridge.
As we mentioned before, the edges of a space bridge catalyze maeon arrest. A space bridge in a maeon wind quickly acquires a strong, springy sheath of conjured matter around its edges. The sheath has a circular cross section with diameter one hundredth the diameter of the space bridge. The sheath consists of one continuous conjured-matter atom made up of thousands of negative maeons. The edges of a space bridge are infinitely sharp, they can be stretched, moved, and contorted by pulling on the sheath. Physical manipulation of a sheath, however, damages its structure and reduces its longevity. If the sheath dissipates, the bridge collapses.
The longevity of a space bridge is the longevity of its sheath, which is a single conjured atom. This atom dissipates after a period of time in the same way that any conjured atom dissipates. Like any maeon atom, the sheat atom can be rejuvenated by maeon tuning. If we add maeons to the sheath, it expands, and the space bridge expands along with it. If we remove maeons, the space bridge contracts. The Tuning spell allows wizards to rejuvinate, enlarge, reduce, or deform existing space bridges. A bridge can be preserved indefinitely with repeated tuning. Tuning can also be used to change the class of a bridge, although wizards will not discover how to do this until 2510 AE.
A space bridge, if left to its own devices, will expire gracefully at the end of its longevity. It shrinks to nothing in a matter of seconds. If the sheath is damaged before that, the bridge will either expire immediately or its longevity will be shortened. So long as the sheat is intact, however, it may be repaired by tuning.
There are many ways to damage a space bridge sheath. Fluctuations in the maeon wind disturb the sheath and can cause it to vibrate and shatter. If the bridge absorbs energy and expands while it is constrained in a ring, the sheath will be crushed. If we slice the sheath with a knife, it will disintigrate. Bridge sheaths are fragile, and wizards must make sure they are protected, which is the function of the wizard's bridge ring.
Space bridges can do work for you. They can raise objects and impart kinetic energy. You can use a molecular bridge to transport water from a point downstream of a mill to a point upstream of the same mill. You can use an atomic bridge to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Example: One half of a molecular bridge is stationary, and the other is moving at 9 m/s. You roll a 1-kg ball at 1 m/s through the stationary half. The ball emerges from the moving half. It emerges from the side of the bridge that faces its direction of motion. It moves at 1 m/s with respect to the bridge. Its speed is now 10 m/s. In passing through the bridge, its kinetic energy increased instantly from 0.5 J to 50 J. We note, however, that in the eyes of an observer traveling with the fast-moving half, the ball's energy decreased instantly from 50 J to 0.5 J.
When an object passes through a space bridge, its passage has associated with it a transport energy. Sometimes, as in the example above, the transport energy as seen from one half is the negative of that seen from the other half. In other case, such as the dissociation of hydrogen and oxygen, the transport energy is the same with respect to both halves.
There are limits to the amount of transport energy a space bridge can supply or absorb. Wizards use the following rules to estimate the time at which a space bridge will expire through the action of transport energy. When the total transport energy delivered by the bridge, as seen from either half, exceeds the bridge energy, the bridge is likely to expire. When the power absorbed or supplied by the bridge exceeds the bridge power, the bridge is likely to expire. By experiment, wizards determine the energy and power of the bridges created by their spells. A normal space bridge, for example, has bridge energy 1 MJ/Y/m2 (one megajoule per square meter per yardly of maeon wind strength) and power 1 kW/Y/m2 (one kilowatt per square meter per yardly of maeon wind strength).
Example: The Vacuum Thruster spell uses air pressure and vacuum to extract work from a space bridge, in violation of Newton's Third Law. The bridge has energy 10 MJ and power 10 kW. A wizard uses a such a thruster to raise himself and a bench 1000 m into the air. The mass raised is 100 kg. Both halves of the bridge see a 1 MJ transport energy. The thruster forces him through a head-wind with thrust 1 kN at 10 m/s. The bridge is delivering 10 kW, so he is going at his maximum speed. After 900 s, the total transport energy is 10 MJ. The bridge is near to expiring, and it begins to lose area and thrust. He detects this and allows the thruster to decend 500 m. The transport energy drops to 9.5 MJ, and the bridge is no longer about to expire. He can navigate safely to a good landing spot.
All magical atoms are unstable. When atomic bridges destroy spirit and conjured atoms, they are merely liberating the energy stored in these atoms. This does not require any work. The transport energy is zero. The space bridge, in destroying such an atom, is merely accelerating the process.
But the same is not true of chemical molecules broken apart by atomic bridges. When water passes through an atomic bridge, it is almost entirely dissociated into two hydrogen and oxygen gases. On the other side of the bridge, these may burn immediately to form steam, or they can drift off without burning. In both cases, the space bridge has provided the energy to transform water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, and this energy has the same effect upon the bridge as transport energy. As a rule of thumb, passing one kilogram of water through a space bridge requires 10 MJ of bridge energy. Burning the resulting gases will generate 10 MJ of heat. The Fire Lance spell describes how this heat can be used as a weapon.
In SAGA's universe, "every action has an equal and opposite reaction," only if no space bridges are involved. Space bridges can generate forces in violation of Newton's Third Law. The Vacuum Thruster spell uses air pressure and two halves of a space bridge to generate a force without a reaction. The vacuum thruster is an example of a class of force-generating space bridge arrangements called space bridge thrusters.
A simple form of space bridge thruster consists of the two halves of a molecular bridge and a length of rope. We tie one end of the rope around a tree, pass the other end through the space bridge, and tie it to another tree. We move the bridge halves until the rope is stretched tight. You can imagine two people cooperating in the experiment, each holding up one half of the bridge. They experience no force upon the bridge as a result of the rope passing through it. Suppose one of them steps away from the nearest tree, so that the length of rope required to reach her space bridge is one meter greater? Where does this extra meter of rope come from? There is nowhere for it to come from. The rope stretches out, pulling upon both trees. The rope might break. The person holding the space bridge can break any rope or pull down one of the trees without exerting any force upon the rope herself.
In the previous example, there is no reason why both ends of the rope cannot be tied to a single tree. One person could hold both halves of a space bridge, one half in each hand. The rope passes into one and emerges from the other. She backs away from the tree until the rope tightens, and then continues to back away. The tension in the rope increases until the rope snaps or the tree uproots.
We will leave it to the reader to figure out how a system of levers, rods, and molecular space bridges could be used to create a flying ship with no wings, or to give a will-o-wisp its extraordinary powers of flight, or to propel a daemon through space.
It is easy to see how a molecular bridge can be used to create a thruster, but atomic bridges can be used to obtain the same effect, using the fact that gases will pass through atomic bridges without dissociation of their atoms. The Vacuum Thurster spell uses a vacuum and atmospheric pressure to broduce a flying bench for a wizard to fly on. As with any bridge, the Vacuum Thruster has a bridge energy and power, and the wizard must keep track of how much work his bridge had done if he is to anticipate its moment of expiration. But because he can lower himslef, and so restore energy to the bridge, the Vacuum Thruster will always allow a controlled descent.
All space bridges created by wizards are atomic bridges, otherwise known as Class I bridges. Light, sound, and chemical atoms pass through atomic bridges intact, but large chemical molecules split apart, and magical atoms dissipate. The sheath of a space bridge is made out of conjured matter, and so cannot survive passage through an atomic bridge. Once a space bridge loses its sheath, it closes rapidly and ceases to exist. Consequently, the space bridges created by wizards cannot be passed through one another.
A normal bridge is one that has assumed the size, shape, and class that is most natural to it in the prevailing maeon wind. All normal bridges are atomic and circular. In a 1-Y wind, a normal bridge has diameter 1 cm and longevity 8 hr. The diameter of a normal space bridge is proportional to maeon wind strength. Its longevity is proportional to the inverse of its area.
Example: On Olympia, the maeon wind is 2 Y. Normal bridges have diameter 2 cm and longevity 2 hr.
There are three other classes of space bridge besides atomic. They are molecular (Class II), spirit (Class III), and conjured (Class IV). Even though wizards will not themselves make bridges of the higher classes, they will certainly be dealing with them in their adventures, because gods and daemons, and even some sorcerers can make them.
Summoning bridges, which we describe in another chapter, are connections with divine agencies. These agencies, through the use of daemons and gods, tune summoning bridges to higher classes.
Conjunctions are conjured bridges made by pairs of inter-stellar beings called Celesti (See A Brief History of the Galaxy). Conjunctions, and the passage of bridges through them, are central to the economy and law of the Celesti Sector.
Table 1 gives the effect of the four classes of space bridge upon the three classes of matter.
|Bridge Type||Effect upon Chemical Matter||Effect upon Spirit Matter||Effect upon Conjured Matter|
|Atomic (I)||Quiet atomization and variable recombination||Violent annihilation||Quiet annihilation|
|Molecular (II)||Unaffected||Quiet annihilation||Violent annihilation|
|Spirit (III)||Unaffected||Unaffected||Quiet annihilation|
The higher classes of space bridge are thicker than atomic bridges, which is to say that they communicate fields over greater distances. The thickness of an atomic bridge is less than the length of a chemical bond. Given that chemical atoms are many times smaller than spirit atoms, and spirit atoms are many times smaller than conjured atoms, progressively thicker bridges are required to pass chemical, spirit, and conjured matter without destruction.
When you pass chemical matter through an atomic bridge, the bonds between its atoms can be broken. Wizards believe the bridge is too thin to convey the inter-atomic attraction. Oxygen and Nitrogen gases are not separated into their consituent atoms, but carbon dioxide is dissociated into carbon and oxygen, so that atomic bridges accumulate black dust. Water passing through an atomic bridge is almost entirely separated into hydrogen and oxygen. Dragons use this effect to breath fire. Wizards use it in Fire Lance and Fireball. We discuss the source of the energy for these flames in Bridge Energy.
The study of how chemical matter will behave when passed through an atomic bridge has resulted in the discovery of bridge invariant materials. These include the cegotun stones used by Hot Stones and the diamond glass of Luminous Stones. The study of bridge invariance, and materials that can be made only by passing chemicals through an atomic bridge, is an important branch of alchemy. The cloud stones of the Poison Cloud spell are examples of solid objects that produce a particular gas when passed through an atomic brige.
Air flowing through an atomic bridge heats up by about ten degrees Celsius. Its carbon dioxide turns into oxygen and carbon powder. Almost all its nitrogen and oxygen come out the same, but there are traces of nitrous oxide and ozone. A large atomic bridge is warm, smells of ozone, accumulates carbon powder at its base and gives you a mild rush from nitrous oxide.
When you pass metal through an atomic bridge, it emerges as a dull lump accompanied by metallic powder. The fraction of of metal converted to powder varies depending upon the metal you pass through. Ten percent of raw iron becomes powder, five percent of copper, and two percent of gold.
Dry wood is made of hydrocarbons. When you pass it through an atomic bridge, it turns into methane and hydrogen gases, with carbon powder. Living tissue is mostly water and hydrocarbons, so it turns into methane, hydrogen gas, oxygen gas, and carbon powder. A good-sized atomic space bridge is a dangerous weapon, as in the Circle spell.
The only conjured bridges in the Celesti sector are those made by the Celesti themselves. There are only two ways to get a space bridge from one planet to another. One is to have it carried by a daemon through space, and the other is to take it through conjunctions. The latter is preferred by most, because the bridge will not acquire a time shift of more than a fraction of a second. By daemon, it acquires a time shift measured in years.
Space bridges communicate fields only across their extremely narrow widths. For all practical purposes, external fields, such as gravity, magnetism, dweomer, or aura, are unaffected by the presence of a space bridge. The gravity of the place you see through a space bridge can never exert a force upon you. A remote cluster of casting bridges is completely unaffected by the existence of a space bridge between it and the spell-caster.
Space bridges are thinner at the center than at the edges. It is possible to have a bridge that is molecular around the edges and atomic in the center. Such a bridge could be buried behind the walls of a corridor.
A space bridge is a magnet. One half is a north pole, the other a south pole. They are the only known source of magnetic monopoles in SAGA's universe. According to wizards, it is impossible to create a single magnetic monopole. Such monopoles must always occur in matching pairs of equal strength. It is impossible, therefore to create a matching pair of magnetic monopoles, one north and one south, separate them by some distance, and destroy one of them while leaving the other intact. If you destroy one, the other must be destroyed at the same time. To make a space bridge, wizards first create a matching pair of magnetic monopoles. When they separate these monopoles, the space bridge is created. The space bridge is the means by which the destruction of one monopole will cause the destruction of the other.
Having separated the two halves of a space bridge, each half creates a magnetic field. Once we are a few diameters away from the bridge surface, the lines of force radiate straight out from the bridge center. The strength of the field decreases as the square of the distance to the bridge center. Near the bridge, we find that the source of the magnetic field is spread uniformly around its edge. At any point on the surface of the bridge, the field generated by the monopoles on the edge sum to zero, so that the field across the surface of the bridge is zero. Thus we see that the magnetic field generated by a space bridge at its own surface is zero, and no magnetic field passes through the bridge.
The strength of a magnetic field is measured in Tesla (T). The Earth's magnetic field is roughly 30 μT. The field in the ATLAS particle detector reaches 2 T. The field on the outer edge of a circular space bridge is 1 mT per millimeter diameter, and is independent of the class of the bridge. A normal space bridge in a 1-Y maeon wind has diameter 1 cm, so the field strength at its edge is 10 mT. At range 10 cm, the field is 100 μT, which is strong enough to dominate the magnetic field on Clarus, it being the same strength as that of the Earth. A 4-m diameter bridge generates a 4-T field at its rim, 0 T at its center, and roughly 1 T a meter away from the surface, directly over its center.
The strength of a magnetic field at any particular point is the force a one coulomb (1 C) charge would experience when moving perpendicular to the field lines at one meter per second (1 m/s). When a magnetic material like iron enters a magnetic field, it becomes magnetised, generating its own north and south poles of equal strength. The force acting upon the object is the sum of the forces acting upon its north and south poles. If the field is uniform, the object will rotate so that its south-north line is parallel with the field. But after that, the object will not experience no net force, because the south and north poles experience the same force in opposite directions. Only when the magnetic field is non-uniform will the object experience a net force and tend to move. The field around a space bridge is uniform at the center, but non-uniform elsewhere, with the greatest magnetic forces being generated near the edges.
A conjunction is a 4-m diameter bridge. Its sheath is 50 cm thick and made of spirit and conjured mater. When the conjunction is a single bridge of diameter 4 m, it generates a magnetic field so stong that it will wrench a carbon steel lonsword out of a man's hand. The majority of conjunctions, however, produce very little magnetic force. They are made of two space bridges flush up against one another, in the combination called a doublet. The two celesti that generate the conjunction produce these two bridges, with the north half of the first bridge flush up against the south half of the second. The resulting magnetic field is a hundred times weaker than that produced by a single bridge. The Atomizing Barrier spell makes use of a similar arrangement, so that the barrier will not be revealed by the presence of a strong magnetic field.
The bridges made by wizards for most of their spells, however, are single bridges, or singlets. Such a bridge creates a magnetic field that pulls it into the center of an iron bridge ring and presses it against the groove cut on the ring's inner surface. The magnetic field of a spell bridge induces another field within the bridge ring. A south-pole bridge will generate a north pole on the inner edge of the bridge ring, and a south pole along the outer edge, so that the field outside the bridge is much the same with or without the bridge ring. The bridge ring, being a magnet, will stick firmly to a steel helmet or any other magnetic surface.
The summoning bridges provided by the gods of Olympia are also singlets. When expanded to a diameter of 2 m to summon a troop of orc soldiers, they generate a field of 2 T at the edges. The summoner typically holds the bridge in a copper-plated steel bridge frame resting upon the ground so that the bridge is held to the frame by its magnetic field. The copper allows the brige to adhere itself further through a coating of conjured material. But if any of the orcs were to bring steel armor with them, they would risk pulling the bridge out of its frame and damaging its sheat, possibly destroying the bridge. Furthermore, the summoner must stand well back if she herself is wearing steel armor or carrying iron implements. Even copper, gold, and silver coins will experience a force when they move within such a field, because the movement causes currents to flow within these metals, and the currents generate magnetic fields that tend to resist the movement of the metal. If we drop a gold coin near the edges of a 2-m summoning bridge, it will fall more slowly than usual.
Tiny, short-lived, space bridges occur continuously in a maeon wind. They are called space tunnels. Space tunnels are created by the dweomer associated with bunches of hot maeons. They last for several milliseconds. The two halves of most tunnels lie along the direction of the wind. The distance between the two halves of a tunnel the tunnel length. One percent of tunnels have length less than one centimeter. Ten percent have length less than ten meters. Fifty percent have length less than one hundred meters. Ninety percent have length less than one kilometer. Ninety five percent have length less than ten kilometers.
The combined area of all the space tunnels in a cubic meter volume at a particular instant in time is called the tunnel density. In an infinite vacuum through which flows a maeon wind of strength M Y, the tunnel density is M m2/m3. The tunnel density in a particular cubic meter depends strongly upon the amount of mass in the cube. In an infinite body of air, the density is 0.9M. In an infinite body of water, it is 0.001M.
To a first approximation, space tunneling does not occur between points with mass density greater than 10 kg/m3. The tunneling in the atmosphere at the surface of a planet is 0.5M, because tunnels do not form with points beneath the surface. One kilometer below the surface, in a cavity of air, the tunnel density is one half times ten percent, or 0.05M.
Space tunnels dissipate high pressure gases by allowing the gases to flow away to a lower pressure. On magical worlds, internal combustion engines, steam engines, guns, bombs, and inflated tires do not work unless you are deep underground.
Dwarves can make steam engines work for them several kilometers beneath the surface, or in the heart of a mountain.
There are two other prominent effects of space tunnels. The first is prescience, whereby tunnels arising within the nervous system of a biological creature cause faint prescient sensations (as described in SAGA's Fantasy Universe). The second is trapping, whereby a short tunnel is preserved and enlarged when it appears within the field generated by circulating maeons.
A spell is any magical effect generated by a biological neural network. The two magical phenomena underlying spell-casting are the creation of conjured matter by electrostatic fields and the generation of space bridges by dweomer fields.
There are several ways the brain of a biological creature can generate magical effects. A psionic has a permanent neural network in her mind that generates a particular magical effect. The psionic does not work to acquire this neural network, she is born with it, or comes upon it by some accident or operation. A sorcerer is someone who has trained his brain to generate magical effects by concentrating upon the generation at the time it is desired. Most sorcerers generate one effect at a time, and they use the same part of their mind for each effect. It takes decades for the most talented sorcerers to attain a level of proficiency adequate to earn them a useful living with sorcery, so sapien sorcerers are rare, while elf and black-orc sorcerers are common. A wizard has separate sections of her brain, each of which she can instruct to generate a magical effect once, but the time is of her choosing, and these sections can be instructed again, after they have generated their effect. A gifted sapien can become a wizard by the age of twenty-five, provided they start training their mind by the age of ten.
A wizard divides a region of her brain called the cantusarea into spell slots, each of which a she prepare to cast a spell. Casting a spell consists of the wizard triggering the spell slot, the spell slot itself generating the magical effect that defines the spell, and the wizard subsequently guiding these effects.
When neurons fire, they generate electrostatic fields. When neurons fire in just the right way, these fields can catalyze the arrest of negative maeons. These maeons combine to form conjured matter atoms that thread their way between the neurons. If the neurons coordinate their firing in just the right way, they can create many toroidal conjured atoms flush up against one another to make a tube a fraction of a millimeter in diameter, with all the maeons circulating in the same direction. This structure of conjured atoms is called a casting solenoid.
A casting solenoid is at the heart of every spell. The first thing every spell does is make one. Within the solenoid is a dweomer. When the dweomer reaches a critical strength, the north halves of tiny, short-lived space bridges appear within it. These bridges are casting bridges. They are similar to space tunnels. They are micrometers across, and endure for a few milliseconds. They appear and fade in such great numbers that they form an enduring cloud within the solenoid, called the local cluster. The south halves of the casting bridges form another cluster, outside the brain, called the remote cluster.
The remote cluster starts off just outside the spell-caster's head, along the axis of the casting solenoid. If the dweomer in the solenoid grows stronger, the remote cluster will move farther away. Strengthening the dweomer requires that the solenoid be enlarged with more conjured atoms. When a solenoid is enlarged in this way, it is called a targeting solenoid. Take any wizard spell with an ordinary solenoid, give it a targeting solenoid, and you increase its level by one.
Casting bridges are the connection between the brain of a wizard and the outside world. A spell's effects emanate from the remote cluster, and are controlled through the local cluster. Spells proceed in steps. The solenoid makes something happen at the remote cluster, the wizard does something to the remote cluster, the solenoid makes something else happen at the remote cluster that has been made possible by what the wizard just did, and so on.
The first thing that the remote cluster does in many spells is create a spell bridge. The spell bridge is a space bridge that starts off as a short space tunnel, a millimeter long or less, that by chance appears within the remote cluster in just the right orientation and location. The dweomer within the remote cluster preserves the tunnel long enough for a sheath of conjured matter to start forming around its edges. This sheath grows and forces the bridge to expand until it reaches the normal diameter for the prevailing maeon wind. Both halves of the spell bridge appear flush up against one another, separated by the thickness of their sheathes.
Space tunnels are so rare within chemical solids and liquids that it is far more difficult to create a spell bridge in these materials than in air. Making a space bridge in air is a first level spell. Making one in water is a ninth level spell.
Once the spell has created a spell bridge, the remote cluster distributes itself in and around the sheath of the south half of the spell bridge. You will recall that the remote cluster is made up of the south halves of space bridges. These south halves are all southerly magnetic monopoles. They are attracted to the north half of the spell bridge, and repelled by the south half.
The spell bridge is a vehicle for the effects of a spell, and is left over after the spell has done its work. The spell-caster can do what she pleases with such bridges. They are normal bridges, meaning that they will last eight hours in a 1-Y maeon wind. For more about handling space bridges, see our description of the Space Bridge spell.
The spell bridge has an intimate relationship with the spell. Most often, this relationship is exclusive, meaning that no other bridge has any relationship to the spell. But it is possible to affect other bridges by placing it near a spell bridge. And example of such a spell is Tuning, where a spell bridge extends or expands the longevity or size of another bridge. With some added complexity, it is possible for a spell to incorporate an existing bridge into its operation, and so use that bridge as a source of magical effects.
Example: A variant of Surrounding Sponge uses an existing space bridge between the spell-caster and a friend to generate a ball of sponge at the remote half of the existing bridge. This was used by Hocus to block the door at the top of the steps in the rescue of Justine Tukenmaken.
When a spell incorporates a pre-existing bridge into its operation, and so generates its effect at the remote half of the pre-existing bridge by contact with the local half, we say the spell has an indirect spell bridge. Any spell that uses a spell bridge can be modified to use an indirect spell bridge by increasing its difficulty by two.
Spells like Choke and Beguile us a targeting solenoid to place their remote cluster in the right place for the spell to have its effect. The remote cluster moves away from the spell-caster at a constant speed, usually between 1 m/s and 10 m/s, along the axis of the solenoid. Hitting the target is a matter of direction and timing. The ultimate range of the targeting solenoid is the distance it can move in a hundred seconds.
Unless otherwise stated in the spell descriptions, a targeting solenoid starts up with a word (verbal control chosen at the time of preparation), and the spell takes effect with a gesture (somatic control). The wizard tries to set the spell off just as the remote cluster is passing through the target. With the simplest targeting solenoid, she has no way of knowing when this is except by dead-reckoning of the time elapsed since the solenoid started up. Likewise, she has no way of knowing whether she has oriented the targeting solenoid correctly other than by dead-reckoning. This dead-reckoning is accurate only after many hours of practice with each spell slot in turn, determining the orientation of its solenoid with respect to her head. Target practice with a spell slot is called calibrating the slot. Calibration is performed with spells such as Calibrate.
To determine whether or not a wizard hits a target with a targeting solenoid, we use SAGA's missile combat system. Once a wizard has calibrated a spell slot, he is profficient with it as a missile weapon in the same way that a fighter becomes profficient with a bow after sufficient practice. Once profficient with a spell slot, the wizard has firing accuracy equal to his fighter level minus his armor burdening, just as for a fighter firing a bow. It may be possible for wizards to become accurate at casting spells in the safety of their own laboratories, but the accuracy we are concerned about is the accuracy a wizard can achieve when his enemy is firing arrows at him, or charging him with a sword. In the extremity of combat, the wizard's firing accuracy is given by his fighter level and armor burdening alone.
Each spell with a targeting solenoid has an extent in meters. The remote cluster moves away from the spell caster by one extent per second. If the extent is one meter and the range of the target is ten meters, the remote cluster takes ten seconds to reach the target. The maximum range of the spell is one hundred extents. The wizard's to-hit roll is one greater per each full extent of the range. Each spell has an accuray as well, which we subtract from the to-hit roll. The accuracy is a measure of how easy this particular spell is to aim.
The missile combat system specifies many adjustments to the to-hit roll, depending upon the movement and size of the target, and the rate of fire. The adjustments for rate of fire do not apply to spell-casting, because the spell's rate of fire is fixed at the time of preparation. But the adjustments for size and movement do apply.
Example: A wizard with fighter-level 3 casts Choke at a man standing 10 m away. Choke's targeting extent is 1 m. Its target is the man's lungs. The entire man is like a 1-m diameter target, and his lungs are like a 50-cm target. Her to-hit roll is 1 + 10 (10-m range divided by 1-m extent) - 3 (fighter level) − 5 (spell accuracy) + 5 (50-cm target) = 8. If she hits, this means she has set the spell off in the man's lungs. If her target were a horse, her to-hit roll would be 5 less, because a horse's lungs are twice as big as a man's in every direction (they are like a 1-m diameter target).
An adult sapien presents the same area as a 1-m diameter, and is the default target in SAGA's missile combat system. No adjustment for size needs to be made when the target is an adult sapien. We see in the previous example that the 5 we add to the to-hit roll for the 50-cm diameter target is balanced by the 5 we subtract for the accuracy of the spell.
A Wizard must account for all movements of a target, not just movement across his field of view. A bow shot is not sensitive to movement of the target towards or away from the attacker, because the arrow crosses the intervening space and will strike anything in its path. But a targeting solenoid strikes in one place only, so movement towards and away from the wizard is just as effective at spoiling the his aim.
Example: A wizard with fighter level zero casts Beguile at a woman bobbing her head before him one meter away. The targeting extent of Beguile is 50 cm. His to-hit roll is 1 + 2 (1-m range divided by 50-cm extent) + 10 (target is 25-cm wide) − 10 (spell accuracy) + 4 (alternating motion at two head-widths per second) - 0 (fighter level) = 6. The woman stops moving her head for a few seconds and he takes his chance immediately. His to-hit roll is 2. The spell is already active in his mind, but it must cross the intervening distance, so she has to remain still for 2 seconds for him to hit. If he fails, he can try again ten seconds later, although if she notices the attempt, she is likely to take evasive action. If she moves back to 3 m and jumps about randomly and vigorously, she raises the to-hit roll to 1 + 6 (3-m range) + 10 (25-cm target) − 10 (spell accuracy) + 40 (erratice movement ten head-widths per second) = 47.
When a spell has an area of effect, this increases the size of the target. If we want to hit an adult sapien with a spell that has a 10-m radius of effect, the target becomes a 9-m radius around the sapien's body. The large size of the target area makes it easier to hit one particular enemy. But these spells do not have the accuracy of spells with less dramatic effects. The avalanche growth of conjured matter that gives rise to the large area of effect tends to move the remote cluster around at random before the growth is complete. Thus the accuracy of most area of effect spells is zero.
Example: A wizard with fighter level two wants to stop a ship coming into harbor. He stands upon the shore. When the ship is 500 m away, he casts Grand Flash, with its 10-m targeting extent. The remote cluster moves away at 10 m/s and after 50 s it is at its maximum range of 500 m. During this fifty secods, the wizard is counting to himself, hoping let the spell off at the correct range. The ship is 32 m long. His to-hit roll is 1 + 50 (500-m range divided by 10-m extent) - 2 (fighter level) - 25 (32-m radius when counting the masts is 32 times the width of a sapien-sized target and we have +5 to hit per doubling in width) − 0 (spell accuracy) = 24. He cannot hit the ship, but he can get close enough to scare it. When the ship comes within 300 m, his to-hit roll is only 4, so he is likely to score a good hit. At 200 m, he can put the Grand Flash right on the aft deck in 20 s.
Adventuring wizards often have some skill as archers and get by well enough with dead reconing. Because there is no outward sign of the spell's location, targets get no warning of the approach of offensive spells, and this is to the wizard's advantage. Town wizards, meanwhile, are not in the habit of hitting moving objects with targeting solenoids, and are unlikely to be able to make effective use of spells like Enveloping Sponge, which might otherwise give them a feeling of security when walking around the streets at night.
For those who want to be sure of hitting their target, a targeting solenoid can be equipped with a tracer. The tracer is a white sparkling light at the location of the remote cluster. The light is accompanied by a crackling noise. The light and sound are inseperable given the manner in which the light is generated. The remote cluster creates small quantities of spirit fluid, some of which is annihilated by the remote cluster bridge themselves. Any spell with a targeting solenoid can be given a tracer by adding one to its difficulty. The tracer will be visible up to the maximum range of the spell, and for that purpose it tends to grow larger as it moves away. The accuracy of a spell increases by 10 when it is equipped with a tracer.
Example: The wizard on the shore casts a variant of Grand Flash with a tracer. This variant is difficulty three. He must have wizard level five to cast it. But now he can hit the ship with a roll of 14 at range 500 m.
One disadvantage of the tracer is that it gives the target warning of the approach of the spell, and the target can take evasive action. Erratic movement at 3 m/s increases the wizard's to-hit roll by 12, and the tracer is a motivating sight.
Example: A town wizard casts Enveloping Sponge with a tracer upon a robber in his house. The spell has difficulty three, but that's no problem because he is wizard level ten. But he has never been in a fight before. The robber is 3 m away across the drawing room. The wizard has fighter level −5. The extent of the spell is 5 m. When the robber sees the spell coming, he tries to evade it. The wizard needs 1 + 0 (extents) − 0 (spell accuracy) + 8 (target moving erratically at 2 m/s) + 5 (fighter level −5) + 2 (dexterity) - 10 (tracer) = 6. Without the tracer, he would need an 8, assuming the robber did not try to evade him in any way.
Another way to increase the accuracy of a spell is to combine it with some of the functionality of the Scan spell. If the attack spell allows the remote cluster to pause during its outward journey, and when paused to convey information about the material in its vicinity, the spell's accuracy increases by 5 and its difficulty by 1. A variant of Choke equipped in this way would allow the caster to determine if the remote cluster were in the flesh of a target or in the lungs. If we allow the remote cluster to convey information as it is moving, and to slow down at times, and speed up again, the accuray of the spell increases by 10 and its difficulty by 2. These spells will take slightly longer to cast because the remote cluster slows or pauses on the way, but on the other hand the wizard does not have to be so careful about when she initiates the spell, so she could initiate it sooner, perhaps even before her previous attack has completed. Thus we assume all these variants have the same casting time, which keeps things simple in combat.
A bridge ring is a ring of mithril-plated metal with a groove on the inside. In a 1-Y maeon wind, such as that of Clarus, the ring is 1 cm in diameter to accommodate a normal space bridge. In stronger maeon winds, a wizard's bridge rings would have to be proportionally bigger. The groove secures a bridge inside the ring. The body of the ring protects the sheath of the bridge and allows the wizard to handle the bridge easily. The surface of the ring, being mithril-plated, acts as a catalyst for the generation of magical materials. Bridge rings cost about one gold piece each. When placed upon the end of a one-meter rod, the bridge ring completes a device called a conjuring wand. A conjuring rod allows a wizard to create structures of conjured matter far more quickly than he would by waving a bridge around with his own hands.
When a spell uses a bridge ring, the casting spell bridge appears somewhere within arm's reach of the wizard's head, in a place well-known to the wizard through long hours of practice. Because the two faces of the bridge are pressed against one another, they are hard to see. But you can feel them with the tips of your fingers. The surface of the sheaths are slippery but firm, and the bridge is always oriented the same way. Some spells, like Poison Cloud, require that the wizard separate the two halves of the bridge with his fingers and place each half in its own bridge ring. If he puts his finger through either bridge during this procedure, the bridge will atomize his flesh into carbon powder. Even when the bridge is inside a ring, the wizard must still take care. Wizards tend not to wear rings at all, so as to avoid putting a live bridge ring on their finger by accident.
Some wizards grow long nails on one or both of their hands so as to allow them to hold naked space bridges at the risk only of their nails. Others wear gloves with extended fingertips. Most rely upon their bare fingers alone, for difficult though it may sound, the act of grasping a spell bridge and placing it in a bridge ring is one that becomes effortless and instinctive after enough practice. An experienced wizard can do it in a few seconds even while walking in the dark.
To hit a target with a spell based upon a bridge ring, the wizard can throw the bridge or propel it with a sling. We use the missile combat system to determine if the wizard hits the target. The bridge ring is like a stone in terms of its range and extent. Wizards have tried many devices to increase the range and accuracy of attacks with bridge rings. There are mithril-coated arrow heads, for example, but these tend to bury the spell bridge in the ground or in wood, smothering the spell. Many wizards learn to use a sling, so they can fire bridge rings over fifty meters.
Here are four advantages to using a bridge ring.
To get a spell with a bridge ring to act at a distance, the wizards, or anyone else for that matter, throws the bridge ring at the target. That's how Slice acts at a distance. It's a third-level spell that can be cast by a fifth-level wizard. The Targeted Slice spell is fifth level, and requires the wizard to be ninth level.
There are three advantages to targeting solenoids.
We discuss the accuracy of targeting solenoids above.
With long hours of hard work, wizards create new neural pathways leading deeper into their cantusarea, and so are able to create new spell slots. The newest spell slots are more difficult to use than the older ones. The newer slots can be used only for easy spells. For a table of spell slots available by wizard level, see here.
In the long term, spell-casting damages a spell slot. Conjured matter created slices through neurons each time the slot casts a spell. When a spell gets out of control, maeon loops multiply rapidly in the brain. With care, a wizard can hope to cast a thousand standard spells out of a spell slot before it becomes unusable, or scrambled.
Back in the early days of spell-casting, wizards were severely limited by the damage their spell slots suffered from spell-casting. Long before a wizard could get familiar enough with a spell slot to use it to cast a really difficult spell, he would find his familiarity outweighed by the poor state of the slot. Since then, wizards have developed ways to make spells less harmful. As we have said, you can cast a thousand standard spells out of a spell slot before it shows signs of damage. For the next one hundred standard spells, the damage caused to the slot effectively adds one to the level of any spell prepared in it. For the next one hundred spells, the damage adds two to the level, and so on.
For every standard spell, there is a one-hundred use variant that does the same thing, but is one level less difficult. There is a ten-use variant that is two levels less difficult, and a one-use variant that is three levels less difficult. It takes a seventeenth-level wizard to cast the standard, ninth-level Slay spell, but an eleventh-level wizard could sacrifice one of his two best spell slots to cast the one-use variant of Slay, and get the full effects. There are also spells that are less damaging than standard spells. A ten-thousand-use variant is two levels more difficult, and a one-hundred-thousand use variant is four levels more difficult.
A wizard prepares a spell in a spell slot through the same neural pathways that he uses to trigger and guide the spell. The process takes an hour, regardless of the spell's level, and begins with the wizard sending a strong neural signal to the spell slot that erases any previous preparation of the spell slot. Wizards prepare spells by speaking words called charges and looking at pictures called runes. Sometimes they make gestures, or think certain thoughts as well. All these actions are designed to make their brain send the correct signals to the spell slot so that its neurons will be prepared to cast a spell. Many wizards smoke tobacco while preparing spells. They find that it improves their concentration. Others burn incense.
It is possible to prepare a spell without the help of charges and runes, by direct preparation. The wizard closes his eyes and imagines hearing charges and runes. The spell must be designed for direct preparation, and this always raises the difficulty of the spell by two levels. Nevertheless, a fifth level wizard can prepare directly any spell that is normally first level.
Wizards need uninterrupted concentration while preparing a spell, because any distraction or sound can corrupt the signal they send to their spell slot, and so corrupt the preparation. The wizard is unlikely to know about any such corruption until the time of casting.
A wizard can always cancel a spell by erasing its spell slot. The magical activity of the spell will stop immediately. Cancelling a spell does not cancel the effects it has already generated. Conjured matter created by a spell will not dissipate just because the spell that created it has been cancelled.
A wizard cannot prepare a new spell in a spell slot until all the conjured matter created by the previous spell has dissipated. He must wait until the spell slot is cleared. The clearing time of spell is the time it takes a spell slot to clear after all magical activity has stopped. A spell that creates conjured matter, for example, might stop creating conjured matter after ten minutes, and take four hours to clear after that. The fact that the conjured matter created by the spell persists for ten days is irrelevant to the clearing of the spell. The wizard can cancel an active spell at any time, but the spell slot still won't be ready for another preparation until the clearing time has transpired. Almost all practical spells have a clearing time of four hours, but spells used during practice tend to have short clearing time, as well as being gentle on the spell slot and easy to prepare.
When a spell slot casts a spell, the synaptic connections between its neurons change as a result of the electrical activity of the spell. The slot cannot cast the same spell again, nor any other spell, until it has been prepared anew. If a wizard has one spell prepared in a spell slot, but would like to change the spell, she can do so by erasing the old spell and then preparing the new one in its place. Even if she is satisfied with the spell in one of her spell slots, she may decide to prepare it anew after several months or a year have gone by, because the neurons of a spell slot do not retain the spell indefinitely.
While the number of spells a wizard can have prepared at one time is equal to her number of spell slots, the number of spells she knows how to prepare is limited only by the capacity of her memory. Once a wizard learns how to prepare a spell, we assume she never forgets. Many steps in the preparation are shared by other spells, and there are many ways to prepare the same spell. As we said in our Introduction, a contender wizard can prepare a spell only after answering some questions put to the contender by the dramaturgist.
To cast a spell, a wizard sends a trigger signal to its spell slot along the same neural pathway she used to prepare the spell. The trigger sets off a sequence of electrical activities within the slot. These activities are for the most part autonomous, but are sometimes punctuated by guide signals delivered along the same neural pathways. Just as a wizard uses sounds, images, and gestures to prepare a spell, he uses the same devices to trigger and guide the spell. The triggers and guides together are called the spell's controls. A somatic control is a gesture that the wizard experiences with his own nerves, and the spinal cortex sends the required signal to the spell slot. A visual control is something he sees, which could also be a gesture of his own body, so that the required signal is delivered by his eyes. In verbal control, he speaks a word, and his ear sends the signal. In direct control, which is the most difficult, he recalls a particular memory, or speaks a word in his mind, and his conscious mind sends the signal to the spell. Take any spell with verbal, somatic, or visual controls, and replace them with direct controls, and you and you add one to the level of the spell.
A spell-caster must practice with each spell before he can use it effectively. Many spells are difficult to use. They require the spell-caster to learn new coordination of mind and body. A spell that is difficult to use may be easy to prepare, or hard to prepare. The level, of a spell is a measure of how difficult it is to prepare, not how difficult it is to use.
For each spell that is difficult to use, there is a related practice spell that wizards can cast to teach themselves how to use the spell. These practice spells tend to lack the potency of the original spell, but have the benefit of being far less damaging to spell slots. Practice spells like Calibrate are so important that whole classes of spells require their use. All spells that use targeting solenoids require a wizard to cast Calibrate, so a wizard must be able to use Calibrate before she can use any targeting solenoid spell properly. A contender must be able to answer all of Calibrate's questions before her wizard can use any targeting solenoid spell.
Each spell has a level of difficulty, which we usually shorten to level, but sometimes we say difficulty in order to avoid ambiguity. A spell's level is an indication of how difficult it is to prepare so that is can be cast, not how difficult the spell is to manage once it is cast. On Clarus, with its maeon wind of one Yardley, the level of each spell is as we give it in the lists that follow. In stronger maeon winds, spells are easier to prepare, because the preparation can be adapted to make use of the stronger wind. In weaker winds, spells are more difficult to prepare, because they must generate the same effect with fewer maeons.
The effects of many spells are increased in proportion to the strength of the wind. Furthermore, a spellcaster usullay becomes accustomed to working in the wind of his own world, so that when he travels to another world in which the wind is stronger or weaker, he must learn to work in the new wind. In a particularly weak maeon wind, all spells will be more difficult to use, irrespective of experience.
|Meaon Wind (Y)||Time to Adapt from 1 Y (days)||Increase in Spell Difficulty||Deepest Divine Bridge|
The table gives the time for a user of 1 Yardley to adapt to the new maeon wind, assuming five hours a day of practice. It also gives the increase in spell difficulty over the difficulty observed in a 1 Yardley wind. This increase applies even after the time to adapt. The adapting time is halved for subsequent journeys between the maeon winds. The forth column gives the deepest bridge that spirits are able to generate in the given maeon wind. If the bridge is between two worlds, use the average of the maeon wind strengths of the two worlds to determine the deepest bridge possible. Between Olympia (wind strength 2 Y) and Terra (wind strength 0 Y) the average is 1 Y, so spirits can make spirit bridges between the two.
The cost to a wizard of casting a spell is not only the price of materials, research, and assistance, but also the damage the spell causes to the spell slot she uses. As mentioned above, conjured matter created by spells cuts through the neurons of a spell slot. Despite the utmost care and the use of low-damage spells, damage slowly accumulates until the slot is scrambled.
A wizard can open up new spell slots in his spell-area, but the slots in which he has best ability to prepare spells are the first ones he made. As he becomes more skilled, he is able to prepare higher level spells in his existing slots, and additional lower level spells in his new slots.
Clearly it behooves a wizard to keep his oldest slots in good condition, or else he will be unable to prepare higher level spells. Thus a first level wizard will be reluctant to cast a thousand spells each out of his two original spell slots, even if he earns twenty thousand gold pieces doing so. If he sacrifice his original spell slots, he would still be able to cast only first level spells when he attained third level.
Most wizards make their living casting spells and manufacturing magical mechanisms for other people. The standard rate for casting a spell depends upon the level of the spell, as shown in the following table.
|1||10 gp ($1.0k)||6||100 gp ($10k)||11||1.0 kgp ($100k)|
|2||16 gp ($1.6k)||7||160 gp ($16k)||12||1.6 kgp ($160k)|
|3||25 gp ($2.5k)||8||250 gp ($25k)||13||2.5 kgp ($250k)|
|4||40 gp ($4.0k)||9||400 gp ($40k)||14||4.0 kgp ($400k)|
|5||63 gp ($6.3k)||10||630 gp ($63k)||15||6.3 kgp ($630k)|
To raise their wizard level, most wizards practice with a wide range of spells, casting each many times. Adventuring wizards get away with a fraction of the practice that peaceable wizards must put in to increase their skill. A peaceable, or town, wizard can hope to raise her skill every three years after casting several hundred spells as part of her practice. To earn money, the same town wizard can cast in the same period several hundred spells for pay without unduly scrambling her spell slots. Successful town wizards earn something like 1 kgp per level per year. Of this sum, 50% is spent upon equipment, materials, research, and assistance, leaving them with 500 gp per level per year in profit (before taxes).
Most wizards hire assistants, or adjutants, to help with their business. Adjutants are to wizards what nurses are to doctors. They are trained in colleges associated with those that train wizards. It takes three years to train an adjutant. Freshly graduated adjutants earn something like 300 gp a year. The main difference between an adjutant and a wizard is that a wizard can cast spells and an adjutant cannot. Would-be wizards who fail to make spell slots, and so must abandon their ambition, can get jobs as adjutants.
Unlike wizards, each sorcerer has his own particular abilities. One sorcerer might specialize in the creation of large and long-lived space bridges. Another might be an expert at creating balls of conjured sponge and annihilating them. Another might be able to make long-lived spirit matter quickly, so as to erect forts and castles in a few days, such labor as might be done by a hundred men in six months. We can't enjoy sorcerers in our silly adventure game unless we have rules to govern their powers. It would be impossible to allow a contender character to be a sorcerer unless we had rules to limit their powers and permit the contender to consider how best to use his ability.
Our rules for sorcerers are based upon our rules for wizards. First, we say that no sorcerer can do anything that would be impossible for a wizard to do, even if the wizard had greater ability or knowledge. That is to say, sorcerers are bound by the rules of magic just as wizards are. A sorcerer might be able to make a molecular bridge, but so will wizards, some day in the future, when they figure out how to do it, and at that point the molecular bridge will be something you can make with a ninth level spell, and maybe after another few decades of work, a fifth level spell.
Sorcerers have sorcerer level in the same way that wizards have wizard level, as we state in the rules. An n'th level sorcerer can cast n spells in a row, without any rest. We can think of a sorcerer as a wizard with only one spell slot, who can can cast spells without preparation and with no clearing time afterwards. Instead of clearing time, the sorcerer's spell slot gets fatigued. The sorcerer's effective level is equal to his sorcerer level when he is not fatigued. With each spell he casts, regardless of how humble or mighty that spell may be, his effective level drops by one. When his effective level drops to zero, he can cast no more spells. Each hour of respite from spell-casting raises his effective level by one. Just as a wizard of level n can cast spells up to a certain difficulty, as given by the table here, so a sorcerer with effective level n can generate magical effects equivalent to a wizard spell of difficulty the same difficulty.
Each sorcerer must perform certain actions to exercise his full power. Some sorcerers sing. Some chant. Some rely upon precise jestures. Some execute elaborate, whole-body movements like short, choreographed dances. Some imagine certain colors and sounds, and this imagining is sufficient. Sorcerers are most likely to use mimic the actions of their teachers, but in theory each sorcerer can develop their own spell-generating actions.
Fighting while casting reduces his effective sorcerer level by five. Running might reduce it by three. If a sorcerer can stop fighting for five seconds, and has the ability to cast spells in such a short time, he can cast at full strength and then go back to the fight. Thus we see that sorcerers can indeed fight and cast spells, but they have to design their fighting style around their sorcery to make it work.
Example: Here are notes on Quayam Srae's sorcery, taken from the QTG notes. Update Quayam's sorcery level, allowed Kirk to go through and arrange his disciplines again. He is now tenth level sorcerer. Sorcery works as follows. Quayam can cast any conjured or spirit matter wizard-like spell, one spell at a time, no preparation, casting time as wizard spell, singing and movement required to act at full potential, difficulty as if his sorcery level were his wizard level. No clearing time, with each spell he casts, his effective sorcerer level drops by one. An hour's rest restores it by one. Just recently, Quayam has learned how to make a targeting solenoid. Cannot cast spells like Annihilation or Flash. But he can do Choke. Fighting while casting adjusts his effective sorcerer level by −5 so long as he continues to fight, running is a penalty of −3, riding −2, walking −1. Thus he can cast consecutively, with no rest between, 2 fifth-level spell, 2 fourth-level, 2 third-level, 2 second-level, 2 first-level spells. After that he needs nine hours rest.
No sorcerer can cast all spells available to wizards. Instead, the many spell functions available to a wizard are divided into abilities. The following table lists the sorcerer abilities.
|Spell Bridge||Create a normal space bridge at close range.||Space Bridge|
|Conjured Matter||Create conjured matter.||Balloon|
|Advanced Conjured Matter||Advanced forms of conjured matter.||unlisted|
|Spirit Matter||Create spirit matter.||Canoe|
|Targeting Solenoid||Create a normal space bridge at a distance.||Calibrate|
|Avalanche Annihilation||Annihilate large volumes of conjured matter.||Annihilate|
|Sparking Annihilation||Annihilate spirit matter with a spell bridge.||Flash|
|Bridge Tuning||Extend the life and increase the size of space bridges.||Tuning|
|Spirit Sheath||Create a spirit matter sheat around a space bridge.||Slice|
A sorcerer of level −3 is one who has just acquired the spell bridge ability. He can cast the Space Bridge Zero spell. At first level, the sorcerer acquires another ability. That is the beginning of all known forms of sorcery. At fifth level, they choose another, and at tenth, and every five levels thereafter, so that a twentieth level sorcerer has five abilities in addition to the spell bridge ability.
Example: Quayam uses his spell bridge and conjured matter abilities to make spying eyes here. At 5th level, Quayam added the creation of spirit matter. At 10th he added the targeting solenoid. In another five levels, he might choose to add the annihilation of conjured matter, so he can cast Targeted Lightening. Or he might choose the sparking annihilation so he can cast Flash.
Ambitious black-orc sorcerers are known for choosing bridge tuning early on, and concentrating upon this for their entire lives, hoping to make a molecular bridge. We invite the dramaturgist to devise rules that give such specialists a chance of learning to generate a magical effect that is beyond the ability of wizards in Clarus.
The Advanced Conjured Matter ability includes: making conjured matter that is slow to annihilate, making conjured matter that is immune to annihilation, making conjured matter that is more dense, and making conjured stone. All these are forms of conjured matter available to Ursian wizards no earlier than the year 2460 AE.
In a psionic creature, a genetically-engineered neural network within the mind generates a spell effect automatically. The neural network will tire afterwards, requiring some time to recover before it can cast again. Each effect is similar or identical to a possible wizard spell, or variant of a wizard spell. The network generates only one effect, but with practice, an intelligent psionic can make slight alterations to the effect. If a psionic can generate two effects, that is because it has two psionic neural networks, not because it has a dual-use network. Psionic networks are never dual-use.
Many creatures in the Creature Guide have psionic powers. The aquavir casts Beguile. There are psionic sapiens also. They were created by genetic engineers in the Dark Ages on Clarus.
A dangerous psionic sapien might be someone with Slay as their psionic ability. This person might not know about their ability at all. Instead, they kill people, or nearly kill people, by accident, when they are angry. As time goes by, they might discovere that they have such an ability, and learn to control it in the same way that we control our urge to hit people when we are angry.
Another psionic might be able to create a ball of lightening. At first, the ball might be small or often fail to ignite. But after practice, the psionic is able to generate a large ball at long range. It is conceivable that she could create a ball of conjured sponge and refrain from annihilating it, and so learn to cast Surrounding Sponge, when her ability is Lightening Ball.
We offer no further rules to accommodate psionic contender characters. We suspect that psionics will be more interesting as non-player characters. Indeed, there is some scope in psionic powers to include effects that might be inexplicable or even unbelievable, so long as the details of the effects remain vague. A psionic might, for example, have the reputation for being able to infect people nearby with her emotions. How she does this could remain a mystery. It could be that she disturbs the emotional parts of the mind, making them more likely to accept a new emotion based upon the smile on the psionic's face. Or it could be that the psionic is simply charming and has no power at all. We already have spells like Fear, which invoke a strong emotion in the recipient.
Almost all magical materials created by wizards have a longevity that is constant to within 10% for the matter produced by a single spell. Uniformity of longevity is essential to the integrity of magical structures. When 1% of the material within a structure has dissipated, the structure is likely to be weakened beyond utility. Such dissipation will occur along lines that match the manner in which the material was laid down. An entire layer in a conjured wall may decay hours before the rest of the wall, leading to the top portion detatching itself and floating away. To the first approximation, therefore, the longevity of materials created by wizards is the time before which 1% of the material has dissipated. Some of the material may remain intact for up to twice that length of time.
Wizards create substantial volumes of conjured and spirit matter by starting with a tiny piece called a magical seed, and growing the seed by maeon combination in a bath of cold maeons. Cold maeons combine at the surface of a growing magical seed in the same way that ions combine at the surface of a growing chemical crystal.
There are two stages to the creation of conjured matter: seeding and growth. A wizard can make the seed with a magical catalyst, or out in thin air. A wizard can produce cold maeons with a magical catalyst, or using the surface of the expanding matter. Both seeding and growth are easier with a magical catalyst.
When a wizard produces the cold maeons with a magical catalyst, such as a bridge ring, the maeons drift over to the surface of the growing material and combine. Growth like this is called cold growth. It is the easiest type of growth to bring about, and the easiest to control. A conjuring wand is a metal or wooden rod with a bridge ring on the end. The rod allows the wizard to move the bridge around quickly so as to build up conjured structures more accurately and quickly than would be possible with a hand-held bridge.
When a wizard produces the cold maeons using the surface of the expanding magical matter, circulating maeons at the surface create a dweomer that catalyzes maeon arrest, and thus produces the cold maeons. These cold maeons appear at the surface of the matter, and combine immediately. Growth like this is called avalanche growth. Avalanche growth is the fastest way to make magical matter, but the most difficult.
Conjured matter is easier to make than spirit matter. Not only does it contain a thousand times fewer maeons per cubic meter, but the arrest of negative maeons is much easier to bring about than that of positive maeons. Conjured matter, however, has longevity measured in hours, while spirit matter has longevity measured in years. The conjured matter that wizards make is by default completely transparent, but with a little extra effort it can be given a variety of colors. The spirit matter that wizards make is always sparkling gray. The refractive index of pure spirit or conjured matter is within a few parts per million of that of free space (compare to three hundred parts per million for air). When created on the surface of a planet, both spirit and conjured matter are permeated by the local atmosphere, and therefore take on its refractive index.
Both conjured and spirit matter, as created by wizard spells, are chemically inert. They are resistant to heat and cold. Conjured wood makes a good hearth in a campsite, but after a few days, the conjured material beneath the coals will start to crack. Conjured wood used as a road surface will wear beneath cart wheels and show grooves and pits within a few months. When water enters holes in spirit stone and freezes, the cracks in the stone will open. Both conjured and spirit matter are electrically and thermally insulating, but when created by wizards, they are invariably mixed with air, so that their insulating properties are similar to those of immobile air.
For each type of conjured or spirit matter, there exists a reference spell. This spell is not one that any wizard is likely to cast, but it serves as a baseline from which we can develop more practical variants. The reference spell for each type of matter produces its matter at the rate that is least difficult for a wizard to acheive and with the longevity that is least difficult to achieve.
We summarize the reference spells in the following table. It takes the wizard twenty seconds to cast these spells: two seconds to activate the solenoid, and eighteen to grab the spell bridge and slide it into the bridge ring.
|Density||1 μg/m3 (sponge 0.1 μg/m3)||1 μg/m3 (sponge 0.1 μg/m3)|
|Longevity||6 min||100 hours|
|Rate||1 ng/s||1 pg/s|
|Quantity||1 μg||1 ng|
Density: The conjured and spirit matter produced by the reference spells has density 1 μg/m3, with the exception of the sponge, which is one tenth as dense because it is mostly air. Because the positive maeon of spirit matter is one thousand times lighter than the negative maeon of conjured matter, the force exerted by the planet upon spirit matter is one thousand times greater per microgram. Wizards can increase the density of conjured and spirit matter also, but this is much harder to do than increasing the quantity, longevity, or rate of production. The first spells increasing the density of conjured matter are developed in Ursia in 2480 AE, and those increasing spirit matter density are developed in 2490 AE. Each factor of three increase in density increases the difficulty of the spell by one.
Longevity: The longevity of magical matter depends upon the coherence of its maeon resonance. Increasing the longevity by a factor of ten increases the level of the spell by one. We can continue this process until we reach the maximum longevity provided by contemporary spells. This maximum is ten thousand hours for conjured matter and ten million hours for spirit matter. Decreasing the longevity below that of the reference spell is possible, but does not reduce the difficulty of the spell.
Rate: The maximum rate at which matter is produced is limited by the maeon wind strength and by the efficiency with which these maeons can be used. Increasing the rate of production by a factor of ten increases the difficulty by one. Spells attain the highest rates of production by avalanche combination along a surface perpendicular to the maeon wind. No spell can produce magical matter faster than maeons can be delivered by the maeon wind. Decreasing the rate of production below that of the reference spell is possible, but does not decrease the spell difficulty.
Quantity: The amount of matter produced by a spell is limited by the endurance of the mechanism that produces cold maeons. The mechanism degrades as it operates. The surface of a magical catalyst gets contaminated by unwanted magical matter. The expanding surface of material growing by avalanche gets less perfect as it grows. Increasing amount produced by a factor of ten increases the spell difficulty by one. Decreasing the quantity below that of the reference spell is possible, but does not reduce the spell difficulty.
By modifying the reference spells, you can create variants that are more practical. A variant that allows the caster to stop-and-start the production of magical matter has level one greater than the original, as does a variant that does not require a bridge ring catalyst. A variant that allows the spell-caster to alternate between one type of matter and an easier type has level one greater, provided both types use the same polarity of maeon. A variant of a conjured matter spell that allows the spell-caster to vary the color of the material from transparent through a range of solid colors has level one greater than the original.
It is possible to add to existing conjured and spirit matter by bringing cold maeons into contact with them. To add to a conjured wood structure, just cast a conjured wood spell that uses a bridge ring as a catalyst for growth. The bridge ring is surrounded by cold maeons appropriate for making conjured wood. Place the bridge ring near the conjured wood, and the wood will start to grow. In this way, conjured and spirit materials can be joined, expanded, and repaired seamlessly.
Here we present the reference spells for the conjured and spirit materials freely available to Ursian wizards before the year 2450 AE. We name each reference spell after the material it creates. Other materials are possible, such as spirit metal and conjured stone, but these are freely available only after 2450 AE. In our descriptions, we assume a planet like Clarus, where maeon repulsion is 10 N/μg (conjured matter), maeon attraction is 10 kN/μg (for spirit matter), gravity is 10 m/s/s, and maeon wind is 10 Y. The physical properties of each material are implied by its name. Thus conjured wood is hard, tough, and rigid like wood, but you can bang a nail into it.
(1 μg/m3, level −6, 1 μg total, 1 ng/s, 6 min) Conjured fluid can have momentum of several hundred kg m/s per square meter of generating area. It is possible to fill a sail with such fluid.
(0.1 μg/m3, level −5, 1 μg total, 1 ng/s, 6 min) Conjured sponge is conjured wood with nine tenths of its volume taken up with cavities. Typical spong has cavities one or two millimeters across. It has the resilience and porosity of a well-dried marine sponge, meaning that the cavities are connected to one another by channels, and it is possible to suck air through the sponge. Thus a creature surrounded by sponge can breath through the sponge, although effort is required to do so. Conjured wood with such cavities is easier to make than conjured wood with no cavities. Indeed, it is possible to expand the remote cluster of a space bridge and create conjured sponge in all places at once and independently within the volume of the remote cluster, as in Deafen.
(1 μg/m3, level −4, 1 μg total, 1 ng/s, 6 min) Conjured rubber is sticky when fresh, adheres to chemical and conjured matter, but does not adhere to spirit matter. It flexes by up to 100% without tearing. Conjured rubber is penetrating and patient in its growth. Its penetration is limited only by how far it has to travel from its point of origin. Its patience is limited only by its longevity. Rubber stops growing when its surface has advanced away from its point of origin by a distance equal to the radius of the sphere of rubber that the spell would generate without obstructions. This radius is called the penetrating range. Spells like Choke make use of the penetrating power of conjured rubber.
(1 μg/m3, level −3, 1 μg total, 1 ng/s, 6 min) Conjured wood is like pine wood, including non-homogeneous stiffness. But it does not expand with heat or moisture, nor does it burn.
(1 μg/m3, level −1, 1 μg total, 1 ng/s, 6 min) Conjured cloth is like a wool blanket in its flexibility, strength, and thickness, but it is a slightly better insulator than wool, and it is fire-proof. It is half a centimeter thick.
(1 μg/m3, level 1, 1 μg total, 1 ng/s, 6 min) Conjured rope has the stiffness, strength, and thickness of hemp rope. It has tensile strength 1 kN/cm2 cross section, and it extends by 1% of its original length per 10 N/cm2 tension. It is so springy, therefore, that it does not make very good climbing rope. When a conjured rope is stimulated at the ends by the correct dweomer, it generates a tension of up to 10 N/cm2, and will contract to as little as half its normal length. It has the capacity to do one Joule of work per cm3 before it is exhausted (1 J is the amount of work done by a 1 N force exerted over a distance of 1 m).
A curious thing about conjured rope is that it does not get thinner when it stretches, nor does it get thicker when it contracts.
Conjured rope recovers from exhaustion by substituting fresh cold maeons into its atoms. Restoration takes 10/M hours in a maeon wind of strength M, or as little as an hour in an ample supply of cold maeons. An ample supply of cold maeons can come from a spell or from a large body of gold. Wizards use conjured rope to make magical machines (see Trap). Demons, daemons, and most dragons use materials similar to conjured rope for their muscles. These materials can be much stronger than conjured rope, and they can store far more energy. Nevertheless, they can take a long time to recover from their exertions. Most divine dragons must rest for one hundred hours for every hour they fly, unless they have a pile of gold to provide them with cold maeons, in which case they can recover in only ten hours per hour of flying.
Wizards can make superior forms of conjured rope to act as muscles for animations. These forms are called conjured muscles. For each factor of three increase in tensile force, the level of the spell required to make the muscle increases by one. For each factor of three increase in work capacity, the level increases by one. But an increase in work capacity is always accompanied by a proportional increase in the time taken to recover from exhaustion. The rate at which all forms can recover energy from fast or slow maeons is the same.
(1 μg/m3, level −7, 1 ng total, 1 pg/s, 100 hr) Spirit fluid is a sparkling gray fluid. When spirit fluid is brought into contact with conjured matter, the atoms of the two substances dissipate. The cold maeons thus released have a tendancy to combine and annihilate one another, releasing heat, light, searing ultra-violet rays, and penetrating x-rays. Some of the cold maeons might re-combine to form spirit and conjured matter. If the cold positive maeons form spirit fluid, they will initiate the annihilation of more conjured matter. If the contact is initiated in precisely the right way, the process of annihilation generates more spirit fluid, and the annihilation proceeds through the entire body of conjured matter at 10 m/s. This process, called avalanche annihilation, turns the conjured matter into a white-hot bolt of lightening. Air within the conjured matter gets super-heated and bursts outward. A moment later, when the lightening vanishes, air rushes back into the heated space with a clap of thunder. The spells Lightening Ball and Annihilate use avalanche annihilation with devastating effect.
(0.1 μg/m3, level −5, 1 ng total, 1 pg/s, 100 hr) Spirit sponge is sparkling gray spirit stone with cavities in the same way that pumice-stone has cavities. The cavities are microscopic, and make up nine tenths of the volume of the material. Unlike conjures sponge, the cavities in spirit sponge are isolated from one another, so that air does not pass through the material. When immerses in water, the cavities fill by gradual seeping of water through the thin cavity walls. A raft of spirit sponge will float many hours before it starts to absorb any significant quantity of water. With maeon attraction 10 kN/μg and gravity 10 m/s/s, a cubic meter of spirit sponge has weight 1 kN and a cubic meter of water weighs 10 kN. So a 3 m×3 m slab of spirit sponge, 10 cm thick, can act as a sturdy raft for three people, as in Canoe.
(1 μg/m3, level −4, 1 ng total, 1 pg/s, 100 hr) Spirit rubber sticks to spirit matter only, but is most effective at bonding spirit matter together and patching holes in spirit matter. It is useful for making gloves to climb up and down spirit matter ropes, which are otherwise so slippery that it is impossible to use them. Even a pair of tacky leather gloves can obtain hardly any grip on spirit rope. Also, walls of spirit stone are difficult to climbe because the material is slippery to the hands, but with a thin pair of spirit rubber gloves, which might be made to last for a year, a thief can scale a spirit stone wall more easily than a normal wall.
(1 μg/m3, level −3, 1 ng total, 1 pg/s, 100 hr) Spirit wood is like conjured wood except it is sparkling gray and has weight. It is great for boats because it does not rot, does not expand in moisture, and can be made in a seamless hull that lasts for many years. It is not, however, in wide use as a boat material, because you need some magical means on hand to patch it if it breaks. Spirit wood may be chemically inert, but it is no stronger than ordinary wood. It can crack and be punctured. Nothing sticks to it except spirit matter: nails go in but slip right out, rivets make holes that leak. The only way to repair spirit wood is by patching it with new spirit matter.
(1 μg/m3, level −2, 1 ng total, 1 pg/s, 100 hr) Spirit stone is as hard as glass. It is the compound that coats the surfaces of mithril. It is as strong as limestone, but is one third as heavy on a planet with magical attraction 10 kN/μg. Like stone, it is strong in compression but tends to break by fast fracture when in tension. Spirit stone is widely used by wizards and sorcerers to make houses, fortresses, and furniture. Because a wall of spirit stone can be made in stages, with each stage building upon and melding with the last, the resulting wall can be smooth and seemless, and therefore almost impossible to climb. Spirit stone does suffer from erosion and wear, to the same extent as limestone. So after a hundred years, a spirit matter wall will provide cracks and finger-holds for the expert climber, but still be superior to the average block-made limestone wall.
(1 μg/m3, level −1, 1 ng total, 1 pg/s, 100 hr) Spirit cloth is like conjured cloth in its thickness, flexibility and strength. It is rain-proof and never gets water-logged. It gives protection from the Slice spell. It is slippery to the touch. As a material for use by non-wizards, spirit cloth is hard to repair. It does not hold a thread at all well, so a wizard must patch it with more spirit cloth. Although it is rugged and water-proof, it is heavy, and so is rarely used for tents that must be carried. Spirit cloth robes are, however, popular among wizards, and are distinctive because of the way the weighty fabric hangs upon the body. Although spirit cloth is heavy, it has hardly any mass, so it does not restrict movement as would a wool cloak of similar warmth.
(1 μg/m3, level 1, 1 ng total, 1 pg/s, 100 hr) Spirit rope can hold 2 kN per cm2 cross section, making it twice as strong as conjured rope. It extends by 1% of its original length per 100 N/cm2. It is more springy than hemp rope, but not too springy. Its elasticity makes it less likely to snap, so it is good for climbing. It has the further advantage of being weather-proof and chemicaly inert. Its drawbacks are that it is slippery and heavy. It ties good knots with itself, but you must wear gloves made of spirit matter to grip it properly. A 10-m length of 2-kN test spirit rope weighs 10 N on a planet with magical attraction 10 kN/μg. Unlike conjured rope, spirit rope gets thinner when it stretches.
A magical device is something that generates a temporary magical effect. A luminous stone is a magical device. The light it produces grows dimmer with time. A diamond sparkling in the maeon wind is not a magical device. It will always sparkle in the maeon wind. An adamantine sword with a coating of spirit stone to protect its edges is not a magical device.
Many of the spells we list below create magical devices. Luminous Stones creates a shining stone. Hot Stones creates a heat-producing stone. The Thaumaturgical Forge allows a wizard to make magical capsules. At the heart of a capsule is a network of gold threads. A well-known capsule is the thunder-egg, which generates a Lightening Ball. A capsule produces its magical effect only once. Its activity is fueled by the spells cast upon its mechanism at the time of its creation. Their mechanisms can be re-cycled if they survive their single use, which is unlikely for a Thunder Egg, but likely for a Surrounding Sponge Egg. A magical devices can contain multiple capsules that are used one after the other until all are exhausted. A Wand of Lightening is such a device, with ten Targeted Lightening charges. A capsule that generates an M'th level spell costs what a wizard would charge to cast the same spell twice in person, plus the cost a Thaumaturgical Forge spell, which is difficulty three. A thunder-egg is around 150 gp (double the 63 gp for a Lightening Ball spell, plus 25 gp for Thaumaturgical Forge). A Wand of Lightening is around 3000 gp.
The Animation I to V spells create animated machines all the way up to intelligent creatures. The use of these spells requires a laboratory and an weeks or months of work by the wizard or his adjutants. But the homunculi wizards make and train as their companions have the potential to last for hundreds of years.
Another class of magical device is the magical amplifier. A magical amplifier is a device that is activated by the casting of a particular spell upon its mechanism. When this activating spell is cast, the amplifier creates a magical effect that would be more difficult to produce directly with a spell. For example, a 1-5 Vacuum Thruster Amplifier receives a first-level version of the Vacuum Thruster spell and creates the effect of the fifth-level Vacuum Thruster II spell. Magical amplifiers tend to use plenty of mithril, at a cost of $1k/g, long-life conjured matter, spirit matter, and gold thread. Some stop working after a year, others might work for a thousand years, although wizards have not been around that long. They are time-consuming to make, and require many spells to be cast in their construction. A ten-year M-N amlifier costs 10 × (M − N)2 × PM, where PM is the cost of an M'th level effect and N is the level of the spell that must be cast. The 1-5 Vacuum Thruster Amplifier costs 10 × 42 × $6.3k = $1M. A magical amplifier with a hundred-year working life cost three times as much.
Magical amplifiers are worth purchasing if an organization wants to do the same job over and over again for years. A 1-5 amplifier that generates a fifth-level luminous stone effect with a first-level activation spell. The amplifier costs the same as 160 fifth-level spells, but it lasts for 10 years and can be used roughly ten thousand times. With care, the organization can get ten thousand fifth-level spell effects for the price of ten thousand first-level spells cast by wizards, which comes to $11M ($10M for the spells and $1M for the amplifier), or $1.1k per spell. This compares well to the $6.3k it would cost to pay for one fifth-level spells cast by a wizard. Magical amplifiers are popular among novice wizards because they allow second-level spells, such as Surrounding Sponge, to be cast be the novice wizard. A Wand of Surrounding Sponge is a 1-2 amplifier that costs only $16k, and allows a first-level wizard to generate a useful spell that she would otherwise have to wait until third level to cast.
Another type of magical device is the magical generator. A magical generator is a device upon which a spell has been cast, and within which it continues to act, for weeks, years, or decades, depending upon the generator. Magical amplifiers accept a low-level spell and generate a higher-level effect. Magical generators accept one or more high-level spell and generate a low-level effect a many times. In twenty-fifth century Clarus, the cost of creating luminous stones with a magical generator is roughly double the cost of doing the same with a magical amplifier and a wizard to cast the spells.
When you start with one spell and obtain another spell from it in simple steps, the new spell is a variant of the original. We do not attempt, in the following pages, to present anything like the full range of spells available wizards. We merely present a small selection from which variants can be obtained. The spells we present may be attractive to adventurers, but there are many variants that wizards will find immensely more practical than the spells we provide. Here are some of the simplest variants and the resulting changes in difficulty.
|Variant||Level of Difficulty|
|10 × mass of magical matter||+1|
|10 × production rate of magical matter||+1|
|10 × longevity of magical matter||+1|
|10 × latency period before initiating spell effect||+1|
|give various colors to conjured matter||+1|
|remove need for bridge ring||+1|
|add targeting solenoid||+1|
|add 10 to spell accuracy with tracer||+1|
|add 5n to spell accuracy without tracer||+n|
|3 × longevity of space bridge||+1|
|3 × half-life of magical heat or light||+1|
|3 × production of magical heat or light||+1|
|3 × tensile force of conjured muscle||+1|
|3 × work capacity of conjured muscle||+1|
|3 × bridge energy||+1|
|10 × bridge power||+1|
|combine two spells, level p and q||√(p2 + q2)|
|indirect spell bridge||+2|
|same effect in 1/2 maeon wind strength||+1|
|same effect in ×2 maeon wind strength||-1|
|3 × density of conjured matter1||+1|
|3 × density of spirit matter1||+1|
|conjured matter that is slow to annihilate1||+2|
|conjured matter that does not annihilate1||+4|
When combining two effects, the minimum difficulty of the combination is one greater than the higher difficulty of the two spells. When we combine a spell of difficulty 9 with one of difficulty 1, the result is difficulty 10, not 9.05. Better than this combination is to choose a spell of difficulty 4 to combine with the spell of difficulty 9, for the result will still be difficulty 10. If one spell has difficulty zero or lower, increase its effects until it reaches difficulty one, or just treat it as difficulty one for the purpose of the combination. In all cases, you can substitute for the formula some estimation of the final spell level that seems reasonable to all players.Example: The Circle spell produces a space bridge 32 cm in diameter for four minutes. The spell provides a sheeth of conjured wood. Let's start with Space Bridge, a first-level spell that produces a bridge of diamter 1 cm (in a 1-Y maeon wind) and longevity 10 days. It can make a larger space bridge, with longevity smaller in proportion to the larger area. A 32-cm bridge has longevity 14 minutes. The Conjured Wood spell is level −1 and produces 1 m3 of conjured matter in 20 minutes. The circle spell needs only a hundredth as much conjured wood, but it needs to create the wood one hundred times as quickly. The wood does not need to last ten hours, either. It could last a hundred times less. So the conjured wood part of the spell looks to be around level -2. Let's remove the bridge ring from the spell, making it level -1. When we add its effects to that of the Space Bridge, we treat the Conjured Wood variant as level 1 and get level √(12+12) = 1.4. Let's cut down the longevity of the bridges by a factor of three, making them last 4 minutes, and say Circle is level 1.
When casting spells on other planets, where the maeon wind strength is greater or less than the 1-Y we assume in all our spell descriptions, a wizard will find it easier in stronger maeon winds and harder in weaker winds. But it will take him a week of practice to get used to the new wind strength.Example: A third-level wizard goes to Olympia, where the maeon wind strength is 2 Y. On Clarus, he was unable to cast the difficulty-three spell Slice, but after a week of practice in this double-strength maeon wind, he finds he can cast a simpler version of the spell that takes advantage of the stronger maeon wind. Not that he still cannot cast the original Slice spell. He must both practice in the stronger maeon wind and develop a variant that takes advantage of the stronger wind. This variant will not work in a weaker maeon wind.
We encourage wizards to apply the existing spells in new ways. The names we have given to the spells often indicate the spell's most obvious adventurer-application, but a wizard can use a spell in any way he likes.Example: The Choke spell could be used to catch a rabbit.
We encourage wizards to make liberal use of variants. If a contender has answered the questions for one of the standard spells given below, and composes her own variant of that spell using the simple variations given in the table above, her wizard can use the new spell after she answers only one question posed by the dramaturgist. The dramaturgist must, however, approve the variant. It may be that there exists a simple variant of the standard spells that is so formidable that it upsets the balance of power between fighters, thieves, and wizards. Clearly, we have tried to set the difficulties of spells to preserve that balance.
Our spell descriptions start with the following lines:
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 300 ug conjured fluid at 0.3 μg/s range: local duration of effect: 10 hr longevity components: normal bridge ring controls: verbal
The controls of a spell are its triggers and guides. The components are any material accessories the spell requires. A common spell component is the bridge ring. A bridge monacle is a holder for a small bridge that places the bridge in front of the eye. Some monacles have a lense that gives the wizard a fish-eye view through the other half of any bridge in the ring.
To represent forces, we use the Newton, where one Newton (1 N) is the weight of one hundred grams (100 g) grams of chemical matter on a world with gravity ten meters per second per second (10 m/s2). We assume the spell-caster is on a planet like Clarus, with maeon wind strength, M, of one Yardley (1 Y). We assume the planet has maeon repulsion, R, equal to ten Newton per microgram (10 N/μg) of conjured matter, which corresponds to a magical attraction of 10 kN/μg of spirit matter (positive maeons have one thousandth the effective mass of negative maeons, but the same magnitude of magical charge in each maeon).
On worlds where M and R have other values, some spell effects will change in proportion. Magically generated heat and light powers, and magical material production rates, are proportional to M. The lift generated by conjured matter, and the weight of spirit matter, are proportional to R. The longevity of space bridges is independent of M and R, provided M is greater than 0.1 Y. We express time in seconds, hours, days, and years. A day is twenty-four hours, and a year is 400 days.
We encourage wizards to invent new spells, by applying the Laws of Magic, writing a description of her new spell in the form we use here, and making the case to the other players in her group, and the dramaturgist, that the spell is consistent with the existing laws, does not add a new law, and does not upset the balance of power in the game by being assigned too low a level of difficulty. If all players and the dramaturgist agree to the new spell, it becomes a prototype spell. The wizard who invented the spell can cast it, but no other wizards. After some time, when impact of the spell is better understood by the players, the spell might be accepted as an established spell, and so be available to other wizards. The spell might be accepted as established with modifications, such as an increase in its level of difficulty. Until the spell is established, we treat it as one that our wizard has a special gift for casting. It may be that the prototype spell is level three, but after some time, we decide it is better as level six. The ability to prepare and cast this sixth level spell as if it were a third level spell becomes a special ability granted to the contender wizard.
We anticipate that new spells will occasionally provide contender wizards with special abilities, and we accept this as part of the game. To compensate non-contender characters for this advantage given to contender characters, the dramaturgist can give non-contender wizards special abilities also. A non-contender wizard might be able to cast Lightening Ball, a fifth level spell, even though she is only a fifth level wizard, and would normally be able to cast only up to third level spells.
The Space Bridge spells are a series of spells, Space Bridge I, Space Bridge II, Space Bridge III, and so on. The first produces a space bridge of longevity 10 days and is first level, the second produces a space bridge of longevity 30 days and is second level, and so on. Examples of other series of spells are Luminous Stones and Hot Stones. We describe a series of spells by describing the first in the series, and saying how subsequent spells in the series improve upon the first. We don't bother to have a separate entry for Luminous Stones II, which is one level higher than Luminous Stones I.
We also have shorter series of spells, like Flash and Grand Flash, or Lightening Ball, Targeted Lightening, and Grand Lightening.
Around Claran year 1800, in the depths of the Dark Ages, a group of sapiens, inspired and instructed by elf sorcerers, discovered how to make space bridges with their minds. They were the first wizards. Their method was unlike sorcery, in that others could learn to do the same thing in almost exactly the same way, so that the skill could be taught in a matter of years rather than decades.
For the first fifty years, wizards had only one ability, that of making atomic space bridges a few centimeters across that lasted for days or weeks. Their spells were the ancestor of Space Bridge. This single power they used to good effect. A space bridge provides a means to atomize pressurised water. With the help of dwarves, wizards constructed enormous flame throwers for use in battle against orcs. Smaller versions of these devices, similar to the modern Fire Lance, were already known black-orc and elf sorcerers. The flame throwers were terrifying and impressive, but sapien generals at the time valued the space bridge for communication and spying even more than for its flame throwers. From their earliest days, with the help of dwarves, wizards learned of and sought after way to make devices that would increase the power of their spells. In modern times, such devices are called magical amplifiers.
Around the year 1850, wizards learned to make conjured matter with the help of mithril-plated bridge rings. The result was Surrounding Sponge. Around 1900, wizards learned how to annihilate conjured sponge. The result was Lightening Ball. Both these spells were devestating in battle.
The twentieth-century version of Lightening Ball was a far more complex and difficult than its modern descendant. The modern version is difficulty five, while the version of five centuries before was difficulty nine. In modern Clarus, there are only two thousand wizards. Of these, perhaps two hundred can cast a ninth-level spell, and almost all of these are elderly. But in the twentieth century, wizards were in great demand. They were both respected and well-paid. For every young sapien who aspired to be a great warrior in the war against the orcs, there was another who aspired to be a great wizard. Elderly wizards taught these aspirants the art of spell-casting. A mere hundred years after the birth of wizardry, there were ten thousand wizards on Clarus. Most of them had proven themselves in battle, and there were a thousand in the prime of life who could cast the ninth-level Lightening Ball spell. Given that there were, at that time, in the middle of the Dark Ages, only ten million sapiens alive Clarus, we see that fully one in every thousand of them was a wizard, while now, in the twenty-fifth century, there are fifty million sapiens and only one in twenty-five thousand is a wizard, and of these, the majority are not soldiers.
Wizards made two other important advances in around 1900. They learned to make conjured wood and they developed the targeting solenoid. Within a few years, they were using targeting solenoids to create lightening balls at ranges of several hundred meters, as in the modern Targeted Lightening. The were using conjured wood to throw up pallisades, lay down road surfaces, and erect shelters on the battle field.
In around 1925, wizards learned to make spirit fluid, the simplest form of spirit matter. The annihilation of spirit fluid by an atomic space bridge was put to use in the Flash spell. Spirit sponge followed soon after, as used in the Canoe spell.
By the year 1950, wizards were using conjured wood to protect the edges of two enlarged space bridges to make the Circle spell. Armed with these atomizing bridges, wizards suddenly became deadly opponents in hand-to-hand combat. At the same time, the targeting solenoid gave rise to the Beguile spell, which allowed wizards to influence the minds of other sapiens without leaving any evidence of their doing so. A series of spells applying targeting solenoids to individual combat, such as Choke, further enhanced the reputation of wizards as dangerous and beyond the law.
By the year 1987, sapiens had won their war against the orcs. The Reconciliation Treaty was being drafted. Wizards were no longer needed for battle. Because of their growing power, they were feared and distrusted by their fellow sapiens. In many nations, casting spells or teaching wizardry required a license granted by the state, and such licenses were granted only in the service of the state. By the end of the twentieth century, no more than a thousand wizards existed on Clarus. Two hundred and fifty of these joined together to found a nation of their own in the desert south of Varay. They called their nation Ursia. They learned to make spirit stone and they used it to erect the first buildings of their city. They learned to make magical lights, and they used these to illumniate their new streets at night.
From the start, the Ursian wizards feared invasion. Their city was five days march into the desert, near a small oasis not large enough to sustain even a thousand people. But with the help of summoning from Olympia, an Endan army could cross this desert easily and take the city. Thus a group of wizards worked for a decade to figure out some means by which Ursia could be protected from armies supplied in this way. Their conclusion was that the best way to stop armies supported by summoning was to stop the summoning itself. They designed and build a network of machines that created pulses of magical energy, called bridge suppressors, that would prevent summoning within a hundred kilometers of their city. In the longer-term, Ursia went about making alliances with several gods friendly to their cause, such as Aries, and providing these gods with the money to buy the temple plots surrounding their city, so as to have them forbid summoning by any invading army. But the bridge suppressors remain the most trusted means for protecting the city from invasion.
Wood and water are scarce in the desert. To provide heat for cooking, they developed hot stones. By the end of the twentieth century, all kitchens in Ursia were equipped with hot stones. The wizards of twenty-first century Ursia were studious and hard-working. They spent their time in laboratories. They were not daring warriors like the wizards of the Dark Ages. But they simplified the existing spells, expanded the selection of variants available, and made steady progress in the development of new effects. Around 2100 they made the first machines with muscles, sensors, and neurons of conjured matter, as in Trap. Around 2150, they developed the Thaumaturgical Forge and within a few years had created the first thunder-egg. By the year 2200, the hot stones of the Ursian kitchens had been replaced by imported charcoal, as other nations paid higher and higher prices for all the luminous stones, thunder eggs, sponge eggs, and hot stones the Ursian wizards could make.
Around 2200, wizards learned to make spirit rope. This material was a popular export for a few decades, but was eventually replaced in sapien nations by superior versions of non-magical rope. In 2250 they started making spirit cloth, and this too was popular for several decades as an exotic material for the wealthy sapien to wear. It remains popular among wizards as a material for laboratory coats. It is water-proof and resistant to fire, acid, and the expanding edges of wayward space bridges. About the same time, wizards discovered how to cause a space bridge to expand rapidly by replacing its conjured sheath with spirit matter, creating the first Slice spell.
Around the year 2300, wizards were making the first calculating machines out of spirit matter neurons. With knowledge obtained from the dragons, they learned how the minds of gods and demons were fasioned by the Illuminati, and they created intelligent homunculi with the Animation spells. When Endor invaded Ursia in 2364, homunculi carried the spell bridges that created the walls of conjured matter that rose in the path of the Endan armies. The Endan soldiers mistook the creatures for monkeys. In the twenty-fourth century, it was the ambition of most Ursian wizards to fasion and train a homunculus to serve as companion and adjutant. This fasion faded in the twenty-fifth century: sapien adjutants proved to be far less expensive and more capable. But many of the homunculi created during the twenty-fourth century are still surviving and can be seen about the city.
Around the year 2350, Ursian wizards learned how to use an existing bridge to bring about a magical effect, in a process called indirect casting. The simplest form of indirect casting is the Tuning spell, which allows a wizard to extend the longevity of an existing bridge. This humble spell had far-reaching effect upon the economy of Clarus, for it allowed the wizards of Ursia to create a network of space bridges spanning the continent, in banks, government offices, dwarf cities, in the hands of remote and secretive wizards, and carried by wealthy travelers, so as to allow any and all of them to talk to one another at any time. This network of space bridges is now called The Net, and it has been of immense value in commodities trading, currency exchanges, and in the sharing of human knowledge. Another application of indirect casting is Indirect Sponge, or Indirect Lightening, in which the distant half of an existing space bridge is caused to generate conjured sponge or lightening by the action of a spell bridge held against its rim.
After the Phonecian War of 2364, the Ursian government adopted a policy of funding magical research and keeping the results of that research secret so as to allow it to be used with surprise in war. In 2450, state-funded wizards discovered how to make spirit metal. Although most wizards in Ursia know of or suspect its existence, the spells for making it remain a state secret. The Ursian government gave a large quantity of spirit metal to the dragons in a top-secret deal by which they received three molecular bridge tuners from some other sector of the galaxy. A box made of spirit metal has the property of rejecting magical fields that exist outside, such as the pulses of magical energy emitted by bridge suppressors. Thus the Ursians are able to suppress the summoning of their enemy, while permitting themselves to summon within enclosures made of spirit metal. This fact is unknown to Ursia's enemies, even after the Usian-Endan Wars of 2484 and 2485.
In 2460, a wizard at the Vatzit University discovered how to make conjured matter that was slow to annihilate. Instead of exploding in a burst of light and heat, with the annihilation propagating at 100 m/s, the annihilation proceeds at 1 m/s. Being surrounded by such annihilation would be hot, bright, and loud, but not fatal. By 2470, Ursian wizards had advanced this development to the creation of conjured matter that did not annihilate at all. But the difficulty of making such conjured matter remained high.
In 2480, the Ursian military research wizards figured out how to increase the density of conjured matter, so as to give it more lift per cubic meter. The technique provides a factor of three increase in density for an increase in difficulty of one. Many observers of the war believe high-density conjured wood was applied in the Ursian flying fortresses of 2485. In 2490 they will discover how to make spirit matter of higher density, in 2500 the secret to making conjured stone, and in 2510 they will develop the molecular bridge.
The table below gives the approximate dates of the invention of various effects in Ursia.
|Effect||Year of Discovery||Example Spell|
|Space Bridge||1800||Space Bridge|
|Conjured Sponge||1850||Surrounding Sponge|
|Annihilate Conjured Matter||1900||Lightening Ball|
|Conjured Wood||1900||Conjured Shelter|
|Protective Bridge Sheath||1950||Circle|
|Dweomer Pulses||2000||Bridge Suppressor|
|Spirit Stone||2000||Spirit Stone|
|Light Amplification||2000||Luminous Stones|
|Heat Amplification||2050||Hot Stones|
|Spell Capsules||2150||Thaumaturgical Forge|
|Spirit Rope||2200||Spirit Rope|
|Spirit Cloth||2250||Spirit Cloth|
|Spirit Bridge Sheath||2250||Slice|
|Conjured Matter Slow to Annihilate||2460||unlisted|
|Conjured Matter Immune to Annihilation||2470||unlisted|
|Increased Conjured Density||2480||unlisted|
|Increased Spirit Density||2490||unlisted|
Our lists of spells are a good basis for adventuring wizards in the decades 2470 to 2500. For each century we go back in time before 2450, add one to the difficulty of all spells, until we get to the decade in which one of the effects required by the spell was first discovered. Before that decade, the spell is unavailable in Ursia, although it will be available to wizards who have traveled backwards in time, as hundreds of wizards have done over the centuries, and therefore available to secretive wizards many centuries before their discovery in Ursia.
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 300 ug conjured fluid at 0.3 μg/s range: local duration of effect: 10 hr longevity components: normal bridge ring controls: verbal
Balloon fills a cloth balloon with conjured fluid. It is a variant of Conjured Fluid. It is triggered verbally, then provides verbal stop-and-start for the creation of fluid for the next ten hours. The fluid provides lift of 10 N/μg and has density 1 μg/m3. The wizard fills a balloon with the fluid. The balloon must have a flap in the top that the wizard can open from the basket below (by a string, for example). To decrease lift, he opens the flap, and allows fluid to escape to decrease the lift. To increase lift, he starts up production of conjured fluid with a verbal control and allows the fluid to rise into the balloon. The production of conjured fluid can continue for up to ten hours, provided the spell bridge survives that long. With this spell, a silk balloon, and a wicker basket, a wizard can take a himself and a few friends for a balloon ride. The spell creates enough conjured fluid to lift 2500 N and still have 500 N of lift to use for control of elevation during the ride. Of course, there may be no wind blowing in the direction the wizard would like his balloon to go, but waiting until nightfall, when many local currents change direction, can often solve his problem, as can changing altitude to enter a different air current. To get an idea of where the currents are flowing, and how fast, an arrow with a smoke streamer may be fired from the balloon basket. An alternative to drifting with the wind is to propel the balloon through the air using large conjured wood oars (such as might be made by a Conjured Structure). These may be worked like oars in a row-boat. They are so large that they get a good grip on the air around the balloon and propel it against the wind. Rowing a balloon is hard work. The entire resistance of the balloon in the wind must be overcome to make progress. Nevertheless, a sturdy rower can keep a balloon going at a few kph for a few hours.
Questions: How could a first level wizard keep a balloon flying indefinitely? Does the bridge ring itself fall or float when you release it? Does the lift generated by the balloon depend directly upon the strength of the maeon wind? Does it depend indirectly upon the strength of the maeon wind? In a wind of 2 Y, for how long could you create fluid without casting another spell? What other spell might you cast?
level: 1 casting time: 20 min initial, 1 s per extent of rangen on each attempt area of effect: one creature's brain range: extent 50 cm, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 30 days components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Beguile uses a long-lived, re-usable, targeting solenoid to direct a remote cluster into the brain of a target creature, and deliver an electric stimulus. This stimulus can disturb the subject's thinking. The wizard can deliver one such stimulus per ten seconds. Although each stimulus affects only one subject, each separate stimulus can be used upon a separate subject. The spell is triggered verbally, and is ready to use in twenty seconds. It lasts for one thousand hours (forty days). Because of the spell's long duration, many wizards have it working continuously. The target is the creature's head, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10. The casting solenoid moves the remote cluster at 50 cm/s. Wizards are trained to use Beguile in combination with tone of voice, pitch, cadence, loudness, clever logic, impressive words, and disturbing eccentricities, so as to extract obedience from the subject of the spell. Beguiling takes two forms: fast or slow, called command and hypnotize respectively. An attempt to command requires ten seconds of conversation with the subject. If successful, the subject will obey a single command issued by the wizard, provided that its execution takes less than ten seconds and does not go against the subject's nature. If the execution is against the subject's nature, the attempt to command is deemed to have failed. If it requires longer than ten seconds, the subject will act upon the command for ten seconds and them stop. An attempt to hypnotize requires one hundred seconds of fluent conversation with the subject, during which several stimuli are delivered by Beguile to the subject's mind. A hypnotized subject will make a subconscious commitment to obey a single command given by the wizard, under the circumstances specified by the wizard, provided the execution of the command, when the circumstances arise, takes less than ten seconds and does not go against the subject's nature, and provided that these circumstances arise within one hundred hours of the hypnosis. An attempt to beguile presents the subject with an intelligence hazard of level 15. The subject must roll 1d20 greater than or equal to 15 - INT - al, where INT is his intelligence and al is his adventurer level. If the subject exceeds the required 1d20 roll by 5 or more, then he recognises that the wizard is attempting to Beguile him, and he can take action to prevent further attempts to do the same, simply by avoiding conversation with the wizard.
Beguile is the first in a series of spells. Beguile II has the same duration and effect, but raises the level of the intelligence hazard to 17. Beguile X raises it to 23.
Questions: You wish to command a third level adventurer with INT=0. She is standing one meter away from you. What roll does she need to make to avoid your command? What roll must she make to notice your attempt. An enemy wizard his hiding his head behind a barrier of conjured rubber. Is possible to command him? How long is it from the moment the wizard decides to command a subject with Beguile to the moment the spell delivers its impulse to a target three meters away? If someone attacks the wizard, under what circumstances would the wizard be able to command him to stop? Is it easier to command an ogre or a sapien?
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: a point range: 20 m duration of effect: 8 hr components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Wizards use Calibrate to determine the direction and response times of targeting solenoids in each of their spell slots. Every 10 s for the 8-hr duration of the spell, the wizard can reset the targeting solenoid and set the remote cluster moving at 1 m/s. When he gestures, a small flash of light appears at the remote cluster. The flash is made by a tiny amount of spirit fluid annihilating a tiny amount of conjured fluid. The wizard takes a hollow sphere, called a calibrating ball, the size of the target he is thinking of hitting, and tries to make the flash of light appear within it. Calibrate is simple in its effect, but sophisticated in its internal workings. It is ten times less damaging to the brain than a standard spells. Unlike most spells, casting time has a short clearing time: only one hour.
Questions: Why is Calibrate designed to be less damaging than standard offensive spells? How many Calibrate spells could a wizard expect to cast from one spell slot before it showed signs of damage? Why might a wizard use a mirror in conjunction with his calibrating ball? What would be the level of a one-thousand-use variant of this spell? Why is Calibrate more convenient lasting 8 hr than 1000 hr?
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 100 ng spirit sponge at 1 ng/s range: local duration of effect: 100 hr longevity components: normal bridge ring controls: verbal
Canoe creates one cubic meter of spirit sponge in a hundred seconds. The sponge is gray and sparkling. Its surface is smooth but undulating to the touch. Beneath the surface are close-packed air bubbles a millimeter in diameter. The wizard pushes the spell bridge into a bridge ring. When the spell commences, the bridge ring starts to produce ten liters of conjured sponge per second. The sponge falls from the ring and hardens within a few seconds, filled its air bubbles. The spell allows the wizard to stop and start the creation of the sponge, so as to allow the creation of a complex structure such as a canoe.
A practiced wizard with a conjuring wand can fasion a canoe four meters long, one meter wide, and half a meter deep, with 10-cm thick walls and three wells that serve not only as seats, but also as reinforcment for the walls, which will be forced together by water pressure if the canoe is heavily laden. This canoe is not as sturdy as one made of conjured wood, but it can be made in five minutes, is immune to annihilation, and lasts for four days. The spirit sponge has the weight of balsa wood, so a wizard could also make a simple circular disk of conjured sponge, and so fasion a raft. The raft will be able to carry several people.
Questions: A wizard wants to make a very large raft of spirit sponge, to act as a base for a house-boat. He wants the raft to be ten meters on each side and one meter thick. He is prepared to spend a thousand seconds making the raft and he wants it to last for ten thousand hours. He prepares a variant of Canoe that does exactly what he wants. What is the difficulty of this variant?
level: 1 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature's lungs range: extent 1 m, accuracy 5 duration of effect: 6 min longevity components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Choke is a variant of Conjured Rubber. It starts with a targeting solenoid, triggered verbally. When the wizard gestures, the spell creates a normal spell bridge. On verbal control, the bridge sprouts a ball of conjured rubber. The ball expands at 1 μg/s and grows to 1 ug (1 m3), or until it encounters a solid obstacle. The spell is called "Choke" because its most striking application is as a means to choke a victim by making the conjured rubber ball appear in her lungs. The target is the creature's lungs, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −5 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +5. If the wizard hits the subject's lungs, she is subject to a shock of formidability 2 and power 0. If the she takes the shock, the space bridge appears in her lungs. She will cough, because the bridge sheath will tickle her lungs. At any time up to two minutes later, the wizard can cause the conjured rubber ball to appear around the bridge. If released in one of the subject's lungs, it will fill that lung, and then the other whenever the trachea opens. The rubber keeps expanding as far as it can, on all fronts, until its longevity expires six minutes later. The victim must lie down and remain calm, or she will suffocate.
Questions: Is it more effective to release the ball of rubber when the victim has a full lung of air, or an empty lung of air? You have struck down an adversary with a choke spell. Hardly able to breath, he pleads for mercy. Does choke allow you to negate its effects? How would you use Choke to capture a crow without harming it?
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 32 cm diameter space bridge range: local duration of effect: 4 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Circle is triggered verbally. It creates spell bridge, which it tunes to a diameter of 32-cm. The bridge has longevity four minutes (4 min). The spell-caster can separate the two halves of the space bridge, or place them flush against one another in any orientation he chooses. The sheath of the bridge is enclosed in a tough, thick layer of conjured wood. The wizard can choose to have any or all of the surfaces of the bridge covered over with conjured wood. He can place is hand in the wood as it is forming, so as to make a handle by which the bridge can be picked up. The wood produced by Circle is transparent. In the buckler arrangement, where the bridge halves are aligned and flush up against one another, the entire bridge will be invisible. In a mirror arrangement, where the halves are separated and each held by their own backing, the bridge will be visible because what you see looking through one half is what you see looking out of the other. There are many mirror arrangements. Each provides its own optical effect. In combat, it is best to support the Circle bridge gently so that its sheath can rebound from weapon blows. Because nothing but light rays and chemical gases can pass through the bridge intact, the bridge halves are dangerous weapons. They will vaporize any part of an opponent's body that they touch, and degrade any metal. With a mirror arrangement, each half of the spell bridge serves as a weapon with power 20, defense 5, and encumbrance 200 g. With the buckler arrangement, the halves together serve as a single weapon with the same characteristics. The level in using the Circle bridge in combat arises from the need to support it gently to keep it safe from destruction. The mirror arrangements are unlikely to lure an opponent into striking at one of the mirrors. It is obvious to see that the wizard is holding a space bridge. The buckler arrangement, however, is invisible. An unsuspecting opponent might stab right through it. His weapon would lose its edge and become a mal-formed rod of metal. If the weapon is made of adamintine, which is coated with spirit matter, it will generate white sparks as it passes into the bridge and lose its shape. The metal will, however, still be adamantine, and could be re-forged into a magical blade. We use the Circle spell as a complex example in our discussion of variants.
Questions: If you take a buckler arrangement and flip one of the halves so that it faces the other way, what does the combination look like? Can either arrangement be used to protect a wizard from a Choke spell?
level: 1 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature's head range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 6 min longevity components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Deafen is a variant of Conjured Sponge. It starts with a targeting solenoid, triggered verbally. When the wizard gestures, the spell's remote cluster spreads out to fill a sphere of radius 30 cm, and within this sphere it creates transparent conjured sponge of longevity six minutes in all places that are not occupied by solids or liquids. The spell is called "Deafen" because its most striking application is as a means to encase a victim's head. Because the target is the creature's head, this introduces a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10. When used in such a fasion, the victim is presented with a shock of formidability 2 and power 0. The conjured sponge allows air to pass through slowly, but sound is so muffled as to be barely audible within the sphere, and likewise the voice of the victim will be barely audible outside the sphere. Furthermore, sponge forming within the ears of the victim further quietens sounds coming from outside. Breathing through the spong is difficult. The victim cannot run for more than thirty seconds without fainting. When the spell first takes effect upon a person, material will start to form in his throat and nasal passages. This causes an immediate cough, which disturbs further formation within these passages. Nevertheless, some such material remains in the throat and nose, causing irritation for the next six minutes.
Questions: How might a victim remove the deafening sponge withou the use of magic? How might we use a variant of this spell to enclose an entire person in conjured sponge? What level would this spell be?
level: 1 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 5-m radius range: extent 5-m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: instantaneous components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Flash causes a blinding flash of light and a loud bang at the location of its remote cluster. The cluster is positioned with a targeting solenoid. Creatures with their eyes open within the area of effect are subject to a shock of formidability 1 and power 0, provided there is no object between their eyes and the center of the flash that will block its light. If they take the shock, they are blind for 1d100 seconds. The spell's space bridge, formed at a distance, is destroyed in the flash. The flash is caused by the annihilation of spirit fluid by the atomic bridge. The annihilation destroys the bridge itself. The spell-caster places the spell by waiting and gesturing, just as for Choke. The flash occurs immediately after the gesture.
Questions: A man standing next to you starts running away at 4 m/s. You trigger Flash immediately. Can you put the flash in front of him? What would be your to-hit roll? Does the gesture that provokes the flash work even in the dark?
level: 1 casting time: 2 min area of effect: cegotun stone range: local duration of effect: 10-day half-life components: 4-cm bridge rings, cegotun stone controls: verbal
Hot Stones is triggered verbally. It creates a 4-cm diameter spell bridge. The wizard fits the two halves of the bridge into one bridge ring, which takes the usual twenty seconds, and allows the spell to develop for another forty seconds. She now pushes a cegotun stone 4-cm in diameter through the bridge over the course of the next minute. If she passes it through in ten seconds, it will generate one sixth as much heat. If she passes it through any faster than ten seconds, the stone itself is likely to be damaged.
The heat produced by the stone is 1 kW/Y at first, or 1 kW in a 1-Yardley maeon wind. After that, the heat production decays exponentially with a half-life of ten days. If left to sit in air, the stone will be red-hot after ten hours, too hot to touch after forty hours, and warm after eighty days. At its hottest, the stone will light fires even in the rain. If dropped into water, it cools immediately, but continues to generate heat at the same rate. A freshly-made stone, if dropped into a kettle containing a liter of water, will bring the water to the boil in six minutes.
Cegotun is a sintered combination of gold, tungsten, and clay dust. To make the cegotun stone, an alchemist passes the sintered stone through an atomic space bridge. The clay recombines to form a hard, porous, clay matrix. The walls of the cavities within the matrix are lined with gold. The tungston serves serveral purposes that alchemists are happy to explain, among which is improving the thermal conductivity of the clay matrix. When a wizard passes a cegotun stone slowly through an atomic bridge, the stone comes out almost exactly as it went in, making the stone atomic-bridge invariant. When the stone passes through the bridge of the Hot Stones spell, however, the cavities within the stone are filled with conjured matter that greatly amplifies the heat-producing power of the gold on the cavity walls.
A stone 4 cm in diameter weighs around 100 g and contains 20 g of gold. This gold would, under normal circumstances, produce 5 W/kg/Y, or 0.1 W in a 1-Y wind. But within the Hot Stone, this same 20 g of gold produces 1 kW, or ten thousand times as much heat. The spell changes the manner in which the gold in the stone interacts with the maeon wind. Un-assisted gold atoms capture hot negative maeons to produce conjured atoms within the gold. This process converts the kinetic energy of the hot maeon into heat, but at the same time renders the gold within the volume of the conjured atom incapable of stopping another hot maeon. After about an hour, the conjured atom decay, releasing a cold maeon, and now the volume of gold can once again capture a hot maeon. Within a Hot Stone, conjured matter in contact with the gold film of the cavities prevents conjured atoms from forming with in the gold. As a result, the gold atoms scatter hot negative maeons, absorbing half their kinetic energy, and so produces two thousand times as much heat. The hot stone produces heat, but it does not produce cold maeons.
The manufacture of a hot stone requires a skilled alchemist and an atomic bridge. A stone 4 cm in diameter contains 10 g of tungston and 20 g of gold. A stone 2 cm in diameter costs cost 2 gp. One Hot Stones spell can empower five such stones, each with heat-production of 100 W/Y. Although they are expensive, the cegotun stones can be re-used many times, provided the spell-caster does not pass them through the spell bridge too quickly.
Hot Stones is first in a series of spells. Hot Stones II increases the half-life of the heat generation to 30 days. Hot Stones X increases it to five hundred years. Although it is relatively straightforward to increase the half-life of a Hot Stone, increasing its power output per unit volume turns out to be very much harder, and is the subject of research. Alchemists have yet to design a bridge-invariant material that will resist cracking and melting when subjected to greater heat production. Until then, greater heat production is possible only with larger stones. A variant of Hot Stones that provides 3 kW could use a 4-cm bridge and a 10-cm rod of cegotun 4-cm in diameter. This variant would allow three minutes for the rod to pass through the bridge, and would be difficulty two for a half-life of ten days.
Questions: What happens if you break a hot stone in two? What happens if you put two half-size stones into the conjured rubber bundle? One half of a scrying eye lies beneath a hot stone. How would you use the other half of the bridge to control the heat output of the stone? How would you use Hot Stones and some kitchen equipment to measure the strength of the maeon wind? How might you use Hot Stones V to make a stove for your house? If you hire a wizard to cast Hot Stones VII and make you a 1-kW stone, what is the cost per kilowatt-hour of the heat it provides? You have only one cegotun stone with you, and you're on an adventure. You cast Hot Stones upon it one cold night, and boil water to make tea and put in your hot water bottle. In the morning it's hot, and you are carrying a 1-kW heat source in your pocket. You want to turn it off instead of throwing it away. How might you do that?
level: 1 casting time: 2 min area of effect: diamond glass stone range: local duration of effect: 10-day half-life components: 4-cm bridge rings, diamond glass stone controls: verbal
The Luminous Stones spell is similar to Hot Stones, except it uses diamond glass to produce a shining stone instead of cegotun to produce a hot stone. The details of casting the spell and its operation are identical to Hot Stones, except that the stone is made of a different material and the result is light instead of heat.
An luminous stone 4 cm in diameter produces 10 W of visible light when treated by Luminous Stones. The light power decreases exponentially with a half-life of ten days. On the first day, the stone is too bright to look at when held at arm's length. After three months, the stone still glows dimly in the dark. In addition to 10 W of visible light, the stone produces 5 W of near-infrared light and 5 W of ultraviolet. Depending upon the glass, these may or may not emerge from the glass. If the stone is placed in a pocket, all 20 W of radiation will be absorbed by the pocket and turned into heat, so a luminous stone is a good hand-warmer.
Diamond glass a mixture of glass, diamond, air, and a few other chemicals to give the glass color. To make diamond glass, an alchemist takes a slug of ingredients and passes it repeadetly through a space bridge until it attains its final form. The glass is filled with tiny bubbles of air, like ice on a pond. Particles of diamond are embedded in the walls of these bubbles so that they protrude into the trapped air. When a wizard passes a diamond glass stone slowly through an atomic bridge, the stone comes out almost exactly as it went in, making the stone atomic-bridge invariant. When the stone passes through the bridge of the Luminous Stones spell, however, the cavities within the stone are filled with conjured matter that greatly amplifies the light-producing power of the diamond on the cavity walls. Because of the bubbles, diamond glass looks milky white when it is not illuminating itself. Because the diamond particles are at all angles to the prevailing maeon wind, the light they generate is pure white. Most diamond glass contains dyes that give the light a warm, yellow color instead of the harsh white produced by the diamond powder. Also important is a dye that blocks ultraviolet light, because this light is tiring to the eyes.
Diamond glasss does not require diamond as an ingredient. Instead, the slug with which the alchemists begins is a mixture of sand and charcoal. The charcoal is turned into microscopic diamond fragments through repeated and very gradual passage through an atomic bridge. The ingredients of a diamond glass stone are inexpensive, but the prodedure for making them is time-consuming and expensive. A 4-cm stone sells for 10 gp. Instead of one large stone, a wizard can use five diamond glass marbles, each costing 2 gp, and so make five luminous marbles shining with 1 W of light each, and with the same half-life.
Luminous Stones is first in a series of spells. Luminous Stones II increases the half-life of the light generation to 30 days. Luminous Stones X has a half-life of five hundred years. Although it is relatively straightforward to increase the half-life of a Luminous Stone, increasing its brightness is more difficult. The light-producing power is now limited by the performance of the diamond glass itself. Alchemists are at work designing better diamond glass that will provide more light. An easier variant is to increase the cross-section of the spell bridge so as to empower larger bodies of diamond glass, which then produce more light. A variant that produces 30 W of light with a 10-cm rod of diamond glass 4 cm in diameter would be difficulty 2 for half-life of ten days.
Questions: How might you use a scrying eye to control the light output of a luminous marble from a kilometer away? How might you use this spell to create a spot-light? Could you use a space bridge to increase the brightness of a luminous stone? If you put the light stone in your pocket immediately after you create it, how much heat will it generate? Does a luminous stone get hot? If you use red glass, does the light come out red? Design a flash-light suitable for a thief that uses a luminous stone. How much would you charge for your flashlight? How much would you expect to pay for a luminous stone made by Luminous Stones X five hundred years ago? A man comes to you with a curious request. He has a luminous statue made of diamond glass. He complains that the statue glows too brightly. He wants it to glow less brightly. Can you make it glow less brightly?
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 3-cm diameter bridge range: local duration of effect: 8 hr components: two 3-cm bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
Scrying eye creates a spell bridge and tunes it to a diameter of 3 cm. The wizard fits the two halves of the bridge into separate bridge rings. A small flurry of invisible conjured fluid begins to flow from the north half of the bridge. The fluid adheres to itself a little more than that made by Conjured Fluid, so that a body of it clings to the space bridge, and its lift overcomes the weight of the bridge ring. The bridge ring floats in the air. It may be released to drift with the wind. The flow of conjured fluid can controlled so as to raise or lower the floating half. The spell also covers over one side of the floating bridge. This allows the spell-caster to give the floating bridge lateral thrust by blowing through the other half. Scrying is the name given to the act of looking at things through a space bridge.
Questions: Is the conjured fluid above or below the flying bridge? Is a scrying eye a normal space bridge? What would happen if you stuck your finger through a scrying eye? If you were using scrying eye to watch someone in a garden, could she detect the spell? Is there a limit to the distance between the two bridge halves? How does blocking off one side of the floating bridge allow the caster to give it a lateral thrust? Why not block off both sides of the bridge?
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: space bridge range: local duration of effect: 10-day longevity at diameter 1 cm components: bridge ring controls: verbal
Sibilant Membrane places a sibilant membrane over one half of a space bridge. The membrane lasts for at least 30 days. When combined with the Space Bridge spell, Sibilant Membrane creates a walkie-talkie bridge (see below). At first it sounds easy to get messages through a space bridge, but if you give a bridge to a friend and use it to keep in touch while you travel, you will soon find that because the two of you are at different altitudes, or even different worlds, air is rushing through so quickly that the bridge is howling like a trumpet, and you can't hear yourself think, let alone hear your friend speak.
A walkie-talkie bridge solves the pressure-differential problem with what wizards call a sibilant membrane. A sibilant membrane encloses the bridge ring of one half of the walkie-talkie bridge. It is a strong, flexible skin of conjured rubber. It flexes out when the pressure on the other side is greater than the local pressure, and inwards when the pressure is less. Each membrane has a maximum and minimum pressure differential it can withstand. The membrane can break outwards, or it can be pressed into the bridge and be annihilated. Provided the membrane holds, however, it stops the flow of air. But it still transmits vibrations. It is made of a variety of rubber that is less flexible to slow changes in pressure than it is to fast changes in pressure. A person speaking directly into onto the membrane will be heard by someone with their ear to the other half.
Wizards quote the efficiency of the membranes they make by giving the square of the ratio of the distance a person can hear a word spoken through the bridge with the membrane around it to the distance the same person can hear the word when the membrane is absent. The first membranes, had efficiencies less than 1%, modern membranes deliver efficiencies as high as 50%, while withstanding pressure differences of 100 kPa.
Sibilant membranes are one thing that daemons and the gods cannot make easily. They were never designed to make such things, and they have neither the technology nor the understanding to go about making machines to make them. Consequently, there is great demand for wizards to provide sibilant membranes on Olympia.
For more discussion, see here.
Questions: Is a sibilant membrane more flexible with respect to sudden changes in pressure or slow changes in pressure?
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: a space bridge range: local duration of effect: 10-day longevity at 1 cm diameter components: none controls: verbal
Space Bridge creates a normal spell bridge and allows the caster to tune the bridge to a larger diameter, but not a smaller diamerter. Tuning is controlled verbally. The bridge can have diameter 1 cm and longevity 240 hr, or diameter 2 cm and longevity 60 hr, or diameter 4 cm and longevity 15 hr, and so on. The product of the bridge's surface area and its longevity is 300 hr-cm2. When the bridge expands, its diameter grows at 1 cm/s. If undisturbed, the bridge will expire by contracting at a rate of 1 cm/s as well. If, as the bridge expands, it presses against a solid object, it will stop growing at the points of contact, not only in the half which makes contact, but also at corresponding points in the other half. The halves of a space bridge must have the same shape and size. Nevertheless, if placed flush against one another, the two halves can expand together so as to fill an irregular cross section. Handling a large space bridge is awkward. There is a danger of letting one's fingers slip into the bridge. Placing the bridge halves in a pair of bridge rings protects its sheath, making the bridge easier to handle. When enclosed in a bridge ring, a small bridge can be kept safely in a flat leather pouch.
Space Bridge is the first in a series of spells, and is also called Space Bridge I. Space Bridge II increases the longevity of the space bridge to 30 days at diameter 1 cm, and Space Bridge X provides longevity 500 years at diameter 1 cm, or five days at diameter 2 m. Space Bridge 0 creates a normal space bridge. It is the first spell mastered by wizards trained in the Pakesh School of Wizardry, and the first ability acquired by student sorcerers. It's difficulty is −3.
Questions: You cast two space bridge spells. One bridge you give diameter 1 cm and the other diameter 10 cm. Neither bridge is enclosed in a bridge ring. Can you pass the 1-cm bridge through the 10-cm bridge? What is the longevity of a 3-cm diameter bridge made with Space Bridge? What class is this bridge? How would you use Space Bridge and a ruler to measure the strength of the maeon wind? With the right enclosure for one half of the bridge, how might you use this spell to breath under water?
level: 1 casting time: 20 s area of effect: a space bridge range: local duration of effect: 10-day longevity at 1 cm diameter components: an existing space bridge, a bridge ring controls: verbal
Tuning creates a normal spell bridge, which the spell-caster places in a bridge ring. This is the tuning bridge. The spell-caster places the tuning bridge next to another, pre-existing space bridge, which we call the subject bridge. The spell is designed to tune the subject bridge. Only one half of the subject bridge need be at hand. The subject bridge can be in a sheath or it can be naket. The Tuning spell allows the spell caster to accommodate such differences. If the subject bridge is large, the spell bridge will not cover its entire sheath, but only a small section of it. The spell is still effective. The Tuning spell gives the subject bridge longevity 10 days at diameter 1 cm. The product of its area and longevity is 300 hr-cm2. If the bridge is large, and the spell-caster wishes to reduce it, she may do so, but she cannot decrease the diameter of the bridge to less than the normal diameter. If she wishes to expand the bridge, she may do so. Both expansions and contractions occur at 1 cm/s.
Tuning is the first in a series of spells. Tuning II increases the longevity of the space bridge to 30 days at diameter 1 cm, and Tuning X provides longevity 500 years at diameter 1 cm, or five days at diameter 2 m.
Questions: How long can a first level wizard preserve a normal space bridge indefinitely with this spell? When must a tuning spell be used instead of a space bridge spell? What is the largest diameter bridge that can be created by this spell from a normal subject bridge? What is the smallest diameter bridge that it can create?
level: 2 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature's head range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 6 min longevity components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Blind is a variant of Deafen, in wich the conjured sponge is black so that the victim cannot see through. The target is the creature's head, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10. The spell presents the victim with a shock of formidability 2 and power 0, or else she is subject to the effects of Deafen as well as being blinded.
Questions: Could you use a longer-lived variant of this spell to make a temporary cast for a man with a broken arm?
level: 2 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 1-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 6 min longevity components: none controls: verbal, somatic
This is a variant of Conjured Sponge. It is closely related to Surrounding Sponge, but generates one hundredth the mass of conjured matter. Unlike Surrounding Sponge, however, Eveloping Sponge does not need a bridge ring. Instead, it provides a targeting solenoid, and will envelope a man-sized target two meters away withing four seconds of the wizard deciding to do so. Surrounding Sponge is designed to tackle a group of opponents, while the Enveloping Sponge tackles only one opponent. Enveloping Sponge is triggered verbally. When the caster gestures, the spell produces 1 ug of conjured sponge at 100 μg/s with longevity 6 min, and it does so without a bridge ring and guided by a targeting solenoid. Because conjured sponge has density only 0.1 μg/m3, the 1 ug can fill an open space up to 10 m3, or a 1-m radius. This is just big enough to allow the sponge to envelope a single target. The wizard must place the point of origin of the sponge within a 1-m diameter sphere centered upon the target creature if the spell ist to be effective. For the purpose of the missile combat system, the target is the size of an adult sapien body. Assuming the wizard hits his target, it is subject to a shock of formidability 3 and power 0. If the target does not dodge the shock, it is enveloped. Enveloped creatures are safe from assault, and have air to breath through the pores of the sponge, but must be strong and equipped with a sharp blade if they are to escape quickly.
Questions: You try to envelope a man ten meters away. What is your chance of placing the sponge where you want it? Two men are standing twenty meters away, one meter apart. You envelope one of them. Does the other one feel any effects from the spell? Can he rescue his companion? You envelope a cat that weighs 5 kg out in the middle of a paved square, twenty meters away. Why must you run to capture the animal? Can you cast Enveloping Sponge in the dark?
level: 2 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature's mind range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Fear delivers an electric impulse to the entire brain of the victim. This impulse causes the victim to be terrified beyond control for one minute. The spell subjects the target creature to a shock of formidability 3 which, if not dodged, will cause the victim to be overcome with terror for 1 min. The way the victim responds to this terror depends upon their temperament. Some people scream and curl up in a ball. Others run away shouting. Some stand immobile and wet their trousers. When the victim recovers, he will be dazed, but otherwise unharmed. The spell is triggered verbally and set off with a gesture. The target is the creature's mind, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10.
The spell works with its full force only upon mammals. The signal that causes fear has a particular form, and the spell geneterates this precise form. Why this form of signal causes fear is something wizards do not understand. Unlike Beguile, the Fear spell affects the entire brain. The fear-inspiring signal is spread over a volume slightly larger than a sapien brain.
Questions: Would it be harder or easier to hit a horse with this spell than a sapien? Can you reverse the effects of this spell?
level: 2 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 1 m diameter flare range: extent 20 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Flare creates a bright light in the sky that descends at 1 m/s towards the ground, leaving a trail of black conjured foam behind it. The Flare is so bright that it will illuminate the ground beneath, even from a height of a hundred meters. During the day, the Flare is conspicuous for its trail of black conjured smoke. The wizard can choose the color of the light at the time of preparation, but not at the time of casting.
The Flare spell is similar to Fireworks, but does not permit variation or manipulation of the effect. The light is bright, but not as bright as that produced for an instant by Flash. A well-prepared Flash spell produces 1 kW of light for one minute. It is one hundred times as bright as a standard luminous stone. It is also noisy. The spell works by creating spirit foam, which passes through the space bridge as the bridge sinks. The spirit foam is what causes the bridge to sink, and the conjured matter is what causes it to float. The combination has weight but no mass, and so drifts exactly with the wind.
Questions: What would happen if you let this spell off in a cavern?
level: 2 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 10-m radius range: extent 10 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: instantaneous components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Grand Flash is like Flash, only more powerful and faster-moving for longer-range attacks. This version of Flash is better for ship-to-ship combat. Its radius is 10 m. Anyone within this radius with their eyes open suffers a shock of formidability 1 and power 0. If they take the shock, they will be blind for 1d20 minutes.
Questions: After casting the spell, how would you determine if a creatures's eyes were open or not? If a target dodges the assault, could that mean they blinked?
level: 2 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 5-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Obscuring Cloud creats a cloud of colored conjured fluid. The spell-caster picks the color at the time of preparation. The spell creates 100 m3 of conjured fluid in one second. The fluid will fill a ten-meter square room. The source of the fluid is a spot chosen by the spell-caster with the help of the spell's targeting solenoid. The fluid lasts for a minute. It floats upwards. It is makes breathing difficult. It obscures vision.
Obscuring Cloud is a variant of Conjured Fluid. Its difficulty is −4 for Conjured Fluid, +2 for one hundred cubic meters instead of one cubic meter, +5 for making one hundred cubic meters per second instead of one liter per second, −3 for longevity fourty seconds instead of ten hours, +1 for making conjured matter without a bridge ring, and +1 for the targeting solenoid.
Questions: A wizard composes a variant of Obscuring Cloud that affects a 10-m radius just as quickly, and endures for only ten seconds. What is the difficulty of this variant? Later in life, he is faced with a band of a hundred brigands on an open plain. He has prepared another variant of Obscuring Cloud. It covers a 50-m radius in ten seconds and lasts for ten minutes. What is the difficulty of the new variant? He casts the spell, but to his dismay, the cloud is ineffective. What did he fail to consider when he chose to cast this spell at the approaching brigands?
level: 2 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 10-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 1 min (4-hr latency) components: normal bridge rings, cloud stone controls: verbal
Poison Cloud is triggered verbally and produces a normal spell bridge with a reinforced sheath. The wizard places each half in a separate bridge ring. An atomic space bridge atomizes chemical matter that passes through it. A cloud stone is an 8-mm diameter cylinder, up to 30 mm long. When solid, the stone is harmless, but once atomized, recombines to form a cloud of gas. By far the most famous use of this conversion of solid object into gas is its use to generate a poisonous cloud. A cloud stone can be dropped through any space bridge to have its effect, but the trick is to allow the spell-caster to push the stone through at a timely moment without any risk to himself. If the stone is pushed through an unadorned space bridge, the resulting cloud will explode in the spell-caster's face as well. Poison Cloud provides a wrapping of impermeable conjured rubber to enclose one half of the bridge, wrapping itself tightly around the bridge ring and holding the cloud stone inside, ready to be pushed through. The spell-caster then tosses the other half of the bridge, enclosed in the second bridge ring, to the place he would like the cloud to appear, and pushes the stone through by slapping the first half against his hand. The gas cloud appears with a loud bang, filling a five-meter radius in the blink of an eye. The space bridge is destroyed in the process, which further protects the spell-caster. The spellcaster does not have to cast the bridge and create the cloud immediately. He has up to one hour to execute the spell.
Cloud stones can be purchased with a variety of effects. Each stone has its own cost and effect upon those who breath its gases. All creatures within 5 m must dodge a shock of formidability 2 or be caught in the cloud. Those within 10 m must dodge a shock of formidability 1. Anyone caught in the cloud must avoid a hazard of level 20 or breath the gas of the cloud (20 - al on 1d20). A smoke stone has no harmful effect upon those in the cloud, but the smoke is gray and opaque. A confusion stone gives mammals who it in psychedelic hallucinations so intense that their level of proficiency in all disciplines is reduced by 5 for 2 min. A sleep stone leaves its victims unconscious for 20 min. A death stone costs 100 gp, and causes heart failure in 20 s. A smoke stone costs 1 gp, a confusion stone 2 gp, a sleeping stone 5 gp, and a death stone 10 gp.
Questions: How might you turn an opponent wizard's Circle spell against him with a cloud stone? Is a cloud stone molecular bridge invariant? You are being followed by a party of bandits along a ridge. Looking back, you can see them. They are two hundred meters away. How might you use Poison Cloud against them without allowing them to catch you up?
level: 2 casting time: 20 min area of effect: special range: l m duration of effect: 30 days components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Scan is similar to the first level spell Beguile. Instead of delivering an electrical stimulus to the remote cluster, Scan does the opposite: it allows the matter at the remote cluster to deliver an electrical stimulus to the neurons in the spell slot. The remote cluster can appear in any type of matter. By means of the electrical signals relayed back to the spell slot, the wizard gets subtle, but direct, information about the material enclosing the remote cluster. She can determine the density (g/cm3) to within a factor of two. She can say whether the matter is made up of chemical, conjured, or spirit materials, or a combination of the three. Once the wizard has received such information, which takes ten seconds, she can reset the targeting solenoid, and hit another location, just as with Beguile. The remote cluster is one centimeter across per meter range. The spell reports the average properties of matter within the cluster. When used immediately in front of the wizard's eyes, the remote cluster is a millimeter across. At this range, the wizard can inspect the interior of intricate devices.
Questions: A large space bridge stands blocking a corridor. Through it you can see the surface of another planet, and a statue. Can you use a sensor spell to find out what the density of the statue? How might you use this spell to distinguish between a god in a human body and a real human?
level: 2 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 5-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 6 min longevity (4-hr latency) components: normal bridge ring controls: verbal
Surrounding Sponge is a variant of Conjured Sponge. It is closely related to Enveloping Sponge. Surrounding Sponge generates ten times the mass of conjured matter at ten times the rate, but it has no targeting solenoid, and so requires a bridge ring. The surrounding spells are designed to tackle a group of opponents, while the enveloping spells tackle only one opponent. Surrounding Sponge is triggered verbally. It produces 100 μg of conjured sponge at 100 μg/s with longevity 6 min. Because conjured sponge has density only 0.1 μg/m3, the 100 μg can fill an open space up to 1000 m3, or a 6-m radius sphere. Once the spell bridge has been placed in its bridge ring, the wizard has two minutes in which to trigger the production of sponge by verbal control. Once initiated, the production cannot be stopped.
The spell can be used to surround people with sponge. The spell-caster throws the spell bridge into the midst of his enemies. All within 5 m of the bridge ring are subject to a shock of formidability 2 and power 0. Anyone who does not dodge the assault is surrounded by the sponge and constrained. Constrained creatures are safe from physical attack, and have air to breath through the pores of the sponge, but must be strong and equipped with a sharp blade if they are to escape quickly.
After casting the spell the wizard has four hours in which to trigger the generation of sponge. Note that this four hours precedes the clearing time of the spell. The wizard's spell slot will be clear four hours after she sets off the Surrounding Sponge.
Questions: If someone throws the bridge ring for you, will the spell still work? Could you throw the spell bridge through a large atomic bridge and then set off the spell? What is it about sponge that makes it easy to use in this sort of spell? Can you cast Surrounding Sponge in the dark? You throw the bridge ring at an adventurer. He catches it firmly in his hand. Will the spell still work properly?
level: 2 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent change in range area of effect: 30-cm sphere of light range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 10 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Will-o-Wisp creates a dim sphere of light that the spell-caster can move towards and away from him at 5 m/s. When the spell-caster turns his head, the light turns about him, possibliy moving much faster than 5 m/s. It can be used to make light, or to generate heat, or to imitate a real Will-o-Wisp. The sphere is as bright as ten candles together and generates the same amount of heat, which is to say roughly 0.2 W of light and 500 W of heat.
Questions: This spell does not allow the caster to vary the light intensity of the sphere. What would be the difficulty of a variant that allowed the caster to control the brightness of the light?
level: 3 casting time: 20 s area of effect: animation frame range: local duration of effect: 100 yrs components: gold thread, frame, many other instruments controls: verbal, somatic
An animation is a creature made by spells. See Animations for more information.
Questions: Where does the energy for an animation's muscular work come from? If you transported an animation to another planet with no maeon wind, would it function?
level: 3 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature's neck range: extent 1 m, accuracy 5 duration of effect: 1 hr components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Asphyxiate uses a targeting solenoid to place a collar of conjured rope around the target creature's neck. This collar has a total volume of ten liters (10 l), and is about 15 cm thick around an adult sapien's neck. The target is the creature's neck, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −5 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +5. Assuming a hit, the target is subjected to a shock of formidability 4 and power 0. If the target takes the shock, the collar forms around his neck. The spell-caster has one hour in which to utter the final verbal control that causes the collar to tighten and do 6D10 of damage to the subject by asphyxiation. The total tensile stress in the collar is 2 kN. This is so powerful that it is likely to break the neck of an unarmored person of average strength.
Questions: Is asphyxiate more dangerous than choke to a human with no dodging points? A variant of Asphyxiate uses direct control only. What is its level? Describe a circumstance in which it would be superior to the standard Asphyxiate.
level: 3 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 32 cm diameter space bridge range: local duration of effect: 16 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Circle II is a variant of Circle that lasts four times longer. The same prepared spell will produce either the mirror or buckler arrangement, and gives the spell-caster the option of covering the front of the bridges with conjured wood or leaving them exposed.
Questions: What happens if you take a buckler arrangement with exposed bridges under-water? What happens if you take a mirror arrangement under-water?
level: 3 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 5-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Confusion can cause any mammal in a 5-m radius to suffer a ten-point drop in their intelligence (INT −10), although they remember being more intelligent, so the result is inactivity and indecision for one full minute. Each mammal in the area of effect is subject to a shock of formidability 2. If the victim cannot dodge the shock, it will be confused for a minute. A targeting solenoid determines the center of the 5-m radius. The spell works by making a remote cluster of thousands of space bridges and then driving these bridges randomly in a cloud that extends to five meters. Each remote bridge delivers an erratic signal that causes confusion. Aside from the sudden, strange behavior of people in the area of effect, the spell gives little sign of itself. There is no hiss or flash. Aside from the wizard saying a word, making a gesture, and blinking, the wizard shows no sign of casting the spell. This is the sort of spell that makes people suspicious of wizards, and makes wizards unwelcome in so many places that have had experience of them.
Questions: Would this spell work upon somone you see behind a barrier of conjured wood?
level: 3 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 10 m3 conjured wood at 0.1 m3/s range: local duration of effect: longevity 100 hr components: normal bridge ring controls: verbal, somatic
Conjured Structure generates ten cubic meters of conjured wood in a manner convenient for building a small hut, at a rate of one cubic meter every ten seconds. The spell is triggered verbally, provides its own conjured wood seed, then grows the wood with cold maeons made at the bridge ring. The spell provides no start-and-stop, but you can stop production by moving the bridge away from the existing wood. Whether you are making wood or not, the spell continues to make cold maeons, so it continues to use up its capacity to make wood. The spell allows a quick-moving and well-practiced wizard to make a structure, especially if the wizard has a conjuring wand, in which case the entire structure takes one hundred seconds to create. Slower variants of the same spell are easier to use. For a description of such a variant in action, see here.
Questions: What difficulties would you face making a shack on sandy ground? A variant of this spell allows you to make the same structures, but colored instead of transparent. What is its level?
level: 3 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 3-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 1 s (12-hr latency) components: bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
Fireball provides a conjured rubber bag attached to a 2-cm bridge ring. The wizard pours ten liters of water into the bag before it seals itself, and places the spell bridge halves in the attached bridge ring and another ring. Within ten hours of casting the spell, she squeezes the bag, which bursts the membrane across the local half of the spell bridge and forces the water through. As the water passes through the bridge, it turns into 10 m3 hot hydrogen gas (H2) and 5 m3 of hot oxygen gas (O2). This consumes 100 MJ of bridge energy, which promptly destroys the bridge. As the bridge collapses, it annihilates a small quantity of spirit fluid, which generates a spark that sets light to the hydrogen gas, creating the fireball after which the spell is named.
The flame of the fireball itself is a faint violet color if the water is pure, or yellow if the spell-caster uses saltwater. The 100 MJ of heat is sufficient to heat the air in a 3-m radius by 1000 °C. Everyone within 3 m of the remote half of the bridge is subject to an assault of formidability 2 and power 4D10. Everything in the 3-m radius that would ignite at the touch of a match will ignite and burn fiercely. The spell-caster, meanwhile, is protected from the blast by the conjured rubber bag, which will often fill with hot burning gas that passes through the bridge before it closes completely. The bridge has sufficient .
The Fireball has latency twelve hours, which is greater than the normal four hours associated with spells that use bridge rings. This ten hours allows the wizard to set up the Fireball and use it as a trap, or take time over placing the remote half of the bridge.
Questions: If you cast this spell on a planet with maeon wind strength 0.5 Y instead of 1 Y, what effect would this have upon the Fireball spell? You cast the spell and set it off six hours later. When is your spell slot cleared and ready for another spell?
level: 3 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 3-m diameter range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 10 hr longevity components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Hold Portal creates a disk of sticky conjured rubber 3 m in diameter and 10 cm thick. The spell-caster places the disk with the help of a targeting solenoid. The solenoid activates creation of the disk as soon as it encounters a solid or liquid object with density greater than around 100 kg/m3 (air is 1 kg/m3 and water is 1000 kg/m3). The disk spreads out across the surface of whatever object this might be, filling in crevices and spreading to nearby objects. The rubber is flexible but sticky, and so binds together all the surfaces that it covers. If cast over a closed door or gate, the rubber will bind the door shut. In the case of a wooden door in a wooden wall, the door will resist a force of 10 kN before the rubber starts to tear.
Questions: How might a first-level wizard create this same disk of rubber with a first-level spell? What benefits can you see to this lower-level version of the spell?
level: 3 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 150 cm x 90 cm space bridge range: local duration of effect: 4 min components: none controls: verbal
Rectangle is like the first-level spell Circle, only the bridge is a rectangle 150 cm by 90 cm. Like Circle, Rectangle comes in two forms, which the spell-caster chooses at the time of casting. One form is the shield, where both halves of the bridge are combined into one, and the other is the mirror, where they are separated. See Circle for an explanation of each form. When the mirror halves are used as weapons, each half serves as a weapon with power 25, defense 5, encumbrance 500 g, and difficulty 8. The encumbrance is due to the opposition of air to the movement of the sealed rear-sides of the Rectangle. Aside from the 5 extra points of weapon power when compared to Circle, the Rectangle spell offers far superior protection from missiles. The shield form allows its user to see in front of them, while remaining behind an atomic bridge that atomises all incoming matter. An arrow will turn to dust and a lump of deformed metal as it passes through. The momentum of the metal will be spread across the conjured wood behind the space bridge. The person holding the shield will feel a jolt, but will otherwise be unharmed.
Questions: You are standing on plane. Several men are approaching from a kilometer away, and you do not want them to see you. How can you use rectangle to make yourself invisible to them? Can you see them?
level: 3 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 5-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: instantaneous components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Silent Flash is a silent variation of Flash. Because it is silent, it is more formidable, while retaining the same blinding effect in a five-meter radius. The remote cluster first creates a shell of conjured sponge, then detonates the flash within the shell. The light comes out, but the sound is greatly muffled. Instead of a shocking bang, the sound is reduced to a mere clap. Creatures with their eyes open within 5 m of the flash are subject to a shock of formidability 2 and power 0, provided there is no object between their eyes and the center of the flash that will block its light. If they take the shock, they are blind for 1d10 minutes. The ball of conjured sponge is broken up by the expansion of gases created by the flash.
Questions: Why is it not possible, on a magical planet, to make a bomb with this spell, in which trapped gases explode outwards, causing damage?
level: 3 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 10-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 0.01 s (4-hr latency) components: bridge ring controls: verbal, somatic
After a verbal trigger, the spell creates a normal space bridge. The wizard fits both halves of the bridge into a ring. Within the next two minutes, he issues a verbal command and the spell bridge expands, just for an instant, to radius 10 m, and then collapses. The process takes no more than a few milliseconds. The advancing edge of the bridge cuts deeply into chemical and conjured matter. Spirit matter, however, is resistant to it. Half a millimeter of spirit cloth is enough to stop a Slice spell. The edge of the bridge flows around obstacles and expands behind them to cut into other targets. Everyone in its path is subject to a shock of formidability 2 and power 6D10 (rolled separately for each subject).
After casting the spell the wizard has four hours in which to trigger the annihilation, so he can use it next to conjured matter to make a trap. Note that this four hours preceeds the clearing time of the spell. The wizard's spell slot will be clear four hours after she sets off the slice.
Slice is the by-product of research into making higher class bridges. Researchers devised a way of stripping the conjured matter sheath suddenly from an atomic bridge. Those who survived the first experiments reported that bridges treated in this way, far from collapsing immediately as expected, expanded to a great diameter, and then collapsed. Currently, researchers are attempting to preserve the expanded bridge by enclosing its edge in a spirit sheath. No progress has been made, and the research is dangerous for two reasons. First, you are dealing with slicing bridges, and second, the gods do not want sapiens to develop higher class bridges, and have no scruples about sending assassins after anyone who tries.
Questions: How might you cast slice upon enemies that surround you, but avoid it yourself? What happens to the bridge ring? Is it better to have the bridge ring horizontal or vertical when the slice goes off? The slice is too fast for the eye to see, but what would there be to see if it were slower? Why were the researchers trying to strip away the conjured matter sheath and replace it with a spirit matter? There is a variant of this spell that uses a targeting solenoid and no bridge ring. How is this spell superior to the standard Slice spell? What is its level?
level: 3 casting time: 40 min area of effect: a thaumaturgical bowl range: local duration of effect: 4 hr components: thaumaturgical bowl controls: somatic
Thaumaturgical Forge is used by thaumaturgists to concentrate the maeon wind and allow them to make spell capsules. A thaumaturgical bowl is a device used by thaumaturgists to concentrate a maeon wind. The device is a bowl 20 cm across, made of several hundred intricately carved, thin-walled, 1-cm square bridge rings held together by miniature hinges. The bowl is accompanied by a flat, square plate set with a matching set of square bridge rings. With all the bridge rings filled, the bridges on the square plate gather the maeon wind and direct its maeons towards the bowl center. The bowl is placed beneath a work surface. The maeon wind above the bowl center can be as much as fifty times greater than that which is normal on the planet surface. A thaumaturgist uses Thaumaturgical Forge to fill the bridge rings of a thaumaturgical bowl. The spell starts with a normal space bridge fitted into a circular bridge ring. This bridge is called the seed bridge. The thaumaturgical bowl is flattened out by laying it upon the square plate. The hinges allow this to be done. The bridge rings in the bowl are now flush up against their partners on the flat plate. You lay the seed bridge against each of the several hundred pairs of square bridge rings in turn, and generates a space bridge within each pair. With a little physical encouragement, the two halves of each bridge thus generated separate and expand into the members of each pair of bridge rings. Allowing five to ten seconds for each bridge, the whole process takes about an hour. Most thaumaturgists cast the spell and then leave their adjutants to lay down the bridge rings. Once you have layed down the bridge rings, you curl up the hinged set of bridges into a bowlshape once again. Thaumaturgical bowl operates for four hours, providing amplified maeon wind in an area one or two centimeters across at its center. This area is called a thaumaturgical forge.
Gold placed in a thaumaturgical forge expands to hundreds of times its normal size. Negative maeons passing through gold have a tendency to stop and envelop gold atoms. This displaces millions of neighboring atoms. A negative maeon will remain around a gold atom for an hour or so before breaking away. The absorption of negative maeons by gold generates heat. A 4-cm cube of pure gold is too hot to touch on most magical worlds. In the amplified wind of a thaumaturgist's bowl, gold not only heats up, but also expands dramatically with absorbed maeons. The thaumaturge works with gold-mithril alloy threads. These expand in the forge to hundreds of times their normal diameter. While they are thus expanded, the thaumaturgist joins threads into intricate structures, attaches levers, gears, and other parts as required. Within minutes of their removal from the forge, these components will start to contract. Within an hour they will be back to normal size, hundreds of times smaller in each dimension.
A spell capsule is given the power to generate magical effects by means of charging spells. These implant arrangements of spirit matter in the gold. When triggered, these arrangements generate weak electric currents in the conducting threads of the capsule. These currents catalyze the generation of conjured matter, just as neural currents generate conjured matter in a wizard's spell slot. The conjured matter goes on to generate the capsule's effects. Most capsules are single-use, and are destroyed by casting their spell.
Capsules are most often named after the wizard spells whose effects they imitate. Not all spells can be implemented as capsules. If a capsule generates the same effect as a spell of difficulty d, we say it is level-d capsule. It takes one Thaumaturgical Forge spell and two spells of level d to make a level-d capsule. The cost of a level-d capsule is the cost of the third-level Thaumaturgial Forge spell plus the cost of the two level-d charging spells (see Spell Prices). A level-2 capsule costs around 57 gp when you buy it direct from the maker.
A common form of spell capsule is two close-fitting metal half-shells containing the capsule's mechanisms. The outward appearance is that of a capsule small enough to hide in the palm of one's hand. Such capsules come in a variety of shapes, the most common being a cylinder two centimeters long with rounded ends. To activate such a capsule, one pulls apart the halves of its enclosure. The capsule's components are mounted inside one half. A miniature lever, button, or dial may protrude from the components, allowing the user to control the capsule's effects. One of the most popular thaumaturgial devices among adventurers is the thunder-egg. A thunder-egg is the size of a chicken's egg, and made of metal. It is heavy, and easy to throw. You pull a pin out from the end to prime the egg, and then throw it. The spell effect is Lightening Ball, and it is triggered by the impact of the thunder-egg on any hard surface. After you prime the egg, you must be carefull not to give it a sharp impact, or it will go off. Some thunder-eggs allow you to replace the pin. Thunder-eggs sell for around 150 gp.
Questions: How do the space bridges concentrate the maeon wind? How must you orient the flat plate?
level: 3 casting time: 200 s area of effect: 12-cm diameter bridge range: local duration of effect: 8 hr, 10 MJ bridge energy components: thrust diaphragm controls: verbal, somatic
This spell uses bridge energy and the principles of space bridge thrusters to allow a wizard to fly around with one or two companions on a bench, with the help of a metallic contraption. Vacuum Thruster creates a spell bridge and tunes it to a diameter of 12 cm, which the wizard uses to make a space bridge thruster. The wizard separates the two halves and places them in a vacuum thruster mechanism. The best vacuum thrusters are usually made of brass, and cost about 100 gp. It consists of a chamber, a lid, a pump, and a bleed valve. The wizard keeps the inside of the chamber immaculately clean and oiled. He places each half the bridge into its own 12-cm diameter sharp-edged depression, and makes sure the contact between the bridge sheath and the base of the depressions are well-oiled. He makes sure that he has oriented the bridges so that when he holds his hand over one half of the bridge, he can see it when he looks into the other half. He closes the lid. The lid has a few holes to let air inside, while still protecting the bridge. A thin copper tube leads from the center of one of the depressions, out of the bottom of the chamber, to a lever-operated vaccum pump. The wizard starts to pump the air out from beneath one half of the bridge, and therefore from beneath both halves, because the undersides are connected in the same way as the upper sides. Inside the chamber, the bridge is sucked down tightly into the two depressions. When he has pumped most of the air out of this small, disconnected space, there is no air pressure pushing down on the bases of the two depressions. But there is air pressure pushing up on the underside of the entire chamber. Assuming the pump gets most of the air out from beneath the bridge, the force imbalance will be equal to the atmospheric pressure times the combined area of the two bridges. This area is 200 cm2, so in atomospheric pressure 100 kPa we have a 2 kN force, enough to lift 200 kg in standard gravity. If the wizard wants to decrease the force, he lets a little air into the space beneath the bridges through a bleed valve.
As the thruster does work lifting a load or pushing a cart, air molecules enter the top surfaces of the bridge, and leave again with extra kinetic energy bestowed by the movement of the bridge. Any energy the thruster provides must come out of the bridge energy. Because the bridge is contrained, it cannot supply energy by contracting. Now the Vacuum Thruster spell starts to do its part. When the bridge contracts, it pulls upon its sheath, and the sheath supplies the energy by absorbing it from the maeon wind. The sheath can supply up to 10 kW (10 kJ/s). Likewise, when the thruster absorbs energy, such as it would when lowering an object to earth slowly, the bridge cannot absorb this energy by expanding. Instead, it presses against the sheath and the sheath absorbs the energy by supplying it to the maeon wind. Thus the sheath is a conduit for absorbed and supplied energy between the bridge and the maeon wind. The total energy the sheath can transfer is the thruster's capacity. The sheath can transfer up to 10 MJ without any risk of dissipation. After 10 MJ, sudden collapse of the bridge becomes increasingly likely.
Transferring energy to the bridge uses up thruster capacity, as does transferring energy from the bridge. Thus the capacity of the spell is consumed both by raising a weight and by lowering a weight. The energy received by the bridge as it lowers a weight is discarded, and this act of discarding energy uses thruster capacity. Unfortunate though this loss may be, the sheath arrangement provided by the Vacuum Thruster spell has the great advantage of being rugged and reliable. Furthermore, the sheath vibrates within the thruster mechanism, generating a sound that communicates its condition to the wizard. This sound is called the thruster's whistle. When the sheath is not transferring energy, the whistle is a barely-audible low tone. When supplying energy, the tone rises. When supplying too much energy, the tone is a piearcing whine. When absorbing energy, the tone also rises, but has a different quality easily recognised by the wizard. When absorbing too much energy, the whistle is a grinding screach. As the sheath capacity is used up, its quiet whistle drops in pitch. Thus the wizard receives ample warning of loss of capacity, and is well aware of how severely he is loading the thruster at all times.
Variants of Vacuum Thruster are easy to compose. In particular, many vacuum thruster mechanisms have depressions for bridges of two sizes, so they can accommodate smaller, longer-lived bridges or larger, shorter-lived bridges. A thruster with 17-cm diameter depressions outside of deeper 12-cm depressions will accept bridges that last for only four hours, but generate a combined thrust of 4 kN.
Questions: Where does the energy of the spell come from? Explain how the passage of molecules through the bridge must consume transport energy exactly equal to the net work done by the air on the bottom side of the chamber. If the thruster raises you by 200 m how much capacity is consumed? What is the fastest rate of ascent for which this spell can maintain constant bridge energy when lifting a 2 kN load? What happens to the thruster bridges if you exceed this rate of ascent? How high can this spell lift a 1 kN load? A wizard flies just above the ground against wind resistance of 200 N. How far can he go before he uses up the capacity? How fast can he go?
level: 4 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 100 m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 1 s (4-hr latency) components: bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
This spell turns its bridge ring into a initiator of avalanche annihilation of conjured matter. The wizard throws the bridge ring at a body of conjured matter, says his control word, and the annihilation begins. The annihilation will rush through up to a million cubic meters of conjured matter, proceeding at 10 m/s to a maximum distance of 100 m from the bridge ring. Anyone within 5 m of the annihilated matter is subject to a shock of formidability 3 and power 6D10.
Questions: What does the bridge ring do to initiate annihilation? You discover the body of a man killed instantly by this spell. How was he killed? The wizard who developed this spell paid with his life for his accomplishment. All his hair fell out, he grew weak, and died. What happened to him, and why?
level: 4 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 100-m radius range: local duration of effect: 10 hr components: 1-cm bridge ring controls: verbal, somatic
Bridge Suppressor sends out a magico-dweomer pulse roughly every ten seconds that reduces the class of all bridges within its area of effect to atomic bridges. The mechanism is simple: a bridge ring with both halves of the casting bridge inside it makes a super-large conjured atom. The atom is wrapped around the bridge ring, and grows until it becomes unstable and disspates. The dissipation transmits the pulse and some cold maeons. After the pulse, another atom forms, and so on. The pulses are approximately periodic, but each one occurs at random because the particular conjured atom used by the spell has a significant variation in its longevity, at random from one atom to the next, in a process similar to that of maeon decay. The average time to the next pulse is ten seconds, and the standard deviation of the time to the next pulse is five seconds. It takes divine tuning agents several seconds to tune an atomic bridge into a molecular bridge, so this spell makes transport by molecular bridges impractical within its range.
There are a whole series of bridge suppressor spells, of different ranges and durations. In all cases, the optimal shape of the bridge ring used in the spell is a toroid of inner diameter equal to half its outer diameter. This toroid is supported on three or four metal pins that cause minimal disturbance to the growth of the conjured atom. The apparatus must be kept from sudden shocks so as to avoid knocking the metal torus off these pins. The energy of the pulse generated by the decay is proportional to the volume of the disspating atom, and the volume of the atom is proportional to the volume of the toroid. The spell is effective in places where the pulse has energy greater than a certain threshold. This threshold does depend upon the bridge to be suppressed, and who or what is tuning the bridge, but we have kept things simple with a binary cutoff in our spell description.
As the energy of the pulse propagates outward in all directions, its power per unit area will decrease as the square of the range. This dictates that the range is proportional to the radius of the bridge ring to the power 3/2. To increase the range by a factor of ten, we must increase the diameter of the bridge and the apparatus by a factor of 102/3, or 4.6. To increase the diameter of a space bridge by a factor of 3 usually requires the addition of one to the difficulty of the spell. A factor of 4.6 would add one and a half. In this case, we must not only increase the diameter of the bridge by 4.6, we must also increase the rate of generation of some conjured matter. The result is that the Bridge Supperssion difficulty increases by two for each factor of ten increase in range, or one for each factor of √10.
To increase the longevity of a space bridge by a factor of ten requires that we increase the difficulty of creation by one. Thus, increasing the duration of Bridge Suppression by a factor of ten also adds one to the difficulty of the spell. Decreasing the duration to one hour reduces the difficulty by one, but further decreases bring no advantage.
Questions: Confirm that the range of this series of spells is proportional to bridge radius to the power 3/2. What is the difficulty of a spell that suppresses to a range of 3 km for a year?
level: 4 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 32 cm diameter space bridge range: local duration of effect: 1 hr components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Circle III is a variant of Circle that lasts sixteen times longer. The same prepared spell will produce either the mirror or buckler arrangement, and gives the spell-caster the option of covering the front of the bridges with conjured wood or leaving them exposed.
Questions: What happens if you push the edge of one bridge of a Circle III into the open face of the second bridge?
level: 4 casting time: 5 s area of effect: 100 m3 conjured rubber range: 3 m duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal
Escape creates an invisible sphere of conjured rubber around the spell-caster that carries him away from danger quickly and sets him down a minute later wherever the wind is blowing. The spellcaster grabs the spell bridge from in front of her forehead. Conjured rubber begins to form around the bare bridge. She sticks the bridge to her back lets go of it. The bridge will stick easily to clothes or armor, and even to bare flesh. Conjured rubber forms behind her with a hiss, and rises upwards as it hardens. She jumps as high as she can and as soon as she can. The conjured rubber sphere forms so quickly that she will be lifted up and away. As soon as she is clear of the ground, the conjured rubber forms a floor beneath her and walls beside her. She must be sure she jumps high enough and soon enough or else the rubber floor will adhere to the ground and stop her from escaping. She accelerates upwards.
While aloft, the spell-caster is protected from missiles by at least a meter of conjured rubber in all directions. The only way into the rubber sphere is through a crude opening in front, which may by tall and narrow or small and circular, depending upon the execution of the spell. If she sits down in the cavity at the center of the sphere, she will remain upright because she is below the sphere's center. As the sphere descends, it begins to speed up. It will strike the ground at When the sphere hits the ground at 1 m/s it bounces. It may roll also. The spell-caster will roll with the sphere and then crawl out of the opening if she likes. Or she might choose to stay within the sphere to cast a few more spells at her persuers.
The height to which the spell-caster ascends depends upon the size of the rubber sphere and the combined weight of her body and possessions. The size of the rubber sphere is affected by the speed with which she plants the spell bridge upon her back. The sooner she plants it, the bigger the sphere will be. The maximum size of the ball is 100 m3, which is sufficient to lift 100 kg. The sphere starts to disspate immediately after it is formed, losing 1% of its volume per second from the outer surface. The spell bridge is still active. The conjured rubber the bridge produces at this stage of the spell is fragmented. It rises to the ceiling of the cavity at the center of the sphere. But it is this continued production of conjured rubber that allows the spell-caster to control the descent of the sphere. When first uncovered, the bridge produces one cubic meter of conjured rubber per second. Each cubic meter produces a lift of 10 N. But this rate of production fades away over the course of a minute.
The ideal flight of the sphere is one that ascends to the height chosen by the spell-caster and descends at the speed chosen by the spell-caster. She controls the height by planting the bridge on her back at the right time. She controls the descent by freeing removing the same bridge from her back at the right time. Consider what happens when a 50-kg spell-caster creates a conjured sphere with lifting force 550 N. She weights 500 N (we assume gravity is 10 m/s/s). She accelerates upwards at 50N/50kg = 1 m/s/s for the first second. She loses 5 N of lift per second after that. After 5 s she is 12 m up. After 20 s she reaches her maximum altitude of 70 m and begins to descend. Without the help of additional conjured rubber, her descent will take 10 s and she will hit the ground at 14 m/s. So she uncovers the bridge when she reaches her maximum height. The cavity inside the sphere begins to fill with invisible, fragmented conjured rubber. She descends, but slows almost to a stop at a height of 37 m after a total flight time of 36 s. She covers the bridge. She ascends a little and uncovers it again. She goes up and down, slowly descending, until the sphere strikes the ground. If her initial lift ia 560 N instead of 550 N, she ascends for 24 s to 116 m and her subsequent descent becomes more difficult to control. With initial lift of 600 N she ascends to 410 m in 38 s. From such a height, it is hard to descend before the spell bridge's power to generate additional conjured rubber expires, making the descent dangerous. The sphere might strike the ground at 20 m/s, which would cause injury to the spell-caster, even though she is well-protected in a conjured rubber ball.
Despite the difficulty of controling the flight, we assume that a wizard who uses it under duress has practiced with the spell enough times and will control the sphere correctly. The height can be up to 600 m and the flight time up to 60 s. The higher flights are not necessarily longer: they just involve a faster ascent and descent.
The Escape spell is a variant of Conjured Rubber. Its difficulty is −2 for the Conjured Rubber, +2 for one hundred cubic meters instead of one cubic meter, +5 for making one hundred cubic meters per second instead of one liter per second, −3 for longevity fourty seconds instead of ten hours, +1 for making conjured matter without a bridge ring, and +1 for the special shape of the sphere.
Questions: As the great adventuring wizard Bolus says, "This is a great spell for escaping from hoards of armed me. But it's a dangerous one to use when there's a wizard among your opponents." Why is it dangerous to escape from a wizard with this spell? Suppose you are ascending at over 5 m/s with this spell. Can you assail your enemies on the ground with a Grand Flash?
level: 4 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 10-m jet of flame range: fire lance duration of effect: 1000 hr, 10 kg of water components: fire lance, water resevoir, a flame. controls: verbal
Fire Lance creates a space bridge resistant to pressure and combustion, and with increased of bridge energy to fuel the atomization of water. The bridge fits into a fire lance. A typical fire lance is a two-meter metal lance with a rod running down the center and a valve mechanism at the tip. Its purpose is to keep the intense heat of the flame away from its weilder. One half of the Fire Lance bridge is in the valve mechanism. The other half is at the bottom of a deep resevoir of water, probably susended by a rope so it stays off the bottom. It takes some time to set up the fire lance, so it is as well that the bridge lasts for one thousand hours. When you turn a grip at the base of the lance, or slide the grip, or pull a lever, depending upon the lance, the valve in the tip opens, and water rushes through the space bridge. It is atomized on the way out, and the fire lance ignites the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen to produce a jet of flame up to ten meters long, provided the remote half of the bridge is at least ten meters below the surface of its resevoir. The gases in the jet move at ten meters per second. If the water is pure, fresh water, the flame will be invisible in sunlight, and shine a faint violet in darkness. When it strikes a flammable object, this object will burst almost immediately into flame on its exterior, and non-flammable objects will glow red-hot within seconds. A fire lance is rarely used with saltwater, which generates a yellow flame, because the products of saltwater combustion are corrosive to the steel used in the lance.
The fire lance provides a slow leak of water that keeps the flame alive at the tip, so that the gas mixture ignites immediately you open the valve. You start the lance flame with a flame. The fire lance itself has to be made of hard metal, provide thermal insulation for its user, and be rugged enough for use as a staff in combat. A good fire lance costs 100 gp. Note that although it takes a wizard to create the space bridge of a Fire Lance, any trained soldier can use one.
Each liter of water vaporized by a fire lance generates 10 MJ of heat and consumes 10 MJ of bridge energy. The Fire Lance space bridge can provide up to 90 MJ for atomization. After that, it collapses. The maximum power of the bridge is 10 MW. A 1-s, 10 MW blast from a fire lance contains enough heat to warm 7 kg of skin and muscle by 300°C. When set up properly, and aimed with care, this blast will subject everyone in a 3-m radius at a range of 10 m with an assault of formidability 1 and power 4D10.
Questions: The fire lance is the weapon used by the much-feared Salamander Regiment of the Ursian army. How much does it cost the Ursian army to activate the one thousand lances of the regiment for a month? How much does it cost to equip them with fire lances in the first place? Why do the Salamanders pay more attention to the direction of the wind when they attack than the slope of the land? How fast would a wind have to be to make attack into the wind impossible for them? What type of clothing do you imagine they would wear? As a wizard, could you make yourself clothing that would help you be more aggressive with your fire lance?
level: 4 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 5-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Fireworks allows the spell-caster to put on a show of flashing lights, flares, bursts of streaming lights, and other such visual delights with loud noises. The lights are not as bright or as sudden as those created by the Flash spell, but their origins are the same. The remote cluster of the spell moves towards or away from the spell-caster at 5 m/s. At any time, the spellcaster can stop it moving, or set it moving in either direction. At any time, he can cause the remote cluster to produce a shower of pyrotechnics in bright colors. The quality of the display put on by a wizard using this spell depends upon his skill and experience. There are wizards who specialize in fireworks for celebrations. They can put on some remarkable shows lasting for tens of minutes by working together and by preparing many spells. The spell has many variants that excel at producing particular effects. The spell we list here is the general-purpose pyrotechnic display spell.
Questions: What is the fastest speed a trail of flames created by the spell could move? Will the firework displays pass through walls? Will they set fire to trees? Will they set fire to exposed lamp oil?
level: 4 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 5-m radius range: remote half of an existing bridge duration of effect: 6 min longevity (4-hr latency) components: normal bridge ring controls: verbal
Indirect Sponge allows the generation of the effect of Surrounding Sponge at remote half of an existing space bridge. The caster takes the Indirect Sponge spell bridge, places it in a bridge ring, and touches the rim of the existing bridge with the spell bridge, as in the simplest of indirect spells, Tuning. The formidability, power, and area of the spell are centered on the remote half of the existing space bridge as if that bridge were the remote half of a Surrounding Sponge spell bridge. The existing space bridge is not destroyed by the action of the Indirect Sponge.
Questions: If the remote bridge is on another planet, will the spell still work? If it does work, how might its effects be different, and why?
level: 4 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 1 day components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Mute is similar to Fear. The spell delivers an electric signal to the entire brain of the victim. The target is the creature's brain, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10. The spell subjects the target creature to a shock of formidability 5 which, if not dodged, will deprive the victim of his ability to speak for one day. They will be able to make noises with their mouths, but these noises won't be understandable speach no matter how hard the victim tries. When the victim recovers, he will be dazed, but otherwise unharmed. The spell is triggered verbally and set off with a gesture.
Questions: Would this spell affect an ogre? Would it affect a sperm whale?
level: 4 casting time: 2 min area of effect: a stationary mammal or bird range: local duration of effect: 24 hr components: none controls: direct
Possess generates an intricate array of casting bridge clusters. The local clusters settle into sensory perception and motor control networks in the spell-caster's brain, while the remote clusters settle into corresponding parts of a nearby creature. The spell-caster is able to pick up neural activity in the creature's brain, and, if he is well practiced with the spell, he can share the creature's sensual experiences. The sensations thus delivered are feint. They are best experienced while relaxing with eyes closed in a quiet place. It is impossible to share nerve signals without diluting them, so a possessed creature feels its senses grow less acute. If the creature is familiar with possession, it will soon know what is happening, but there is very little it can do about it. (The way to avoid possession is not to stay still near a wizard for more than a ten seconds.) Once sensory contact is established, the spell-caster can go still further with the possession by attempting to influence the possessed creature's actions. These efforts are treated just like command and hypnosis attempts, depending upon how immediate or long-term they are. One such attempt can be made every ten seconds. No hit needs to be scored with a targeting solenoid, since the bridges are already in place.
Questions: How could you use a molecular bridge to dispel Possession? A variant of this spell lasts for sixty days. What is its level? How does Possession explain the fact that wizards like birds? 'Only time, death, or divine intervention will break possession.' Why is this true?
level: 4 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 5-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 6 min longevity components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Targeted Sponge 5-m ball of sponge that comes with Surrounding Sponge, combined with the fast casting and long range of Enveloping Sponge.
Questions: In the battle between Loose Lips and the Kamazi, Hocus the wizard could not cast Targeted Sponge, but if he could, would this spell have helped him? Can you think of a variant of this spell that would have guaranteed Loose Lips's escape?
level: 4 casting time: 1 hr area of effect: a trap range: local duration of effect: 2 days components: a bridge ring, various mechanisms controls: somatic
A space bridge is generated and fitted into a bridge ring. The wizard is then able to make four conjured muscles, four conjured sensors, and a ten conjured neurons. The neurons are interconnected to perform a logical calculation based upon information provided by the conjured sensors. Their operation is strictly binary. The sensors are vibration-sensitive bundles of conjured matter. Enclosed in appropriate mechanisms, they can distinguish between audible tones (these mechanisms are one gold piece each). The conjured muscles are made of conjured rope. Each one has a volume of up to 100 cm3. They can be from 1 cm to 1 m long. Both ends of each muscle are fastened to their respective components in the trap by enclosing a pin or loop, which thus constrains it. Somewhere along the length of each muscle is a connection to a neuron. Consult the description of conjured rope given above for the force and range of the conjured muscle contraction. The outputs of the neurons may be fed back upon themselves to give memory to the network, while the initial state of the network may be set by the wizard at the time of creation. Here are some examples of machines that push the limits of the Trap spell complexity: when a door is opened without someone first whistling two tones in sequence nearby, the door will be barred shut from the outside when next it is closed; if a chest is tapped twice while a certain note is spoken, a latch is withdrawn and the chest may be opened. For more sophisticated magical machines, with spirit matter brains, see the Animation spells.
Questions: The trap lasts two days, but the clearing time for this spell is only four hours. How can that be? How much force can a 1-m muscle generate? What other forces can this muscle generate? What do the muscles and neurons look like?
level: 5 casting time: 20 s area of effect: animation frame range: local duration of effect: 100 yrs components: gold thread, frame, many other instruments controls: verbal, somatic
An animation is a creature made by spells. See Animations for more information.
Questions: Does an animation qualify as a spirit? Can you pass an animation through a spirit bridge?
level: 5 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature range: extent 1 m, accuracy 5 duration of effect: 10 hr components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Enslave is a variant of Asphyxiate that lasts 100 hr instead of 1 hr, and allows the spell-caster to vary the force in the collar for the duration of the spell. As with Asphyxiate, the target is subjected to a shock of formidability 4 and power 0 when the spell goes off, and suffers 6D10 damage when the collar is tightened with maximum force. The target is the creature's neck, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −5 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +5.
Questions: Why is Enslave two levels more difficult than Asphyxiate? How might an enslaved subject escape the spell? An ogre has a neck twice the width of a sapien adult. It would be easier to hit, but why would the spell be doubly less effective? What would be the level of an Enslave variant effective against ogres?
level: 5 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 15-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 6 min components: bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
Grand Surrounding Sponge is a larger version of Surrounding Sponge. It produces up to 3 mg of conjured sponge in one second. The density of conjured sponge is 0.1 μg/m3, so this 3 mg is sufficient to fill a sphere 20 m in radius if the spell caster throws the bridge ring 20 m into the air. Anyone within 15 m of the center of the spell is subject to a shock of formidability 2 and power 0. Anyone who does not dodge the assault is surrounded by the sponge and constrained, as with Surrounding Sponge. On Clarus, where the maeon repulsion constant is 10 N/μg, the Grand Surrounding Sponge experiences a lift of 30 kN, which is sufficient to lift 3 tonnes on the same planet. This is so great a force that the sponge can tear the roof off a house. In an open space, the sponge rises with such speed that it creates a 30-m diameter vortex beneath it, with the air moving at 10 m/s. This vortex slows the upward movement of the sponge, while the upward movement of the sponge serves to suck air into the vortex. Within a minute, the sphere of sponge will break up and float away, but the vortex will continue spinning vigorously for another minute after the sponge has gone, especially over a smooth, flat surface like that of a pond. People stuck in a Grand Surrounding Sponge will end up being thrown to the ground as the sponge breaks up in its vortex, in which case they will suffer 6D10 damage.
Questions: Why is Grand Surrounding Sponge three levels more difficult than Surrounding Sponge?
level: 5 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 10-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 1 s (4-hr latency) components: bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
This spell is a combination of Surrounding Sponge and Annihilate. It makes a sphere of conjured sponge 5 m in diameter, centered upon the bridge ring, and initiates avalanche annihilation. The annihilation spreads to the outside of the conjured sponge in a fraction of a second, and the resulting ball of lightening bursts out to a radius of 10 m. Anything flammable within this radius is ignited. The spell is easy for prescient creatures to anticipate, but difficult to avoid because it is so far-reaching. The wizard has ten hours in which to trigger the spell. After that, the spell expires. Anyone within the lightening ball is subject to a shock of formidability 3 and power 6D10. Lightening Ball is the effect made manifest in the popular adventurer's accessory, the thunder-egg.
When the Lightening Ball occurs, the heat from the annihilating conjured matter causes the air within the ball to expand. It expands and presses outwards against the sponge that has yet to annihilate. Pressure builds up within the sponge. This pressure is great enough to open space tunnels above the ball, so that the lightening ball is accompanies by a column of hot gas and sparks emerging from space tunnels above. If a lightening ball is let off ten meters beneath the ground, those above the ground will see evidence of its occurance in the appearance of such a column. If the lightening ball occurs deep beneath the ground, where space tunnels have no nearby place to which to vent the pressure in the ball, the ball will become a detonation. Its formidability does not increase, but its power increases by a factor of two to 12D10, and the ball will have the power to blow open doors and break down walls.
Questions: How would you expect the effect of Lightening Ball to depend upon the strength of the maeon wind? How would you expect its effect to depend upon the planet's maeon repulsion? If a man is chained up and subjected to a Lightening Ball, can he dodge it? Would a barrier of conjured wood stop the expansion of a Lightening Ball? Would a barrier of spirit wood stop it?
level: 5 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Shock is similar to Fear. The spell delivers a sudden, widespread electric impulse to the brain of the victim. The target is the creature's brain, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10. The impulse subjects the target creature to a shock of formidability 6 which, if not dodged, will knock it out for 1 min. When the creature comes round, it will be dazed, but otherwise unharmed. The spell is triggered verbally and set off with a gesture.
Questions: Would you see anything in the air if you missed your target?
level: 5 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent range area of effect: 10-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: 0.01 s components: none controls: verbal, somatic
The Targeted Slice is the same as Slice, but uses a targeting solenoid instead of a bridge ring. The targeting solenoid gives the caster control of the orientation of the slicing circle. By tilting her head, she can change its orientation. Most wizards prepare the spell so that when their head is vertical, the slice is horizontal. Anyone within 10 m of the spell center suffers a shock of formidability 2 and power 6D10.
Questions: Your enemy is summoning and ogre outside your fort. Your only remaining spell is Targeted Slice. The ogre will be able to smash down your gates. Would it be better to cast the slice upon the summoning bridge before the ogre arrives, or upon the ogre after it arrives?
level: 5 casting time: 200 s area of effect: 12-cm diameter bridge range: local duration of effect: 9 hr, bridge energy 90 MJ components: thrust diaphragm controls: verbal, somatic
Vacuum Thruster II is like the third-level spell Vacuum Thruster except it provides bridge energy 100 MJ instead of 10 MJ. The force it generates with a 12-cm bridge is the same 2 kN as for Vacuum Thruster. The maximum rate at which it can deliver bridge energy is 10 kW.
Questions: A wizard mounts a Vacuum Thruster at the back of a small row-boat and sets off at full thrust with the help of this spell. With the full 2 kN force, the boat proceeds at 5 m/s. How far can the spell take the wizard across the water? If he turns around after an hour and goes back to his starting point, is the bridge energy of his thruster restored? Suppose the the water becomes calmer and the boat proceeds at 7 m/s with the 2 kN force. What might happen to the thruster bridges?
level: 6 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 1.3-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: instantaneous components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Destroy is a compact version of Lightening Ball that works with a targeting solenoid. It creates a spherical shell of conjured wood, 3-m in diameter and 10 cm thick, filled with conjured fluid. Immediately the sphere reaches its full size, the spell initiates avalanche annihilation of the foam inside. The annihilation consumes the foam in an a millisecond, but takes a hundred milliseconds to consume the wood. For a hundred milliseconds, therefore, the heat of the annihilation is constrained within the sphere. It heats the contents to thousands of degrees Celcius in an instant. The pressure within opens up space tunnels to the atmosphere above the annihilation. The air and vaporized chemical contenst of the sphere vent through these tunnels. By the time the annihilation consumes the wood, the pressure inside the sphere has settled to close to atmospheric. The target of the spell suffers a shock of formidability 7 and power 20D10. Now suppose you hit a person with this spell outdoors at night. The spell kills so quickly that the target hardly feels a thing. That is why the spell is so formidable. Assuming the target does not dodge the spell, it will appear to be enveloped in a flash of white light. Simultaneously, white flashes appear in the atmosphere above the target, constrained within a narrow inverted cone. Then the light is gone, there is a clapping noise, but not too loud, and two smoldering shoes on the ground.
Questions: The sphere filled with conjured fluid is unusual in that it is not homogeneous. How do you think the spell creates such a shape despite the fact that it does not communicate with the conjured matter after growth is initiated? What is the relationship between the internal angle of the cone we mentioned above, the diameter of the metallic core of a planet, and overall radius of the planet?
level: 6 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 2 m radius circle duration of effect: 32 hr components: verbal, somatic controls: none
Atomizing Barrier is a variant of Space Bridge. It creates a space bridge. The two halves are immediately joined by conjured matter around their rims, and begin to expand. As they grow, the magnetic field they generate increases. In a 1-Y maeon wind, this field will reach Unless the space bridge meets an obstruction, it will expand to 2 m radius in 20 s and remain so for 32 hr before shrinking in 20 s. If the space bridge meets a barrier, such as a passage wall, it will mold itself to the wall and become securely fastened to it by conjured rubber. The same conjured rubber protects the rim of the space bridge from damage. The resulting surface is invisible, since the two halves are flush up against one another. It being an atomic space bridge, anything passing through it will be atomized. This presents a shock of formidability 1 and power 6D10 to anyone walking into it. Nothing may be fired through the barrier without being atomized. Spells such as Choke, Paralyze, Slay, and Flash will work through the barrier.
Questions: How would you destroy an atomizing barrier? How would you detect one?
level: 6 casting time: 5 s area of effect: 300 m3 conjured rubber range: 3 m duration of effect: 1 min components: none controls: verbal
Escape II is like Escape except it will take the spell-caster and two or three companions as well. The Escape II sphere will carry up to 3000 N weight (300 kg). Also, the very outermost layer of the sphere does not disspate. The material beneath it dissipates in an irregular fasion, leaving the outer sphere attached to a shrinking inner sphere by several dozen randomly-spaced columns of intact conjured rubber. If the outer surface is struck by an annihilation spell, it will annihilate in a small area, but the annihilation is unlikely to spread to the inner sphere, depending upon exactly where the sphere is struck by the annihilation. As a result, the annihilation presents a shock of formidability 3 and power 6D10, followed by the annihilation of the entire sphere so that everyone inside plummets to the earth. If the spellcaster or anyone else in the sphere takes the 3 dp shock, this means the annihilation did not engulf the inner sphere nor even the entire outser sphere.
Escaping all together with this spell takes some practice. Everyone involved must jump at the same time, and jump close together. The spellcaster must be facing the others because the conjured sphere will grow from the space bridge he plants upon his back.
Questions: Can people escaping with the spell-caster fire arrows at persuers on the ground?
level: 7 casting time: 20 s area of effect: animation frame range: local duration of effect: 100 yrs components: gold thread, frame, many other instruments controls: verbal, somatic
An animation is a creature made by spells. See Animations for more information.
Questions: How might you make a lair for your Type III animation in which its muscles will recover from exertion more quickly?
level: 7 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 10-m radius range: remote half of an existing bridge duration of effect: 1 s (4-hr latency) components: bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
Indirect Lightening allows the generation of the effect of Lightening Ball at remote half of an pre-existing space bridge. The caster takes the Indirect Lightening spell bridge, places it in a bridge ring, and touches the rim of the pre-existing bridge with the spell bridge, as in the simplest of indirect spells, Tuning. The formidability, power, and area of the spell are centered on the remote half of the pre-existing space bridge, as if it were the remote half of a Lightening Ball spell bridge. Because the Lightening Ball is created by the annihilation of conjured matter, the pre-existing space bridge will most likely be destroyed. Roll 1D10 and if the result is 3 or higher, the pre-existing bridge's sheath is annihilated and the bridge collapses.
level: 7 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 10 min components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Paralyze is similar to Fear. The spell delivers a powerful electrical signal to the entire brain of the victim. The target is the creature's brain, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10. The spell subjects the target creature to a shock of formidability 8 which, if not dodged, will cause the victim to be paralyzed for ten minutes. The victim's lungs will still work, and her heart, but she cannot more her limbs or bend her torsoe. Unlike Fear, Paralyze works on all animals with brains, not just mammals.
Questions: Would Paralyze work on a demon?
level: 7 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 10 ug spirit wood at 0.01 μg/s range: local duration of effect: longevity 10 yr components: normal bridge ring controls: verbal, somatic
This spell is similar to Conjured Structure except it makes a structure of spirit wood instead, and allows the wizard more time for the construction.
Questions: When might you be safer in a spirit structure than a conjured structure? Why do wizards prefer spirit wood, while others prefer ordinary wood?
level: 7 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 10-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: instantaneous components: none controls: verbal, somatic
This spell is similar Lightening Ball, but works with a targeting solenoid and no bridge ring.
Questions: Why is Targeted Lightening two levels more difficult than Lightening Ball even though it produces the same effect? Suppose a wizard stands upon the sea shore and a ship sails past five hundred meters out, across the waves, going by at one meter per second across his field of view. The ship and its sails are thirty meters long, twenty meters high, and ten meters wide. He is fighter level ten. He decides to try to set fire to the ship's sails with a Lightening Ball. What is his chance of setting fire to at least a corner of a sail?
level: 7 casting time: 20 s (10s to generate) area of effect: 25-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 6 min components: bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
Vortex produces 31 mg of conjured rubber in a sphere of radius 25 m. As we describe in Grand Surrounding Sponge, a sphere of conjured matter will tend to rise, but in doing so, air must rush beneath to fill the space where the matter used to be. When the sphere is large enough, a vortex always forms beneath the sphere. The pressure of the fast-moving air beneath the sphere drops and holds the sphere down. The conjured rubber will rise at one or two meters per second. The vortex builds up in less than a minute, and is of diameter 50 m. The velocity of the wind beneath the rising sphere of conjured rubber reaches 25 m/s. With the sphere of rubber out of the way, the vortex continues with its own inertia, slowing to a stop over the next two minutes.
Questions: How is the upward force on the sphere related to the pressure difference between the top and bottom sides of the sphere? How is the pressure difference related to the velocity of the air in the vortex beneath the sphere? Show that the velocity of the air is proportional to the square root of the radius of the sphere multiplied by the density of the conjurd matter.
level: 8 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: 1 hr components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Enfeeble is similar to Fear. The spell delivers a powerful electrical signal to the entire brain of the victim. The spell subjects the target creature to a shock of formidability 9 which, if not dodged, will cause the victim to lose 10 points of strength (STR) for an hour. This loss is sufficient to make it impossible for an unburdened creature to move more than twenty paces, and for a soldier in armor to collaps. The spell works on mammals only.
Questions: Is it easier to hit an ogre with this spell than a sapien?
level: 8 casting time: 5 s area of effect: 300 m3 conjured rubber range: 3 m duration of effect: 10 min components: none controls: verbal
Escape III is like Escape II except the two halves of the spell bridge separate during the growth of the sphere. The two halves grow to a diameter of 2 m and form part of the floor and ceiling. Looking from below the sphere, people sitting on the floor inside will be out of sight. The space bridge in the floor provides a view out of the space bridge in the ceiling, and so hides the riders. (See Invisibility for more details fo this trick.) Neither will anyone below see the escape sphere itself, because it is made of transparant conjured matter. The spell allows direct control of further production of conjured rubber from the spell bridge. The spell-caster can control his ascent and descent easily, and the flight can last as long as 10 minutes. The Escape III provides the same protection against annihilation as Escape II.
Questions: What do people inside the sphere see when they look down through the floor?
level: 8 casting time: 20 s area of effect: 2 m radius range: local duration of effect: 1000 hr components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Sixth Sense is similar to Scan, in that it allows the wizard to detect matter with remote clusters, but this spell fills the space around the caster to a radius of 2 m with six constantly-moving remote clusters that build up a picture in the caster's mind of the distribution of matter in that area. The spell takes many months practice to use effectively, but an accomplished user can detect a cat running past his feet with the spell alone. The wizard becomes almost impossible to surprise by anyone moving close to him. Even if he is asleep, the spell delivers a sharp warning to the brain if large movements take place near the wizard, and will wake him up just like a loud noise would wake him. The wizard can make his way through a forest in complete darkness. Because the remote clusters that provide the sixth sense are each the size of a grapefruit, it is impossible to distinguish small objects with the sense. The spell scans each point in the 2-m radius around the caster once every second.
Questions: Can this spell detect the presence of conjured matter? What is the minimum speed at which the remote clusters must be moving? Can a wizard combine this spell with Invisibility?
level: 8 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: 20-m radius range: extent 5 m, accuracy 0 duration of effect: instantaneous components: none controls: verbal, somatic
This spell is similar to Targeted Lightening. Its area of effect is twice as large, in the same way that the area of effect of Grand Flash is twice as large as that of Flash. The Grand Lightening affects a sphere 40 m in diameter. So large and area of effect precludes the spellcaster throwing a bridge ring. Even at range 40 m, the spell is intensely hot and loud. So Grand Lightening has a targeting solenoid and uses no bridge ring. Anyone within 20 m of the center of the spell suffers a shock of formidability 3 and power 6D10.
Questions: You cast lightening ball in front of a wizard. It turns out that he is holding a Rectangle in front of him, with both halves pressed together so that you can't see it from where you are standing. What effect will the space bridge have upon the Grand Lightening? Will it amplify or attenuate the shock of the attack? Will the space bridge increase or lessen its power? A woman next to the wizard crouches behind a large shield made of metal. Is she better off than the wizard, or worse off?
level: 9 casting time: 20 s area of effect: animation frame range: local duration of effect: 100 yrs components: gold thread, frame, many other instruments controls: verbal, somatic
An animation is a creature made by spells. See Animations for more information.
Questions: Is a spell-casting animation more similar to a sorcerer, a wizard, or a psionic spell-caster?
level: 9 casting time: 3 min area of effect: two 2.5-m high, 2-m wide, 3-sided pyramids range: local duration of effect: 1 hr components: bridge ring, bridge monacle controls: verbal, somatic
This spell makes a wizard invisible, although there are clear signs of his presence when you come up close and the light is good. To the first approximation, Invisibility is a combination of three long-life Rectangle spells. Invisibility takes the three north halves of the three large space bridges it creates, and binds their edges together to make a three-sided pyramid 2.5 m high and 2 m wide at the base. The spell binds the edges with conjured wood whose molecules pass through the bridges and their south halves. The spell binds the edges of the south halves in the same way, creating a second pyramid of exactly the same size and shape. The faces of the pyramids, being space bridges, are perfectly flat. The construction of the pyramids, and lining their inner and outer sides if the wizard sees fit, takes about three minutes.
This pair of pyramids are the means by which the wizard becomes invisible. The bridges are arranged so that anyone looking into one pyramid sees the inside of the other. The wizard gets under one of the pyramids. Let's say it's the north side. Above his head, he uses the spell's conjured wood to make a backing for all the bridges that stops him from inadvertently sticking one of his arms or legs through the bridges, which are close to his body. The bridges, now enclosed in conjured wood, will tend to rise, so he binds them to his head with some more conjured wood and strap.
Meanwhile, he leaves the other pyramid, the south pyramid, in his study, where he has darkened the windows, and his adjutant sits ready to advise him. The adjutant, looking into the south pyramid, sees what is inside the north pyramid, which in this case is the wizard. The wizard sees his study just as if he were standing in place of the south pyramid, with one exception. When he looks down, he sees the surface he is walking along, carrying the north pyramid. This surface, be it road, flagstone, or lawn, is illuminated by the dim light of his study. The adjutand can see it too, as if there were a patch of grass on the study floor, beneath the wizard's feet.
As the wizard walks along, the patch of grass on the floor remains in the same place, but the grass itself slides across the patch, and the wizard's feet across this sliding surface so as to keep him in the same place on the study floor. But the wizard is actually outside, on a lawn somehwere: anywhere he can get to in an hour's walking. The wizard and the adjutant can talk to one another, although the sound of their voices will be muffled by the conjured wood on the back of the inside of the north pyramid.
Given that the wizard sees his study, what do people looking at him see, with him carrying the north pyramid on his head? They see the inside of the south pyramid, which is standing in the wizard's study. They see the floor boards of his study. They are standing outside during the day, on a lawn. They see a triangle of floor boards taking the place of the grass, and illuminated by sunlight. As the wizard turns around, the triangle of floorboards turns around. As he moves, the triangle moves across the grass. Of the wizard, however, they see nothing. The inside of the pyramid in the study is a space unto itself, illuminated by the sun, and entirely empty.
If you have followed us so far, then you have figured out that the wizard can't see what is going on around him. Just as the people standing on the lawn can't see the wizard, so the wizard can't see them. He can't see what is around him. All he can see is the inside of his study, and his view of his study does not change no matter how he turns around or goes from side to side. If he does not bump into something quickly with his pyramid, he'll start getting motion sickness.
The Invisibility spell uses a space bridge to make its conjured wood barriers, sheaths, and holder. The wizard splits the brige into its two halves right at the beginning and puts them in bridge rings. When he is done making the conjured wood and binding the pyramids with the help of the two bridge halves, he embeds one half in the conjured wood at the top of the pyramid he is going to wear, facing in the direction he will be facing. He puts the other bridge ring into a bridge monacle, and straps the monacle over one eye. He opens this eye, and sees out of the space bridge on top of the pyramid on his head, and so sees what is around him. As he turns, the bridge turns too. If he closes the eye behind the monacle, and opens the other, he can see his study. With practice, wizards don't have to close their eyes any more. They merely shift their concentration from one view to the other.
Aside from the triangle of floor boards, the people on the grass outside, near the pyramid, now see a bridge ring floating in the air. It looks like a large bug, but it does not move, it makes no noise, and it is a 1-cm ring of metal with an eye looking out of it.
There is one more thing the people on the lawn will see. They will see three lines in space, marking the edges of the pyramid. These lines are the gaps between the edges of the three bridges that make up the pyramid. The spell binds them close together, but there must be some space between them, and Invisibility gives them about 1 mm. Through these 1-mm lines, the people on the grass see the wizard. Because the light in the wizard's study is dim, and the people on the lawn are in sunlight, they will see dark lines. Conversely, the wizard will see three bright lines of sunshine around him. So there are three signs of the wizard's presence: the triangle of floor boards from his study, the bridge ring atop the pyramid, and the thin dark lines marking the edges of the pyramid.
Perhaps Invisibility could bind the bridges more tightly, or use a smaller bridge without a ring, but either exercise would bring little reward. Anyone watching will notice the triangle of floor long before they notice the 1-cm bridge or the lines. The triangle of floor will be so surprising, they are unlikely even to notice the bridge or the lines. The lines turn out to help more than they hinder the wizard. They show him where the edges of his pyramid are, and allow him to move more easily within its confines.
The example we give, with one pyramid in a darkened room, and the other on a sunlight lawn, is one in which the triangle at the base of the pyramid, where the invisibility fails, is prominent. But imagine placing on pyramid on the floor of a sunlight forest, and walking with the other. One patch of ground in a forest looks much like another from ten meters away. The shifting sun-beams beneath the forest canopy hide the edges of the pyramid, and the bridge ring could easily be a bug. Or imagine using it on a moonlight night. In both cases, it bestows near-perfect invisibility at ranges ten meters or more. But the wizard can see what's going on around him, and around the stationary pyramid, perfectly well. If his friends are around the stationary pyramid in the forest, he can report back to them, even discuss his actions with them.
The Invisibility spell protects its user also. The three space bridges around him atomize any chemical matter passing through them. The products of the atomization waft through the other pyramid, and out the other side of his own. The only time he will experience a force from such matter is when it strikes the conjured wood sheaths around the edges of the pyramid. These sheaths are 1 cm in radius. If a horse collides with the pyramid, it is likely to touch one of the edges, even as a layer of its skin is atomized.
Because most adversaries a wizard might fear have some degree of prescience, which is to say they have dodging points, it is unlikely that any such adversary will put any part of their body through one of the bridges, and therefore unlikely that they will touch its edges either. The wizard can use the pyramid as a weapon, just as we describe in Circle. We leave it to you to figure out the weapon's combat attributes. This entry is already long enough.
Even though the wizard is surrounded by bridges, he can still cast spells through the walls of the pyramid, provided they use targeting solenoids, because he cannot throw a bridge ring through the pyramid. Thus he cannot cast Lightening Ball, but he can cast Targeted Lightening. He can also use Beguile and Scan.
The Invisibility spell has another permutation, just as Circle have two permutations. One provides two pyramids, the other a single pyramid with the space bridges close up together, by putting one pyramid inside the other. The bridges can be a few millimeters apart. All the wizard has to do is separate their edges in their sheeths, and the bridges will remain apart, because they are perfectly flat, and exactly the same size and shape. Because of the separation, however, the top of the pyramid is not as sharp as it is in the separate-pyramid permutation. We call the dual-pyramid permutation Invisibility and the combined permutation Invulnerability. Both are available for the preparation of a single spell effect.
Invulnerability allows the wizard to see what is going on around him without the bridge monacle. The lines around the edges of the bridges are less obvious than in the dual-pyramid permutation. By reducing the backing on the bridges, and removing the facings, the wizard makes the pyramid both a weapon and a defence. Unless his adversary is familiar with the spell, he will be hard-pressed to launch a successful attack upon the wizard. Intense heat or fire would affect the wizard by radiation through the bridges of the pyramid, but arrows would atomize and do no harm beyond dirtying the air inside the pyramid. Meanwhile, the wizard can cast spells from within the pyramid quite easily because he has a good view all around him. Of course, he must use targeting solenoids, but if he is skilled enough to cast Invulnerability, he will be skilled enough to prepare an arsenal of spells like Flash and Fear. Conversly, however, wizards could also cast spell with targeting solenoids at him.
Questions: What will happen to a bridge ring a wizard throws through the invisibility pyramid, in an attempt to cast a spell like Surrounding Sponge. A wizard is standing on the lawn of a country estate with a pyramid of invisibility on his head. Soldiers run across the field looking for him. The other pyramid is on the far corner of the field. One soldier says. "There he is!" Where does the soldier see him? A soldier runs right into the pyramid on the wizard's head. Describe what the wizard would experience as the soldier bumps into the pyramid. What would he see? What would a man running next to the unlucky soldier see? How might the wizard protect people from the pyramid? If the other pyramid is similarly protected, and a soldier pickes it up or pushes it, what does the wizard experience? What does the soldier experience? Would this protection increase the difficulty of the spell in any significant way? How do we arrive at the difficulty of Invulnerability from that of Rectangle?
level: 9 casting time: 2 s + 1 s per extent of range area of effect: one creature range: extent 1 m, accuracy 10 duration of effect: instantaneous components: none controls: verbal, somatic
Slay is similar to Targeting Slice with a targeting solenoid, but it is able to make a much smaller slicing bridge appear in soft or fluid chemical matter of density up to 1 g/cm3. The target is the creature's brain, introducing a to-hit roll adjustment of −10 for sapiens, which is balanced by the spell's accuracy of +10. The spell is designed to kill a creature by causing the slicing bridge to appear within the brain. When used in a target creature's brain, Slay presents the target creature with a shock of formidability 10 and power 10D10. When used outside, the slicing bridge expands to a diameter of 1 m. Inside the brain, the slicing bridge stops when it encounters the inside of the scull, so there is little outward sign of its occurrence. Depending upon the orientation of the slice in the skull, the victim might die instantly or after a few seconds.
Questions: Is this spell effective against demons? Why is it so much more difficult to prepare than Choke? Is it more difficult to use?
level: 10 casting time: 20 s (10s to generate) area of effect: 80-m radius range: throw of a bridge ring duration of effect: 6 min components: bridge rings controls: verbal, somatic
Tornado produces 1 g of conjured rubber in ten seconds in a sphere of diameter 160 m. It is a larger version of Vortex. In order to get the full effect of the spell, the caster must throw the bridge right straight up in the air, or shoot it in a mithril-plated arrow head to a point thirty or forty meters above the center of the intended tornado. In ten seconds, the sphere is complete and invisible and begins to rise. As it rises, air rushes around and underneath. The velocity of the wind beneath at the edges of the vortex can reach 40 m/s. The sphere of rubber rises a one or two meters per second, sustaining the vortex with the work done by the planet's magical repulsion. From start to finish, the tornado will last up to twenty minutes.
Questions: Assuming that the duration of a vortex is a function only of the dynamic viscosity of air (that's the traditional viscosity divided by the density), the velocity of the vortex, and the radius of the vortes, use dimensional analysis to show that the duration is proportional to the radius multiplied by the square of the velocity. Given the earlier result that the velocity is proportional to the square root of the radius, show that the duration of a vortex produced by a conjured rubber sphere is proportional to the square of the radius of the sphere.
level: 11 casting time: 20 s area of effect: animation frame range: local duration of effect: 100 yrs components: gold thread, frame, many other instruments controls: verbal, somatic
An animation is a creature made by spells. See Animations for more information.
Questions: Would an animation be able to enter a burning house and rescue your spell books? Could you control your animation with Possess?