Prophecy: Elements of Magic Revised FAQs

Q. Originally
posted by Blue mage for hire2
What is the Void element,
anyway?

A. Void is basically vacuum, or the absence
of matter. The simplest effect of this is that it’s kinda like mild
disintegration. If you’re hit with an Evoke Void spell, you’ll have
bits of you simply obliterated.


Q.
Originally posted by Psion What was the reason for going
from one action as a baseline to cast spells to two full rounds and
then requiring signature spells to bring it down?

A. It was part flavor, part balance, and a
lot of ease-of-play.

For the flavor, I knew the spell lists give you a lot of
flexibility, and in combat, when time is tight, you might be
tempted to min-max and use just the right spell for the situation,
with precisely the right area, range, and so on. But because combat
is where a lot of cool, dramatic stuff happens, it tends to become
a big part of the history of your characters. I like it when
spellcasting characters have spells that they use over and over; it
gives them personality. So by encouraging people to use signature
spells, it makes your magical ‘fighting style’ more
distinctive.

Also, with signature spells, you’d feel less pressure to have
tons of options available in combat, because you’d be content with
a few well-designed spells you prepare in advance. This frees up
characters to devote more spell lists to a particular motif, and
less to the ‘sorcerer syndrome.’ I’m sure you’ve seen a couple
threads where people bandy about what the ‘optimal’ list of spells
known is for a sorcerer.

For the balance, it’s again much the same problem — too much
flexibility making Mages with a good spell selection very
effective. You can still take your time and have flexibility when
you’re not in danger, but in combat you’ve got less time to think
of what’s the best thing to do. I hoped this would be a happy
medium between ‘utility wizards’ and ‘blaster sorcerers.’ Because
Mages do still have a bit more flexibility even with the signature
spell restriction, you’ll notice their spells are slightly less
powerful than what’s available at the same level for core
spellcasters.

Also, this emulates the sorcerer restriction that metamagicking
a spell takes a full round.

Finally, and most importantly, for ease of play. . . . In one
playtest, where a 20th level mage and a 20th level fighter faced
off against an array of random monsters (including a tarrasque),
the fighter’s turn, even with four attacks and some number
crunching to finagle out an effective power attack, took about a
minute and a half. The Mage’s turn, after he used Create Time to
spend a few bonus rounds buffing himself and the fighter, then
summoning monsters, then casting a weaker quickened create time to
get one spare round then transmuted the floor under the tarrasque
to mud, and ended with a 20-MP Evoke spell touch attack cast
through an unorthodox usage of Move Space, took about 10
minutes.

Without the signature spell rules, spellcasters can take a long
time creating spells on the fly. Even with a one full round casting
time (the original time when casting a spell on the fly), it didn’t
deter many people, particularly when they had meat shields to keep
them safe as they cast. A two-round casting time means concocting a
spell mid-combat will keep the player busy for a while, during
which time the rest of the group can continue on with combat.

Also, signature spells make NPCs easier for GMs to come up with.
That’s actually the biggest hurdle with adopting this sytem,
because GMs usually won’t want to slow down the action to come up
with a complete spell for a mage villain on the fly. Players at
least can think when it’s not their turn, but GMs are always busy,
so signature spells encourage a bit of advanced planning. And …
*cough* if you ever sort of stuck for ideas, you can just ‘double
check’ the rules and make up a spell on the fly, but assure your
players it was a signature spell.

Actually, I was hoping people would be interested in coming up
with a bunch of example spells, so we could have a web compilation
of possible signature spells. I think it’d be a nice resource for
GMs, and it could impress players by showing them what kinds of
nifty things are possible with this system.

Now, the logical result of the signature spell rules is that
your signature spells will end up being your ‘combat spells,’ or
rather ‘action spells.’ I don’t really see a problem with that. You
can still have a nice variety of ‘action spells’ that aren’t all
evocations — one mage has been getting a kick out of creating tons
of weird wall spells that let him change the battleground.


Q. Originally
posted by mroberon1972
On page 48 (second column), in the
section on duration. It advises that the supression of magic is
detailed below. I found nothing.

A. Ah, it’s not the most obvious
connection, but on page 50, left column, “Dispel: A slightly more
complicated use of Dispel Magic is to end an ongoing magical
effect. If you attempt to dispel an effect that is permanent,
instead you merely suppress it for the skill’s duration.”


Q. Originally
posted by mroberon1972
How does dispel effect permanent
spells, such as a perm’ed version of “Man to Frog”?

Are permanent spells treated as magic items that can only
be supressed, or are they treated like using the permanency spell
and can be dispelled?

A. So you only suppress permanent spells,
not negate them. On the whole, a permanent spell will cost more
than an equivalent spell affected by Permanency would in the core
rules, so we treat them like permanent magic items.


Q. Originally
posted by mroberon1972
How would you permanently add a spell
effect to a person anyway? Things such as transform, charm or
compel are common in fiction…

A. The simplest way to make a permanent
effect is to just use the permanent spell feat. If your opponent
fails his save and you feel like spending a few hundred XP, you can
make the spell permanent. Lyceian Arcana is also going to have an
optional rule about specialized curses that don’t cost XP, but that
can be ended if you fulfill some sort of condition, like “must be
kissed by a princess.”


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q.
Originally posted by torem13 Also, How would you create a
flaming sword. I know you use Infuse force/gen to create a
wonderous item but it specifically states that invoke is not
suppose to be use with wonderous item. So do you need both create
charged and create wonderous item and then infuse the sword with
force and the add invoke fire to it? How much would a sword +1 with
1d6 fire damage cost?

A. As for a flaming sword, under Create
[Element] there’s the option for an elemental weapon enhancement,
so you can use Infuse Force 1/Create Fire 1/Gen 1 to create a +1
sword that does +1d6 points of fire damage. Since it’s a total of a
3-MP effect, the cost to create a permanent enhancement of this
type would be 9,000gp. I know, it’s not exactly the same as the
8,000 for a core rulebook +1 flaming sword, but it fits into the
standardized cost system of the rest of the magic items in the
book, and isn’t a huge change, so hopefully its benefits outweigh
its drawbacks.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.


Q. Originally
posted by torem13
I have a question about detect magic on page
76. It states a cost of 0 mp and DC 10. Does this mean that a mage
can detect magic at any time as long as he/she has a minute to
spare?

A. For Detect Magic, that’s not quite
right. First, you have a limit to how many ‘free cantrips’ you get
each day, so you can detect magic whenever you want, as long as you
have free cantrips to spare (or you want to spend 1 MP after your
‘free’ cantrips run out). Also, it would only take 2 rounds to use
detect magic, not a minute, but of course you might’ve been using
‘minute’ in a more colloquial sense.