Magic, Abilities, States and Special Effects
Listing of all Magic and Abilities
Found here: Magic and Abilities
From the Rulebook
One of the key concepts of Amtgard is the magic and abilities that classes have access to in battlegames. These concepts are broken into three basic categories that are further defined individually in this section.
Magic and Abilities are typically actions that are performed by a player using an incantation. It might range from hiding in the shadows to picking a lock to throwing a fireball. Each Magic and Ability is individually defied later on in this section.
States are normally the result of a Magic or Ability used by a player. A State is a result that stays on a player until it is removed by the duration ending, respawning, or another Magic or Ability. See the States section for more information.
Special Effects are typically triggered events that have a specific result. Special Effects are often tied to hits from weapons, Magic Balls, or Verbals. A Special Effect differs from a State in that it has an instantaneous result. The result may continue, but the Special Effect is done once it has triggered.
For instance if armor is destroyed by the Armor Destroying Special Effect from a Fireball then the only way to get the armor back is to repair it using Mend (or a similar Magic or Ability).
Magic and Ability Mechanics Defined
This section defines the different parts of Magics and Abilities and the terminology used to explain how they work.
Powers or skills that must be activated to be used.
- Ability Enchantments denoted as Magical (m) in the class description count towards the bearers limit for carried Enchantments. May be removed by Magic that removes Enchantments, such as Dispel Magic.
- Ability Enchantments denoted as Extraordinary (ex) in the class description do not count towards enchantment limits or count for the purposes of Attuned, Essence Graft or similar magic and abilities. May be removed by Magic that removes Enchantments, such as Dispel Magic.
- Unless otherwise specified, Ability enhanced equipment cannot be used except by the player who enhanced the equipment. For instance: an Archer cannot loan his Poison Arrow to another player, even another Archer.
- Abilities that are denoted as Ambulant in the class description do not require the statement of ‘Ambulant’ before their incantation.
- Ability Incantations follow all the rules of magical Incantations unless otherwise noted. Incantations for Abilities listed as Extraordinary (ex) do not require a free hand.
- Abilities granted via an Enchantment retain the original School of the Ability, not the School of the Enchantment.
An audible component required by some magics and abilities that sustains their continuing function. Under normal circumstances a player may voluntarily end an ability with an ongoing chant at any time. The audible components of a Chant must be spaced no further than five seconds apart and audible to 50’. Unless otherwise noted failure to Chant ends the effect. May be spoken while moving. Only one Chant can be maintained at a time.
Some Magic and Abilities may continue to be used after their per-life or per-refresh uses are consumed. These Magic and Abilities are denoted with the word “Charge” and a number after them. In order to gain an additional per-life or per-refresh use of a Charge Magic or Ability the Charge Incantation must be repeated in full the number of times indicated by number after Charge. For instance an Ability labeled ‘Charge x3’ requires three full repetitions of the Charge Incantation in order to be usable.
Unless otherwise noted:
- Once an ability has been Charged, it may then be held for later use in the same game. Once it is used you may then Charge it again for another use.
- Any Incantation to activate a Charged ability is separate from the Charge Incantation.
- Charges for per-refresh Magic and Abilities carry between lives; a per-refresh Ability Charged on a previous life and not used can be used on the next life.
- Charged Magic and Abilities that are per life or per Refresh lose their Charge when they are replenished.
Example: A Charged Ability which is ‘1/Life Charge x3’ loses its Charge when a player begins a new life, but may be Charged normally once the standard per-life uses have been consumed.
- The ability being Charged must be designated at the beginning of the Charge.
- You may only have one instance of a given Magic or Ability Charged at a time.
Example: An Ability listed as 2/life Charge x3 may only be Charged once both per-life uses have been expended, and may only have a single instance of the Ability Charged thereafter.
- Only Magic and Abilities which may be Charged can benefit from Innate, Steal Life Essence, etc.
The Incantation that is used to Charge an ability. A single ‘Charge Incantation’ is repeating the following phrase:
- “Out of battle I pause to rest,
I take some time to catch my breath.
Return to me my fleeting power
To aid me in my darkest hour.”
The Charge Incantation requires an empty hand and must be audible out to 20’.
Enchantments are ongoing magics and abilities that remain until they are used up or removed.
- Enchantments must be denoted by an appropriately colored strip attached to the enchanted person.
- Offensive enchantments are denoted by a red strip
- Defensive enchantments are denoted by a white strip
- Miscellaneous enchantments are denoted by a yellow strip
- Enchantments may only be carried one at a time by a player, unless otherwise noted.
- Enchantments may only be cast on willing players.
- Enchantments are always placed on players. Some Enchantments carried by players affect the equipment they carry or use as noted in the Enchantments description.
- If a person bearing an Enchantment is killed the Enchantment remains but becomes inactive. Respawning removes any Enchantments from a player and their equipment unless the Enchantments are Persistent. If the person is returned to the same life, as opposed to respawning, then Enchantments are preserved and will function again, unless otherwise noted.
- If a player voluntarily moves after having died then the Enchantments they carried are removed. Does not apply to Persistent Enchantments.
- If a player voluntarily takes a death, all Enchantments carried are removed.
- Players may not cast Enchantments on themselves with the exception of Enchantments with a range of ‘Self’.
- Enchantments may be removed by Dispel Magic, but not by Release or similar magics and abilities.
- Enchantments that have a definite number of uses, such as Blessing Against Harm or Grasping Tentacles, are removed when their last use is expended (even if ineffective against their target. i.e. discharging Poison against a target Immune to the Death School still expends that use of Poison). These Enchantments are still removed by Dispel Magic, Resurrect, or other Enchantment removing mechanics.
- States, Abilities, and Special Effects imparted by Enchantments to their bearer cannot be removed in any way while the Enchantment is active and are removed when the Enchantment is removed, unless otherwise noted.
Example One: A player bearing Corrosive Mist is Stopped. When they die the Enchantment becomes inactive and the Stopped State is removed since all States, except Cursed, are removed by death. If the player is returned to life in a manner that preserves his Enchantments then he will again become Stopped as Corrosive Mist becomes active again and re-applies the State.
Example Two: A player bearing Protection From Magic is killed and becomes Cursed by Protection From Magic. Protection From Magic becomes inactive after he dies but the Cursed State persists as Cursed is not removed by player death. Since Protection From Magic is no longer active the Cursed State would be removable by Greater Release or similar means.
- Special Effects granted to equipment via Enchantments are considered magical and have a School corresponding to the School of the Enchantment.
- Enchantments worn (or a summary of their effects) must be announced at the beginning of an engagement if possible. Enchantments worn must always be announced when requested.
The verbal component required by some magics and abilities that initiates their function.
Example: “Timmy, I command thee to stop, I command thee to stop, I command thee to stop.”
If the name of the target is not known, or if the casting player prefers, they may instead point at the target with a free hand and name their class and a descriptor.
Example: <Point with a free hand> “Warrior in blue, I command thee to stop, I command thee to stop, I command thee to stop.”
When targeting a piece of equipment the caster must explicitly define the equipment in addition to the player most recently using it.
Example: “Timmy, blue sword on hip, I call upon flame to heat that sword, I call upon flame to heat that sword, I call upon flame to heat that sword.”
Unless otherwise noted all Incantations:
- Must be said loudly and clearly enough to be heard within 50’ or by the recipient, whichever is closer. Incantations for Magic or Abilities which target self must be audible to within 20’. In the event of a disagreement over audible range, consult a reeve.
- Unless otherwise noted in the Magic/Ability description a player may not move their feet when incanting. If a player moves their feet the incant is interrupted.
- Improper wording, mispronunciation, a gap of more than two seconds between words, or omitting words will all result in an interrupted Incantation.
- An interrupted incantation does not result in a magic or ability being consumed. Interrupted Incantations must be restarted from the beginning.
- Require the caster to have an empty hand with the exception of holding Material Components or the target of a Touch Range magic.
- Starting an Incantation renders the player’s active Magic Balls inactive and interrupts any other Incantation or Chant the player has in progress.
- Meta-magic used must be stated immediately prior to beginning the incantation for the modified magic. Abilities marked as Ambulant in the class description ignore this requirement.
- Require the target to be at least partially visible at the end of the Incantation to be effective. If the target is not at least partially visible the Ability or Magic is still used up.
Completing an Incantation results in an Ability or Magic being used up, regardless of if the target was valid or affected.
Some magics and abilities have special circumstances that must be met before they can be activated. Magics and abilities with the Kill Trigger Limitation can only be used within 30 seconds after the caster strikes the final blow to kill an enemy in melee combat (or causes the activation of any effects which allow the player struck to avoid death such as Undead Minion, Song of Survival, or other similar magic and abilities). The caster must be outside of 10’ of a living enemy, and may only use the ability once per eligible killing blow.
- Magic Armor never stacks with other Magic Armor and may not be worn with normal armor. If Magic Armor is granted from two different sources only the highest value present is used and all others are ignored.
Example: A player is wearing both Gift of Earth (2 points of Magic Armor) and Barkskin (1 point of Magic Armor). Since Gift of Earth is the highest value the Magic Armor from Barkskin is ignored. If Gift of Earth is removed the player will have a new Magic Armor maximum of 1 point. All locations greater than 1 point will be lowered to 1 point while all locations at 1 point or lower will remain unchanged.
- Magic Armor may be the target of magic or effects that affect armor such as Armor Breaking, Fireball, etc.
- Magic Armor may be repaired like any other armor.
- Magic Armor covers all locations on a player without any gaps in coverage.
- Unless otherwise noted in the description of the Enchantment, Magic Armor can never benefit from armor enhancement abilities or magics such as Ancestral Armor or Imbue Armor.
Example: Stoneskin is naturally considered Ancestral Armor, but Barkskin cannot benefit from Ancestral Armor in any way.
- Players may wear more Magic Armor than their class maximum allows. A class which cannot wear any armor can still wear Magic Armor.
- Unless otherwise noted Magic Armor behaves identically to normal armor.
- The presence of Magic Armor must be announced to any opponents at the beginning of an engagement if possible; Magic Armor should not result in a ‘surprise survival’.
Magic Balls which are thrown and strike a player or object can have various effects. Unless otherwise noted:
- A magic-user may physically carry only the number of Magic Balls purchased. Pages and other players may not carry extra Magic Balls for magic-users.
- Once a Magic Ball’s Incantation has been said, it is considered active until thrown or interrupted.
- A player may only have one Magic Ball active at a time.
- Magic Balls of the Subdual School have no effect on equipment that is not being carried.
Example: You may not Iceball a player’s shield if it is not being wielded or carried by them.
- Magic Balls discharge after the first Player, Wielded Equipment, or Terrain they hit.
- Magic Balls affect only the player or object struck; Magic Balls are not engulfing unless noted.
- Barring any Enchantments or magical effects, garb strikes count as hitting the player if the Magic Ball would have continued on to hit the player.
Example: You may not block Lightning Bolts with your cloak.
- Magic Balls do not damage armor unless otherwise noted.
- Magic Balls are not stopped by Protection from Projectiles, Missile Block, and other similar magic and abilities.
A type of magic which alters the typical behavior of other magics.
- Unless otherwise noted, Meta-Magic follows all the standard rules for Incantations.
- Meta-Magics must be used immediately prior to the magic being altered.
- Meta-Magics do not affect other Meta-Magics, but may be combined in any number so long as all restrictions are observed.
Example: A player may cast a spell using Extension and Ambulant, however Extension must be stated without moving the feet as it is unaffected by Ambulant.
- Meta-Magics are considered expended as soon as their incantation is finished regardless of whether or not the altered magic was completed.
- May not be used to modify the behavior of Magic Items or magic and abilities granted by Enchantments such as Heat Weapon from Gift of Flame.
Targets of Magics and Abilities out of range at the completion of an Incantation are not valid targets. For Magics and Abilities used at a range of Touch, any physical contact between caster and target is sufficient. Magic or Abilities used at a range of Touch may only be used on players that are willing, Dead, Frozen, Stunned, or otherwise unable to move and unable to engage in combat.
The player is unaffected by the next effect of a given type. Unless otherwise noted, Resistant does not extend beyond the player that has it. Players must announce ‘resistant’ upon triggering.
- Melee: Not affected by the next strike from a melee weapon. No effect on projectiles.
- Wounds: Does not receive the next Wound that would otherwise be inflicted.
- School: Immune to the next Magic or Ability from the given School.
Magic and Abilities are divided into Schools, referred to commonly as the ‘Schools of Magic’. Each School specializes in a certain genre of magic and typically the effects of the different Magic and Abilities within a School are similar.
Typically makes players stop moving or change their actions in some manner. Frequently makes use of the Stopped, Frozen, and Insubstantial States. All offensive magic and abilities from the Command School are Verbals. All offensive magic and abilities from the Command School have the word “command” in the incantation.
Typically causes injury or death. Frequently makes use of the Cursed and Fragile States. All offensive magic and abilities from the Death School are Verbals. Offensive magic and abilities from the Death School tend to be very explicit about the result as part of the incantation such as “I call for your death.”
Typically destroys equipment or wounds/kills players. Offensive magic and abilities from the Flame School can be either a Verbal or a Magic Ball. Magic Balls from the Flame School typically destroy equipment and wound or kill players, while Verbals from the Flame School typically target equipment and destroy it, rather than targeting players themselves. All offensive Verbals from the Flame School have the word “flame” in the incantation.
Has effects that alter game play for the user in some manner and does not directly affect other players.
Typically effects that deal with raw magical force, manipulating magic itself, or controlling the aether. Offensive magic and abilities from the Sorcery School tend to be very explicit about the result as part of the incantation and frequently includes the word “power”. Offensive magic and abilities from the Sorcery School are generally Verbals.
Typically makes a player stop moving or limits their actions. Makes use of the Stopped, Frozen, Stunned, and Suppressed States. All offensive magic and abilities in the Subdual School are Magic Balls.
Specialty Arrows which strike a player or object can have various effects. Unless otherwise noted:
- A player may only physically carry one Specialty Arrow per instance of Ability. Pages and other players may not carry extra Specialty Arrows for players.
- Specialty Arrows must be fired alone.
- Incantations for Specialty Arrows must be said immediately prior to firing, and said loudly and clearly enough to be heard within 50’.
- Properly activated Specialty Arrows count as a normal hit from an arrow to the location struck in addition to their listed effects.
- If a player has Specialty Arrows with a frequency that includes Charge, they may have only one Specialty Arrow of any type Charged at a time.
Class Abilities that function all of the time without activation being required. Includes such things as Immunity and the ability to use extra equipment. Traits are denoted with a (T) and are always non-magical in nature. Traits may not be removed by any means and persist after respawn. Immunities granted by Traits persist after death. Traits are not enchantments, and do not count towards enchantment limits or count for the purposes of Attuned, Essence Graft or similar magic and abilities.
Magics and Abilities that require an incantation to be activated. Verbals can have an immediate effect or impart a State or an Ongoing Effect. Ongoing Effects may have a duration, after which it expires. If a player would gain an Ongoing Effect they are already affected by, the Ongoing Effect’s duration will simply be adjusted to the new duration if it is longer than the current duration. An Ongoing Effect without a duration continues until it is removed by some outside force or until a condition is met. Unless otherwise noted, all Ongoing Effects are removed when a player dies and cannot apply to dead players.
Some Magics and Abilities have special circumstances that must be met before they can be activated. Magics and abilities with the Wound Trigger Limitation can only be used immediately after the caster causes a wound to an enemy in melee combat (even if that wound kills the enemy).
All abilities and magics (with a few exceptions) make use of a small set of common terms to explain the result they have on the player. These results are referred to as a ‘State’ or ‘States’. A player can have any number of different States simultaneously. A State may have a duration, after which it expires. If a player would gain a State they are already affected by, the State’s duration will simply be adjusted to the new duration if it is longer than the current duration. A State without a duration continues until it is removed by some outside force or until a condition is met. Unless otherwise noted, all States are removed when a player dies and cannot apply to dead players. A State conferred by a class Trait, such as Immunity to Subdual, is always on and may not be removed by respawn, Death, or any other means. States imparted at the same time as a killing blow are considered to have taken effect prior to death. If a State which prevented a player from moving expires due to its duration ending, the player it affected must declare, “No longer [State that ended]”. This must be audible out to 20 feet.
Player dies on the next Wound.
Player may not move, speak, or take any action. Can only be affected by mechanics that work on States in general (such as Release) or Frozen in specific (such as Shatter). Otherwise player and their equipment is not affected by combat, magic, etc.
The bearing player or object is not affected by Magic or Abilities from a given School. Immunity granted as a Trait does not prevent players from making use of their own class Abilities. Unless otherwise noted, Immunities do not extend beyond the player or object that has them.
This State has both offensive and defensive purposes and greatly limits a player’s ability to interact with play. Insubstantial players:
- May not move from their starting location unless otherwise noted.
- Are incapable of physically interacting with game items, objectives, or other players in any way unless otherwise noted.
- Can only be affected by mechanics that work on States in general (such as Release) or Insubstantial in specific (such as Dimensional Rift. Players and their equipment are otherwise unaffected by combat, magic, etc.
- Are not affected or stopped by game terrain such as walls, lava pits, traps, etc unless otherwise indicated by the reeve or game designer.
- May be seen and heard.
- May see and hear.
- May Charge abilities.
- May use Magic and Abilities on themselves if the Magic and Abilities are able to affect Insubstantial players.
- May remove this State from themselves at any time by Incanting “I return to the physical world” x2 provided they are the cause of the State and entered it voluntarily. Otherwise they must end the State as per the description of the responsible Magic or Ability.
- . Insubstantial triggered from enchantments worn is not considered voluntary.
- The ending Incantation for Insubstantial is not interrupted by the player moving their feet.
- Must indicate their Insubstantial State by saying “Insubstantial” if asked, attacked, or targeted by a Magic or Ability.
- May not delay the game excessively. For instance, you may not use the Insubstantial State to avoid being killed if you are the last player alive in a Mutual Annihilation battlegame. The reeves decision in these situations is final.
Out of Game
The player is not currently participating in play. Do not interact with an Out of Game player unless you are a reeve. A player may become Out of Game if they are injured, if they are being addressed by a reeve, or other similar situation. Rarely, a Magic or Ability may also cause you to become Out of Game. The Out of Game State may only be ended by a reeve, unless otherwise noted.
Player is unable to act in any manner. May still be affected as per normal.
Special Effects Defined
Special Effects are a common language used to define battlefild events. Special Effects typically trigger when a player or object is hit by a weapon, Magic Ball, or targeted by a completed Verbal. A single event typically only has one relevant Special Effect. For instance a Destruction Arrow is both Armor Destroying and Shield Destroying, but there is no situation in which both of those matter simultaneously. Likewise a sword may be both Armor Breaking and Wounds Kill, but players are not affected by Armor Breaking and armor is not affected by Wounds Kill. When using a weapon or magic which causes an Special Effect you must announce it to your opponent at the beginning of an engagement and periodically during the engagement when reasonable. Example: A Barbarian moving to engage an unarmored Scout need not announce ‘Armor Breaking’; however if an armored Paladin moves into the engagement the Barbarian should announce ‘Armor Breaking’ at their soonest reasonable opportunity. The game flows more smoothly and everybody has more fun when Special Effects are stated ahead of time rather than kept as surprises.
A hit to armor from a weapon, Magic Ball, etc. with the Armor Breaking ability will immediately remove all Armor Points from the location struck if the location struck currently has three or less Armor Points. If the armor currently has four or more Armor Points then the armor has one Armor Point removed as per normal. Example: Armor with 4 points is struck by a weapon with Armor Breaking. The armor loses an Armor Point at the location struck. The armor is struck again in the same location which now has 3 points. The Armor Points at that location are reduced to zero and the wearer is unharmed unless otherwise noted. Denoted by announcing “Breaking”.
A hit to armor from a weapon, Magic Ball, etc. with the Armor Destroying Special Effect reduces the armor to zero points in the location struck. The wearer is unharmed unless otherwise noted. Denoted by announcing “Destroying”.
Three hits to a shield from a weapon, Magic Ball, etc. with the Shield Crushing Special Effect destroys the shield. The wearer is unharmed unless otherwise noted. Hits do not all have to be from the same source; hits from different sources are cumulative. Denoted by announcing “Shield Crushing”.
A hit to a shield from a weapon, Magic Ball, etc. with the Shield Destroying Special Effect destroys the shield. The wearer is unharmed unless otherwise noted. Denoted by announcing “Shield Destroying”.
Players Wounded by objects with the Wounds Kill Special Effect are killed. Denoted by announcing “Wounds Kill”.
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