Tactical Magic

NOTE: this is a magic system proposal in progress by Jetan. There are several gaps still….

This is a magic system that provides lots of flexibility, but requires time, preparation, and maneuvering on the part of the mage for full effect. Magic is thus powerful, but strategic, not tactical.

The core idea: A spell is cast by making a connection between a power source and the target, and then shaping the energy. The spell-casting process is a sequence of challenges:

  • Connect
  • Channel power
  • Cast
  • Recover (might be reflected with risk or a fragile aspect)

In many cases, some of these steps can be supplemental actions; see below.


Making a connection requires two aspects in play, one for a source of power and one for the target.

The aspect for the source of power must be a scene aspect. That could be placed with a declaration, an assessment, a maneuver, or spending a fate point on a personal aspect (e.g., Hand of Blood) to place it on the scene. The power aspect does not need to be tagged, merely present. Thus, if it is fragile, it will still there until you tag it. The power aspect may be visible to other casters. Since it is visible, other casters could use it as part of casting a spell on you.

Similarly, the aspect on the target does not need to be tagged, merely present on them. It must however be relevant to the spell. Thus, a why does it have to be snakes could be used for a variety of mental spells, damage (snake strikes), etc. but not for flying.

Making the connection takes an action. This can be performed as a supplemental action unless it is contested. For example, another mage may be blocking access to the Crystal of Power.

Channel power

This makes energy flow between the power source and the target. That static difficulty is the power of the spell. This may be a contested roll if another mage has connected to the same power source.

Cast a spell

With the power flowing, shape the spell. This is a maneuver against the targets best appropriate defense. Details TBD.


Casting a spell plants an aspect (or consequence) on the caster. The difficulty of dismissing the aspect depends the strength of the spell. If he aspect is fragile (e.g., the difficulty is less than 3), then it can be dismissed as a supplemental action. Details to be TBD.

Stunts would then simplify various of these stages

Do I have to connect to the power source for every spell?

Casting particular kinds of spells requires particular kinds of power; for example, creating a volcano might require accessing power aspect associated with fire or earth.

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