About Orders and Modes
An Order is a field of magic or magical tradition, such as Witchcraft, Wizardry, and Mysticism. Members of the same Order derive their magical powers from the same source, and tend to observe similar rituals and practices. In present-day Talislanta there are twelve known magical Orders. Some believe that other Orders may have existed in ancient times; if so, they are now forgotten by the magicians of the New Age. Most magicians belong to a single Order, though some elect to gain proficiency in additional fields of magic
A Mode is essentially a spell-effect, such as Conjuration, Illusion, and Transmutation. Modes are used as a basis for creating original spells. Each Order uses Modes in a different way; the differences are substantial enough that even if a magician knows the Mode, Enchantment, in one Order, she will not be proficient in the same Mode as it is practiced by members of other Orders.
Limitations of Talislantan Magic
Modern Talislantan magic is not free-form or spontaneous. Rather, it is a precise disipline that involves the memorization of hundreds of formulized spells.
A magician cannot “make up” a spell at a moment’s notice or improvise while spellcasting. It is the player’s job to come up with interesting spell names and effects during the game, but the magician character is assumed to have known those spells all along. The spells that the player invents must fit within the style of the magician’s Order, the game-mechanics of the chosen Mode, and the practical restrictions of all modern Talislantan magic.
Modern Talislantan magic cannot:
- Return the dead to life
- Create life
- Affect time or causality
- Control two Powers at once (no spells of Fire and Earth together)
- Cast more than one spell at a time, or blend two spells together (use two Modes at once)
Note that these restrictions do not apply to the ancient magic of the Archaen Age.
Most Talislantans are exposed to one only kind of magic in their lifetimes and know little, if anything, about other styles. Cultural traditions, taboos, and local mythology all shape magical practice in a given region. It is for this reason that certain styles of spellcasting are peculiar to particular peoples or regions and have spread little in the six centuries since the
Great Disaster. These styles are referred to by Talislantan magicians as Orders.
The twelve Orders of magic practiced by magicians of the New Age are:
The magic of Talislanta’s suns, moons and stars.
The magic of, luck, circumstance, and fate as represented in the cards of the Zodar.
The study of magical runes, sigils, and symbols.
The study of crystals and their magical properties.
- Elemental Magic
Magicians of this Order draw their power from one of the Elemental Planes of Water, Earth, Air,
Members of this Order call upon supernatural entities for magical power.
This Order deals with the powers of the mind, will, and soul.
- Natural Magic
The magic of animals, plants, and the natural world.
The magic of death, decay, and entropy.
Members of this Order draw their power from the totem-spirits of animals and the Dreamrealms.
The most ancient and secret of Orders, tracing its heritage to the first primitive Archaens.
Wizards produce their effects by manipulating the flux of arcane energy that permeates the omniverse. This versatile Order is the most common in Talislanta today.
Every spell that can be cast in Talislanta has one primary effect, or Mode. This idea holds true regardless of the outward form the spell takes. Does the spell heal injury? Does it move objects? Does it create illusions? Once you know the spell’s primary effect, you know its Mode, and how it works in the game. The following is a list of the nine Modes and their primary effects.
The Attack Mode deals with channeling destructive magical power and hurling it at an enemy.
The conjuration mode covers spells that bring things into existence. There are two main category
of Conjuration Mode spells: those that conjure inanimate objects and thosr that summon otherwordly creatures to Talislanta. Cast in reverse, the Conjuration Mode dispels conjured
objects and returns any summoned creature to its plane of existence.
Divination spells are used to simulate supernatural senses, such as the ability to detect lies, divine the location of lost objects, see in darkness, or see through illusions. The reversed effect is used to Conceal things from others.
The Enchantment Mode deals with spells that modify a creature or objects physical qualities, abilities or gifts.
The Illusion spells creates phantasmal images that can appear to be real but are devoid of actual substance.
Effects that control or affect a being’s thoughts and emotions are simulated with the Influence Mode.
All spells that move or levitate objects or beings are based on this Mode.
Transmutation spells turn one type of person or thing into another by changing the subject’s shape and form. They can also be used to heal a creature or character or even to harm other creatures by causing diseases and other afflictions.
Ward Mode spells come in three varieties: auras, barriers, and wards, all aimed at hindering an opponent or preventing harm from being done. When Ward effects are reversed and cast with malicious intent in order to render a being or item more susceptible to harm, the magic is known as a Hex.