The exact origin of magical ability has always been somewhat of an enigma. It appears that magic is endemic at a very low level. However, only a few gifted individuals have the sufficient magical energy required to become a magician. Back in the time of the Old Age, the use of magic was widespread. It appears that over the ages the number of magic users has declined significantly as the spread of The Rot grew.
For a long period of time, magic users were used as a scapegoat for society's ills. They were viewed as evil and manipulative, their abilities giving them an unfair advantage.
Since the ban on magic was lifted in Anno 724 NP, all magic users must join The Restoration. Failure to do so is a crime punishable by death. Therefore, it is best to keep your gifts secret if you want to ever leave the city. It is important to note that whilst banned, The Witch-Hunter's Order remains committed to slaying any magic user they can find.
There are three different ‘Pillars of Magic’; Physical, Psionic, and Astral. Physical magic is the control of the basic elemental forces around us. Psionic magic is the use of psychic powers. Astral magic is the manipulation of spiritual energy and divine power.
Magic users are split into Adepts and Casters. Adepts harness the energy within and directly around them, altering and/or enhancing their abilities. Casters harness the energy in their surroundings, allowing them to launch a direct attack on a target.
All magic users, regardless of whether they are an Adept or Caster and regardless of 'Pillar', can see into the Distortion. There are subtle differences between Adepts and Casters, the former seeing in greater detail up close and the latter seeing further away.
Those who are not born with the gift of magic can still use what little force they possess. This magic is known as pseudo-magic.
Magic as Skills
Magical ability is expressed the same way as the other skills in Fate Core. Magic is intended to be a powerful but specific skill, therefore you must pay 1 refresh in order to take a magic skill. You may also only choose one variant!
Casting magic is treated as a skill test. You will take 1-shift of Mental Stress whenever you cast a spell. Should you fail, you have two options:
- Force Control - The incantation proceeds as planned but you receive significant levels of mental stress. This is determined by the difference between your skill check total and what you needed to achieve. For example, requiring a 4 to succeed and rolling a 0 will give 5-shift of Mental Stress (1 from casting, 4 from Forcing Control).
- Lose Control - Control of the incantation is released, resulting in the spell going awry. This will cause unintended consequences.