Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Spell Components in Cha'alt


I'm workshopping something new for my Cha'alt campaign, maybe it'll appear in the 3rd book next year... who knows?

At character creation, magic-using PCs must either choose or roll on the following random table to determine their fetishistic spell focus - a component which is part and parcel of their sorcery.

  1. Fire - any kind of flame or intense heat.
  2. Water - any of the three states of water (liquid, steam, or ice).
  3. Gold - self explanatory.
  4. Flesh - think: sex magic.
  5. Blood - ritual bloodletting and death.
  6. Crystal - any crystalline structure.
  7. Energy - high-tech power supplies.
  8. Emotional Turmoil - eliciting a powerful emotional response from one or more humanoids around you.

So, what are the pros and cons?  
  • Casting without your spell component yields a 2 in 6 chance of spell failure.
  • Casting with a small or medium amount of your spell component just means that magic is cast normally.  Casting with a large amount of your spell component effectively doubles the potency of that spell.  
  • The higher the spell level, the more component you need.  A 1st level spell might only require a single gold piece or "shot" from a blaster's energy-cell.  4th level spells may take a fist-sized crystal or consume a torch.

Keep in mind that when a particular component is used, it's entirely spent... water evaporates, crystal becomes dull rock, gold pieces turn to lead, and lifeforce is consumed.  This prevents sorcerers from using the same energy-cell to summon a demon over and over again.

Why bother doing this?  Well, it's just another thing to both keep players on their toes while creating interesting situations.  Could be fun... go ahead and give it a try!  And let me know the results.

If this seems to work, I could add more components.  Light, darkness, slime, who knows?  Feel free to suggest your own!


p.s. Book II of the Cha'alt trilogy, Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise is selling like hot-cakes.  Click over here to find out how to order the luxury hardcover (and get the PDF FREE).


  1. If you use emotional turmoil I would hazard to guess that you basically don't give a crap afterwards.

    1. Or maybe you do! Maybe it tears you up to have to cast in such ways. Both options give a ton of RP flavor.

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