Raw magic, or Wild Magic, is the energy from the Mystical Plane. It is alien to the Material Plane and doesn’t go by our rules. Bringing Wild Magic into our world without containing it in a spell is similar to dumping radioactive waste into a community. The best you can hope for is that getting away immediately means you can recover from it with only minimal side effects. In more severe cases, you get genetic mutations (not the kind that give you cool powers), atomic destabilization, and rampant death from a variety of toxins and burns.
It takes a special person to be able to wrestle that Wild Magic down and force it to do what the Mystic wants, and only what the Mystic wants. This is known as spellcasting: a Mystic’s specific intent in using magic to impact reality. A spell requires four things:
- Magical energy
- A conduit for that energy
- Focus to guide and direct that energy
- A desired effect for that energy
Explanation and Access
Currently, the only people who can access magic are those who have directly taken in energy pulled from portals to the mystical plane. These portals are currently controlled by The Welldrinker Cult, who have used this claim to empower their membership.
Some spells and rituals established before the magical rebirth would now carry more power, so existing magical studies can prove useful, but for many spells, there would be trial and error.
Unlike mutation, while magic gives people access to power, it is not innate. All spells have either hand motions or materials and rituals required to complete. Even a Snapping spell, while instinctively known, requires some kind of ritual or focus to perform. Spells cannot be safely improvised in the moment, either. Creating a spell is both a science and an art - both take time, testing, and inspiration to get the results you want.
Adapted fields have no impact on magic whatsoever - they evolved to negate the X-Gene.
Schools of Magic
Warding and altering magic that can “charm” or even "hex" a space, person, or object that alter it without changing its essential nature.
Magic that summons or calls something to a location. This also allows for the creation of objects, and potentially even animation, but both require magical focus to maintain.
A more ritual-heavy school focused on revealing knowledge, whether that’s glimpsing potential futures, gaining hints toward secrets around you, and revealing what might be concealed.
Channeling the raw magical energies of the mystic realm and converting it into new destructive or beneficial energy, from a soothing wave of healing to a burst of flame or a violent burst of pure arcane energy.
The ability to alter perceptions, masking reality to those who interact with your illusions, simulating sensory interactions like appearance, scent, or texture.
Magic focused on the body and life and the manipulation of either. This can alter flesh, mend wounds, and at high enough levels, tamper with genetics.
Completely transforming a person into an animal or other inhuman creature is beyond the ability of any Somation Mystic except for a Supreme.
There are several different ways to increase the potency of a spell or other manifestation of magic. The more powerful the spell and the higher level it is, the more energy it will take to cast it and any verbal or material components will likely become more complicated as well. More powerful spells will also tend to take more time to cast.
To offset the amount of power it takes to perform such spells and therefore reduce chances of burning yourself out from conducting all those energies, a Mystic might consider linking their power with other Mystics or even utilize a Mutant's aid if they can provide the right type of power or materials.
The largest and most powerful/complicated rituals are likely impossible to do without multiple Mystics working together. Multiple Mystics coordinating their power (and knowledge) also reduces the chances of losing control of the spell or any negative consequences occurring (such as magical backlash in the form of Wild Magic).
Casual magic is the most basic type of magic. It's so basic that it doesn't require a user to actively channel power from the mystical plane. Instead, casual magic uses up ambient magical energy that is best described as having "leaked" from the various ley lines and portals that the Welldrinkers have returned to being. This means that anyone (including Humans, Adapteds, and Mutants) can learn and use casual magic, since it does not require genetics that are compatible with conducting mystical energy. However, casual magic tends to be very weak in effect and if enough of it is used in an area, it will use up all the ambient magical energy floating around. At that point, only a Mystic able to channel magic directly through themselves from the mystical plane will be able to perform magic.
Additionally, casual magic is rather intuitive for Mystics, typically not requiring much study or practice at all (since they're capable of far greater feats of magic). For non-Mystics, weeks of dedicated study and practice are required to perform the most basic of spells, such as lighting a candle or temporarily changing the color of something.
Casual magic is so weak that it rarely causes any unintended side effects, as the magic is not pulled from the Mystical Plane.For examples of Casual Magic, see the chart of Arcana Classes.
Limitations of Magic
No outright death magic, No altering space and time, No limitless resurrection, Abilities should be weaker than a comparable mutation (ex. A magical fireball should be a burst of fire compared to the raging inferno of a mutant). If something was created by magic, it still works as if it were created non-magically, so you fireproof mutant is still immune to a magical fireball. Magical items and potions can be created, but they lose power and efficacy over time and must continually be recharged (as will any long-lasting spell).
More limits can be added as they become necessary or obvious.
Price Of Magic
Every spell is like a transaction. A sacrifice of some kind must be paid to cast a spell, or a price will be extracted from you afterward. This can range from sacrificing materials (blood, precious stones, an object of sentimental value) to sacrificing time (performing a ritual, reciting a chant, meditation) to even a personal sacrifice (memories, exhaustion, your body heat). The more powerful or complicated the spell, the higher the cost scales.
Mystics are the best conduits for magic, but they’re still of this realm. Channeling raw power from an otherworldly plane still takes a physical and mental toll. Continuously using magic, keeping a spell active for a long period of time, or stringing a lot of spells together back-to-back will lead to magical burnout. The early stages of burnout is a weakening of spells, requiring more and more power to achieve expected results. Pushing yourself past your limits will start leading to many symptoms of strain and overwork, including migraines, nausea, fevers, blackouts, cardiac events, and will inevitably cause temporary or long-term magical impotence.
If you foolishly try to cast a spell without paying the price, you will immediately run into the effects of magical burnout, magical corruption, or unleashing rampant Wild Magic.
The longer a person is exposed to too much energy, whether it’s solar, thermal, nuclear, etc, or the more intense the exposure, the greater the chance of them being changed by it. The same goes for magic. Using a lot of magic in a short period of time - from either casting too many spells or a few really big spells - without a chance to “cool off” increases the risk that magic will begin to physically change the Mystic.
Often this manifests as physical attributes related to the type of magic the Mystic had been using or the Mystic’s theme (for example an Invocation hedge witch sprouting giant thorns from her face and shoulders after rapidly growing saplings into trees all day) or in cases where the spell wasn’t well controlled or is outside the Mystic’s magical theme or schools of magic, the effects can truly be random (the Invocation hedge witch sprouting demon horns and oozing yellow slime after trying to make everyone in her neighborhood suffer a mass hallucination). A single unmastered spell is all it takes to become corrupted. Once magical corruption occurs, it does not fade away, unless specifically “cleansed” or removed by a Mystic capable of altering people, and even then success can vary. The effects of magical corruption can continuously grow or gain new effects if the Mystic engages in habitual overuse or regular use of unmastered spells.
Risks Of Magic
As magic comes from another reality and has the ability to warp this one, it is inherently risky to use. Every single spell that involves channeling magic from the Mystical Plane has the chance that some of that magic is going to spill out, often to unpredictable results. It’s the Wild Magic being wild. It might be backlash from the spell or a random effect. If you’re lucky, you just get bubbles and the smell of mint. More severe cases involve event horizons and liquefying bones. Similarly, the risk of magical burnout or magical corruption also grows with the less familiarity you have with a spell.
The risk tends to scale with how big or complex the spell is, as the more power one draws on or the more moving parts there are, the easier it is to let something slip through the cracks and the more strain it is on you. Risk occurs when magic is not under control. There are several ways to mitigate the risk, however.
Be prepared for anything.
Prepare to use additional acts either magic or mundane to plan for any potential outcome, although when the effects of Wild Magic can literally be anything, this isn’t advisable.
Meticulously plan out and perform a ritual.
A well-thought out spell that has been rehearsed and is taking place in a calm, maybe sterile environment with no chance of being disrupted is generally the best bet to ensure there’s almost or actually no risk of random and chaotic effects from occurring.
Use focus items.
Items that you’ve specifically prepared and/or enchanted for a particular spell or type of spellcasting can greatly increase your control over the spell and ensure it does what you want, much like using a ruler to draw a straight line instead of freehanding it or using an app to keep track of time instead of counting the seconds yourself. In this case, using a wand carved from oak and tipped with silver can help you more easily cast lightning bolts, or an inherited teapot for your tea readings can ensure that you’re not summoning horrible nightmares instead.
Practice, practice, practice.
Practice until you know the words, symbols, gestures, or rituals by heart. Let them become muscle memory, if you will. The more familiar you are with a spell, the more attuned you become to it and better you are at ensuring it does exactly what you want.
Do not improvise.
When you’ve mastered a spell, don’t try to change it on the fly. Changing a single variable can be the difference in it just sputtering out or possibly blowing up in your face. Cutting out rituals, materials, or incantations is often a recipe for literal disaster. Likewise, attempting to imitate someone else’s magical style or spells without making it your own will almost always result in bad things happening.
Have a precise and narrowly defined goal for the spell.
A single, simple outcome, or an outcome that is painstakingly detailed is easier to focus on, either because you’ve gone over all the angles and ensured there are no loopholes, or it’s so simple there’s no room for error. If you give a vague idea of what you want the spell to do, the spell might only vaguely do what you want it to.
Give it your sole attention.
Spells require your concentration and if you don’t give them the attention they deserve, they may act out and you do not want that. This is vital, especially when in a dangerous situation when you may only have seconds to act or react - too many distractions might prevent you from keeping your spell straight and could plunge the area into chaos, and not the good kind.
In many cases, a weaker spell can perform a task just as well as a powerful, top-tier spell. It’s usually advisable to use a lesser spell as even if Wild Magic is unleashed, it’s usually correspondingly weaker and easier to manage. Weaker spells also diminish chances of burnout and magical corruption, so it’s a win-win-win.
In short, treat magic like fire or nuclear radiation. Respect it, take all proper precautions, and it’s yours. Play fast and loose and risk devastation.