Those able to actively interact with the magical energies of the Sixth World are known as “awakened.” An awakened character's power in magic is linked to their Essence statistic. Because of this, most magically active individuals attempt to avoid cybernetic enhancement, which lowers Essence.
A magic user's approach to working with mystic energy is called their Path. The Awakened fall into three general Paths: Magicians, Adepts, and Mystic Adepts.
Magicians are able to cast spells, summon spirits, and create magical artifacts called "foci". All magicians follow traditions that determine their understanding of magic. The two most common traditions are the Hermetic and the Shamanic, although others exist as well, like the Druidic and Wiccan traditions (last one practised by Witches). Some magicians have a special bond to a so-called "Mentor Spirit" who guides them in their magical development.
Hermetic magic is a "logical" approach to magic in which the magician studies theories of the nature of magic and how to harness it as an individual. It is one part chemistry, one part philosophy, one part mathematics, and yet none of them at the same time. Users of hermetic magic are called "mages".
Shamans are magicians who live in accordance with the natural world. Most of them feel especially bonded to a specific mentor spirit who they call a totem. It is this spirit that gives the shaman their magic, teaches them their spells, and gives their lives purpose. A shaman can fight against his/her totem, but in the end, it is fighting against oneself.
Adepts use magic internally in order to accentuate their natural physical abilities. Adepts can run on walls, use mundane objects as deadly thrown projectiles, shatter hard objects with a single unarmed blow, and perform similar feats of incredible ability. All adepts follow a very personal path (Path of the Warrior, Path of the Artist, etc.). This path normally determines their abilities which might be very different for any two adepts: while one might demonstrate increased reflexes and facility with firearms, a second might possess unparalleled mastery of the katana, and a third might be able to pull off incredible vehicular stunts.
Mystic Adepts are half magician and half adept. They distribute their magic power between the abilities of both.
Categories of MagicEdit
An awakened character can use five different categories of magic: Sorcery, Conjuration, Enchanting, Adept Powers, and Metamagic.
Most of these types of magic cause a phenomenon known as "Drain", mental or sometimes physical fatigue. The more powerful the magic, the more serious the drain. In extreme cases the drain may even be lethal.
Sorcery deals with casting spells which fall into the categories Healing, Combat, Detection, Illusion, and Manipulation. In order to cast a spell on a target, a magical link is required, either line-of-sight, or touch, or a ritual connection to the target (like some hair or blood). Magicians may cast any spell they have learned beforehand. Spellcasting causes drain.
Conjuration is the art of summoning, controlling, and banishing spirits, intelligent beings created from magical energies. Spirits are able to do a number of services for the magician who summoned them. Conjuration causes drain.
Enchanting deals with the creation of foci, magical artifacts, which can support a magician in other magical tasks. Enchanting does not cause drain, but requires material resources as well as karma.
Adept powers are often comparable to the effect of spells, but with several differences. They do not cause drain, they are always active, and they cannot be dispelled. On the other hand an adept is much more restricted in the number of powers he can master, than a magician is about the number of spells he knows.
Metamagics are special magical techniques that can only be handled by awakened characters that have reached a higher understanding of magic by undergoing initiation. The possible benefits include hiding their magical nature from others, making the effects of spells permanent, or being able to better resist drain.
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