Magical Effects

Next, we must consider a number of questions as a block:

  • What is the nature of the limitations on instantaneous and cumulative usage?
  • How long can effects last?
  • How much energy is available in a given instant?
  • How much energy can be used over a period of time?

Life Energy

Life force spells are never truly permanent. In the final case, once the caster dies they lose control of the energy and any spells they have set up will cease functioning.

Passive Collectors
•Their instantaneous power is limited by the environment they are in, their efficiency at using the available power, and the area they are capable of drawing from.
•Their cumulative power is limited by the hostile effects of foreign life force.
•They will be very good at long-duration effects, and have a great deal of flexibility in how they use their energy. This comes as a result of the fact that there is very little that is instantaneous in nature about their power: At any given moment they can decide to direct some of the available ambient power to one or more effects. This makes it very easy to start an effect, keep it up for an arbitrary time, and drop it without any real penalty. However, their inability to collect energy puts a sharp cap on the size of any given effect.

Active Collectors
•Their instantaneous power is limited by the amount of energy that that they have collected.
•Their cumulative power is limited by the hostile effects of foreign life force.
•Active life force usage works in blocks – you gather a bunch up and use “packets” of it to do things. They have difficulties with respect to long duration effects – generally they must decide the duration in advance and ‘pay up front’, expending all of the energy necessary at the time of casting.

Third Parties

Since any magician gaining their energy from a third party is given their energy rather than collecting it, the nature of that “gift” defines their limitiations. The variations are nearly endless.

Arcane Energy and Dark Arcane Energy

•The instantaneous energy that a magician can access depends on his ability to gather the energy without being destroyed. Since the field is everywhere, and exists at an essentially unlimited level, there is no strict cap on the amount of power.
•Difficulties of controlling the energy, and the damage that it causes to the caster are the limiting factor in the cumulative power of a magician drawing on the Arcane Energy Field.
•Arcane energy usage works in blocks – you gather a bunch up and use “packets” of it to do things. They have some difficulties with respect to long duration effects – generally they must decide the duration in advance and ‘pay up front’, expending all of the energy necessary at the time of casting. Arcane energy users have an advantage over life energy users in that they can create links from an existing spell into the energy field to provide a continuous power source – creating effectively permanent spells. This is not a trivial task, however, and permanent spells are rare.

Enchantment and Dark Enchantment

•The effects that an item produced by an enchanter can cause are limited by the skill of the enchanter and the materials available. A wide variety of instantaneous and long-duration effects are possible given items crafted from the proper materials prepared in the proper fashions.
•The time required in crafting an item, and the materials required in its construction are the main limitations on the enchanter’s productivity.
•An Enchanter’s products are permanent by nature. As long as the object or item still exists and is not consumed by its use, then it will retain its magical properties.

The Mind

•Use of the mental energy is tiring for the magician, gradually eroding his ability to concentrate. Overexertion can produce headaches, nightmares, hallucinations, madness, unconsciousness, and even death. These side effects of using the energy are the limiting factor in both the instantaneous and in the cumulative power of a magician drawing on mental energy.
•They will be good at medium-duration effects, and have a great deal of flexibility in how they use their energy. The energy comes within themselves, and only varies in its method of usage. This makes it very easy to start an effect, keep it up for an arbitrary time, and drop it without any real penalty. However, their inability to collect energy puts a sharp cap on the size of any given effect.
•Mental energy spells are never truly permanent. They are, in fact, even less permanent than the case of life energy. If the caster dies, or has their concentration, trance, or meditative state disrupted sufficiently then any and all spell effects they have created will end. Sickness, poisons, drugs, and alcohol are all enemies of the mental energy magician.