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House Rules for Magic

• In general, many of the spells and items in the “Examples of Magic” section of YS do not follow the rules preceding them, and therefore are considered a very suspect source for interpreting magic rules.

• There were a number of changes/clarifications/additions to Spellcasting powers presented in the Paranet Papers. Unless otherwise noted or clarified, consider all of these modifications to be approved/in place.

• ”The “Power: Spell” optional power in Molly’s statblock in the Paranet Papers is not approved.

• Based on the book's use of emotion, pain, and other "aspects" to fuel magic, a clarification is in order. You may use maneuvers/declarations/other aspects for your magic, if it makes sense. You can't use the Scene's [Dank and Wet] aspect to make a firebomb, for example, or use your [Enraged] emotion to stay hidden.

• You may invoke appropriate aspects with a Fate Point to cast 1-stress spells for free. These spells may not be Rotes. Under extreme, life-threatening situations, you may be able to cover the costs of spells by “owing” compels on your personal aspects to the GM similar to Sponsored Debt.

• Stunts replacing the spellcasting trappings of the Conviction, Discipline, and Lore skills are known as Alternative Casting Paradigms, and are discussed here.

• Anyone with spellcasting powers may take as much Refinement as they want for any reason. Specializations are always limited by their pyramids, meaning the maximum Specialization you can get from Channeling is +2/+1, or +3/+2/+1 for Ritual. Sponsored Magic users must still keep and upgrade separate pyramids for evocation/thaumaturgy.

• When purchased, Refinement points may be mixed and matched; that is, you may purchase a point of Refinement as +1 Specialization and +1 Focus Item Slot, or 2 Specialization points, or 2 Focus Item slots. You may permanently trade in one Specialization point to add a new element to your Evocation list (in other words, you are not forced to add a Specialization to a new element). You may also permanently trade in one Specialization point to increase the number of rotes you can cast by one.

• Attaching Refinement to IoPs is allowed with certain caveats: 1) The refinement doesn't count towards Mental Toughness requirements. 2) The refinement attached to the IoP can only be for Focus Item slots. 3) All those FI slots must be attached to the IoP. Size limits will apply, of course.

• Blocks against spellcasting are resolved in different ways. Trying to cast a Block or Maneuver spell through a Block merely requires enough Power in the spell to meet or beat the strength of the Block against it. If you are trying to cast an Attack through a Block against your spellcasting (not just any Block), you may roll Control before marking off stress for calling up power (you must declare how much power you intend to call up in the dice roller). If that roll is not high enough to beat the Block, you may choose to either redirect the intent of that spell into one that isn’t affected by the Block (and take the corresponding stress from calling up power) OR you may choose to attempt a different, non-spell action without taking mental stress.


• Characters who break the Laws of Magic are not required to take the Lawbreaker power, but they still must change an aspect to reflect their Lawbreaking.

• Lawbreaking characters may take a custom Lawbreaking power found here.

• All mortals with free will (all PCs, including White Court Vampires) are subject to the metaphysical ramifications of Lawbreaking whether they are within the White Council's/Wardens' jurisdiction or not. Killing with magic (etc) changes a person whether they're an “official wizard" or not.

• PCs with Lawbreaking in their backgrounds are allowed provided they have a reason not to be currently chased by the Wardens. Active warlocks that continue to break the Laws of Magic during play will quickly find themselves hard-pressed by the Wardens and/or other PCs--this unfairly diverts play and resources and is heavily frowned upon. (Note: there are grey areas of the Laws that are easier to work with in the game. If you are planning on “grey” magic, work with a GM to make sure everyone agrees on where the line is.)


• Mental spells are not allowed without Psychomancy evothaum via some appropriate Sponsored or Superior magic. The Paranet Papers/Your Story inclusion of Mental spells in the element of Spirit for evocation is not considered part of the rules for this game.

• You cannot use the Extending Evocations trapping of Evocation to extend Attack spells.

• Alternative elemental paradigms to the traditional hermetic/Western one presented in Your Story and Paranet Papers are possible; just discuss with a GM while creating the alternative elemental set.

• "Defensive" Block spells may be cast per the Paranet Papers 270. These are further discussed here, as there is an additional "Reflexive" Blocking ability allowed by taking the Reflexive Block stunt.


• Specializations and Focus Items for Ritual/Thaumaturgy may also be used to boost Power while channeling, in addition to Complexity and Control.

• Official Summoning rules can be found here.

• There are two versions of the Shapeshifting/Transformation rules that we use. They can be found here for the house-ruled version and here for notes on the Paranet Papers version. Either may be used according to player preference.

• The so-called “skill-replacement spell” and its mechanics are discussed here?.

• Conjured weapons and armor may not have ratings that exceed real-world versions of an equivalent item.


• You may only use one Focus Item at a time on a single given spell.

• A house-rule for making “always-on” enchanted items is discussed here.

• You cannot enchant a potion or item with a spell you couldn’t otherwise normally cast. By extension, there is no Ritual: Crafting power. You must take Thaumaturgy to craft a wide range of items, or craft items with effects falling within the chosen theme of your Ritual power. If you only possess Channeling/Evocation, you can only craft items with effects you could create with your evocation spells.

• Enchanted Block/Armor items may be created that “reactively” Block or provide Armor if you fail your defense, at no penalty to you--other than expending one “charge” in the item per defense--but the narrative circumstances of how/when the item can react in defense must be built-in upon creation (such as “on a failed defense,” “against the touch of Cold Iron,” etc). These items may not be used to reactively block an entire zone or more--they must be personal in nature. The duration of reactive Block/Armor items cannot be extended; the Block/Armor applies only to a single attack per activation.

• Drinking more than one potion at a time is bound to make your body reject them and cause side effects. If you drink a second potion before the first’s duration has run its course, the GM may place an aspect onto you related to feeling sick and/or other side effects from the two potions mixing, which can be tagged to reduce the effectiveness of the potions or for other appropriate applications.

• Frequency Specializations do not apply to potions like they do with Enchanted Items. Any Frequency specializations/boosts to your potions apply towards increasing the duration of the item rather than granting additional uses. Using a potion multiple times or sharing it requires using multiple potion slots or using the Sharing Potions rules from PP 273. FPs can be spent on the fly to boost potion strength above the usual limit on crafted item strength.

• One somewhat commonly-requested stunt related is Efficient Crafter.

• Wardens may craft their own swords using standard crafting rules instead of buying the Your Story version of the Warden Sword, if they so choose.

Sponsored Magic

• All Sponsored magic abilities default to a cost of -5 refresh instead of -4 refresh.

• Any spell cast with Sponsored magic must implicitly or explicitly have your Sponsor’s Approval.

• We use the Soulfire rules found in the Paranet Papers, with some clarifications, found here.

• Custom Sponsored Magic or variations on approved Sponsored Magic powers are allowed and discussed here.


• A more in-depth explanation of our interpretation of exactly what "Thaumaturgy with Evocation's Speeds and Methods" really means can be found here.

• An alternative way to obtain evothaum without a Sponsor is the Superior Magic power. Please see the Powers database for approved examples, and this guide for creating your own.

• Evothaum maneuvers have a duration equivalent as if they’d been cast with thaumaturgy. Other types of spells depend on the nature of the evothaum and the situation at hand, and their duration is determined by the GM.

• If you are capable of evothaum in a particular discipline of magic, your applicable thaumaturgical power/control specializations and focus items are used when casting those evothaum spells. Focus Items used this way must be defined as either offensive or defensive when used with evocation’s speeds. If the evothaum extends the narrative justification of an element you can already use evocation with, you may use the specializations and focus items of that element instead of your thaumaturgical bonuses (but not stack with them). If you are unsure how this applies to your PC, ask a GM.


• Maneuvers cast with magic are considered sticky even on a tie against the difficulty/opposition, and last until their duration expires. Magically-created maneuvers that are opposed use their original casting Power to defend. In this case, your Discipline roll is merely a bookkeeping process (like when casting a Block). There is no opportunity for a re-roll against opposition like you would get with a normally-created Maneuver.

• It is possible to "move" a target one zone with appropriate magical maneuvers (such as a blast of wind or force) if you manage to gain shifts over them on the maneuver and tag the maneuver for effect. If you would have gotten Success with Style against the defense (3 shifts or more above the defense), you may use the tag for effect to move the target 2 zones. Any zone borders between the target's current and intended location add to the shifts needed. (For example, if you wanted to throw someone through a closed door with a zone border: 2, you would need to generate at least 3 shifts over their defense to move them through the door into the next zone, and 5 shifts or more over their defense to move them a second additional zone). It is rare that an evocation spell is capable of moving a target in anything other than a straight line. Typically, throwing targets through windows/doors, down stairs or some other drop, is better modeled as an Attack accompanied with an invoke for effect to move them a zone, though allowing movement in that case is up to the GM's discretion.