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Realms of Power: Magic

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Realms of Power: Magic
Cover illustration for Realms of Power: Magic
Product Information
Rules Edition: Fifth
Abbreviation: RoPM
Product Type: Sourcebook
Author(s): Erik Dahl, Timothy Ferguson, Andrew Gronosky, Richard Love, John Post, Mark Shirley, Andrew Smith and Sheila Thomas
Publisher: Atlas Games
Product Number: AG0288
ISBN: 1-58978-102-3
Release date: July 2008
Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
Availability: Hardcover and PDF available

Realms of Power: Magic is the Fifth Edition sourcebook dealing with the Realm of Magic and those places, things and beings associated with it. It is the third in the Realms of Power series.

Subject and contents[edit]

The table of contents for this book is available at the Atlas Games web site.

The third in the Realms of Power series, this is the first Ars Magica supplement to explicitly describe the Magic Realm and the many spirits who inhabit it.

The Realm of Magic[edit]

Unlike the Faerie Realm, characters in Mythic Europe do not visit the Magic Realm routinely -- except, perhaps, in Wizard's Twilight. Therefore the Realm is poorly explored, and poorly understood compared to the Faerie, Divine, and Infernal Realms.

The Realm of Magic, as presented in Fifth Edition, is a realm of the idealized essential nature of things. As a realm of spirit and ideas, the Magic Realm is both wondrous and mysterious. Every visitor to the Magic Realm has a different experience, so the Realm clearly includes myriad worlds within it. It consists of insulae, tempora, and cosms, each a different kind of world within the Realm.

Because there is no established way to enter the Magic Realm, getting there can be a quest in itself. Some ideas for how to enter the Magic Realm include crossing through a powerful magic regio, being transported by a magical spirit of sufficient Might score, or some unprecedented magical disaster.[1]

Magical Auras and Vis[edit]

There are rules that describe magical auras in more detail, explaining what the environment is like in a magic aura and how it can differ from the mundane world. The rules also describe how magic auras can arise and how they grow weaker or stronger. On page 14 is a list of Vim spells relating to auras, including a ritual that can help strength a Magic aura[2].

There are also rules for special kinds of vis, including lesser enchantment vis, spell-like vis, and dedicated vis.

Bestiary[edit]

Realms of Power: Magic includes statistics for a wide variety of magical creatures, from the spirit of a bullrush and magical cats to undead, elementals, and mighty dragons. See the table of contents or Project Redcap's Creature Index for a listing.

The bestiary is intended not only to provide "monsters" for characters to fight, but also allies, creatures to summon, familiars, and even (using the rules for magical characters in this book) player characters.

Creature Rules[edit]

There are extensive rules for making magical creatures, determining their Might scores, and describing their powers. These are designed to be balanced and suitable for creating magical creatures as player-characters. Indeed, the rules explain how to make magical creatures as PCs equivalent to a grog, companion, or magus.

Magical creatures do not age, and most of them do not need to eat or sleep. They also don't (usually) gain experience points like mortal characters, unless their Might score is quite low.[3] Instead, magical characters advance and deteriorate through transformation and acclimation.

Things of Virtue[edit]

This book also introduces Things of Virtue, inanimate equivalents to Beasts of Virtue. Things of Virtue are magical plants and objects whose essential nature gives them special powers that a wizard can unlock and use through a process called refinement. For example, the Blackthorn of Virtue (for which the covenant is named) can be refined to inflict curses.

Reviews and comments[edit]

The section on the Magic Realm and travelling to it is useful if you are likely to play scenarios based there, such as "The City of Brass" from Tales of Power or in Dies Irae. There is also the adventure "The Stormbringer" in Sub Rosa issue 10 about a magical ship that travels into the magic realm.
The rules for magical creatures are designed to create balanced characters suitable for PC or NPC use and slowly scale with Might, so it is easier to estimate the power level of a character made with these rules than with the other Realms of Power books where the storyguide will have to use their judgement.
The bestiary of magical animals is helpful both for adventures and for creating familiars. Sadly they omit the bonnacon for some reason.
Seeing as elementalists from HMRE  and Amazons from Rival Magic use magical elementals, Muspelli meet Valkyries in their Twilight variant, Soqotran magi all have magic companions at higher ages, and Sahir summon jinn, there are a great many non-Hermetic traditions that benefit massively from access to this book.
Overall this is probably the most essential book for storyguides who want anything other than a highly mundane Saga. --Tom Nowell


Related Products[edit]

Magic related[edit]

Realms of Power series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Realms of Power: Magic, pp. 20-21, "Into the Magic Realm"
  2. Realms of Power: Magic, p. 14, "New Spells and Guidelines for Auras" (inset)
  3. Realms of Power: Magic, p. 51, "Advancement"

External links[edit]