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Skip Navigation LinksContent>Magic>Magic Systems>Vancian (Fire & Forget)>Gestalt Model>Magni
Gestalt Casting

    Arcanis Magnicus

Arcanis Magnicus System Magni Magni Package Deals
Sample Arcanis Magnicus Spells Variant: Elementalism Variant: Dominine
Variant: Animine Variant: Sortilege Variant: Stregari
Sample Magni: Fialla Lorathian
Sample Magni: Thranto Neone
NOTE: Practitioners of Arcanis Magnicus (are-CAN-us MAG-nah-cus) are called Magni. Magni is both the singular and plural spelling, but is pronounced (MAG-NEE) plural and (MAG-NIGH) singular.
Arcanis Magnicus is a very robust and flexible approach to Magic Use, well suited to combat and adventuring. However this flexibility comes at a price; it takes longer to increase overall power than it does in Wizardry due to the greater Real Cost involved in the VPP Control Cost.
Compared to other professions, Magni cultivate their Spellcasting ability pretty single-mindedly; due to the high cost of their partially Cosmic VPP, a Magni that does not focus on growing their VPP will fall behind the power curve compared to many other sorts of Magic Users.
Compared to their close cousins, Wizards, Magni emphasize having a shrewdly chosen selection of Spells with very little overlap. Unlike a Wizard who can casually learn just about any Spell they come across if they like, Magni need to be a little more selective due to stiffer requirements regarding how many Spells they may know per Spell Level.
Magni start off a little more robust than their Wizardly counterparts due to the increased flexibility of their casting model being more forgiving and adaptable. As a Magni progresses, they tend to shape up into competent and dependable Spellcasters, safe at all speeds so to speak and quite formidable. However in the higher ranges of power less flexible/more specialized characters such as Wizards can easily outstrip Magni in terms of raw power or ability.
Means to Power
Magni learn to cast Spells, often making use of props such as incantations, gestures, material components, etc. to assist them in the casting of their Magic. Magni go through various levels of understanding and capability as they advance.
As they gain experience, their ability to manipulate the metaphysical Laws of Magic increases, as does the mental endurance required to focus their will. Essentially, as they progress their ability to cast larger and more powerful Spells increases assuming they spend character points to increase the size of their Magic VPP.
Magni use the "Gestalt Casting" Model, which is VPP Based. The size of a Magni's VPP Pool determines both how many Spells they can cast in a given day, and how powerful those Spells can be. Thus it is imperative for a serious Magni to invest as many points as possible into increasing the size of their VPP. As a rule of thumb about 60% of a Magni's Experience should be dedicated to increasing their VPP.
Each player of a Magni character must keep a list of all the Spells that their character knows, including Spell write ups. On any given in-character day they may allocate Spells to their character's VPP, but all of the Spells must be chosen from their character's Known Spell List. Spells on this list can be referred to as "Spell Slots" out-of-character.
The means by which a Magni may learn or create new Spells and add them to their Known Spell List are described in detail below. However, as Magni may only know a limited number of Spells per Spell Level, they should pick and choose wisely.
Arcanis Magnicus uses "Magic School" based Skill rolls for the learning and creation of new Magic.
All of the sample Spells provided for Wizardry are also usable for Arcanis Magnicus, simply by reassigning the Spells to the appropriate Arcanis Magnicus School and adjusting each Spell to have the correct number of Charges for an individual Magni's Spell Level Gestalt.
Magni have developed a structured approach to Magic based on a theory oriented around Application, categorizing the study of Magic into "Schools" according to each Spell's primary purpose.
The following table summarizes the general focus of each Spell School.
School School
Potensium KS: Potensium Attack Spells. Any sort of Spell whose primary purpose is to inflict harm falls into this category (Note: Attack in this sense is not directly analogous to Attack Powers; consider it to mean Spells that inflict BODY, STUN or Flash damage or negatively adjust characteristics. Attack Powers that don't do actual damage such as Mental Illusions and Transform do not fall into this category).
Sub-school: Guera: This sub-school concentrates on Attack Spells that have a battle field application and typically target small or large groups.
Sub-school: Duello: This sub-school concentrates on Attack Spells that target individuals.
Fortensium KS: Fortensium Defense Spells. Any sort of Spell whose primary purpose is to protect or shelter from harm falls into this category.
Sub-school: Protenza: This sub-school focuses on wards, shields, and similar Magics as well as effects that otherwise prevent harm.
Sub-school: Opposia: This sub-school focuses on countermagic and anti-magic exclusively.
Fugium KS: Fugium Movement Spells. Any Spell whose primary purpose is to effect movement or transportation falls into this category.
Sub-school: Attraversia: This sub-school focuses on any Spell that effects movement indirectly via bending space and/or time (typically limited to Teleportation and Extra Dimensional movement).
Sub-school: Corsania: Any form of Spell that physically moves or improves the ability to physically move falls into this category (Note: this can include some forms of Telekinesis).
Comprium KS: Comprium All other Spells that are not Attack, Defense, or Movement oriented fall into this category.
Sub-school: Mentius: This sub-school focuses on Spells that effect the Mind but are not direct Attacks. This can include some Sense-Affecting Spells.
Sub-school: Corpia: This sub-school focuses on Spells that affect the body but are not direct Defenses or Attacks.
Sub-school: Cambia: This sub-school focuses on Spell that alter, change, or create. This includes Transforms and Change Environment.
Sub-school: Vario: This sub-school is composed of Spells that don't fall into any other category; effectively an "ex miscellanea" category. Summoning Spells typically fall into this group as well.
Item Creation Skills
Artificing KS: Artificing Used to create Magic Rings, Staves, Miscellaneous Magic Items, Weapons, Armor, and other Permanent Magic items.
Scroll Scribing KS: Scroll Scribing Used to create Magic Scrolls holding a readied Spell needing only a few words or a gesture (or the equivalent) to complete. Can also be used to transfer Spells from one caster to another. (Ephemeral Magic items)
Wandcrafting KS: Wandcraft Used to create Magic Wands that store a single Spell effect with a finite amount of uses. (Ephemeral Magic items)
Alchemy KS: Alchemy Used to create potions, powders, special inks, and the like (Ephemeral Magic items)
Pronunciation Guide
Potensium poh-TEN-seeyum
Guera GEHR-ah
Duello dew-ELL-oh
Fortensium for-TEN-seeyum
Protenza pro-TENZE-ah
Opposia ah-POSE-eeyah
Fugium FOO-jeeum
Attraversia ah-trah-VERSE-eeyah
Corsania core-SAHN-eeyah
Comprium kom-PREE-yum
Mentius MENT-eeyus
Corpia CORE-peeyah
Cambia KOM-beeyah
Vario VEHR-eeyoh
As noted in the above chart, Arcanis Magnicus Schools have sub-schools. Normally a Magni would take a general School Skill, such as KS: Potensium. However a Magni may instead indicate a sub-school preference if they wish for each Skill, such as KS: Potensium (Guera). If this option is exercised then the Magni gains a +2 bonus with Skill Rolls pertaining to that sub-school but takes a -2 penalty with Skill Rolls pertaining to any other sub-schools of that School. This option must be exercised when the character purchases the School Skill.
EXAMPLE: Veris is a Magni that studied at an Arcanium that emphasized countermagic; thus he has KS: Fortensium (Opposia). When making Skill Rolls pertaining to Fortensium (Opposia) Spells he gains a +2 bonus, but suffers a -2 penalty on all Skill Rolls pertaining to Fortensium (Protenza) Spells.
All of the Spell School Skills used by Arcanis Magnicus are Knowledge Skills; thus the Scholar Enhancer can be used to reduce their cost and is recommended.
Alternately, in campaigns where the GM allows Spellcraft, an individual Magni may opt to use Spellcraft instead of the School Skills presented above
 If Spellcraft is allowed in a campaign, then Magni that have the actual School Skills gain a +2 bonus to any Magic Skill Roll when using the appropriate Skill; thus a Magni with KS: Comprium would gain a +2 bonus to recognize, learn, or create a Comprium Spell in a setting where Spellcraft is allowed. This caveat helps to keep School Skills balanced with Spellcraft..
Some Magni opt to learn only some of the Schools of Arcanis Magnicus, concentrating their studies on one or more other Schools. Such a Magni simply would not buy the School Skills for the School that they don't wish to know how to use.
Optionally a Character could take a Physical Limitation during character creation indicating that they cannot learn a particular School of Magic even if they later decide they want to, but this should only be allowed if it is in some way actually Disadvantageous to a Character and GM's are encouraged to allow this in moderation, perhaps one or at most two Ineptitudes per Magni.
School Ineptitude: Phys Lim: Cannot Learn KS: {Magic Skill} or use Spellcraft to Circumvent (Infrequently, Limiting)
Disadvantage Value: -5 points
Magni can take one or more of the Metamagic abilities described in the Vancian Magic System.
Magni can take the Mage Sight Talent as described in Fantasy HERO for 5th Edition, but most do not bother as they can generally cast a Detect Magic or equivalent effect from their VPP if needed.
Magni may take Life Support (Longevity) at the ~200 year level or perhaps higher if the GM allows. However, this is not appropriate to all settings.
Working with Magic marks Magni in subtle ways, and they might have a recognizable aura that is detectable by those with appropriate senses. Magni can take the following Disadvantage if the GM allows as a personal Disadvantage. In cultures where magic users are more unusual and subject to extreme attention, the value of this Disadvantage will be higher.
DF: Magni (Not Concealable; Always Noticed and Causes Major Reaction; Detectable Only By Unusual Senses; Not Distinctive In Some Cultures)
Disadvantage Value: -5 points
Learning New Spells
Each Magni knows certain Spells that they are able to use via their Magic VPP, the sum total of which are referred to as their Known Spell List for purposes of this discussion. Learning new Spells to their Known Spell List is the means by which a Magni expands the breadth of their Magical capabilities. A Magni can learn up to six Spells per Spell Level, and most strive to learn as many as they can as soon as is practical.
A Magni may attempt to learn any Power Construct based Spell that complies with the Control Cost restriction of their Magic VPP, fits into their Spell School concept, is Charge Based, and has Active Points less than or equal to their VPP Pool size.
To learn a Spell takes one hour of study per 15 Active Points in the Spell, at the end of which period of time the Magni makes a Magic School Skill Roll with the appropriate Magic School Skill at a penalty of -1 per Spell Level (Level 0 Spells count as 0 in this case).
A Magni may opt to study a Spell twice as long as necessary for a +1 bonus to the roll, with each doubling of time granting a cumulative +1 bonus. Thus if a Magni studies a Spell for four hours per Spell Level rather than the normal one hour they gain a +2 bonus to their eventual Skill Roll for two doublings of time.
Example: Veris has discovered a scroll bearing Eravor's Eerie Evisceration, a 5th Level Potensium (Duello) Spell. Veris studies the Spell for five total hours (one hour per Spell Level), and then makes a KS: Potensium Skill Roll with a -5 penalty (for being a 5th Level Spell).
If he succeeds at the Skill Roll he will add the Spell to his Known Spell List. If he fails the Skill Roll Veris will be unable to attempt to learn the Spell again until he has raised the applicable Skill Roll by +1 and increased his VPP by 15 Pool. Veris could have spent 10 Hours studying for a +1 bonus to the KS: Potensium Roll, or 20 Hours for a +2 and so on.
If a Magni attempts to learn a new Spell and fails the Skill Roll, they may not attempt to learn the Spell again until they have raised their applicable Skill Roll by +1 and increased their VPP by 15 Pool.
Alternately, the Magni may attempt to recreate the Spell instead; if they succeed at creating the Spell then they automatically are considered to have learned it and must add it to their Known Spell List.
Generally a Magni learns a Spell from an acquired Scroll or Spellbook. Regardless of the source of the Spell, the actual design of the Spell cannot be altered in this process; to alter the Spell the Magni would effectively have to create the altered version as a new Spell.
However, a Magni may come across a Spell that is compatible with their Magic System but has the wrong number of Charges to synch up with their Spell Level Gestalt Charge total. The number of Charges on such a Spell can be adapted to the correct amount necessary for the Magni's Spell Level Gestalt without interfering with learning the Spell or counting as altering the Spell so long as the Spell remains in the same Spell Level by Active Points.
If a Magni attempts to learn a Spell that is very similar to one they already know, the GM should consider allowing a similarity bonus for learning a "variant" prorated for the degree of similarity and ranging from a +1 bonus up to the Spell Level of the Spell the Magni already knows (treat Level 0 Spells as +1 in this case).  
When determining the degree of similarity, compare common specific SFX and intent, same base Power, and same Power Modifiers as the principal considerations.
As a general rule of thumb, if all three categories are aligned then grant 100% of the bonus; for each category that differs deduct 33% of the bonus. Thus if two Spells shared a common SFX and intent, such as two Lightning based Spells that were intended to do direct damage, but built on different base Powers (such as EB, RKA, HKA, or HA), and differed in the Power Modifiers, then no more than 33% of the possible similarity bonus should be awarded.
If a Magni were learning a Spell that was identical in every particular to a Spell they already knew, differing only in dice of effect or with an additional adder then the similarity bonus should be equal to the Spell Level of the version that they already know.
EXAMPLE 1: Veris does some research into Eravar and turns up a copy of his 300 year old Spellbook. Veris finds among other things a more powerful version of the Eerie Evisceration; Eravar's Efficacious Evisceration, which is a 8th level Potensium (Guera) Area of Effect version. Because Veris already knows a lesser version of the Spell the GM grants a +5 bonus to learn the new Spell (equal to the Spell Level of the version Veris knows). Eight hours of study later Veris makes a KS: Potensium Skill Roll at a net -3 penalty (-8 for its Spell Level, +5 Similarity Bonus).
EXAMPLE 2: Veris knows Rugol's Vacuous Vapors, a 4th Level Spell intended to make targets within an AoE groggy and listless or even comatose; it is based on an AoE Drain vs. INT. He later seeks to learn Opervian's Sleepy Slumber, a 6th Level Spell intended to knock out targets; it is based on an Explosive Drain vs. STUN. The GM determines that the two Spells share a common SFX and intent, and share the same base Power, but they differ in their Power Modifiers. Thus of the possible +4 similarity bonus (since the Spell Veris already knows is Spell Level 4), the GM decides to award 66% of +4, which amounts to a +3 bonus.
A Magni can also learn any non-Arcanis Magnicus Spell they encounter if it fits into their VPP Model and can be covered by one of the Arcanis Magnicus Spell Schools without being altered. This takes twice as long as learning a Arcanis Magnicus Spell and imposes a -2 penalty in addition to all other penalties.
In the case of a non-Arcanis Magnicus Spell that is Charge based, altering the Charge count to synch up with the appropriate Spell Level Gestalt for an individual Magni's total does not disqualify the Spell from being learned via this method as long as the Spell is otherwise unaltered and meets all the restrictions of Arcanis Magnicus.
If all else fails and the Magni cannot learn such a Spell directly, they can also always just create a new Arcanis Magnicus Spell that mimics or approximates the non-Arcanis Magnicus Spell using the rules for creating new Spells detailed below.
NOTE: Of the sample Spells provided, the Spells for Wizardry and Elementalists can easily be adapted for use with Arcanis Magnicus, simply re-categorizing the Spells to the appropriate Arcanis Magnicus School and adjusting the Charges total to the appropriate total for an individual Magni.
EXAMPLE: Veris meets an Elementalist Aeromancer and is intrigued to learn one of the Aeromancer's 2nd Level (45 AP) wind-based Flight Spells. The Spell fits easily into the Fugium School of Arcanis Magnicus. The Spell, unchanged other than bumping the Charges to the appropriate level for Veris' 2nd Spell Level Gestalt total, fits into the requirements of the Arcanis Magnicus VPP.
Thus Veris studies for 4 hours (normally 2 hours for a 2nd Level Spell, doubled for being a non Arcanis Magnicus Spell), and then makes a KS: Fugium Skill Roll with a net -4 penalty (2nd Level Spell, -2 Non-Arcanis Magnicus penalty). Succeeding at the roll, the new Spell is added to Veris' Known Spell List as a Fugium Spell.
Creating New Spells
One of the most gratifying tasks a Magni might accomplish is the creation of a new Spell unique to themselves. Whether it's to round out their Grimoire with that perfect niche-filler, for the accolade and respect of other Magni, or the immortalizing aspect of attaching their name to something that might be in use for centuries to come, Magni never lack for reasons to make new Spells. A particularly good Spell can even make a Magni of an enterprising bent rich if he or she can entice others into paying to learn it. However, the task of creating a new Spell is a challenging and time consuming one.
This option is in effect in my campaigns
By default, any Magni with the appropriate Magic Skills can create their own Spells. If for some reason a particular type of Magni cannot make their own Spells, they may take a Physical Limitation Disadvantage indicating this.
Arcane Spell Sterility: Phys Lim: Cannot create new Spells (Infrequently, Greatly Limiting)
Disadvantage Value: -10 points
There are four steps to follow when defining a new Spell:
  1. Determine Intent of Spell
  2. Determine Power Construct of Spell
  3. Determine Type of Spell
  4. Determine Level of Spell
First, decide what the Spell is supposed to do, in general terms. Is the Spell supposed to burn an opponent to death, allow people to fly around, summon forth a demon, etc.
Next design the Spell using the Power creation rules in the HERO System 5th Edition Rulebook. Check the Spell for compliance to the restrictions on the Arcanis Magnicus VPP Control Cost and the restrictions affecting Arcanis Magnicus.
Once you know the intent of the Spell, determine the appropriate school of Arcanis Magnicus for the effect you desire. Due to the straight forward Application oriented nature of Arcanis Magnicus this is usually easy to do. For example, if you are making a Spell that launches burning flames at a target its pretty clearly a Potensium Spell.
Some Spells are complex, and it can be unclear what School they should belong to. For example, how would one classify a Spell that surrounds the caster in a fiery aura that both inflicts damage to attackers and provides protection from fire? Other Spells bridge two or more of the Schools, such as a Spell that allows the caster to grow wings (Comprium (Corpia)) and fly (Fugium (Corsani)).
Usually a little thought indicates the correct School; as a general rule of thumb, in the case of a Spell constructed from two or more Powers, the Power with the largest Active Point total will usually indicate the dominant nature of the Spell. In the case of a Spell with elaborate SFX, the base Power used to accomplish the final effect will usually indicate the correct School.
Thus if the above mentioned fiery shield Spell is built on a Compound Power, made up of a Force Field vs. Fire and a Damage Shield HKA then if the AP of the Damage Shield Power is greater than the AP in the FF (likely), then the Spell falls under Potensium rather than Fortensium, and vice versa.
In the case of the above mentioned wing-sprouting Spell, it's primary purpose is to achieve Flight using either the Flight or Gliding Powers and thus falls under Fugium despite the body-altering aspect of it. The body transformation is merely a SFX for a Movement ability.
The final step is simple; just divide the Active Points of the Power Construct by 15 to determine the "Spell Level". The Spell Level will determine the penalty involved in the Skill Rolls necessary to create the Spell.
The final step is simple; as noted in the Arcanis Magnicus System document, Spell Levels are determined by increments of 15 Active Points, starting at level 0. Thus, just divide the Active Cost of the Power Construct produced in Step 3 by 15  and add +1 to determine the "Spell Level" of the new Spell.
Make sure to make a note of the Spell Level; it will determine the penalty involved in the Skill Roll needed to create the Spell later.
Once the new Spell has been defined and agreed upon between the GM and the player of the Magni, in-game the Magni must conduct Research & Experimentation (R&E) for a number of Hours equal to the total Active Points in the Spell.
The Magni must have appropriate materials for R&E, and some of these necessary materials may be quite expensive and/or difficult to acquire, at the GM's discretion.
During this time, the Magni must make a School Skill or Spellcraft check after every full Day of Research & Experimentation with a penalty equal to -1 penalty per Spell Level. A full day of R&E means at least six hours uninterrupted.
The Magni can opt to take extra time to make success more likely; if they take twice as long between checks they get a +1 bonus per doubling of time; thus two days per check grants a +1 bonus, four days grants a +2 bonus, eight days grants a +3 bonus and so on. The extra days spent in this fashion increase the total amount of R&E time required, obviously.
If any of these Daily R&E Skill Rolls are failed the Magni has botched the job somehow and cannot create the Spell. The Magni may not try to create that Spell again until their appropriate Magic Skill Roll has been raised a level and their VPP has been increased by 15 Pool, starting over again at the beginning of the Research & Experimentation cycle.
Example: Veris creates a new Comprium (Corpia) Spell:
Veris' Vista-spanning Vision: +10 versus Range Modifier for Sight Group (15 Active Points); Concentration (0 DCV; -1/2), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), 4 Continuing Charges lasting 1 TURN (-1/4).
Real Cost: [6 points]
Veris must spend 15 hours (1 hour per Active Point) of in-game time conducting Research and Experimentation for this new Spell. At the end of each Day that he works on the Spell he must make a KS: Comprium Skill Roll at -1 (for 15 Active Points).
If Veris spent two Days before making a roll he would gain a +1 bonus, and if Veris took 32 Days to work on the Spell before making a Skill Roll he would receive a +5 bonus on his Skill Roll for that time bracket.
In this case for such a simple Spell Veris simply puts in a long day and makes the roll easily, and has successfully created the Spell.
NOTE: The appropriate materials clause is a direct opportunity for a GM to hamper the creation of a particular Spell as they see fit. A GM might also decide to impose Skill Roll penalties for substandard equipment, less than ideal circumstances in game, or any other inconvenience as they see fit.
Lenient GM's or GM's favoring diversity will likely hand wave such requirements away in most cases, but GM's favoring a more controlled environment or those wishing to emphasize the difficulty of making original Magic will likely take the opportunity to limit creation of Spells in this fashion.
If the new Spell is very similar to one the Magni already knows, the GM should consider allowing a similarity bonus on the creation of a "variant". Thus if a Magni is adjusting modifiers or dice of effect or making a more powerful version of a Spell they already know, they should benefit from a significant bonus, up to the Spell Level of the existing Spell they are basing the new Spell on (treat Level 0 Spells as +1 in this case).
When determining degree of similarity, the same principles discussed earlier for learning Spells should be applied.
If a Magni were creating a Spell that was identical in every particular to a Spell they already knew, differing only in dice of effect or with an additional adder then the similarity bonus should be equal to the Spell Level of the version that they already know.
EXAMPLE: Veris later wishes to improve his Vista Vision Spell and Researches Veris' Vestable Vista-spanning Vision: 
Veris' Vestable Vista-spanning Vision: +10 versus Range Modifier for Sight Group, UBO (+1/4), Limited Range (4" + 1" per 15 Pool in VPP; +1/4), LOS Not Required To Maintain (+1/2) (30 Active Points); Concentration (0 DCV; -1/2), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4), 4 Continuing Charges lasting 1 TURN (-1/4)
Real Cost: [12 points]
The GM determines that this Spell is practically the same as the original, but because the original Spell is a Level 0 Spell he only grants a +1 Similarity Bonus.
EXAMPLE: Veris earlier learned Eravor's Eerie Evisceration, a 5th Level Potensium Spell. While the Evisceration is a fearsome Spell, Veris wants to be able to cast a weaker version which will take up less of his VPP Real Cost allocation.
Veris designs the new Spell, Veris' Lesser Evisceration, as a 60 AP Power/3rd Level Spell, merely reducing the dice of effect of the base Spell. Because the new Spell is essentially identical to the more powerful Spell, Veris gets a +5 bonus (equal to the Spell Level of the higher level Spell) to his Skill Roll to create it -- he's virtually assured to succeed.
A Magni automatically knows any Spell they have successfully created. Since a Magni can only know six Spells per Spell Level this means that if they already know six Spells of a given Spell Level then they may not create Spells of that Spell Level.
Creating New Magic Items
Magni have a healthy tradition of making Magic Items. Magni can create new Magic Items using the Item Creation Skills indicated on the Skills chart above, and as described in more detail in the Creating Magic Items page..
Magni can only use Wandcrafting, Scroll Scribing, and Alchemy to create Ephemeral Items from Spells on their Known Spells List. Magni can use Artificing to create Permanent Magic Items, but the Active Points of the individual abilities in the Item cannot exceed the size of the Magni's VPP Pool.
As noted in the Magic Item creation guidelines, in addition to the Item Creation Skill, a Magni must also have the appropriate Magic School Skills for the effects they are trying to place into Magic Items; Spellcraft cannot be used for this purpose.