Most important magic systems terms

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This article briefly defines the most important terms, abbreviations and acronyms pertinent to the various fantasy genre magic systems, sorted alphabetically. Note that there are separate articles for more specific terms as well as for important English language words that are not specific to Sagatafl.

Note, this article is still very incomplete.



(copy in text from In-Play Terms article) )


Alignment is a metaphysical "marker" that a character can have. In Sagatafl's magic system there are three types of Alignment: Divine, Pagan and Satanic, and any mortal being (such as a Human, Dwarf, Grey Space Alien, or common sewer rat) must have at least 1 Level of Alignment towards each of the three, whereas some or all extradimensional/extrapanar beings (gods, angels, Demons) may have a zero in two Alignments or in some cases in all three (e.g. Elementals). Undead cannot be Aligned to Divine, but can instead be unAligned (zero, zero and zero) or be Aligned to Satanic or sometimes to Pagan.

No being can have more than one Alignment that is higher than 1. An Alignment higher than 1 is a DisAdvantage as it makes the character detectable by various means, and may make him vulnerable to some attack forms that do not harm the unAligned (Alignment 1 or zero) or who causes them only lesser harm. Higher-than-1 Alignment may be a prerequisite for some supernatural effects, typicaly Powers, or it may give various kinds of bonuses to such Powers. For instance, Divine Alignment 2+ is a prerequisite for any Grand Divine Power of PL0.5 to 5.5, and Divine Alignment 3+ is a prerequisite for any Grand Divine Power of PL6+. Pagan Alignment is not a prerequisite for the Artificer Item Creation Power, but gives some benefits if it is higher than 1.

Divine Alignment or Pagan Alignment is inborn and cannot change except possibly through very difficult rituals. Satanic Alignment is sometimes inborn but is most often acquired due to accumulated Satanic Corruption. No mortal being can have a inborn Alignment higher than 3, while semi-mortal beings (the offspring of a mortal and a supernatural being) can have Alignments as high as 4 (for 1/8 to 3/8 supernatural blood) or 5 (for 1/2 superntural blood), and up to 6 or 7 for fully supernatural beings.

Satanic Alignment can be concealed via a process called Masking that lowers th apparent and detectable Alignment by 1 or more, to a minimum of 1. For this reason, some wielders of Divine Powers or other Divine magic are reluctant or unable to descern betwee Pagan and Satanic, or even to discern between non-religious (learned) magic and Satanic magic, thereby serving to increase the dramatic potential of the setting

Alignment is sometimes abbreviated AL, and the specific Alignments are frequently abbreviated as DAL, PAL and SAL, to conserve space (e.g. in tables or in formulae).

Archmage Levels


Casting Option

Detect Magic Class

From the perspective of users of Traditional Magic (called Arcane magic in some settings), most commonly those who cast spells (as opposed to using some other shape of magic), all magic is either normal and well known, slightly alien and exotic, or very alien and exotic.

The first is Magic Class A, phenomena that are easy to detect and to work with. The second is Magic Class B, phenomena that are somewhat harder to work with, often in the form of requiring higher level Spells to detect or to negate temporarily or permanently, and the third is Magic Class C, the really unusual stuff. Since most Traditonal Magic is learnable, whereas most of Class B and all of Class C is inborn. Class A magic is therefore the most common type of magic encountered in most worlds, and this difference is made even starter in adventuring contexts, since adventuring-useful class B and C magic is very rare.

The emergent effect of this is that spellcasters tend to disregard Class B magic as being irrelevant peasant magic, and so when they cast Spells of Detect Magic or Dispel Magic, they often cast the lowest Level Spells, the ones that only work on Class A magic. Those spellcasters who know about the existence of Class C magic tend to disregard it even more strongly than they disregard Class B. Even a tactically savvy spellcaster who encounters what might be magical will often at least start by seeing if the phenomenon is Class A, and only if initial spellcasting suggests that this is not the case will he "step up" to use higher Level Spells capable of interacting with Class B or both B and C.

So, from the perspective of the most common versatile magic user in most settings, the spellcaster, class B magic and magic items tend to "slip under the radar", with Class C items doing this to an even greater degree. The best example is probably the Simple Items made by Artificers which, being Class C, are most often regarded as being completely mundane in nature, albeit very, very well made. Another example is Divine magical effects, which are alway Class C

In general, MetaMagic Spells to interact with magic, in the form of detection, analysis or temporary or permanent nullification, exist in three versions, with the lowest Level version being only able to affect Class A magic, the medium Level version (almost always only 1 SL higher)) being able to affect Class A and B magic, and the highest Level version (almost always only 2 SL higher than the base spell) being able to affect all magic.

Please note that this magic classification is grounded in a specific perspective, that of users of Traditional Magic, and that other perspectives exist within most settings, such as the perspective of the wielder of Divine magic, or the wielder of Folk magic.

Divine magic

Divine magic is a form of magic meant to emulate the mythology and functional shape of Abrahamic mythology. In historical fantasy settings it is meant to be used for the magics and miracles performed or channeled by characters who adhere to Abrahamic faiths, characterized by monotheism and a common memetic and enviromental heritage, speciically Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as other religions closely related to these, such as the exotic Mandeism, and the various heresies, or at least some of them, such as Assassin Islam and Albigensian Christianity. It is not really well suited for something like Zoroastrianism or Mithraism, and entirely unsuited for copletely unrelated monotheistic faiths such as Buddhism.

In non-historical settings, the Divine and Divine magic can be used as the shape of magic employed by the traditonal Cleric-and-Paladin character types.

Divine magic is available in two forms, a subtle form that can be performed by anyone who believes or wants to believe (although this is regarded as heresy in religions, that is a social issue, not a metaphysical one), but which can only do relatively unimpressive things, such as lay a (non-Undead) corpse to rest so that it cannot become an Undead or a Were, and various minor blessing rites. And the much more powerful "true magical" effects, which are available only to those character that were born with the correct Divine Powers, such as Divine Item Creation, Divine Lightbearer, Divine Cleanser, Divine Liberator and Divine Miracle Worker.

These are the strongest inborn Powers in the game, and as such have a higher point cost than other Powers. Anyone born with Divine Powers is also subject to periodic Divine Oversight, in which a rerpresentative of the one Divine god will take an overview of the character's conduct since last time, and will choose to give some form of punishment (usually in the form of withholding some or all of the Powers, until the character has repended and atoned). Please note very carefully that the charcter is always free to use his Powers as he wishes, with no limits whatsoever, between these Oversights. Although of course that freedom can well be abused to dig a pit so deep that it becomes flat out impossible for the character ever to repent and atone his way out of it, thus never regaining the use of his Powers. (Please also note that the Divine will never go in and retcon any action performed by a wielder of Divine Powers, i.e. make the world as if the Power-abuses had never happened.)





ES, or Essence, is a personal and non-renewable mystical ressource that each character is born with, and which is expended most often on performing permant magic, e.g. Enchanting a magical item, but Essence can also be sacrificed in other ways, and lost involuntarily. Essence is an in-world phenomenon, not metagame, and charaters can and should discuss it with each other, e.g.: "What did you spend your Essence on?" / "None of your business!".




Intelligence (Mystical)

Item Creation

Item Creation Power




Mystery Slot

Mystical Intelligence




Partially Learned

Passive Power







Spell Force

Spell Safety

Spell TM


Spellcasting Fumble Outcome Roll


Strong Magic




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