Using Magic in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Using Magic

While some characters may choose to specialize in the use of magic, this is not a requirement in order to have access to magical powers. Any character is capable of casting magical spells provided they have access to at least one spell in a spellbook, scroll, wand or magical staff in their inventory. There are many other magical items available of course, but these offer specific functions and will be discussed separately.

Elements of Spellcasting

Spellcasting requires some combination of an Audible element, a Gesture element, or a Material element. Some spells require only one element; others require two or even all three. Required elements are listed with each spell description.

Spells with an Audible element require that the caster be capable of speaking aloud and having sound actually come out of their mouth. Magical effects which paralyze the caster or generate an area of Silence around the caster preclude this.

Spells with a Gesture element require that the caster have at least one free hand (other than the one holding the spellbook if the spell was not prepared and is being read - see below), and that their movement of that hand and arm are unrestricted. Being Restrained may or may not preclude this, subject to Gamemaster ruling.

Spells with a Material element require the caster to hold a specified item or material in a free hand. Such items or material will be described in the spell description, will have a specified cost, and will be consumed during the casting of the spell whether or not the spell triggers successfully.

Spellcasting and Stamina

Casting a spell drains Stamina Points; the number of points lost is randomly determined based on the spell's level:
  • Cantrips drain 1 SP
  • Spells of Level 1 or 2 drain 1d4 SP
  • Spells of Level 3 or 4 drain 1d6 SP
  • Spells of Level 5 or 6 drain 1d8 SP
  • Spells of Level 7 drain 1d10 SP
  • Spells of Level 8 drain 1d12 SP
  • Spells of Level 9 drain 1d20 SP

  • If the stamina drain for casting a spell would bring the character's SP total to less than zero, the spellcasting attempt succeeds. The character is reduced to 0 SP, becomes Exhausted, and any additional damage indicated is taken as Direct Damage. No further spellcasting (not even Cantrips) can be attempted until the character regains at least one Stamina Point. Any attempts to cast will fail automatically, and may induce further Direct Damage.


    The knowledge of how to cast a spell - how to combine Audible, Gesture, and Material elements in order to unlock the magic of the world - can be written down and stored in a Spellbook. Spellbooks are small tomes in which the instructions for casting magical spells can be recorded. Each spellbook can hold at most eight spells; a character can own as many spellbooks as they wish. Carrying them about, of course, requires they have the inventory slots for them. Each spellbook occupies one inventory slot. Spells are written into spellbooks using a special magical shorthand; training in the Interpreting Magic Acquired Specialty is required to read or write a Spellbook.

    A Character's First Spellbook
    When a character acquires the Interpreting Magic Acquired Specialty, either during character creation or when adding it later during campaign play, they receive a spellbook with six entries in it. These are:
  • Detect Magic (Cantrip)
  • Any one of the Shield Cantrips
  • Any one other Cantrip
  • Any three Level 1 Spells

  • Each time a character levels up, two additional spells or cantrips can be added to the book. In addition, spells can be discovered as Loot during play; spells acquired in this manner can also be added to the character's spellbook during Downtime as described in the next section.

    Adding a Spell to a Spellbook
    Players can copy spells into their spellbooks from other spellbooks or scrolls, but doing so takes one full day of downtime per spell level. (Cantrips require one full day as well.) If a scroll is used as the source, the writing on the scroll vanishes as it is being transcribed. In all cases, the character must be of sufficient level to cast the spell in order to be able to transcribe it.

    Preparing and Casting Spells

    Before setting out on an adventure, your character may prepare a number of spells in advance equal to their INT bonus. Spells prepared in this manner can be cast without having the spellbook held in your character's hands. These spells will still require their Audible, Gesture, and/or Material components, but it is not necessary to be handling the spellbook in order to cast them.

    Alternatively, any spell in a spellbook can be read from a Spellbook, but this requires that your character must have the Spellbook readied and not simply in your inventory. Readying a Spellbook is an action that requires one combat turn and one free hand to hold the Spellbook. If the spell has Gesture and/or Material components, the other hand must be free as well.

    Unless its description indicates otherwise, casting any Cantrip or Spell requires a character's full Action phase of their turn. They may use their movement before or after the casting, as with any other Action.

    Spell Descriptions

    Full descriptions of the requirements for casting and the effects of each Cantrip and Spell are listed in the Appendix:
  • Cantrips
  • Level 1 Spells
  • Level 2 Spells
  • Credits

    The Laurels and Loot Rule System is published by Bob O'Brien
    It is available to all in accordance with the Creative Commons (Attribution) license
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    Laurels and Loot Rules are derived in part from the following sources:
    Knave 2.0 TTRPG System Rules published by Ben Milton
    in compliance with
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    The banners on these pages was composed with art attributed to:
    b0red from Pixabay (treasure chest image)
    Gordon Johnson from Pixabay (laurels image)

    The side panels are composed with art attributed to:
    Evelyn Chai from Pixabay (dungeon passage)


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