Powers in the Genesys Project are not something for the timid. There is just so much energy from beyond the veil of the mortal world that a mortal can handle before being consumed by it. Its not just the channelers body that is at peril, but their very essence of life, their soul.
I had not delved into this well enough yesterday, so I thought we'd have some fun with Magic in Genesys today, and explain some of the secrets of it.
Channeling magic, or energy from beyond is extremely perilous. Not only if you simply cannot gather enough to create your Power (spells), but if you channel too much, it will consume the casters body leaving behind a withered husk or even less. How much ether a channeler can handle determines the casters Mortal Threshold, and makes using the most powerful spells extremely hazardous. Here is how it works.
Each power has a difficulty to cast. Like in the rest of Genesys (combat rolls), you want to roll high on your attack, or in this case, channeling. So if you have a difficulty of 8 to cast your spell, a higher result would give your opponents a lesser save against incoming spells.
When you increase the attributes of your Power you increase the difficulty. So if you increase the difficulty by 2, you now need a 10 result to cast your power. This can be difficult to achieve all by itself. Arcane casters can use their inner strength to add to the die result, and Faith casters can use the faithful. So just achieving your difficulty looks hard, and sometimes impossible.
Even more perilous to this, is the Mortal Threshold. This number sits at 12. Any die result higher than 12 consumes the channeler, killing them outright.
So casting spells seems nearly impossible.... and maybe just too much to dive into. That is true for most, but the powerful spells allow casters to break the bonds of reality, throwing fire, lighting, healing, empowering the faithful, an even animating the dead on the battlefield. The rewards are high. The more powerful the power, the more dangerous it is to attempt, and the narrow the margin of success is.
So how does a caster reach these hard to reach levels of difficulty without crossing that mortal threshold.........
Traits are your first area. To cast spells, you really must have a dedicated class or set of classes to achieve the abilities you need. A high Willpower, followed by a high command for faith magic, or a higher toughness for Arcane casters help. There are also other traits that greatly aid in these areas.
Ethereal Fortitude X: The powers from the Ether can rapidly overload a caster. Ethereal Fortitude increases a casters mortal threshold by X
Focus X: Focus allows for additional control while harnessing the power of the Ether. You may adjust one die roll by X when attempting to channel a power.
Also if your race is dedicated to only a single focus, then the difficulty of its powers is lowered by 1.
These allow abilities allow you channeler the ability to delve into the secrets of Powers, have a better chance of dealing it's difficulties.
Items of Power
In campaign you may even be dedicated to increasing your classes abilities towards magic when achieving your primary objectives. This can lead to items of power, or additional traits to help you dive further into the realms of Magic.
Items of power......
What is a Wizard or Mage without his staff or wand?. Campaign advancements allow you to gather items of power, allowing for Items of Power that greatly aid in casting spells both Arcane and Faith.
1. Arcane Wands 5pts: Allow you to manipulate Arcane Channeling die results by + or - 1.
+10pts A Wand can also increase arcane power strength 1
2. Arcane Staff 25pts: Allow you to increase your mortal threshold by 2 for Arcane Powers.
+10pts can also increase arcane power strength 1.
+10pts increase the mortal threshold by 1
3. Holy/ Unholy Relic 20pts: Allows you to increase your mortal threshold by 3 for Faith Powers.
2nd Age and above Magic
Cybernetically enhanced channeling... While machines cannot channel powers, Humanoids have the options of really pushing the powers to new levels in the 2nd and 3rd age. Even though magic itself is not advanced, humanoids discover new ways to harness the powers to greater effects either through technology advancements like Cybernetics or through delving deeper into the knowledge of lies beyond the veil and how to manipulate it.
The secrets beyond the veil will keep a race dedicated to magic delving deeper always as their race evolves and advances through the ages.
Its interesting how these have worked on the tabletop. Arcane Mages seem to have quite a bit of power at their disposal after a few games, although start off a little weaker. They do not need the dedicated faithful that a Faith caster needs, so can operate independently with greater effects. Several fledgling Wizards have died on the battlefield. However, dedicated classes have proved to be quite devastating with staves in hand.
Faith casters are also a difficult one. While it often seems easier to have these types of casters available, keeping your faithful alive can be tricky (because you need them), and they become just as big of a target as your caster. A Priest losing his connection to his faith is a sad thing on the battlefield, however the abilities they can bring to the table are phenomenal.
Each type of Powers, Arcane and Faith, have their benefits and drawbacks.