Welcome to No Books of Men! We are a modern alternate history board set in a magical school nestled in the Columbiana Valley of the Rocky Mountains. Students of the Collegium Illustrata Columbiana (commonly called simply The Academy) are free to explore their wildest imaginations in learning the mystic arts, so long as it does not jeopardize the ongoing Shadow War with the Exarchs. How will you live up to the legacies of Merlin?






darkkenchild is the Head Admin here at No Books. He enjoys long walks on the beach and debating the metaphysical underpinnings of reality, so any questions about your character , the plot of No Books, and/or how magic works on the site, please do not hesitate to ask him.

Squeeji is the head of “Human Resources” here at No Books, and responsible for pretty much everything related to our contact with the outside world. Advertising, orientation, and just about anything to do with bringing in new blood is in her wheelhouse.
  
 
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 Mage FAQ, You've got questions, we've got answers
Squeeji
 Posted: Jul 7 2018, 10:07 PM
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FREQUENTLY ASKED MAGE QUESTIONS

This page is guest friendly. Please feel free to leave a reply and ask any Mage-specific questions you may have!


Can I play a Hybrid (A Vampire/Wyrdling, a Mage/Werewolf, etc)?

No. While some such combinations do exist in the setting they aren't playable for two reasons. The first is that they're simply too rare. All Supernaturals combined constitute only about 1% of the human population of the world. Any one group is .25% or less and the cross breeds are even rarer. The chances of seeing one is exceedingly rare the the point that many doubt such a thing is possible. That aside, the second reason is simple complexity and balance. We here at KPW are trying to keep things simple and hybrids throw any such simplicity out of whack as we try to find a way to balance powers.

Are Mages born as such? Does it run in families? Can anyone become a Mage?

For simplicity's sake, all player Mages are generally born as such (anyone wishing to have their Mage receive their magical abilities in another fashion are free to PM an admin with their idea). While it is entirely possible to have magical aptitude run in a family, it's not necessary to have that be the case for your Mage, unless you'd like it to be so. Anyone who is not already a Vampire, Wyrdling, or Werewolf can become a Mage (aka any regular old human has the potential to be a Mage).

How does a Mage learn more spells? Can I start with more than 5?

Mage learn spells the same way anyone learns a new skill; studying and practicing. All player Mages can start with a maximum of 5 spells, but anyone wishing to have their character acquire additional spells just has to prove to the admins that their character is taking in-character steps to do so (ie, PM an admin with a link to a thread/threads wherein your character has made some attempt to learn more spells, whether that's through mentoring, research, or what have you).

Are Mages human or something more?

Mages are, generally speaking, regular humans who have been granted the ability to use magic. What this means is, they age the same as the average person, they are susceptible to the same illnesses and bodily harm as everyone else, and they have the same lifespan. That said, some Mage use their magic to "cheat the system", and as such some exceptions exist. This can extend to player Mages as well as NPCs; as per usual, hit up an admin with your idea and we can suss it out with you!

What is the Mage Council? What is the Atlantean Order? Can my character be a part of either?

What was the Schism War and when did it occur? What were the ramifications?

Can my Mage belong to more than one Society? Can I change it later?

Mages can only belong to one Society, and it usually can't be changed later. This is to keep things from getting too confusing and to keep all Mages on an even playing field. However, if a character is just starting out and you simply aren't feeling the Society you've chosen or the magic schools associated with it, hit up an admin and we can probably help you out.

How does spellcasting work? Are there different ways to cast a spell?

All spellcasting works vis a Foci. A Foci is a object, ritual, gesture, or the like that helps your Mage focus their magical capabilities. This can be almost anything; a wand, a pendant, a hand gesture, magic words, fresh blood for all those necromancers out there, some sweet dance moves... as long as it acts as a conduit for the magic your Mage is working with, it can be a Foci.

How does someone know they are a Mage? Is there an initiation ritual? Are their Mage schools?

Can I give my Mage spells that are not on the magic list?

Short answer: no. Long answer: maybe. The Magic list is set up the way it is to keep things fair among all Mage players, but if you have an idea for a spell that isn't on the list, contact an admin and if it seems feasible, we might be able to work something out.

Is there a penalty for using too much Magic? If my Mage casts a spell in front of mortals, what happens?

You bet your spell-slinging butt there is! Magic is powerful and unwieldy, and the universe really doesn't like it when someone goes around messing with it too much. As such, if your Mage gets a little too spell-happy in a thread, there may be some unfortunate side effects. This is called the Scourge, and it is totally optional. It's really used as a way to add a little flavor to your character development -- think of it as temporary magical backlash that is a hindrance to your character until it wears off. This is usually represented as something suitable to the sort of magic your Mage uses. Here's some examples:
  • A Mage who abuses their telepathy powers might find themselves unwillingly voicing their own inner thoughts aloud randomly throughout the day.
  • A Mage who goes overboard altering the weather might find themselves stuck under a Lil' Abner-style rain cloud for a few days afterward.
  • A Mage who keeps hexing their foes might wind up with a nasty case of bad luck themselves.
These are just some examples of how a Scourge effect might manifest itself. They typically last for a short time.

If a mortal witnesses a magic spell that can't be explained away easily, there are sure to be consequences. What these are remain to be seen, but expect your Mage to get a visitor or two who won't be terribly happy to see them...

How do Mages treat science in this world? Do magic and science co-exist?

Magic and science do co-exist on this board. There's even a Mage society that treats magic more like advanced science (the Opifex). How much a Mage views magic as something more concrete or practical is up to the individual player. But for a general guideline, here's some decidedly nerdy references as to how we handle the two here on the site:
  • Akin to the Marvel Universe, Tony Stark has a basement full of Iron Man suits while Dr. Strange is rewinding time and Thor is travelling between realms on a rainbow bridge.
  • In Star Wars, Han Solo sees first hand that The Force exists, but still claims that hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.
  • In the Harry Potter universe, Muggle-born Mages are well aware that things like microwaves, MP3 players, and cellphones exists as they're taking a class on how to summon their Patronus.
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