Doing direct damage. Priests are limited in their access to this sphere based on the deity they follow. The standard Damage value for a Blast is your character’s Magic rating + 2. The Difficulty of a Blast spell is the opponent’s Dodge. Blast spells work like any other attack form, and can be used to passively and actively parry. Backlash for all Blasts is 10 Wound Points suffered by the spellcaster.

Area Blast. (T3.) Many blast effects can affect an area at the cost of a Magic point. The damage of such an area attack is still your Magic + 2; compare your roll against each target’s Dodge to determine the Outcome— if someone is in the area of the blast, they can still take damage from a negative Outcome as long as the Outcome’s absolute value is smaller than your Blast’s base damage. (Escaping the area of a Blast is a Martial Arts stunt with difficulty equal to your Sorcery Action Result.) Unless noted otherwise, an area attack actually is a spherical volume with a diameter equal to your Magic attribute in meters. It does not expand out of bounds in a restricted area, but cannot be placed so that a large part of the volume is deliberately confined.

Interdiction. If the special effect is appropriate, you can create a continuous Blast effect as a barrier by concentrating, requiring a continuous action. If it surrounds only you, anyone who attempts to attack you must beat your Action Result to hit you, and even then they will take damage equal to your Magic + 2 modified by the opposite of the Outcome of their attack. (If you have an AV of 15 and someone gets a 19 to hit you, you take damage based on an Outcome of 4 and they take damage of your Magic + 2 - their outcome of 4.)

Alternatively, you can spend a Magic point and create a freestanding wall by making a test against current environmental factors— the target number is 0 if such a wall is likely to spring up at any point (wall of fire in a volcano or forest fire), 5 if not at all difficult (wall of fire in a desert at noon under a blazing sun), 10 in ordinary circumstances, 15 in difficult ones (wall of fire during rain or snow), and 20 if nearly impossible (wall of fire in a blizzard)— with a length equal to your Magic (in meters) and a height equal the Outcome (in meters). It lasts one minute per point of Outcome. Anyone passing through must expose themselves to damage equal to your Magic + 2.

You can also spend a Magic point to just create a personal Aura that will last your Outcome in sequences, with the target number determined by ambient factors (in a desert, in a rainstorm, etc.).

Blast Special Effects

Acid. Creates a stream of liquid or cloud of gas that eats away at tissue and other material.

Animate Object. (T3.) Animate gives you control over some object, creature or force and uses it to attack. Different variants of Animate control different things (called Animates), with some specific effects covered below, but they all have some rules in common.

The Animates stay around after you use them to attack. This means opponents must strike them down or move around them in order to get past, so they form a sort of living wall. An Animate will last until your next action comes up, and if you keep concentrating, it will remain, so it has tactical uses. You can maintain the Animate while doing other things as a continuous action. Each Animate has attributes equal to the sorcerer’s Magic, an attack skill (including defensive AV) equal to his Sorcery, and is dispelled if hit. Having it attack a second time incurs the usual shot cost.

By strengthening it with two Magic points, the sorcerer can give a thing some motivation of its own. It now becomes a normal unnamed creature, capable of its own actions. It lasts until hit (a fragile mook— outcome of 0 to destroy) or until the end of the fight. Extra Magic points to increase the effectiveness of such a spellcast can be truly horrifying.

Antifire. Black flame that turns ashes into wood. (Stolen from Niven and Barnes’ Dream Park.)

Balefire. A sickly greenish flame that works through the heat of accelerated decay. Wounds inflicted by balefire tend to fester, rather than cauterize. (The original term comes from an Old English term for a funeral pyre, and later meant a signal fire, though a lot of fantasy gaming systems seem to consider it baleful. In Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books, it destroys a person so completely their recent actions are erased from the universe. In White Wolf’s Werewolf, it’s an unnatural flame that mutates as well as hurts.)

Binding. (T3.) A variant of blast often associated with summoning, and which works only on supernatural creatures. Binding damage is soaked using Magic, and a creature “killed” with Binding does not die, rather it falls under the magical domination of the caster, who can order it about for the rest of the session. It is probably still very heavily damaged, and will soon collapse. Sorcerers commonly use the summoning effect Naming on such a creature. In this case, the difficulty of Naming is the creature’s Magic rather than its Creature Powers Action Value.

Damage Immunity to Summoning, rather than Blast, prevents this effect.

Bliss. The amount of damage caused registers as a short-term continuous peace, lassitude and relaxation. A failed death check means the target has blissed out completely. The effect wears off in a number of minutes equal to the caster’s AV.

Blood Gout. (T3.) Sucks the blood out of a living target; can be used to feed your buddies with Blood Drain, capture valuable samples from exotic creatures, and terrify the peasantry. Does no damage to anything lacking a circulatory system, and only half damage against something with sluggish circulatory fluid like sap.

Boil Blood. The target’s blood heats up, causing blisters, internal bleeding, and occasional mook explosions.

Bone Dance. The target’s skeleton acts independently of their flesh, straining against muscles in an attempt to rebel. Mooks killed with this effect have their skeletons burst free, joining the minions of the necromancer using this effect.

Chaos. Inflicts warping equal to half your Magic rating plus the Outcome of the check. Some creatures who are particularly strong in the way of Order take Magic + 4 damage instead, due to their inability to shift.

Chi. Too much raw chi energy can burn and sear opponents, and wither objects. When cast within a feng shui site it will sever or disrupt the connections between the site and those attuned to it. When done successfully, those attuned to it lose any benefits of attunement until they re-attune. The Difficulty of severing a chi connection is 3 × the number of attuned characters. You can’t deattune some characters and not others. Desperate Efforts with this blast type yield an AV bonus of 2 per Magic Point spent.

Cold. Freezing cold causes frostbite damage. Also handy for cooling off drinks on a hot day and making water solid enough to walk on.

Coldfire. A pale blue flame of freezing cold, whose light make shadows deeper without really illuminating much. (Stolen from C S Friedman’s Black Sun Rising.)

Conjured substance. (T3.) Corresponds to the Foul Spew Creature Power.

Darkfire. Black flame straight from the demon world.

Deathlight. Radiant darkness powered by Necros. Can blind or cause deathburn, a sunburn-like ailment involving corpselike pallor and rot, to living beings who spend too much time under its light.

Decay. Accelerated entropy. Targets may suffer from rot or crumble into dust.

Disintegration. Causes affected matter to simply disappear. Also useful for simulating vanishing tricks and destroying evidence. (T3.) A target that fails a Death Check against disintegration is gone. Instead of restoring him through healing, the disintegrate magic must be dispelled, with a difficulty equal to the normal lifesaving difficulty, and the same time limits. If successful, he is not considered to have failed the Death Check, after all, and can remain active. Targets can also be resurrected normally by mystic means, such as Inevitable Comeback or Immortality.

Drain. (T3.) Drain reduces the target’s attributes, reducing his power to act. Instead of delivering instant Wound Points, the Damage determines the severity of the drain caused.

There are several variants of Drain; each has a resisting attribute and a number of affected attributes. When hit by a Drain, subtract the resisting attribute from the damage rating. The result is the Drain Rating. This accumulates like Wound Point damage, but is not cumulative with normal Wound Points. For every full five points of Drain Rating, the victim loses two points from a single attribute or one point each from three different attributes, as appropriate for the specific effect.

This may reduce the effectiveness of certain skills, such as Intimidation for a silenced character, at the gamemaster’s discretion. Attributes reaching zero can no longer be used. Physical attributes so reduced cause helplessness. Attributes for which there is a related point pool or value (Magic points, Fortune points, Fu points, Current Shot) lead to a loss of such points equal to the attribute loss.

Drain can be dispelled by the Chi sphere of Sorcery; anyone suffering from Drain can gather their willpower and roll their stat against the AV of the caster to dispel it, as a three-shot action.

Earthquake Wave. (TotL.) By striking the ground with a staff, stomping, or some similar maneuver, you create a wave of tremors moving toward the target. The Earthquake Wave damages buildings, walls, carts, and other large objects. Target characters must make a Martial Arts or Melee check (with a difficulty of your Sorcery Action Result) to remain standing. Though they take no damage from the wave, its ancillary effects might harm them: debris could fall on them, or the floor could collapse from underneath. Buildings and structures take normal Blast damage from the wave.

The basic wave is 1m wide, and moves in a straight line. For 1 magic point, you can create a wave that spreads into a cone of destruction. For 2 magic points, it forms an expanding circle around you. You are not affected by the wave, but could be hurt by falling debris or buildings.

Fire. The classic flamethrower effect, also handy for lighting cigars and heating drinks.

Flaming Ash. (TotL.) Pyroclastic flow is your friend! A stream of hot coals and burning ash pours forth, sticking to targets like Mother Nature’s napalm. If your target loses more than 10 Wound Points, the ash will cause 1 point of impairment until scraped off. It ignites anything flammable, and does a dandy job of making a pre-lit barbecue.

Force. (TotL.) Kinda like taking a sledgehammer to the stomach. This invisible punch is great for knocking people over and breaking down doors.

Heat. Anything from enhancing the target’s fiery humors to a microwave beam: the target is cooked from the inside.

Hindrance. (T3.) A collection of impairing attacks designed to incapacitate the target and set him up for other attacks. Instead of delivering instant Wound Points, the Damage determines the severity of the hindrance caused. Different variants of Hindrance are directed against different secondary attributes, determined when the effect is bough. This is the target attribute, and used to decide the effect of the blast. Subtract the victim’s target attribute from the Damage, rather than Toughness. The result is the Hindrance Rating. For every 5 points of Hindrance Rating (rounding all fractions down) the victim suffers 1 point of Impairment until cured. When impairment equals the character’s target attribute, he is entirely helpless, and can no longer fight the condition.

Hindrance Rating can be reduced by spending a 3-shot action and making a roll of the relevant attribute. Reduce the hindrance rating by the result of the attribute check. A friend can do this for you.

Ice. Conjures actual ice, rather than just cold; the damage caused is based on the impact of the ice. If you use this schtick to create a wall of ice, its Toughness is equal to your Action Result. Usually manifests as hailstones in the hands of nature-oriented spellcasters.

Lava. Globs of glowing molten rock, doing a combination of impact and fire damage.

Life. Brilliant life energy, harmful to undead and apt to encourage plants to sink their roots deeper into rock.

Light. (TotL.) A high-intensity flash. Causes no damage, but the target is blinded for a number of shots equal to the Outcome, putting them at –4 penalty if they need eyes to see. For 1 magic point, everyone looking at the caster is affected.

Lightning. Wizards throw lightning bolts from their hands; some priests may call it from the heavens.

Magical Disruption. (TotL.) While this blast will harm supernatural creatures (by disrupting their chi flows), it is primarily useful for taking out spells and disabling magical artifacts. For spells, the difficulty equals the original caster’s Sorcery AV. If successful, the spell is destroyed. Items usually have a difficulty of 10, and are disabled for a number of sequences equal to the Outcome. When used against a supernatural creature, this effect does normal Blast damage.

Mind Blast. (T3.) This is an attack that is soaked with Willpower instead of Toughness. A target that fails a Death Check against Mind Blast does not die or need hospitalization. Instead, he goes unconscious, and he is then extra vulnerable to certain Sorcery, such as Influence. Some Influence effects have the notation that they can only be used against targets defeated with Mind Blast. Non sentient creatures (such as animals) are immune to Mind Blast. Damage Immunity to Influence or Blast protects against this.

Order. Does Magic + 4 base damage against beings of Chaos— any being that has Creature Powers as a result of chaos warping qualifies. Tends to damage substances by crystallizing them, making metals brittle and inflicting burn-like damage on flesh as cells burst.

Pestilence. Instead of delivering instant Wound Points, the Damage determines the severity of the illness caused. Subtract the victim’s Constitution from the Damage; the result is the disease rating. For every 5 full points of disease rating the victim suffers 1 point of Impairment until cured. (Alternatively, the disease can be highly contagious and the Pestilence only causes 1 Impairment per 10 points.) The disease can be cured by conventional medicine, the Heal schtick, or the Healing Chi fu power, working against a Difficulty of the disease rating.

Poison. Need to hit their defensive AV + armor, if any; immediate damage is reduced with Constitution, Medicine skill, Sorcery (if they have the Healing sphere), or Martial Arts (if they have Healing Chi). Does your AV in damage at the end of the sequence against their Constitution.

Projectiles. Conjured crystal darts, etc. (Earth.)

Reverse Gravity. (T3.) Must always be an area attack, requiring a magic point to use. The targets fall upward, possibly impacting the ceiling, then fall to the floor again, for net damage equal to usual Blast, soaked by Agility rather than Toughness, plus knockdown (if they don’t perform stunts to land on their feet). Flying creatures are merely disoriented by the attack, losing three shots.

Sand. Sandblasting.

Sleep. The amount of damage caused registers as sleepiness. A failed death check means the target has fallen asleep, and will not wake up (without magical aid) for at least the caster’s AV in minutes. (T3.) Sleep is soaked with Willpower instead of Toughness. Damage immunity to Influence or Life protects from this blast.

Soul Eviction. You attempt to detach a possessing entity from its host... or a person's soul from their body. If damage from Soul Eviction causes a failed Death Check, the possessing being is expelled, or the person’s soul steps out and life functions cease mysteriously. A person suffering from Soul Eviction damage feels hollow and disconnected from life; the damage can only be healed over time— appealing to a person’s passions speeds recovery— or by a healer with Healing I and Summoning I.

Soul Sword. (T3.) The sorcerer conjures a huge, glowing weapon, usually a sword, the essence of his magical power. Summoning the Soul Sword is a separate action, with a difficulty equal to its damage value, which costs a Magic point. Keeping it around costs an additional Magic point each sequence. You must hold the sword to strike with it, but use your Sorcery as the Action Value. Each attack with this weapon also costs a Magic point, but targets are not allowed to soak damage from the Soul Sword using Toughness or any other attribute. The Soul Sword of a truly good sorcerer will not kill the innocent, and can be used to kill a possessing creature while sparing the host; the Soul Sword of an evil mage is frightening to behold.

As the Soul Sword has no range to begin with, it is not available as an Elemental Attack, nor can it be an Elemental Aura. Nor is it a Martial Arts attack, and it cannot be used with Fu schticks. Attacking with it makes the wielder vulnerable to damage auras, counterattack fu powers, and so on.

Soul Twist. (T3.) You rupture the normal pattern of Chi energy within a healthy person’s body, doing great harm. Often known as the “Dread Curse of Azathoth”. This is an attack that is soaked with Chi instead of Toughness. Inevitable Comeback or Immortality does not work for creatures killed with this blast. Does not work against inanimate objects, golems, undead, et al. The Flow Restoration fu schtick restores all damage inflicted by Soul Twist.

Spirit Talons. Spirits of the dead claw at your soul.

Steam. Scalds opponents and causes water damage to some materials.

Sun Spear. (T3.) Call down fire from the sun to strike the unworthy. You can strike anyone you can see, ignoring normal range penalties. Naturally, this only works under a clear, sunny sky, but you can ignore this limitation if you spend a Magic point. Variants use lightning bolts, falling stars or scythes of the moon.

Tentacles. (GC.) Tentacles form from the sorcerer’s own body (possibly their fingers, tongue, hair as in The Bride With White Hair, or even moustache and eyebrows as in Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain) or from available vines, mist, bolts of cloth. For each sequence of sustained grappling against a single target, add +1 to the Sorcery AV of the wizard, up to a maximum of +2. If the wizard needs to change targets after extended grappling, it takes an extra shot and a –2 to their AV for the first attack.

Thunder. (TotL.) The target is deafened for a number of sequences equal to the Outcome, and must make a Constitution check against the spell’s Action Result or be stunned— subtract the Outcome from their remaining shots, carrying over to the next sequence. Thunder attacks are made at –1 AV and do Magic + 1 damage. (T3.) Variants can involve screams, trumpets, and other noisemakers.

Transmutation. Turns one type of matter into any other type of your choice. Damages tissue by turning it into one substance, like stone, water, or primordial ooze. Transmutation blasts suffer a +3 Difficulty modifier. If you transform people into Glutinous Goo, mooks can make a fine way of stopping other mooks.

Water. (TotL.) Creates a firehose stream of water. Puts out fires, cleans mud off castle walls, fills ponds. The target must make a Martial Arts or Melee check to remain standing (against a difficulty of the Sorcery Action Result). Base damage is Magic – 2. Additional water damage and flooding are possible.

Wave. (T3.) Bash your opponents with great gouts of water. This ability has a limited range: the water can jump a number of meters from a water-source equal to your Sorcery Action Value. If you know the Weather sphere, you can substitute with the Flood effect and a Magic point (this is not a separate action and gives no action penalty). A Wave cannot be actively defended against, though reactive stunts are possible (such as Prodigious Leaping or flying out of the way). This effect is powerful in that it can easily blast areas.

Similar effects can be gained from animating dirt, gravel, snow, sand and other masses of light particles or liquid-like substances. Specify what your Wave is made of when you buy it.

Wind. (TotL.) Good for blowing out fires, parrying volleys of arrows, scattering important documents, and sending hats flying into the nearest region of Chaos. Wind attacks cause no damage, but knock the target backwards a number of meters equal to the user’s Outcome. The target must make a Martial Arts check to remain standing (difficulty equals the Sorcery Action Result – 5). Flying targets typically require an appropriate skill check, or they lose control (difficulty equals Sorcery Action Result + 5). Additional stunts include creating instant sandstorms and capsizing sailboats.

Withering. (T3.) Too little chi energy can wither opponents and objects. Also known as Chi Strangulation, this damage manifests as aging. Wound Points taken from Withering can’t be recovered through the use of mundane medicine, only time and supernatural healing will cure it.

Wizard’s Staff. (T3.) The Wizard’s Staff is a favorite of traditional mages the world over (and is often a Pilgrim’s Staff among priests). Five to six feet of wood, plain or decorated with glyphs or tied-on fetishes. Faeries like variants using slender wands or even flowers. It can only be used to strike in melee, but it works well as a parrying weapon, giving a +5 bonus for an active dodge. It is also possible to do other stunts as if the wizard was using the staff with Martial Arts, but Fu schticks are not allowed.

The sorcerer’s mystic aura is transferred through the staff, so anything touched by the staff is considered to be touched by the sorcerer. This extends his reach by about two meters in critical situations.

Damage Immunity to Melee Weapons rather than Blast protects against this. As the Wizard’s Staff has no range to begin with, it is not available as an Elemental Attack, nor can it be an Elemental Aura.

Wounding. Known variously as Cause Wounds and Anti-Healing. You cause wounds to appear spontaneously on your victims body. If you inflict Wound Points equal to the victim’s Constitution, you have caused him some disability, maiming a limb or otherwise giving him a –1 impairment.

Unlife. Withering and death; those who die of an Unlife blast have a tendency to reanimate as zombies.

Blast II

The next level of Blast does a base Magic + 4 damage instead of Magic + 2, and takes down mooks on an Outcome of 4 instead of 5 (much like the * damage on guns).

Blast III

The highest level of Blast does a base Magic + 6 damage, and takes down mooks on an Outcome of 3 (much like the ** damage on guns).