How Does Magic Work?

I’m basically completely new to role play and larping, but read a bit of the wiki and got really interested and am curious about what can be done with magic. I understand that there’s a lot of different types of magic but it’s so broad I could ask a million questions but i’ll try and keep it to just a few :joy:

  • How improvisational is magic? for example could I come up with a spell/ritual to make someone angry with another character
  • What different ways can magic and role playing effects be put on a person? as in potions and rituals but i’m not sure how else
  • If there are specific spells how do I learn those rituals and how many spells are there? do I need to go to a magic school or would someone just tell me?
  • What are the main differences from how the abilities of Religion and Magic? are there set affects each can do basically?

Thanks so much for any help on the subject

Welcome aboard! Those are some pretty broad queries but I’ll try and point you in the right direction to get started.

Your roleplay when performing magic is very free and improvisational. There are no set spell words as in other systems, for instance. The Heal spell has four examples at the bottom of the page and a list of suggestions to think of when making up your own. You would still be casting the same spell with the same effect.

Making up a whole new ritual is possible. It has a cost, and a process so it can’t be done on the fly. Here is the Spontaneous Magic page. In summary you discuss it with the game team, fill in a form, submit 10 mana crystals and give the game team overnight to work on it. This produces a document with your new ritual on it. You can then cast it from the projection or petition the Conclave to add it to the Imperial ritual list.

I’m not sure I fully understand the question. I think you’re asking to distinguish between:
Enchantment - a persistent beneficial magic effect, usually placed by magic ritual.
Curse - a persistent harmful magic effect, usually placed by magic ritual
Aura - a persistent spiritual effect, usually placed by priestly ceremony

There are 16 spells available - see the spellcasting page. They are all available to all players and anyone may know what they are. You need the Magician skill to be able to do any kind of magic. Magician takes 2 of your 8 starting skill points and includes three specific spells. Each of the other 13 spells will cost one more skill point for you to know.

Ritual is a bit more complex, it’s divided it into six discrete realms of magic and each Realm Lore is its own skill. There are about 35 rituals per realm, but any Imperial magician can cast any of those ritual if they can achieve the target magnitude. So if I had Autumn Lore 4, I can cast any Autumn ritual of magnitude 4 or below. The main Ritual page has a lot of great information about how this all works.

Most of this is covered above. Magic is described by the Spellcasting and Rituals pages, where Religion is (from a character ability perspective) covered by the Religious Skills page. Priestly skills generally revolve around spiritual roleplaying effects.

They are totally distinct, except for a tiny handful of rituals like Chamber of Delights which creates a roleplaying effect in a location which is not the same as a Consecration but is similar.

I’d recommend having a good read, I think I’ve linked to enough for a morning’s worth! Come back if you’d like to discuss anything further or if it isn’t clear enough.


How improvisational is magic?

Most spells and rituals have specific effects, and while you can roleplay the casting however you like (as long as you meet the casting requirement in terms of time and mana) the effect will always be the same. The Heal spell takes 30 seconds to cast and will heal one target to full health. What you do in those 30 seconds is up to you, but the effect will not change.

There’s some interpretation allowed in how the effect occurs. You might feel that your shatter spell makes an item crumble, or it might just give you one burst of strength enough to shatter an opponent’s shield. The end result is still the same though, your enemy loses the item you just hit.

The exception is that it is possible to make arcane projections (one shot ritual magic that does whatever you want) If you can get backing from the imperial conclave then it’s possible to get a new ritual put into imperial lore so that everyone can learn it and it will be added to the wiki as a standard ritual.

What different ways can magic and role playing effects be put on a person?

Rituals, Religious skills and the roleplaying effects of certain potions are the only ones that come to mind.
Priests can Consecrate (RP effect on everyone in the area) Hallow (RP effect on item and bearer) and Anoint (RP effect on target person)

Mages can curse people, or give them enchantments that often have RP side effects (both done via rituals). Potions often have similar RP side effects to the enchantments. E.g you might be extra tough for the next battle, but you’ll also feel overconfident for the same period of time, or you’re more resistant against poison but you’re also extremely hungry.

If there are specific spells how do I learn those rituals and how many spells are there?

Anything on the wiki is assumed to be so well known and researched that you could just find the instructions to teach yourself if you wanted. Magic is a skill like any other, some are self taught some learn from others but the end effects are the same. I think Graham has linked to all the important pages in his answer above.

What are the main differences from how the abilities of Religion and Magic?

A very interesting question. It is the current view of the empire that Religious effects are not magic. Not everyone in the game world agrees with this, but if you tried to say publically that priest skills were magic the Synod would be having a quiet word with you about heresy.

Mechanically, magic requires mana, Religious skills require Liao, a religious drug that is consumed during the ceremony. Bigger magic = more mana, bigger religious ceremony = more Liao.

In terms of game mechanics, religious skills tend to produce RP effects and occasionally protect against other RP effects. Magic has more effects that alter game mechanics, such as healing, paralysing, boosting farm production etc.


Maybe not so quiet, depending on the assembly :smiley:

A few notes on improvisation: no magic in Empire is improvised. Rituals and spells always have a specific effect, and will do precisely that effect and nothing else.

The role-play you use to cast that magic is yours to improvise (within general guidelines), and the response of your targets and any bystanders are theirs to improvise (again within general guidelines), but the specific effect of a ritual is defined in the game and can’t be changed.

This is also true of Arcane Projections - you can attempt to create an AP which does anything (within the laws of magic), but the AP you get back will do precisely and only that one thing. An AP to make someone quick to anger will not be able to make them quick to laugh.

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