Mahou (魔法)

Mahou, or Magic. In the Shogunate certain species are able to wield what would be considered paranormal, or supernatural powers, some call it Magic, or Psionics, or even Spirita, but in the end it is but a manipulation of Ki (気). Ki is defined literally as 'energy force'. Other cultures call it Mana, or Hin, or Chi. Those who can manipulate Ki are known as Nōryokusha, or 'Ability User'.

A broad term, Mahou. Within the Shogunate the term has come to mean any kind of ability one might traditionally term as magic regardless of how the power is manifested. In some form or another Mahou has always been in existence, and various species, either by trial and error, accidental discovery, being taught by outsiders, or just plain blind luck, have learned to manipulate it. In some cases, such as the Pyrtonian's, Invid, and Garudan's, this ability has survived the millennia relatively intact; in others, such as the Trow, it evolved into something indistinguishable from it's origins, wheres in others, such as Human's, the knowledge remained, in form of myth and legend, but the ability to wield it has been all but lost.

As mentioned before, Mahou has always existed, and Ki, it's power source, is the underpinning of life in the universe. Gaining access to that power source, and learning how to harness, manipulate, and then release it are the four (overly simplified in the broadest of terms) criteria need to be Nōryokusha. In order to access the Ki of the universe of course requires one to both believe it exists, and possess the ability to tap into it. Thus Ki, can be defined as not only 'energy force' but more specifically as an form of extra-dimensional energy that responds to the belief of sapient beings. For the Pyrtonias, as an example, belief in Mahou comes easy as it is manifest in everyday life and is thus undeniably real. For Human's the existence of magic has been purposefully diminished and marginalized over the centuries so much so that even in 2158 the average Human, even when bearing full witness to the manifested powers of another species, calmly explains it away as some form of unexplained science, or natural ability. For others, more tragically, such as full blooded Zentraedi (and by extension Meltrandi), lack the ability to manipulate Mahou by purposeful design. After all, the Puroto Kerlchuun did not wish their clone soldiers to learn to manipulate what they themselves could.

Within the Shogunate the manifestation of Mahou is tied to Shinto. Even forms of Mahou that originated on Pyerteon, Garuda, and Optera have over a century, evolved and been harmonized into the tenant's and aesthetic of Shinto.


Training

Mahou in the Shogunate is not what one would call integral, the Shoguante doesn't need Mahou to thrive, or even survive, but as the ever pragmatic polity the Shogunate realized very early on that incorporating Mahou into society, and more to the point, into the military's order of battle, would be a wise thing to do and a worthwhile investment in the Shogunate's future. To that end, most if not all of the schools and research institutions for Mahou are co-located with military service academies. This is because more often then not Mahou will manifest itself in an individual between the ages of 14 and 45. Thus, between the ages of 18 and 25, those that manifest Mahou are encouraged to join the military early and enter a curriculum that is tailored towards their unique and emerging skill set. Those that manifest their ability after the age of 25 fall within the military safety net as mandatory active service usually runs from age 25 to 31 followed by inactive reserve duty until age 60. For those that manifest their ability before the age of 18 and after the age of 60 non-military Academies exist.

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Mahou campus Main Hall & Courtyard Mahou campus interior

Aspects

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LightDark
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Nature.png
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Combat Creation/Destruction Knowledge Light/Dark Mental Movement Nature Physiology Spatial

Game Mechanics

The Core characteristic for the use of Mahou is KI. KI is the average of the Characters INT and WILL characteristic rounded up or down based on Character race (species). All characters have a KI stat but for game purposes ONLY the Invid, Garudan, and Pyrtonian have the ability to use Mahou.

KI Characteristic (Rounded UP or DOWN)
Garudan UP Human DOWN Invid UP Karberran DOWN
Luska DOWN Praxian DOWN Pyrtonian UP Tiresian DOWN
Trow UP Zentraedi DOWN Zolan UP

Ki

KI is used to derive the characters Ki Points. The amount of Ki Points (KP) a characters has is KI x 5. Abilities (i.e. Spells) require certain amounts of Ki to perform. A Characters pool of KP can be increased at a rate 1 KP per CP. Once the a character has depleted his KP the Character cannot use their abilities (spells) until they have recovered sufficient Ki. Recovering one's Ki is based on the Ki Recovery (KREC) stat. KREC is KI+CON. A Characters KREC stat may be increased by 1 per 5 CP.

Ki Points Ki Recovery
KI x 5 KI+CON every 5 min

Aspects

Aspects are divisions in thought regards usage of Ki and can be looked upon as a combination of focus of study and natural affinity based on race. For example Invid are known to have the ability to Teleport, and thus they are naturally inclined towards the Movement Aspect. Garudan are famed for their powers of the mind and are thus inclined towards the Mental Aspect. Each Aspect is divided into two types of focus, Primary, and Secondary. Each race that has the ability to practice Mahou can focus on different types of Aspects, but may only pick one Primary and one Secondary Aspect to reflect their unique outlook and understanding of Mahou. Aspects selected as Primary have a larger selection of Abilities available to them while Secondary Aspects normally have half as many to account for the fact that they are not the characters primary focus or inclination.

Aspect Primary Level Cap Secondary Level Cap
Combat 10 5
Creation/Destruction 6 3
Knowledge 7 4
Light/Dark 10 5
Mental 10 5
Movement 8 4
Nature 7 4
Physiology 7 4
Spatial TBD N/A
Race Primary Aspects Allowed Secondary Aspects Allowed
Garudan Knowledge, Mental, Nature Creation/Destruction, Knowledge, Light/Dark, Mental, Movement, Nature
Invid Movement, Nature, Physiology Combat, Light/Dark, Movement, Mental, Nature, Physiology
Pyrtonian Combat, Knowledge, Spatial Combat, Creation/Destruction, Knowledge, Light/ Dark, Movement, Spatial

Spells (Abilities)

Spells, or Abilities are taken just like regular Skills and bought and improved with CP (Character Points). The Base Characteristic used when casting spells (using abilities) is KI. KI determines your power in Mahou. The higher your KI characteristic, the more potent your spells/abilities are. Many Spells/Abilities require you to have a certain level of KI to gain, and to cast/use. Casting Spells/Using Abilities uses your KR (Ki Reserve).

Casting Spells

To cast a spell you must spend the required time, expend KP, and perform whatever rituals and gestures are required for your magic system. You must also make a Task/Attack Roll when you have finished to determine how successful you were. This roll is equal to your KI + Spell Skill + 1D10.

  • Quick and Dirty Spell Casting

When you really need to cast a spell in a hurry, you can cast it quick and dirty. This usually involves truncating rituals or long chants, and shortening procedures that you feel are unnecessary.
The results are highly unreliable, but if you are smart enough, and good enough, the spell might still cast. Casting quick and dirty halves the time to cast, but you are at -4 penalty to cast the spell.

  • Slow and Clean Spell Casting

If you have time to kill the best choice is to spend extra time to make sure you get the spell right. All time is rounded up to the nearest unit of time. For example, if your spell takes 3 minutes to cast, and you spend an extra 5 minutes (3 minuets round to 5 minutes on the table) then you get a +1. If you spend +20 minutes (23 minutes total) you get +2. If you spend +1 hour you get a +3 to your skill, and so forth.

  • Spell Binding

By default, when you finish casting a spell it takes effect. This may not always be desired. If you are preparing to go into combat, it might be wise to prepare castings of spells to be invoked later. To set a spell to be invoked at a later time, you do not make the Task Roll until the moment it is invoked. In is in this manner that you bind spells to objects. You perform the chant, and use whatever ritual or reagents are required by the system, but you will only finalize the spell during its invocation. Therefore, you must take note of all spells you have prepared for yourself, and the numbers for making your task roll. When the time comes, you may trigger the spell with a short phrase. When then invoking words are spoken, the caster makes a Task Roll.

Invocation takes only one action and requires no energy or rituals (this has already been taken care of earlier). You need only say the words and perhaps make a gesture or two, and must make the Task Roll to succeed. You may invoke the spell only once, unless you have prepared multiple castings of the spell. You do not need to carry anything with you, except perhaps the spell book.

These spell-bound objects are not true magic items, as they are "one-shot" enchantments (or multiple if you bound more than one casting).

  • Restrictions to Spell Binding: The KP cost of the spell, times the Caster's level of KI equals the number of hours the spell will remain bound. That is KP x KI = number of hours the spell will stay bound. The caster can dump extra KP in to prolong the time, but this will only increase it by +1 hour per +1 KP when cast. He cannot add more later to keep the spell bound.

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