Sway Rules

The Sway (based on the Words of Power magic system in Ultimate Magic)

Each swaycaster has access to a number of motes of Sway and, with some restrictions, can combine these motes to create any effect he can dream up.

Warning: Sway spellcasting is a complicated subsystem that, in the hands of players who suffer from bouts of analysis paralysis, may slow down game play if the system is allowed to do so. Since every character is a spell caster and should have other combat options other than casting sway spells, they should always be able to act with some expedience. Any difficulty with the spell system should simply be considered a side effect of the character’s own unfamiliarity with his own magic powers. A player who wishes to play a powerful sway user will take the time to maximize his spell use before play. The GM is encouraged to keep things moving during combat by threatening to skip players who are undecided when their turn comes up and push them to act quickly and decisively.

Warning Too: These rules are experimental and any player in the campaign must understand that there may be changes made to these rules and how each sway mote works in play. The sway is in constant flux and these changes should be considered part of the game world. Maybe your sway mote worked a certain way yesterday, but there is no guarantee that it will work the same the following day. Changes will be made incrementally where appropriate with an attempt to avoid disruption of continuity.

Sway in the World
Sway represents a raw form of magic that came to Terigia in an unknown fashion less than two centuries ago. Flexible, but lacking refinement, this system allows people to shape reality in ways they never could before the sway came. Though some ignore or actively try to suppress their sway for religious or superstitious reasons, every sapient being on Terigia has the ability to control some part of the sway. A person’s sway powers sometimes follow some classification or field of powers based on race, but much is based on chance. Where a goblin caster might be able to control darkness and fire because of racial norms, an elf user might control the forces of air and body. In any case a sway user gains more understanding and access to nearly random power fields the more experience he gains in the world.

Harnessing Motes of Sway
Perceiving the sway is described differently by every caster. Some say that they can see its power as translucent energy fields spotted with tiny nodes of power. Some claim to be able to feel the sway as it washes over their bodies or to hear it move in undulating waves. Some have all these sensory perceptions and more, and it sometimes changes from instance to instance for the same individual. However it is observed, the sway is utilized in mostly the same way. A user reaches out into the aether and plucks the motes he needs to create the effect he is after. He pulls the energy into his body while speaking the words he hears while doing so, spinning it all into a single element, and releasing it into the real world. This has been described as “breaching reality” and “siphoning the universe.” Pulling sway into one’s self and releasing the energy is taxing on the body and mind and most swaycasters have experienced what is often called “swayburn” where a spell beyond the caster’s safe level harms the user in an almost physical manner.

For a swayuser, learning how to harness new motes of Sway is akin to unlocking the secret laws of reality. Each mote represents a new source of power that falls under the swaycaster’s control and may then be pulled out of the aether for forming into a spell. Motes of sway fall into three categories: target motes, effect motes, and meta motes. Swaycasters arrange these motes of sway to cast powerful and diverse incantations known as swayspells.

Regardless of class, each sway user begins play knowing all of the target motes, even those that they cannot safely use due to the level restriction, as well as the boost meta mote. These motes are known innately by all sway users in the same way a person innately knows how to throw an object. They may not do it well, but they can do it.

In addition to the basic allotment, each swaycaster has access to one sway field and an additional sway field for each point of Wisdom bonus they have (if positive). Each fields is rolled at random on the Sway Fields Table using the column for that character’s race. The character’s race may allow the character to select fields that are common for their race (see Races of Terigia). If the character already has a randomly rolled field, the character must re-roll.

Swayusers begin play knowing a number of additional meta motes and/or effect motes from their sway fields equal to one plus their Intelligence modifier. Effect motes chosen at 1st level character creation may be 0-level or 1st level only. Swaycasters can only utilize spell trigger and spell completion items that share their own fields without a Use Magic Device skill check (though these types of items are extremely rare on Terigia). It is possible that characters will have access to fields of which they know no motes.

Sway Fields Table
Human/Half-Elf——-Dwarf———Elf———-Goblin———-Halfling———Scor————-Field
-—-1-2—————-1-2————1————-1-5—————1-2—————1——-i-— Acid
-—-3-4——————3————2-4————-6……———-3-4———….-2———i— Air
….-5-6-………….—4—-….—5-7—…….-7-8-………..-5-6-………..-3-……-— Animal
….-7-8-………..—5-9-………-8-………-9-10-……….—7-………—4-10-…-— Armor
…..-9-10……..—10-11-…….-9-………—11-………—-8-9-……….-11-..i..-— Binding
.—11-12-…….—12-16-…….-10-……..12-13-………..10-……….12-18iiiiiiii— Body
….-13-14……..-17-18-…….-11-………-14-…………11-14-……..-19-….-— Change
….-15-16………..-19-………-12-………-15-…………15-16-……..-20-…..— Cold
….-17-18………..20-21…….-13-………-16-……….-17-18-……….21…..— Command
….-19-20……..-22-23-…….-14-…….-17-21-………19-22-……..-22….— Concealing
….-21-22……..-24-25-…….-15-…….-22-26-……..-23-24-………23-…..— Curse
….-23-24……..-26-27-…….-16-…….-27-31-……..-25-26-…..-24-30-..— Darkness
….-25-26……..-28-29-…….-17-…….-32-33-……….-27-……..-31-37-..— Death
…….27-28-………30-31-…..-18-20-…….-34………..-28-29-……..-38……— Detection
…….29-30-………32-36……..21-23-……..35-………..30-31………..39……— Dispelling
…….31-32-………37-38……..24-26-….—-36-…..——32-33-….——40……— Divination
…….33-34-……—39-43-…….-27-….-.—37-38-…….-34-35-……..-41-…-— Earth
…….35-36-….—…-44-……..-28-30…….39-40-…….-36-37-….——42……— Electricity
….-37-38……..-45-46-…..-..31-….-..-41-42-……..38-39-…..—43-49…— Fear
-….39-40—-…..47-51-….—-32-….-.—43-47-……..40-41-…….—50-..—— Fire
--.41-42-……….-52-….-.—33-35-…….-48-….—.—42-43-…..-.—51……— Flight
….-43-44….——-53-….——-36-….——49-50-…..—44-45-….-..—52……— Force
…….45-46-……—54-55-……..37-…..——-51-………-46-49-……—-53……— Fortune
….-47-48…..—-56-57-…..—38-……..-52-53-……..50-51-……—-54……— Gravity
….-49-50…..—-58-59-….-39-41-…..—-54-…..——52-53-….-..—55……— Healing
-51-52-….—.—60-…….-42-44-……-55-56-…..—54-57-…….—56-…..— Illusion
……53-54……—-61-…….-45-47-…….—57-…..——58-61-….——57……— Language
…….55-56-……—62-63…..-48-50-…….—58-….—.—62-63-….——58…….— Life
….-57-58………64-65-…..51-53-…….—59-….—.—64-65-….——59-…—— Light
….-59-60…..—-66-67-…..—54-……—-60-61-……-66-67-…—-60-66-…— Pain
-61-62-…—..—68-…….-55-57-…..—61-62-……-68-69-…….—67-….-— Plant
…….63-64-………69-70-…..58-60-…..—63-64-…..—70-71-…….—68-….-— Sleep
…….65-66-….-.—71-72-…..—61-…….—65-66-…..—72-73-……—-69-…..— Sound
…….67-68-….-.—73-74-….-62-64-……-67-68-…..—74-75-…….—70..— Summoning
…….69-70-……..—75-……—65-67-……—69-…..—.—76-79-………71.— Teleportation
…….71-72-……—76-77-……68-70-…….70-71-……..80-81-…….—72…….— Time
…….73-74-………78-79…….-.71-…….—72-73-……..82-83-…….—73-……— Undead
……75-76……—80-81-……..72-…….—74-79-…..—85-85-….-..—74…….— Vermin
……77-78….—.—82-…….-73-75-…….—80-….—.—86-87-…..-.—75-….-—Water
……79-80……—83-87-……..76-…….—81-82-….—.—88-….——76-82-…— Weapon
…..-81-82….—.—88-…….-77-79-……..-83-….—.—89-90-….—.—83-…..— Weather
-83-84-…——-89-90-…-.-80-…——84-85-…-…-91-92-…..—84-90..— Wounding
….——-…———..91-99-…..81-95-….-86-99-…——93-97-…—-91-97iiiChoose Racial
….-85-100…——-100-…—96-100-…..-100-…—.—98-100-….-98-100iii.Choose Any

At each level after 1st, the character gains two additional meta motes or two effect motes from one of his sway fields, or one meta and one effect mote. When gaining a new level, effect motes chosen may not be of a higher level than the character’s level.

At 3rd level and again at 6th level, the character gains access to a new sway field rolled randomly on the table above. When leveling and choosing new motes for that level, a character may not choose an effect mote from a new field that is greater than one half his new character level. Optionally, a character can forgo gaining a new sway field to take an additional meta mote or effect mote from one of his known sway fields.

Arranging Motes of Sway
Each swayspell is made up of an arrangement of two or more motes, including one target mote, one, two or three effect motes, and possibly a number of meta motes. The spell level of the swaycaster’s swayspell is determined by the motes used. Each mote of sway has a level associated with it and, in some cases, restrictions on what other motes can be arranged in a swayspell with it.

Target Mote: This mote determines the range of a swayspell, how the swayspell manifests, and what it can affect. If the swayspell has an area, it affects every creature in the area defined by the target mote. If it has targets, it affects the specific targets described by its mote. A swayspell can have only one target mote. Some effect motes supersede or alter the target mote of the swayspell they are part of, but if the swayspell is a combination swayspell (has more than one effect mote) the target mote takes precedence and restricts what it can affect. Target motes do not add to the final spell level of the sway spell but does raise its cost by the number listed. Using the Boost meta mote on some target motes will affect the effect motes involved and therefore, the final spell level.

Effect Mote: Effect motes determine what effect a swayspell has when cast. They also determine the schools of the swayspell and its duration, saving throw, and spell resistance, if any. A swayspell can have more than one effect mote, even ones from different fields. In this case, the spell counts as both fields. Effect motes cannot be combined with other effect motes that are restricted to different target motes. All effect motes in a swayspell must be able to have the same target mote and the swayspell must contain that shared target mote. A character cannot use an effect mote that is of a level greater than his caster level, whether it be a base level higher, boosted higher, or combined to a higher level. The final level of a swayspell depends the number of effect motes in it and the level of those effect motes, as noted in the Effect Mote Combinations table below. For example, a 5th-level swayspell might include one 5th-level effect mote, two 3rd-level effect motes, or three 2nd-level effect motes, but each would cost the same (5 for its level, plus the cost of its target mote and any meta motes it has). Alternatively, the swayspell might include one 4th-level effect mote and one 2nd-level effect mote, or one 3rd level effect mote and two 1st-level effect motes, still costing the price of a 5th level swayspell (adding target and meta costs).

Effect motes are split into groups of similar motes called fields.

Table: Effect Mote Combinations
Spell Level——-One Effect Mote——-Two Effect Motes——-Three Effect Motes
-—-0——————————-0—————————————- -————————————
-—-1st -———————-1—————————————- -————————————
-—-2nd—————————2————————————0/0—————————— – - -
-
——3rd -——————— 3—————————- 1/1 or 2/0——————————0/0/0
-—-4th————————— 4—————————- 2/2 or 3/1———————-1/1/1 or 2/0/0
-—-5th————————— 5——————————3/3 or 4/2———————-2/2/2 or 3/1/1
-—-6th—————————-6—————————- 4/4 or 5/3———————-3/3/3 or 4/2/2
-—-7th—————————— -————————5/5 or 6/4———————-4/4/4 or 5/3/3
-—-8th————————— – ———————————-6/6————————- – 5/5/5 or 6/4/4
-—-9th—————————— -—————————— – ————————————-6/6/6

Meta Mote: This mote modifies the swayspell in some way, often by increasing either its duration, range, or components in a fashion similar to metamagic feats. It can also boost certain target or effect motes, changing the swayspell’s overall effect. Meta motes modify the cost of the spell by the listed amount in the mote’s description, but do not modify the final spell level of the sway spell unless otherwise noted.

A swayspell can have any number of meta motes arranged within it, but other than the Boost meta more, may not use the same meta mote more than once. A swayspell does not need to contain a meta mote.

Casting Swayspells
Unless modified by certain meta motes each swayspell is assumed to have a somatic and verbal component, but does not have material components or focuses. Because of the necessary somatic components needed sway casters suffer from Arcane Spell Failure chance for any armor they wear unless the spell is modified by the still meta mote or failure chance is reduced with the Arcane Armor Training feat or like abilities. The other component of a sway spell, and the only thing truly spent to cast such as spell it a bit of the caster’s life energy. A sway user can cast any number of spells per day, but each spell the user casts costs more of the character’s energy. To cast a spell the character must spend Vitality points equal to the total cost of the spell. The cost of a swayspell is equal to its level determined by its effect motes plus the cost of its target and meta motes. If the spell’s cost is greater than your level, you pay the cost in Vitality points up to your level and pay the remainder in Wound points. If the spell’s cost is more than twice your level, you pay the complete cost in Wound points. In this way it is possible for you to cast a spell that is so powerful that channeling the magic outright kills you.

Casting a swayspell is almost exactly the same as casting an ordinary spell in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. A swayspell can be dispelled and disrupted, and casting one provokes attacks of opportunity, just like any other spell, unless the swaycaster casts the swayspell on the defensive, which also requires a concentration check as normal. The DC for casting a swayspell defensively is the same as it is for a spell of the same level in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

The DC for any saving throw called for by the swayspell is calculated the same way as for any other spell of that level. A sway user uses his Charisma modifier to determine saving throw DCs for his sway spells. Your caster level for any swayspell you cast is equal to your character level unless you have the Greater Sway feat (see sway Feats below) .

Counterspelling Swayspells: A swaycaster can make a Spellcraft skill check as normal to identify the swayspell as it is being cast and then cast a swayspell with the same effect motes and the Counter target mote to counter it. This means that the opposing swaycaster must know all of the effect motes of the swayspell and pay the cost of those motes, plus the cost of the Counter target mote. Target and meta motes of the target spell are ignored. If the targeted swayspell contains multiple effect motes, but the opposing caster only knows one of the motes, that caster can still attempt to counter the swayspell, but this functions as if using dispel magic and does not come with the guarantee of success. The opposing caster must make a dispel check to counter the swayspell with a DC equal to 11 + the spell’s caster level. This DC increases by 5 if there are more than one effect motes in the targeted spell that the countering swaycaster does not know. The countering swaycaster must pay the cost in vitality and/or wounds of the same level (though not cost) and the cost of the Counter target mote. When identifying and countering swayspells, target motes and meta motes are not relevant.

Swayspell Saving Throws: The type of saving throw for a swayspell is determined by the highest-level effect mote used that allows a saving throw. If the save is successful, it applies to all effect motes, but the result for each mote can vary based on the individual mote. If the save fails, the target takes the full effect of all effect motes. The save DC is equal to 10 + the swayspell’s level (not the effect mote’s level) + the swaycaster’s Charisma modifier. The touch and ray target motes replace Reflex saves for any effect motes that deal energy damage with a touch attack, but they do not remove other saving throws called for. If the touch attack hits, the target takes the full damage and must save for the other effects. For example, if a 5th-level swayspell contains a 2nd-level effect mote that allows a Reflex save for half fire damage and a 4th-level effect mote that allows a Will save to negate, targets of the swayspell make a Will save with a DC of 15 + the caster’s Charisma modifier. If the save is successful, the target takes half the normal effect from the 2nd-level mote and negates the 4th-level mote. If the save fails, the target takes the full effect of both effect motes. If the swayspell used the ray or touch target mote, the caster first makes a touch attack (ranged or melee respectively) and only if he succeeds does the target need to save against the other effect. If the touch attack hits, the target takes full damage from the energy effect, even if he succeeds at the Will saving throw.

Swayspells and Spell Resistance: If the swayspell uses more than one effect mote, and any of those motes allow spell resistance, the resistance applies to all of the effect motes of the swayspell. A swayspell only ignores spell resistance if all effect motes ignore spell resistance.

Multiple Effect Motes and Damage: If more than one effect mote causes the swayspell to deal damage, the total number of dice of damage the swayspell can deal can be no greater than the character’s caster level. The caster can decide which dice belong to which effect mote, in any combination, so long as the total number does not exceed his caster level and the number of dice allocated to a specific effect mote does not exceed its maximum. The maximize and empower meta motes can still be used to increase the damage of these spells.

Multiple Effect Motes and Duration: If a swayspell has more than one effect mote, the shortest of all the effect motes’ durations is used for all of the effect motes. One exception to this rule is an instantaneous effect. An instantaneous effect happens instantaneously while effect motes it is combined with continue from that point as residual effects for the shortest duration of those other effect motes. An effect mote with a duration that includes “concentration,” causes any swayspell containing that effect mote to require concentration for the duration of the spell, whatever that duration may be. If the effect mote has a maximum duration for concentration, that maximum counts for the maximum duration of the entire swayspell. Ceasing concentration on such a spell ends all effects of that spell.

Magic Item Creation
Wands, scrolls and potions can not be created with sway magic, though it is possible to create other magic items using the sway system. Since the caster meets none of the spell prerequisites, this process is more difficult than the standard method of magic item creation. To avoid all of the penalties associated with not knowing the proper spells, a swaycaster must have similar swayspells available (similar field of sway) and pay for a spell of matching level for each spell required by the item as part of its construction requirements, just as if he were preparing the proper spells.

Examples
To help explain these rules, the following section includes a number of sample swayspells that could be created using the sway system.

Burst Fire Blast (Level 3, Cost 5): This simple swayspell does 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level to anything caught in a 10-foot-radius burst. If the swaycaster boosts the target mote (+1 Cost), this swayspell more closely resembles fireball, dealing damage in a 20-foot-radius burst. The targets receive a Reflex saving throw to halve the damage.

Touch Ice Blast Life Leech (Level 6, Cost 8): This swayspell causes the target (if a melee touch attack is made) to take 1d6 points of cold damage per caster level and must make a Fortitude save or take 1d4 temporary negative levels, and become entangled for 1d4 rounds. If the save is successful, the target takes no negative levels, and is not entangled. The caster can boost the target mote to give this spell affect multiple charges, but doing so increases the spell’s level to 8 and the cost to 11.

Personal Force Armor Enhance Form Grave Bane (Level 6, Cost 7): This swayspell grants the caster a number of bonuses. First, it grants the caster a +1 armor bonus per level. The swayspell also grants a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution (chosen by the caster). Finally, the swayspell grants an additional +4 sacred bonus on saving throws made against death spells and death magic effects; the subject cannot gain negative levels while this swayspell is in effect, and the target is automatically stabilized if brought below 0 wound points. All of these effects last for 1 round per level, as that is the duration of the effect mote with the shortest duration. The caster could spend 1 more vitality or wound point to add the extend meta word and double this duration. Note that force armor is only 1st level, and could be replaced with a 2nd-level effect mote without changing the overall level of the spell.

Sway Feats
Extra Mote [Sway]
You have discovered a new mote of sway within your powers.
Prerequisites: Caster level 1st, ability to use sway.
Benefit: Add one effect mote from one of your sway fields or a meta mote to your list of motes known. This is in addition to the number of motes normally gained at each level and may not be of a level or cost higher than your caster level. You may instead add two motes to your list of motes known, but both of these motes must be no higher level or cost than half your caster level. Once made, these choices cannot be changed. You can still not choose a power mote from a sway field greater than one half your caster level at the same time as you gained access to the new power mote field.
Special: You can take this feat multiple times.

Greater Sway [Capstone, Sway]
The practiced use of your sway has given you more power.
Prerequisites: Caster level 6 or greater, ability to use sway.
Benefit: Your caster level increases by 1, affecting all level based effects of your sway spells. You also add one to your level for determining whether your spells cost you vitality or wound points to cast and what level of combined swayspells you can cast. This does not raise the DCs of your sway spells.
Special: You can take this feat up to three times, but may not take it twice consecutively (meaning you must take another feat before taking this feat again).

Improved Signature Spell [Sway]
You have perfected the adaptation of one swayspell unique to your powers.
Prerequisites: Signature Spell.
Benefit: Choose one combined spell you have chosen with the Signature Spell feat. When you augment this signature spell with one or more meta motes, its total cost is reduced by an additional point.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times, once for each signature spell you have.

Signature Spell [Sway]
You have created one complicated swayspell unique to your powers.
Prerequisites: Caster level 2nd, have cast the chosen spell at least one time.
Benefit: Choose one combined swayspell that you have cast before. The swayspell must have at least two effect motes from different fields. You must also give your signature spell a unique name. Whenever you cast this spell the cost is one less. The spell may be augmented by additional meta motes, but must contain the same effect and target motes to gain the benefits of this feat.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times, applying it each time to a different combined swayspell.

Sway Discipline [Sway]
You have been able to focus your sway powers toward a specific field.
Benefit: You may choose your next sway field from the entire list instead of rolling on the table. If you select a racial field for your race or are human or half-elf, you receive the lowest level sway mote of the chosen field as a bonus mote.
If you take this feat at character creation, instead of choosing a single sway field, you may roll each field a number of times equal to your combined mental ability score bonuses and choose from those rolled fields. Do this for each sway field you gain at character creation. You receive the lowest level sway mote of one chosen field as a bonus mote, but that field must be a racial field for you. If you are human or half-elf you may receive this bonus mote from any field you know.

Sway Familiar [Sway]
A small animal is drawn to your sway powers and comes to serve you.
Benefit: You gain a familiar as a Pathfinder wizard of your caster level. Your familiar’s powers come from your sway and it does not gain sway powers of its own despite gaining some sapience.
Special: You may take the Improved Familiar feat.
Special: If you have the Animal or Summoning sway field, your familiar receives a +2 enhancement bonus to one ability score of your choice.

Sway Focus [Sway]
Your ability with one sway field is greater than normal.
Benefit: Choose one swayspell field that you have access to. When you cast a swayspell with an effect mote from that field of at least half the level of the swayspell, the DC of that spell is increased by 1.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times, applying it each time to a different sway field, though a spell can only benefit from this feat once despite the number of sway motes combined in the spell.

Target Motes
Effect Motes
ACID MOTES
AIR MOTES
ANIMAL MOTES
ARMOR MOTES
BINDING MOTES
BODY MOTES
CHANGE MOTES
COLD MOTES
COMMAND MOTES
CONCEALING MOTES
CURSE MOTES
DARKNESS MOTES
DEATH MOTES
DETECTION MOTES
DISPELLING MOTES
DIVINATION MOTES
EARTH MOTES
ELECTRICITY MOTES
FEAR MOTES
FIRE MOTE
FLIGHT MOTES
FORCE MOTES
FORTUNE MOTES

Sway Rules

Terigia: A World Under Sway Phloid