There's one important respect in which the world of Sryth is different from our own (other than the existence of trolls, giants and such). Magic! Some talented individuals can draw energy from the Neverness to perform various tasks, from hurling fireballs to curing wounds. Magic has more than combat use in Sryth, you may be able to heal wounds and diseases, move objects with your thoughts or create items at will.
You can have a look at your powers anytime by clicking the "Powers" button in the right hand pane. Much like skills, this will present you with a list of what powers you have, their levels, and how much experience it will take to advance them to the next level. Unlike skills though, all the spheres relate to the same stats, Mind, Aura and Spirit, so if you've scored badly in those areas you'll have significantly more trouble leveling up any of them. Also, whereas you can use skills as many times as you want, each use of a power costs you one point of Nevernal Reserve, and once you run out you'll no longer be able to use any power, in or out of combat, till you rest.
The powers of Srythian mages are divided into eleven different spheres of Nevernal energy, each with a variety of uses. Ten of them are the basic powers, and the eleventh one is Shadow Magic, a rare and not widely known branch of arcana.
- Shadow Magic
You can have a level between 1-100 for each sphere, like skills. Leveling each sphere will lower your chance of "fizzling" (failing and wasting a NV point) in or out of combat. Also, every ten levels the sphere's effect will change to a stronger one. A level 1 Elementalist might only be able to hurl a stone at an enemy, but on reaching level 10 his/her enemies will find themselves lashed with a scalding shower of burning mud.
- Main article: Checks
Power checks come up about as often as stat checks or skill checks. Like the other sorts of checks, you'll come up against these in various situations during the game whenever your character might need a certain power to accomplish a certain task. As with skill checks, you might need a certain degree of mastery in a given power to attempt the course of action. Also, the text of every power check will read:
"1 NV required" meaning that if you've used up all your Nevernal reserve, you can't make an attempt to use that power.
Since the power check doesn't require you to roll under a number, we can't be sure how the game tracks your success or failure, but it's certainly true that the higher your mastery of a given power, the less you'll find yourself failing.
As with skill and stat checks, the consequences of succeeding or failing a power check depend entirely upon the situation.
Powers in CombatEdit
Except for Restoration, all spheres of magic have two options during combat: an "instant" effect and a "sustained" effect. Both cost 1 NV to use.
Instant Effect Edit
The instant effect only lasts for one round. It will be the more potent of the two - for instance, a substantial bonus to MR or a large damage effect. Restoration is an instant power, healing a certain amount of SP each time you cast it. If you select the general sphere from the powers menu in combat, it will default to the instant effect.
If the instant effect is a damage effect (Elemental Fury, Wraith Touch, etc) it will replace your normal attack. Otherwise, you will perform your normal attack at the same time. However, even if you choose Aggressive or Defensive attack mode, your damage will be calculated as per Normal attack mode.
Sustained Effect Edit
The sustained effect lasts at least two rounds, and at high levels it can last many more (see chart). These are, naturally, more subtle than instant effects, but depending on the situation can be even more helpful. You always spend the first round casting the spell, and on subsequent rounds you also attack as normal. Unlike with instant effects, sustained effects DO take Aggressive or Defensive attack modes into effect.
Beware! Using any other powers will cancel your sustained power. Some effects also give foes a chance to end the effect prematurely (Entangle, for example). On the other hand, if a foe resists a sustained effect (see next section) it only affects that round and will NOT end the effect prematurely.
The combat screen will show the following messages while a sustained power is in effect.
- Sphere: Sustained Effect (-1 NV)
- Sphere: Sustained Effect (#)
- Sustained power effect will last # more rounds.
- Sphere: Sustained Effect (ending)
If you want to keep the effect going, you need to cast it again during the round that says "ending."
Some of the opponents you'll meet can resist magic (though only if it's a power that can be resisted - see chart below). If your enemy manages to resist the use of your power, you'll be told about it. The message is:
- Your enemy has resisted your use of (magic sphere).
You still use 1 point of Nevernal Reserve even if your enemy manages to resist. Some opponents are more resistant than others. Usually the only way to know for sure is by fighting them.
Summary Table Edit
- Resist: Foes can resist it.
- Attack: You perform a normal attack at the same time you use the power. (First round only - you always attack on later rounds of a sustained effect.)
- Agg/Def: Aggressive and Defensive attacks are still accounted for (instant effects are all No, sustained effects are all Yes).
- +ToHit: Using this power increases the difficulty of your foe by 1 (e.g. from 3+ to 4+). If the power always provides a bonus to MR, it's hard to tell whether the difficulty also increases.
- NL/SD: Can be used in Non-Lethal and Subduing combats
- +MR: Provides a bonus to your MR
- No Foe: Covers any effect which results in your foe doing no damage to you for the round
- Damage: Causes damage
- +Roll: Provides a bonus to your combat roll
- Heal: Restores SP
- DR: Damage reduction - reduces damage done to you
|Nevernal Energy Blast||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||--||--||Always||--||--||--|
|Sword of Thought||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Or||Or||--||--||--||--|
|Hand of Healing||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||--||--||--||--||Always||--|
|Cloak of Shadow||No||Yes||No||--||Yes||Always||--||--||?||Random||--|
*This effect has a minimum required power level
- Entangle: In addition to normal resistance, all enemies have a chance to break free.
- Guardian Barrier: Damage reduction only matters if the enemy damages you.
- Mirror Image/Summon Illusion: There is a still a chance that the enemy will choose you instead of your image(s) or summoned illusion.
Some enemies have a more aggressive means of avoiding your Powers. This ability, the Anti-Magic Aura, prevents nearby foes (you) from using any Powers in combat (no exceptions). On the bright side, the Anti-Magic Aura prevents your use of powers so effectively that you will not spend any NV in the attempt.
For the sake of simplification, Anti-Magic Auras, when noted, will be classified one of two ways:
- Anti-Magic Aura (Overwhelming) - this version always prevents the use of any Powers for the entire combat.
- Anti-Magic Aura (Moderate) - this version may prevent the use of any Power for a single round of combat. The chance of it preventing Power use varies for different beings. It only works for one round, but it also has a chance of activating again the next round.
For most monsters possessing this aura, such as Oakaruk and some strong enemies, it is Moderate. For some extremely rare (or unique) foes, it is Overwhelming.
When a monster's aura (either version) has stopped you from using a Power, you will see a message similar to the following:
Your attempt to channel your magic has failed due to a powerful anti-magic aura surrounding your enemy.
Tip: This aura, though powerful, does not extend to the permanent magic in items. Therefore, magical items still function normally—this includes not only weapons and armor with magical bonuses, but also miscellaneous items.
Since powers were enhanced in 2012, they no longer fizzle in combat, even at lower levels.
Previously: Any time you try to use a power, it can fail. If this happens, you get a message like this: "Your use of DESTRUCTION has fizzled! The failure of your power has sapped your strength, but your body and spirit help you to recover quickly.". This has wasted a turn and a NV point, but it has no other consequences. However, you can get even less lucky, and get paralyzed for one round. It this case, the message will be: "Your use of FORTIFICATION has fizzled! The failure of your power has severely sapped your strength. You must recover for 1 round before you can act again". The next round you will be unable to do anything but defend yourself (so it still matters which attack style you will use - obviously the best choice is Defensive in order to reduce the damage you may receive).
How to gain more powersEdit
You can get powers in the following ways:
- Start with one - if your Stats don't let you start with one (requires at least Aura 13, Mind 12 and Spirit 10), the only two ways to get Powers are:
- Increasing your stats above the threshold.
- Getting Shadow Magic from Proving Grounds V - The Silver Crest. That adjusts the stats threshold to the minimum required.
- Can get Elementalism from the Daggerspire quest
- Can get a chosen power from Ethulle in the Murk quest.
- Can get a random power in the second Murk quest, A Journey Into the Murk.
- Can get a random power from the Tattered Scroll from the Stoneback Hill adventure - although this item has better uses.
- Can buy powers from the Grey Circle after completing the Stoneback Hill. New powers cost [(Current # of Powers)-1]*1024 XP to learn, and come at rank 10. They will not teach Necromancy or Shadow Magic, however.
- Can buy powers at the Adventurers' Collective (except Shadow Magic) for X gold and 2 AT each, where X is 5000 multiplied by the number of Powers you already have (so if you have 2 Powers it'll cost 10,000 gold for a new one; if you have 8 it'll be 40,000 gold).
- Can get Shadow Magic either from a set of 3 runestones at the end of the Runeskin first saga in Silverwysp or from the Proving Grounds V - The Silver Crest. Currently these are the ONLY ways to get Shadow Magic.
You can train any Powers you already have (except Necromancy and Shadow Magic) at the Grey Circle for a 10% discount on experience cost. Destruction can be trained up to level 50, Elementalism and Fortification can be trained up to level 70, and all other powers can be trained up to level 60.
None of these methods can be used if your related stats are below the threshold, except the one for PG V
|Character Creation||Grey Circle (buy)||Grey Circle (train)||Murk, Murk 2 & Scroll||Special Scenario|
As your proficiency in a power increases, the associated text description also varies:
The cost varies depending on your XP Bonus, which can be up to +30%, in intervals of 5%. With an XP Bonus of 0%, the following table applies:
|2 - 4||16|
|5 - 9||24|
- ↑ You could get it from The Wandering Undead (one of the Startup Scenarios), but these are no longer available.
|Conjuration · Destruction · Divination · Elementalism · Fortification · Gating · Illusion · Necromancy · Restoration · Shadow Magic · Telekinesis|