Magical effects created by mage's or other spell-casting creatures are called spells. Spells in RIP are way to channel mana into specified effects. Each spell is construction of sub-elements of several different magics, and mage must handle all these to cast spells of that type. A mage can improvise and construct all spells when needed to, but he or she may also learn to cast certain patterns again and again, and thus become more profient to generate certain spell effects.

Note: Spellcasting is dangerous and taxing art. A careless mage can easily burn himself or create unexpected and ofter harmful side-effects. Do not mess with powers far more powerful than you.

Spells and Mana

Spell effects are quite dependent on mana used to power it. Some basic mana is used for basic spell, and extra mana then increases power, duration or other things, see below for generic rules on this.

There is no exact rules on how to construct base requirements in mana for spells, so GM must use common judgment on power and effects of spell. See details below and example on sample spells.

Spell Elements

Spells are made from sub-elements of needed magics. A mage determines effect required, and then it is determined what magics are needed to do it. If mage has all these magics at least in required level, he or she may try to cast the spell. Otherwise spell is too complex for him or her, and mage must cast something else. Magics elements are described in appropriate magics.

For example, mage wants to create spell that causes all mana flows around him to glow with ghostly flame. This spell requires primal level 1 effect (detect mana flow) and elemental level 2 effect (create effects).

See sample spells.


Magical effects are created by combining one or more different magics into effects. Most common and broadest magics are detailed here, but there is nothing to stop from having different magics that may draw power from different locations and cause different effects.

All spells are generated from these basic magics. Most spells need only one magic type, but more complex ones require combination of magics, usually with primal or force, which manipulate mana on its purest form.

Major Magics

Primal Magic

Primal magic controls mana at its purest form, and is more like meta-magic to control flows of mana and to bind other magical effects for longer duration. Primal magic is also used for general counterspelling against any magical effects caused by flow of mana. It can only draw free-flowing mana.

Force Magic

Force magic is power to create effect with pure mana, causing it to have effect on material world. Unlike primal magic, which is more like meta-magic handling the very essence of mana, force magic concentrates on physical manifestation of it and dimensional gateways.

Nature Magic

Nature magic gains power from living things itself, and has power to modify or create natural things like plants or animals. It gains power from growth, Life and living things in overall, and is the most powerful way to draw mana in most cases.

Elemental Magic

Elemental magic concentrates on basic elemental powers of the world: fire, earth, air and water. It has mighty power to create devastating effects from thin air, but requires immense concentrations of certain elemental for mana drawing.

Mind Magic

Mind magic manipulates thoughts and very essence of the thinking creatures. It has power to create illusions of the mind and to control weak wills, but has very little ways to draw mana.

Dark Magic

Dark magic gains its power from Death, decay and misery. It concentrates the screams of lost souls and steals Life from living things to create its effect.


Mana is the power behind all spells and magical effects. No spell can be casted unless the caster first traps enough Mana to create the effect. This mana is drawn from surrounding area to the caster's mana pool, and this mana is then used to create spells.


Mana is the flowing power all around us that makes the spells possible. Most mana is bind into living creatures or plants, but some of it freely flow around us.

While mana is invisible most of time, sudden concentrations of it may cause visual or even audible effects. Flows of high mana can be sometimes seen as colorful winds.

No spell casting or enchanting is possible if no Mana is present. Mages use their innate power and skills to trap that Mana and channel it to create magical effects, and enchanters use Mana to bind effects to items and areas.

Mana Pool

This is a reserve of mana currently in mage's use. Most spells are cast with this mana, and if the mage ever fails to successfully draw mana or fails spell casting miserably, this mana is released and 'burns' through mage possibly harming or even killing him or her.

The mage can draw mana into his or her mana pool during his or her turn. See details for drawing below. In addition to that, mana can be drawn directly to spells while they are being cast.

Keeping mana ready in reserve is dangerous. Unless caster concentrates on it (keeps on casting or simply concentrates with little knowledge about things happening around him or her) the mana could flow free and burn mage. Each minute with unused mana in pool may cause mana-flow unless mage can control it with Mana control-skill. No test is required if mage performs a ritual or concentrates on keeping that mana.

If a mage is hit hard he or she must succeed in mana control test to keep mana in his or her reserve. If mage is knocked unconscious, the mana automatically leaks.

Mana control test is made as standard test with Mana control test, and if passed (4+), no mana leak occur. Otherwise, see below.

Mana Leak

If a mage fails to concentrate on mana in his or her mana pool, or fails a spell miserably, or draws too much mana too quickly, all mana in his or her reserve plus mana just drawn will burn through him or her, causing massive internal damage and temporary weakness and disorientation.

Roll a d6 at following table:
1-2Disorientation, possible blackout for a short moment
3-4Disorientation and mana rejectation, all mana-drawing at -1 level for days (roll d6 each day, ends at roll 1)
5-6Massive internal burning damage, general damage from 0 to mana leaking
Note that while internal damage is healable with Nature magics, mana rejection cannot be healed with magics. And it is cumulative.

Mana Stores
Artifacts with mana can be used by mage holding them. Mana is drawn from them like from surroundings if mage is holding the artifact, and has no normally limit on how much mana can be drawn each turn.

Reloading is done with simple primal magic.

Mana Drawing

For caster to gain mana for spells, he or she must first draw it to mana pool or directly into spell. This feat can become very dangerous, if much mana is drawn.


To get mana to his or her mana pool, mage must draw it from surroundings (or from special items). The limit of mana drawn each drawing is limited by general mana level and sources around mage, usually limited to 5 per drawing.

Note that mana can be drawn in two circumstances: During own turn to add it to mana pool, or just when casting to immediately add drawn mana to power of the spell.

Drawing Action

When drawing mana the mage simply declares how many mana he or she tries to draw, and if he or she is using any specific magics to draw that mana. This many d6's are then rolled (but see low or high mana areas below), and each d6 has following effect:
1No mana
2-51 mana
62 mana*
*if total 6's rolled exceeds mage's Mana Control skill, the drawing fails and mana burns through him or her, see Mana leak above.

Sensing the Mana Drawing

When mana is drained, all creatures in close vicinity may notice that flow. This is more probable if creature has high awareness or is itself magically attuned or has limited magic. Nature and dark magic drawing is even more easier to notice, as is great forces.

If very high much mana is drawn, the air will start to shimmer and even colorful winds can be seen clearly, moving from sources to drawer.

Low and High Level Mana Areas

Some areas have very little or no mana. In areas like that, the maximum number of d6's rolled each turn can be reduced or can become even 0. In normal areas, maximum mana drawn each time is 5.

Some areas have very high mana, and in those areas, there is no limit of mana drawn each turn. In addition, very high mana areas add automatically extra d6's to each mana drawing! These areas are quite dangerous because mage can easily burn him alive with that extra mana.

Powerful force and primal mages can create vortexes across universes that drain mana from close vicinity, rendering mages helpless if they have no other ways to get mana.

Specific Drawing

With use of specific magics (mainly elemental, nature or dark), the mage can draw mana more specialized to casted spells or just faster. If any specific magic is used, mana available each drawing can be raised to high values, especially with dark magic.

Other Ways to Get Mana

Mana drawing is not the only way to get mana. Primal magic practioners may fill their mana pool by draining mana from other spells or enchantments, or by tapping to mana sources in some artifacts. In any case, mana control test is required even when using these exotic ways.

Spell Casting

When casting a spell, the mage first announces the spell being cast and uses as much mana from his or her mana pool as he or she wants to it on it. After that, more mana is drawn to power-up the spell if required, and spell is then casted with that mana.

Casting Test

Casting roll is done with sorcery skill. The test is made as standard test, with following modifiers:
+1If spell is prelearned
+1No subelement higher level than sorcery (or innate control) skill
-1Complex spell (3 subelements or different parts)
-2Very complex spell (5 subelements or different parts)
-1For each 3 pure power in spell i.e. power resisted, see below
-1For each 5 mana in spell, starting from 10
*For example, sorcery-2 casts spell with primal-3, dark-3 has no modifiers to casting roll. Similary, same mage casting dark-2 spell has +1 dice on casting roll.

If the test is successful (4+ in normal cases), mana in spell determines final results. Otherwise something unexpected results, like mana-leak in worst case (see above). Note that spell-casting requires words and hand gestures, and if hindered, apply -1-2 dice to roll. In addition, penalties for high power or mana can be removed with appropriate (rare) combonents.

Mana Drawing Directly to Spell

The mage does not always have enough mana already in mana pool to cast a spell, and in such cases, he or she must draw it directly into spell while casting it. In such a case, mana drawn is added directly to spell, and if mana used is too little, spell may fail or have very reduced effect.

Note that spells requiring much mana are usually done with either by first slowly draing mana to mana pool, and then casting the spell, or by doing it with ritual from start.

Example: Mage Thieryn has just casted lightning bolt during his turn, and his mana pool is empty. Before his next action, he is attacked with paralyzation spell. Thieryn tries a basic counterspell requiring 3 mana, and thus he announces the spell and immediately draws 4 dice (just in case) worth of mana into spell.

Spell Timings

Normally only one spell can be cast each turn. The only exception is that fast defensive spells (so called interrupts) can be cast as frequently as the caster needs to. So a mage can cast 3 counterspells during one turn, for example.


All spells cast can be countered by other mages with the use of primal magic or other similar ways. This requires so-called 'counterspell'.

But counterspell is also a spell, so it can be countered, too, before it can counter the original spell. This way the mages can counter each other's spells until either fails or gives up. If multiple counters are used, the time between each starts to lenghten, and thus other creatures gain more actions. This should be ignored in most cases, however, but may result in long magic combats in extreme conditions.

Negating Effects

Instead of countering the spell, the mage can simply negate the spell effect or change it to something else. A elemental mage can make the fire encircle him or her instead of hitting, and force mage can stop invasive force trying to throw him or her to wall. This usually required fast reflexes and proper magics.

Special Spell Casting

In addition to standard sorcery, spells can be also generated with rituals or by innate powers.


If the mage needs to cast a spell with huge amounts of mana or simply needs more certainity, he or she may do that with ritual.

A ritual needs at least 1 minute per mana in spell, but it has some advantages over normal casting.
  • All mana drawing is done as 1 mana packets, even if sacrifices or similar extra sources are used. So there is no danger of mana burn or leak as long as either mana control or ritual skill is 1 or higher
  • Penalties for high pure power is per 5 mana in power, not 3.
  • Penalties for high mana is -1 for each 10 mana, starting from 20.
  • Mage adds ritual-skill level to sorcery level when spell is finally cast.
  • Mana in ritual is spread across the weaving so that if mage is hit or otherwise it leaks, no mana burn occur to mage unless very unlucky. However, when the spell is finally cast, there is normal probablity for mana burn if spell fails.
Note that rare areas give huge amounts of mana, even for long rituals. To enhance mana drawing, nature or dark magic is usually used, by casting spells at heavy woods or by human sacrifices (dark).

During ritual is possible to cast other spells, but for any other activity, a successful ritual-skill test must be made or ritual ends and nothing happens, except for normal mana leak. Mana gained for ritual is not usable for other spells, but instead required direct drawing to spells.

Group Ritual

Sometimes a group casts a spells together. In such case, one of them is nominated as main caster, and rest are his or her assistants. During ritual, add all ritual-skills in group together for all tests.

Innate Powers

Some mages can use innate powers, powers that do not use standard casting roll. Such powers are used as are normal spells, but cannot be prelearned and requires only stare and concentration. Innate control skill is used to 'cast' these spells, and normal rules for mana is used. Counterspelling innate powers is possible but because innate powers are harder to notify, is not always possible unless mage is very observant.

Innate powers cannot use magics or rituals, and are limited by their own level. A creature cannot use normal magics with innate powers or vice versa.

Spell Effects

The actual effect of spell is determined by the mana used. If the mana is less than basic requirements, the effect is very minor and may do nothing useful, while extra mana increases power or duration of the spell. See sample spells for sample mana costs.

Spells That Modify

Spells that modify something has base mana cost from 1 to more for more complex modifications, and use both costs for size and range as in generalized table (see below).

Spells That Create

To create something new, cost is usually much higher than modifying. Instant effects or effects that only have audible or visible effects may have only basic cost of 1 even with range, but creating material things from thin air are much more expensive.

If creation tries to hit something, to-hit roll may be required.

Duration and Power

All extra mana of the spell goes to duration, if the spell do not use power to affect anything. Otherwise, duration is fixed while casting, and all extra mana in spell is pure power, ie. power to affect target. This power makes spell harder to cast but more powerful and harder to be resisted.

Example: Mage Thieryn casts suggest (mind-2) into guard, suggestion him to drop his weapon. Basic cost for spell is determined to be 4 (see below), and spell is casted with 8 mana, so 4 mana is in pure power. This applies -1 penalty for spell-casting (see casting), but if successful, guard must resist 4 power in will-power test.

Special Ingredients and Side Effects

Spells which are fast to cast, have no special requirements or side effects are very hard to generate. It is much easier to include some appropriate components to spells, use extra time to cast and for effect to appear etc. This normally applies to big spells.

Complex Spells

If the spell has many different parts or is otherwise very complicated or have very extensive duration, range or size of effect, casting may be more difficult, see spell-casting.

Calculating Mana Required

  • Sum basic needs for spell from area, duration, range etc.
  • Determine basic cost for effect (usually 0-2, but may be much higher and sometimes even negative)
  • All mana after that goes for pure power, ie. power to affect target or to gain extra effect.
Example: Mage Thieryn needs to extinguish all candles in altar across the room (elemental-1 effect). The range for candles is about 20 meters (3 mana) and effect size is about a size of human (4). The entire effect is so simple, that GM detrmines that total mana required is only 4, rest going for power. In this case, 4 mana (no extra power) should extinguish all normal candles.

Generic Power Table

ManaDuration Target SizeRangeEffect
0Seconds CoinSelfMinor Transformation
1Tens of seconds AppleTouch
2Minutes RatCloseObvious Transformation
3Tens of minutes Dog20 meters
4Hours Human100 metersMajor or Unnatural Transformation
5Quarter of days Horse500 m
6Days Small Cottage2 kmDrastic or Complex Transformation
7Weeks Small Wind Mill10 km
8Months House20 kmUnnatural Drastic Transformation
9Seasons Farm House40 km
10Years Tower80 kmComplex and Drastic Transformation
Size assumes simple forms if something new is created. If more complex forms are desired, add mana cost. When affecting something, size is also used, and add mana for animated targets with force magics.
Range assumes line-of-sight. Add 2 for non-direct effects, but there usually must be some way to do it.
Effect is for transformation spells. They are more complex and require more mana if material is changed to something new, especially if very different kind of new material.

RIP 3rd edition (C) Kalle Marjola 1996-97. All rights reserved