Here's the draft text of the Into the Depths magic rules. The list of magic words itself is forthcoming, I'm still deciding how fine a grain I want on the terms, and what selection will be most evocative and useful for referees and players thinking of coming up with their own.
Magic1) Initiation: To cast spells a PC must be inducted into a mystery cult. A PC can only be a member of one mystery cult at a time but can abandon their old tradition and join a new one by undergoing a new induction. Levels don’t carry over from one cult to another. A PC learns two magic words (referee's choice) when they join a mystery cult.
2) Knowledge: PCs can know a number of magic words equal to their character’s level (not level of initiation). They can know a number of magic spells equal to their character’s level.
3) Creation: All spells are combinations of words. PCs can use as many words in a spell as they have levels of initiation into their mystery cult. Words cannot be used twice in the same spell. It takes one day of work to create a new spell, or to replace one a PC already knows with a new one.
4) Learning: PCs learn new words by finding them on adventures or experimenting on their own time. If a word is found on an adventure, only one PC can learn it. If a PC develops a magic word, they can teach it to others for whatever price they want.
5) Casting: You can cast as many spells per day as you have types of trappings at hand. If you get more types of trappings over the course of a day, the number of spells you can cast increases. Lose some, and it decreases (losing uncast spell slots first). Rare trappings may grant more slots than usual.
6) Effects: Negotiate with referee during spell creation. A typical spell targets one thing within 30m and either causes 1 instantaneous change or has effects that last 1 hr.
This is a selection of possible trappings, not an exhaustive list. Each type of trapping grants one additional spell per day.
|Assistant / Apprentice||Must also be initiated into same mystery cult. Can be another PC. Must spend an action helping cast.|
|Bric-a-Brac||An accumulation of wizardly garbage: Stuffed alligators, jars of spider legs, etc.|
|Drugs / Mana||One-use, usable only once per day. Save or hallucinate. Small item.|
|Familiar||Counts as henchman who is of no combat value and full of sass. Unbuyable, must be recruited.|
|Grimoire||A magical book full of cryptic suggestions, bizarre claims, and unsettling illustrations. Cost based on title.|
|Idol||The creepier the better. Not normally portable.|
|Locus / Sanctum||A sanctified and prepared location that focuses mystical energy. Not portable.|
|Obsession||Unbuyable. Spell gained through obsession can only be cast to effect object of obsession.|
|Panoply / Regalia||Priestly or wizardly robes, hat, etc. Cannot be worn with armour.|
|Sacrifice||One-use, usable only once per day. Sacrifice a sentient being’s life. Usually unbuyable.|
|Staff / Athame||Counts as two-handed weapon (staff) or small weapon (athame). Must be in hand when casting.|
|Talisman||A cauldron, mirror, amulet, etc. that serves as a focus. Must be used to cast the spell.|
And then, from the experience rules, because someone will ask if I don't mention it:
"3) PCs can be inducted into a mystery cult or magical tradition. This takes 3 months of training under a master, 10,000 SP, and completion of an initiatory task to be determined by your master. Gaining more levels of initiation requires a PC to complete more tasks and pay an additional 10,000 SP and spend three months training each time.
4) It takes one month and 2,000 SP to develop a new magic word of the PC’s choice, if a PC is capable of casting spells."