King of the Giantdowns
What Is Realm Magic?
Realm Magic (alternately Domain Magic or True Magic) is without a doubt the most powerful magic in Cerilia. Often it is more than a mere spell but powerful a ritual that takes hours or even weeks to complete. Its effects can reach far and wide and completely change the way reality function on a fundamental level for miles around.
Who Can Cast Realm Magic?
Commensurately this magic is rare and difficult to cast. Only high level casters (both Arcane and Divine) with the True Magic feat are capable of wielding the awesome powers involved in Realm Magic. Furthermore, only individuals in a position of power in a Realm can properly cast such a spell.
Realm Magic can be divided into several categories based on their attributes. First, like normal magic, spells can be either Arcane or Divine, and the powers called upon to cast either type of spell are wholly separate. Second, there are spells that are cast as a Domain Action (approximately 1 month. See: Kingdom Building rules) and those that are cast as a Tactical Action (approximately 1 hour. See: Mass Combat rules).
A realm’s Magister is capable of casting Arcane Realm Magic and its High Priest is capable of casting Divine Realm Magic, but a Ruler is capable of casting either (or both) depending on his or her class abilities; only these Kingdom positions have access to the Cast Realm Magic Domain Action.
Someone in one of these positions who is also the Commander of a military unit may use his Tactics phase during combat to cast a memorized or known Realm spell. In doing so, you give up your ability to make another tactical decision during this time such as ordering troops to retreat or changing the strategy track (See: Mass Combat).
How Do I Cast A Realm Spell?
Realm spells are learned just like normal magic. If you cast spells spontaneously, they will consume a spell known. If you memorize spells, they will take a normal slot. However when you memorize a Realm Spell or cast a known Realm Spell, the slot expended remains empty and cannot be replenished until the beginning of the next Domain Turn. In other words the beginning of the following month. If you adventure in the intervening time you will have one less spell per day of the appropriate level available to you.
How Is Realm Magic Different?
Realm Spells have many of the same characteristics as traditional magical spells. They have a spell level, a range, a casting time, spell components and so forth. These characteristics are typically on a much larger scale, however. Realm Spells have a material components cost in BP rather than GP, for example.
In addition, Realm Spells require an expenditure of Regency Points (Regency or RP) which demonstrates the caster’s connection with the land. Furthermore, the power of Realm Magic cast is limited by Source Level (Arcane) and Temple Level (Divine).
Source Level is a representation of the caster’s tie to the Mebhaigl or foundational currents of natural magic (think a cross between the Weave in Forgotten Realms and the Force from Star Wars). Places of stark natural beauty and untainted wilderness serve as powerful Sources to be tapped for the casting of Realm Magic, but the more civilized a region gets the weaker the Mebhaigl in an area becomes. An untouched forest or a remote frost-capped mountain peak might have a source level of 9, whereas a thick swamp might have a 7, and prairie a 5.
Arcane casters Forge Leylines, which is much like building a road, to funnel this energy in different directions. You may cast Realm Magic from a point on the Ley Line as if you were at the source itself but beware! Ley Lines that cross civilized or naturally barren areas decrease the potency of the source. Distance from a Ley Line similarly diminishes its potential power; the effective Source Level of a hex is -2 for each hex between you and the Ley Line or Source.
This forces Arcane casters to stay in friendly territory where they can draw on well-defined and charted Ley Lines to cast their magic. It is possible, however, to identify and tap into an enemy’s Ley Line within their territory or even to sever it completely!
A settlement’s Temple Level is a function of the number and power of religious sites within it, presuming of course these sites are dedicated to the same god the caster worships. A Shrine is Temple Level 1, a Temple (or Church) is Temple Level 3, and a Cathedral is Temple Level 5. These levels are cumulative (a city with both a Shrine and a Church has a Temple Level 4) but multiple buildings of the same type do not stack.
Divine Realm Magic cannot be cast outside a settlement in which there is a friendly Temple, and thus it has a tendency to be more defensive or preparatory in nature.