On Aeres there are two primary Castes who employ Magik: Mages and Savants. Each of these accesses the magikal energies of the cosmos in unique fashion. Mages practice rites and learn methods so they may tap into their own Essence thereby acting as conduits in order to direct and control the magik. This is also more commonly called spell casting and these rites are also referred to as spells. The power to conduct and control this magikal energy comes from their Essence and is commonly called Power Points. These Power Points are the lifeblood of the Mage Caste, and the efficient and intelligent use of these points is usually the difference between a fair mage and an outstanding one. Power Points are regenerated with rest and meditation and the specifics of how these work and how to get them is more fully explained under the section: Magik.
Each of the five Mage Castes specializes in particular types of spell casting:
Wizards: Evocation, Enchantment, Transmutation
Sorcerers: Conjuration, Summoning, Wards, Circles
Magicians: Illusion, Phantasm, Charm
Necromancers: Necromancy, Conjuration
The Mage learns his spells and keeps them in a book but he is not required to read them each day. Once he has mastered them and memorized them, he need only take ten (10) minutes per spell level in meditation each evening and morning in order to regain use of them as he calms his mind to recall the spells.
Mages are the premier users of Magik in the game; that is their strength and that is where they will be best able to affect the circumstances of any adventuring party. They battle poorly as a rule and use the least effective chart on the combat table but they are permitted to use weapons and armour of any sort. It is important to note that almost 80% of all spells require the use of both hands in the casting and are therefore impossible to cast while holding a weapon or other item, and obviously not possible with a two-handed weapon. Those that do not require two or any hands will be noted with the spell. Also, if a spell requires a Somatic component it is quite likely that the Mage will be required to move their arms and hands freely and with a degree of dexterity. Thus most armour is likely to interfere, and brings with it a Spell Failure Risk that is noted on the Armour Table in the Combat Section.
All Mages gain the use of a series of spells whose function is so minor as not to cost any Power Points. These are called Cantrips and the list of available Cantrips is below. One Cantrip may be used per round and no more than 24 Cantrips may be used in a day. All Cantrips have a duration of one hour and have default Vocal and Somatic components. Cantrips have a range and area of 10 feet and any exception to this or other standards are listed under the appropriate Cantrip.
Area of Effect: 3-inch diameter sphere
This summons a blue light (3-inch sphere (not scale inches, 1/4 of a foot) and illuminates a 5′ radius area with an eerie blue light as long as the caster concentrates upon it. It will not affect Dark Vision or Dark Vision, nor cast reflections outside its sphere of illumination. The caster may read by this light, but may not do battle, cast spells, or in other ways devote too much concentration elsewhere other than to maintain the illumination. In any event, the duration is no more than one hour/level.
Area of Effect: 1 cubic foot
Non-living, non-magikal liquid or solid materials may become up to 40 degrees F lower in temperature (not to be lower than 32 degrees F). The duration is instantaneous and then nature reigns. i.e. the target will warm up or cool down as normal from that point due to ambient temperature. Thus, a tepid or warm drink may be chilled to a frosty temperature.
Area of Effect: 4 square yards
This removes heavy soils, dirt, and similar material from the area of effect such as floors, walls, dishes, windows, a pile of vegetables, etc. The total material removed may not weigh more than 50 lbs. This material does not vanish, but will be collected in a container provided by the mage (a dustbin for example) or piled up where the mage so designates within the 1″ range.
Area of Effect: 1 cubic yard
This brings color to an object. It may restore faded colors or add a tinge of new color. Even hair or skin may be so colored. If cast upon a non-creature the effect will last for 30 days before fading back to the original color. If cast upon a willing friendly domesticated creature (such as a dog, horse, etc. that trusts the caster and not any old animal on the street or in the wild), the effect will last for one day/level of the caster. If it is cast upon unwilling or unfamiliar living targets, the target receives a +4 bonus to their save vs. spell. Success negates the effect; failure indicates the color will remain for only one day.
Area of Effect: 1 quart
The mage holds his hands in the shape of a cup and utters the words and summons (from the nearest, freely available source) fresh, pure, water. Even a tainted or poisoned source will do as only the water is summoned and not the impurities. Unless pure water is available within 1 mile/level of the caster, the water is rather tasteless (distilled), but provides up to one quart of the required liquid. If NO liquid (or frozen) water (fresh or otherwise) is within 1 mile/level, the cantrip has no effect. As always, spells attempt to bring forth the easiest source, so a friend’s water skin is not easy since water in the possession of a creature would get a save. The cantrip will first search for other sources before it even attempts to affect such an “owned” source.
Area of Effect: 1 cubic yard or 27 cubic feet
This will dry out the area, render wet or damp clothing dry, parchments crisp, dry up small puddles, dehydrated mud, etc., and in other ways drive off excess moisture. It is especially good for drying herbs and spices or dehydrating meats and fish, vegetables, and fruits. It has no appreciable effect on the inner or natural levels of moisture of living creatures or living tissue, though it may dry off their wet clothing, skin, and/or fur after an unfortunate dunking in the river, for example. While the area must be inside the 1 cubic yard limit, the actual amount of water driven off can be no more than 1 cubic foot (about 8 gallons). This cantrip has no affect on other liquids (pure alcohol, mercury, etc.).
Area of Effect: 10′ Radius or 300 square feet
This will remove lose, fine dust and grit from exposed surfaces such as floors, shelves, walls, etc. The material (often mostly comprised of flakes of dead skin and hair) is removed to a handy dustbin within range or piled up where the caster wishes within range (10 feet). The removed material may not exceed 10 lbs. in weight. Care should be exercised while dusting delicate works of art (paintings, frescoes, etc.) as this cantrip may remove fine plaster or flecks of paint if not concentrating on the task at hand. The duration is instantaneous and normally takes no supervision, but if the mage concentrates on the task and oversees it for one-turn/10 square feet, no damage will come to fine objects.
Area of Effect: One object or set (like a pair of boots). Up to 1000 square feet.
This will smooth and bring luster to objects of wood, metal, stone, leather, or ceramic. The object must first be cleaned by hand or by the Clean cantrip. The smaller the area or object is, the better the job of polishing. Several applications may be required to ‘sand’ rough wood down to a smooth finish.
Area of Effect: 1-foot diameter cloud
This creates a cloud of colored smoke (caster chooses the color of blue, gray, yellow, red, orange, white, black, pink, purple, or green) to appear within 10 feet of the caster, and it will behave as smoke would (ascending and dissipating, usually, or flowing with the prevailing air currents).
Area of Effect: 1 cubic foot
Nonliving, non-magikal liquid or solid materials may become up to 40 degrees F higher in temperature (not to be higher than 212 degrees F, so you may not boil water, (at one atmospheric pressure, anyway)). The duration is instantaneous and then nature reigns. i.e. the target will warm up or cool down as normal from that point due to ambient temperature and conditions. Thus, a cold liquid (cold tea or coffee, for example) may be warmed to a higher temperature. Even a bath may be warmed, though 1 cubic foot only, and then its heat will spread out according to normal laws of physics. This cantrip could easily turn one cubic foot of snow or ice into water (assuming such material was at least -8 degrees F or warmer to begin with in order to reach its minimum melting temperature).
Limitations on Cantrips:
Always remember, Cantrips are usually weak, will never surpass the abilities of 1st or higher level spells, typically have brief duration, are nigh valueless in combat, cannot cause direct damage to MOST creatures or people, often have stunning penalties when one attempts to employ them against unwilling, living, intelligent targets, and in general only will cause effects that are nearly trivial compared to the real power of 1st or higher level spells. However, they are still highly useful in non-combat situations and make life’s little chores easier and often provide a source of fun and diversity for role-playing.
Bear in mind the following limitations for all Cantrips:
• Living creatures who do not willingly submit to the effects of a Cantrip cast DIRECTLY upon them will always get a saving throw if they are 1st level or higher, have 1+1 Hit Dice or more, or have an intelligence rating higher than ‘animal.’ Success negates the effect entirely. THIS MEANS A SAVE WILL NEGATE THE EFFECT ON ANY ADVENTURER. Furthermore, any such individual will have at least a +4 bonus to their saving throw. Many Cantrips say they still have some minor affect if the target saves, but that assumes the target is not 1st level or higher, have 1+1 Hit Dice or more, or have an intelligence rating higher than ‘animal.’
• Cantrips will have no affect on magikally summoned beings (such as from other planes of existence).
• Cantrips will have no affect on characters or creatures already enchanted with a spell (unless they are willing targets) or in the process of casting a spell or employing a spell like ability. The building magikal aura around such creatures prevents these minor intrusions. Thus, Cantrips may never be used to help interrupt spell casters.
• Cantrips cast upon nonliving objects in the possession of those who would normally get a saving throw, will normally get a saving throw (identical to the possessor of the item). Success will negate the Cantrip’s effect entirely.
• Though low in power a Cantrip will still count as an action during the round. One may employ a Cantrip and move up to half their movement rate or employ two Cantrips without moving. They may never employ a Cantrip and cast a higher level spell in the same round.
• All Cantrips were designed to work on the prime material plane (actually, all are designed to work on one plane only, and that happens to be the PMP more often than not), and will not function at all on other planes of existence (other than where originally intended). A mage may, however, research special versions to work on a particular plane. If not designed for the PMP, this will cost at least 100 GP/Cantrip and take week.