Below are the different types of Arcane Backgrounds. Each type describes the Arcane Skill a character with that background uses, his starting Power Points, the number of powers he starts play with, and any potential drawbacks to the power (such as Backlash). (Powers marked with & are found in the Fantasy Companion book for Savage Worlds.)

Arcane Background (Magic)
Arcane Skill: Spellcasting (Smarts)
Starting Powers: 4
Starting Power Points: 15

Magicians in Athas fuel their powers by draining the life energy from the earth beneath their feet and the plant life around them. However, some do learn to take only what is necessary and return the rest. To cast their spells mages must use a variety of arcane words and gestures (many use Stealth to conceal their spellcasting). Mages may learn all Powers except for Healing, Greater Healing, and Succor.

Defiling: When a mage casts a spell the energy of the land is drawn to him, creating a thin layer of black ash on the surface of the ground. In most environments this creates a clear circle of defiled land with a radius equal to 1" (or 2 yards) per power point spent by the mage (the Wizard Edge can reduce this but even if the spell’s cost is reduced to 0 it still defiles at least 1" (2 yards)). Environments that are particularly lush and rich with life may cut this radius in half, while particularly lifeless areas will double it. If a second spell is cast within a defiled area it increases by the appropriate amount.

Backlash: Magic is dangerous and somewhat unstable, on a roll of 1 on the spellcasting skill die the mage is Shaken. This can cause a Wound.

Edges: Mages can use the Soul Drain edge to prevent defiling, but most who wish to avoid defiling the land learn the Preserver edge.

Edge: Preserver (Novice, AB (magic), Spellcasting d6+, Spirit d8+)
You have learned how to perform magic without inflicting permanent harm on the planet. Casting spells without defiling increases the cost of the spell based on its Rank. See below:
Novice: 1 point
Seasoned: 2 points
Veteran: 4 points
Heroic: 7 points
Veteran: 11 points

When using a power you may choose whether to defile or use this edge. If a preserver casts a spell by using defiling magic, make an immediate Spirit check at -2. Failure means that the preserver edge is lost and the player must now cast spells as a defiler. Through advances they may gain the Preserver edge again.

Arcane Background (Elementalism)
Arcane Skill: Channeling (Spirit)
Starting Power Points: 10
Starting Powers: 2 plus Elemental Manipulation

Elementalists are those who can channel raw elemental forces. Their powers are based on a spiritual affinity with a given element and elementalists often take the role of religious or spiritual advisers. When choosing this arcane background characters must select one of the four elements that they are particularly aligned to and this determines their power’s trappings and what powers they may learn. Elementalists cast their spells through simple rituals that require them to be able to speak freely and make basic gestures. Channelling replaces the faith characteristic for certain professional edges.

Each elementalist automatically begins with the elemental manipulation Power appropriate to their chosen element as well as two additional Powers. They may select powers based on the lists below. Even for their “universal” powers you should alter the trappings to coincide with the appropriate element. [Powers marked with a & are found in the Fantasy Companion book for Savage Worlds.]

Universal powers: Barrier, Burst, Detect/Conceal Arcana, Dispel, Divination, Environmental Protection, Healing, Obscure, Smite, Summon Ally (elemental only)

Air: Deflection, Fly, Havoc, Intangibility, Invisibility, Pummel, Speed, Stun.
Earth: Armor, Boost Trait (Strength and Vigor), Burrow, Entangle.
Fire: Armor#, Blast, Bolt, Damage Field, Draining Touch (heat stroke)&.
Water: Boost/Lower Trait, Draining Touch (dehydration)&, Greater Healing, Succor
#- only protects against cold or fire, but double the armor bonus.

Opposite elements are paired as: Air – Earth and Fire – Water

Edges: Elementalists can select edges with Faith requirements such as the Champion or Holy/Unholy Warrior edges using their AB in place of Miracles (ex. renaming the edges to (Element) Champion and Elemental Warrior). Champion provides a bonus to damage against beings associated with the elementalists opposed element, and provides it’s bonus to toughness against effects created by the elementalist’s chosen element (so a fire elementalist would inflict +2 damage against supernatural creatures associated with the element of water and would have +2 toughness against supernatural beings or powers associated with the element of fire). Elemental Warrior would allow the elementalist to repulse supernatural beings associated with the elementalist’s opposed element.

Backlash: When rolling a critical failure on their Channeling skill (both die rolls are 1), the elementalist is Shaken. This can cause a Wound.


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