Ancient Greece is a magical place where mortal sorcerers and magicians work their arts. They are few in number but all immortals, from gods to nymphs, are capable of magic. Champions cannot afford to ignore or be ignorant of magic. It is a wild, natural force, totally separate from the divine power of the gods, but the two can be combined.
Age Of Legends uses an open magic system without fixed lists of possible spells. The only limit on using magic is the inventiveness of the player and the character having appropriate advantages to use in an action. However, at least one advantage with the Magic keyword must be used and these are quite rare. Although the game allows characters to do anything with magic, the gods have their own ideas. The full force of Zeus' anger will come down on anyone using magic to raise the dead, grant immortality or aspire to godly levels of power.
Actions using magic obey the same rules as any other action. Without keywords like Range (x) or Area (x) it is difficult to affect more than one person or anyone at a distance. The effect of time, both time spent casting the magic and the duration of its effects, also follows the standard rules. See 'Action Scope' and 'Time for Actions' on pages 28-31 of the 6d6 Core RPG.
The magical advantages included in the character paths focus on placing status effects on friends and enemies (see Status Effects, 6d6 RPG Core page 40). Helpful effects are known as wards and harmful effects are curses. The advantages' keywords limit the magic's range, area and duration but two advantages - Invokation and Herbology - may change this.
When a character attempts to perform magic they must roll against the resistance. The degree of success sets the CP and dice value of the status effect. An opponent targeted by magic sets the resistance by the advantages they use in their resistance action plus any situation bonuses they gain for range, area and other factors. Spells targeted at inanimate objects or helpless creatures have a base resistance of one plus any dice for situation bonuses.
The Wards and Curses advantages have the Time (Round) keyword, meaning casting magic requires a full round action (see 6d6 RPG Core). This leaves the caster exposed while working the magic. As per the 6d6 RPG Core rules the casting time can be shortened or lengthened, granting situation bonuses to one side or the other. Similarly, the duration of a status effect is a single scene but this can be increased or decreased with a corresponding change in situation bonuses.
Curses are detrimental status effects, also known as hazards. A list of common hazards is provided in this book, and players are encouraged to create their own. Attempting to place a curse on a target provokes a resistance action from the target. The defender may use their own magic to defend themselves, disrupt the caster's magic by attacking them, call on their divine power as a champion or rely on the strength of their soul to shake off the danger. What type of advantages are useful when resisting magic depends on the characters and the situation and is left to the group to decide.
Successfully placing a curse on a target does not cause any harm directly. The consequences of the curse depend on the hazard placed on the target but in general the curse either attacks the target during their turn or impedes their ability to act.
Curses can be removed or undone before their duration is complete by an action that overcomes the hazard's CP value (as per 6d6 RPG Core). What type of action is needed to remove a curse is left to the imagination of the players. Unless the caster of the curse specified otherwise when placing the curse (and accepted the situation bonuses for this), curses disappear at the end of a scene. Curses placed on characters by gods or other divine beings may have longer durations or even be persistent (see 6d6 RPG Core, page 91).
Wards are the reverse of curses. They are positive status effects which add temporary advantages to a character. These can be used in actions or in other ways, exactly like an advantage paid for with CP. This includes the need to use potential on the advantage when making use of them.
A person willingly accepting a ward offers no resistance other than the minimum of one. This is increased by situation bonuses for range, area and other factors. Anyone may choose to resist a ward just as they can resist a curse, but normally placing wards is a lot easier than cursing someone. Wards, like curses, only last a single scene unless the caster extends it with a suitable increase in the resistance.
A Magical World
Wards and curses can be placed on objects and locations. This is no different from using it on people except that inanimate objects never resist but do gain situation bonuses. Placing a curse or a ward on an object being used or carried by a creature is the same as targeting the creature themselves. A curse or ward placed on an area or object will automatically affect everyone using or passing through it. Making a ward or curse selective increases the inherent difficulty of the magic and raises the resistance.
Any character with magical skills or an innate magical or divine nature can sense the presence of a ward or curse with a suitable action. The CP of the ward determines the difficulty in detecting it.
Wards versus Curses
Wards and curses are not opposites and do not cancel each other out. The status effects stack up and continue to afflict and aid the character accordingly.
Herbology is the use of plants and minerals to create wards or curses. The advantage is much slower than casting magic thanks to its Time (Scene) keyword. The resulting potion must be consumed or spread on the target and thus is of little use in combat. However herbology is very powerful for two reasons: there is no resistance to its effects and the potions can be stored, ready for use.
To create a potion, salve, poultice or other herbal remedy the character takes an action, playing advantages and potential as normal. They must specifically declare the nature of the potion (i.e. the hazard / status effect it will impart to the victim). Any changes to the normal duration of the status effect or other situation bonuses such as the inherent difficulty add to the resistance against the action. The action's degree of success sets the potion's CP and dice value. Anyone who uses the potion will automatically gain the ward or curse at that CP / dice value. There is no resistance to this. The 'shelf-life' of a potion is usually one week. The character may extend this when creating the potion but it adds to the resistance. See Time Scale in the 6d6 RPG Core.
NOTE: The magical effects of the potion are automatic, however tricking a creature into consuming a potion or applying a salve to a hostile foe is not easy. This always requires an action against which the victim can defend with a resistance action. If the action fails (i.e. the victim successfully resists) the potion is ruined and the action cannot be attempted again without a new potion.