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Spycraft 2.0: Spellbound: The Channeler (Revised)

Spellbound: The Channeler (Revised)

The Spellbound series of supplements gives you a flexible, modular way of adding magic to your game, something that you might want to consider when planning a Spycraft game that involves the supernatural or other weirdness. Each book in the series presents a different 'school' (or type) of magic along with a base class which studies and uses it and a good selection of spells to get them going. There's a standard 'magic system' that you can bolt on to the ruleset and you add the 'sorcery' campaign quality to any others that your campaign has.

The core magic system - quite different from the one you might be used to if you play D20 fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder - is gone through and there is an interesting discussion of how the existance of magic can affect the game. Considerations such as where did the magic come from anyway and what does it look/sound/smell/feel like when it's used are worth exploring from the outset. Is it a recent development or has it always been there in the alternate reality of your game world? How does an individual learn to wield it? Questions you need to answer before you let magic loose in your game.

From the game mechanics point of view, the magic system itself is straightforward and elegant. A magic-using character has to have a skill in spellcasting and makes a skill check every time he casts a spell. The spells are powered by points, based on caster level, allowing considerable flexibility as a character can cast any spell he knows at will, provided he has sufficient points to power it. Casters can wear what they like and cast freely, although they do need to be able to speak.

Now, this work focusses on the Channeller School of magic. This involves three areas or disciplines: energy, force and weather; and a practitioner of this kind of magic can be viewed as a master of magical mayhem. There are full details for creating a Channeller character with all the features, abilities and progression details you'd expect.

Once you have decided on this class, there's plenty of advice on how to build to best effect and how to play him well and more information on how the spell mechanics work in play. There's a big collection of feats, many of which are appropriate to any spell caster, not just a Channeller and even a couple of more general interest for characters who are not magicians. Then there's a full array of spells in detail for the new Channeller to learn and cast.

In an espionage/magic fusion world, this could be as valuable a character as the typical thriller 'runner and gunner' substituting magical firepower for bullets. Of course, he might easily be able to shoot as well. If magic is in your world, it is almost certain that there will be those willing to use it to impose their will on others by force. The Channeller is rarely subtle. If the dynamics of your campaign setting hold magic to be something relatively unknown, illegal or not really believed in by the general populace, it's going to be very interesting to see how a Channeller manages to blend in and use his abilities whilst keeping them secret. Interesting possibilities, though...

Return to Spellbound: The Channeler (Revised) page.

Reviewed: 5 February 2015