Scholomance - an arcane university nestled in a tear in reality. Young adults from all over the world with the chance are taken to this location by those who wish for their mystical education, and they are forced to endure years of just-as-planned until they finally graduate. It's a student-eat-student world where everyone is looking out for the next back to stab on the ladder to power and freedom. There are four primary schools magic:
- Sorcery - Mastery over energy (fireballs, telekinesis)
- Alchemy - Mastery over matter (creating and altering items)
- Enchantment - Mastery over mind (creating illusions and mental domination)
- Conjuration - Mastery over dimensions (teleportation and the summoning of different creatures)
Dan is a nerd. In Scholomance, raw power isn't good enough - you'll be able to start a house fire or create a pen from thin air at most. What's far more important, is mitigation. You want to raise a skeleton? Of course, you'll need a corpse to begin with. However, a tome that contains the spell in detail would be very handy in the process, and help you out a lot. The skull of a powerful necromancer will also help you in the process. Previous relations with the spirit you will conjure into the skeleton will be handy. Heck, even using the corpse of a raven, a bird assosciated with death, is slightly helpful in the process. Mitigate enough of the energy required for the spell using these components, and only the tiniest portion of your magical energy will be required for the spell. However, that's the trick - estimating just how much mitigation a component offers and just how much energy as spell requires. If you don't have enough power for your spell, a lesser effect occurs or nothing happens at all. If you have too much power for your spell, an enhanced effect occurs - sometimes with dire consequences. In Scholomance, raw power is useless if you don't have the brains to go with it.
You normally design a character as a first-year student, fresh from whatever life he was taken from. Be sure to decide what sort of life that is, what sort of a person your character is, and what the talent was that resulted in him being taken. Allocate Statistic points and your Mastery point in ways that reflect your character's studies and personality.
A year one character starts with 5 Statistics points. You distribute Statistic Points amongst your Statistics. Each Statistic must have at least 1 Statistic Point, and thus already has them before you spend your points. When you have allocated your Statistic points, multiply your Endurance and Will by 3.
- Form - This represents how physically powerful you are. Dexterity, strength, speed, hand-eye coordination, this represents it all.
- Essence - This represents how mentally powerful you are and your strength of will.
- Endurance - This is how much physical damage you can endure.
- Will - This is how much mental damage you can endure.
You get 9 Magic Points, and spend your single Mastery Point in one of the four Magic Schools: Sorcery, Alchemy, Conjuration and Enchantment. The mastery point is an additional point of mitigation, and also makes it easier to cast a spell of that school perfectly, as explained under Scholomance#Spells.
- Sorcery - Manipulation of Energy.
- Alchemy - Manipulation of Matter.
- Conjuration - Manipulation of the Supernatural.
- Enchantment - Manipulation of the Mind.
Your mana is equal to your total sum of Magic Points.
During physical battles, you compare your Form. If there are multiple people fighting together, you add their Form together. Once the difference of your Form after all modifications has been calculated, the subject with the lower Form subtracts the difference from their Endurance. If there are multiple people on the receiving end, the Headmaster (the game master) distributes the Endurance damage between them. If the Endurance falls to 0, the character dies. You can gain bonuses in Form combat by bringing weapons or using the element of surprise, plus whatever you think may give you an advantage. An example would be a dagger giving you +1 to your Form for close combat purposes. During mental battles, you compare your Essence. If there are multiple people fighting together, you add their Essence together. Once the difference of your Essence after all modifications has been calculated, the subject with the lower Essence subtracts the difference from their Will. If there are multiple people on the receiving end, the HM distributes the Will damage between them. If the Will falls to 0, the character goes insane, falls into a coma, HM's choice.
You regain Will and Endurance when you rest.
Now, how to cast a spell. When you're casting a spell, you must determine the mana cost. Some good things to consider for that:
- Range - How far you want to the spell to go.
- Area - How large any area or how many people you want to be victim to the spell.
- Duration - How long you want the spell to last.
- Power - This is the most complex part. How powerful the effects of the spell are.
Each of these is basically pretty arbitrary, just use whatever seems appropriate. Some of these may be 0, but power will probably always be something to consider. Once you and your Head Master have decided on the value of each of these, add all four values together. This is the base mana cost of the spell.
Next stage is Mitigation. You Mitigate or reduce the mana cost of the spell using items and a time span spent on the spell. You name anything you think might be relevant. Blood, bones, trinkets, makeup, symbols, symbolic items, chanting, ingredients, foci, casting time, whatever. The Head Master decides how many points of mana each item mitigates. Your Head Master decides what School the spell fits into and also adds any Mastery points you have in that school on to the Mitigation. Finally, adding up the total Mitigation, he subtracts the Mitigation from the mana Cost. The mana cost cannot be less than 1, even if you mitigate into the negatives. This gives the final mana cost that the caster has to guess. He can guess correctly, he can overpower it (guess high) or he can underpower (guess low) it to variable degrees.
Mastery effects the range in which the spell is correct. If you have 0 Mastery in that spell's school, you have to guess the cost exactly. If you have 1 Mastery in the spell's school, you have to guess the spell's cost plus or minus 1. If Mastery 2, the spell's cost plus or minus 2. You get the picture.
a person's skill is measured in years. There are nine years in total. Whenever you advance one year, you:
- Get +3 Magic Points, boosting your total mana pool.
- Get another Statistic Point to spend. When using Statistic Points to increase stats, you can only increase them to a maximum of 5. 5 is the human limit and if you look at the students doing their last year - it's obvious that they're pretty much the best of humanity. Magic can put you above your human limits, however.
Additionally, every odd year (after the first) you get another Mastery Point to spend.