Magic is a powerful esoteric force that harnesses unseen energies. Magic is an optional system to use with World Saga and its use may depend on your game’s setting. Ask your GM if magic is a part of your game’s setting and whether or not they will allow magic-using PCs.

World Saga is not a “high-magic” system. If you are looking for a world of epic, magical fantasy, there are many other role-playing games that better emulate that experience. The magic system presented here works best in low-magic settings, where such magical feats are extraordinary miracles rather than everyday occurrences.

However, the rules presented here do attempt to balance the powers of a magical PC with the non-magical PCs in the same party. There should be no issue having parties with both types of characters.

Magic Lore

In the worlds of World Saga, magic is a rare and powerful force that only a few have dared to master. There are also many variant approaches to the study of magic. Wizards believe they directly manipulate these unseen forces, drawing this power from latent elemental essences that infuse the unseen magical world. Druids believe that they draw upon the elemental spirits that inundate the world, coercing them to do their bidding. Clerics believe they simply command the power of the gods to the mortal plane, channeling that energy to where they direct it.

Wizardry. Some see magic as nothing more than the manipulation of unseen forces, where the right combination of words, gestures and focused thought can conjure extraordinary results. These practitioners study these secret combinations to gain mastery over this hidden power. These magic-users might refer to themselves as wizards, sorcerers, or mages.

Druidry. Other practitioners of magic might see the unseen world as filled with spiritual essences. Some of these spirits are bound to our physical forms, while others are free spirits that align with elemental forces. These practitioners learn how to cajole and coerce these spirits into performing actions that affect the physical world. These practitioners are often called druids, shamans, or witches.

Divinity. In some settings, some people might attribute these magical forces to the gods, believing that they harness the infinite energies of the heavens and hellscapes beyond mortal comprehension. They often see magic as an extension of faith and prayer, with gestures and words forming a part of these divine rituals. These practitioners are often called priests, clerics, or oracles.

It turns out that it doesn’t matter which lens one views the unseen world of magic through, the end results are usually the same. The study of magic, in all its forms, takes time and dedication to truly master such power.

Magic Skills

There are three Skills associated with magical abilities: Harmonics, Intervention, and Binding. Each Skill is described below, featuring the three alternative names to the Skill, each associated with each of the three disciplines described above (Wizardry, Druidry, and Divinity). 

Learning magic is more difficult than other disciplines. Magic Skills have three associated Attributes instead of two. Magic Skill Ranks are calculated by taking the lowest of the three associated Attributes and then adding their Training Ranks in the magic Skill.

Increasing a Training Rank in a magic Skill allows the character to choose a new Spell associated with that magic Skill. A Spell is much like a Combat Maneuver, in that it is a special action that the character can perform. All Spells cost Attention to cast and are designated with the Spell trait but can otherwise be performed like any other action.

Spells are divided into four degrees of potency: Cantrips, Trained, Expert, and Master spells. Much like Combat Maneuvers, a character must have the required Training Rank in order to learn and cast a spell of the specified potency.


[Sorcery, Spirit Conduction, Channeling]

(Intelligence , Willpower , Perception )

Harmonics spells invoke the power of the elements, drawing on air, earth, fire, and water, creating a harmonic balance of elemental energies. Spells that require skill with harmonics often directly invoke the power of elemental energies into the physical world.


[Thaumaturgy, Spirit Mediation, Miracles]

(Intelligence , Perception , Empathy )

Intervention spells directly interact with other living beings. These spells intervene on a creature’s spirit or soul, manipulating their mind and emotions. Those most skilled in Intervention can even restore the mind and body through magic alone.


[Conjury, Spirit Binding, Soul Binding]

(Intelligence , Willpower , Charisma )

Binding spells imbue the power of magic into items and other creatures. These spells can alter and augment creatures, shape perceptions, and even bind powerful spirits into people to grant them incredible powers.

Learning Spells

Spells can only be used by magical characters which have attained the proper Training Rank in the associated magic skill. Upon taking their first Training Rank in any magic skill, a character learns the Reveal spell, allowing them to detect the presence of magic and see the “unseen”. Characters also learn and can cast the Cantrip associated with the magic skill they increased to Training Rank 1.

In this way, characters learn new spells when they increase their Training Rank in the associated magic skills. Characters gain access to and may learn a new Trained spell when they are Training Rank 2 (Trained) in a specific magic skill.  When they are Training Rank 4 (Expert), they gain access to the Expert spells for that magic skill.  Likewise, upon reaching Training Rank 6 (Master), they gain access to the Master spells.  Each time a character increases their Training Rank in a magic skill, they can learn a new spell, among all those they have access.  This also means that character can only ever learn 9 of the 12 spells associated with each magic skill.

Characters are encouraged to make each spell their own by naming their spell and choosing the visuals, sounds, and other flavorful features that accompany each casting of their magic.

Spell Traits

Some Spells may have one or more Traits attached to them and are presented in green.

SpellActions with the Spell trait indicate that they are magical actions. They can only be performed by a magical character that knows the spell. Casting a spell otherwise function like any other action.

SummonSpells with the Summon trait indicate that the spell creates a minion NPC that is controlled by the caster of the spell. In order to maintain the magic of a Summon spell, the caster must use a Move action each turn in order to concentrate on the spell and direct their minion’s actions. The minion then immediately acts, granting the minion the usual combination of a Move Action and another Action. Minions do not roll initiative and only take actions when the caster concentrates on the spell. If the caster does not take an action to concentrate on the spell, the minion simply stays where they are and makes any Defense Rolls with a -2 penalty.

Casting Spells

When a magical character casts a spell, they need to recite words of power and make esoteric gestures with their hands. These words and movements are quite obvious to those around them, and it is nearly impossible to disguise these actions unless the spell-caster is well-hidden or otherwise undetected.

Cantrips (Rank 1)

Empath [Exploration]   
[Intervention: Rank 1] [Attention: ] [Cantrip] [Spell]

Requirement: Can only affect one creature within 6 square from you.

You use your magic to reach into the heart and soul of another creature. The magic harmonizes your spirit with theirs in an attempt to empathize with them. A curious calm will often fill both you and your target’s heart. 

At the GM’s discretion, this spell might allow an otherwise unfriendly adversary to be willing to negotiate. Whether the spell is successful or not, you cannot cast this spell again on the same target until the next day.

Resolution: Intervention

 – The target is more willing to hear your point of view. You get a +1 condition bonus on your next social test (e.g. Bluff, Impress, Coerce, Reason) against the target.
 – As above, except the +1 condition bonus applies to your allies as well, but only for the next social test from either you or your allies.
 – As above, except the bonus is +2.
 – As above, except the bonus is +4.
 – Your magical attempt to empathize with your target fails.
 – Your magical empathy is seen through and bothers the target. You and your allies get a -1 condition penalty on your next social test against the target.

Light [Combat]   
[Binding: Rank 1] [Attention: ] [Cantrip] [Spell]

You bind a magical source of light to an object you possess, such as the end of a staff or a worn amulet. This object glows with magical light with the same strength and radiance as a burning torch, although it produces no heat. The magical light lasts for up to one hour. It can be dismissed instantly, but the spell-caster must make a Binding Basic Test . A failure indicates that others might have seen the light before it was snuffed out. 

The spell-caster can only have one such spell active at a time and must have the bound item in their possession. If the object is given to another, the magical light goes out and the spell ends.

Reveal [Exploration] 
[Universal: Rank 1] [Attention: ] [Cantrip] [Spell]

You attempt to detect the presence of magical auras or other sources of eldritch or spiritual power. The GM determines whether your character can uncover any unseen magical auras in the area.

Resolution: Investigate

 – You successfully detect the presence of any magical sources nearby.
 – You fail to detect any magical auras.

Shield [Combat] 
[Harmonics: Rank 1] [Attention: ] [Cantrip] [Reaction] [Spell]

You instantaneously conjure a shield of magical force to protect yourself from an incoming attack. This spell allows you to use your Harmonics skill for a Defense Roll against a physical attack action, such as a Strike or Pummel. As normal for Attention actions, you take a -2 condition penalty if you are currently Stressed. You can also use this spell against physical ranged attacks, such as a Fire action, with a -2 situation penalty to the test.

 – The enemy’s attack crashes through your magical shield. You are now Exposed 2 until the end of your next turn.

Trained Spells (Rank 2)

Alter [Combat]   
[Binding: Rank 2] [Attention: ] [Spell]

You reach out and touch one object and instantaneously alter its material properties. This alteration lasts for one Activity (10 minutes) and you can only have one such spell active at a time. The previous spell immediately ends if this spell is cast again. If the target object is worn or in possession of an unwilling character, this becomes a Conflict Test versus the possessor’s Resilience.  This spell cannot be used on larger objects, such as a section of a wall or a piece of furniture.

Resolution: Binding , or Binding Resilience

 – Weapons: You can enhance or weaken a weapon’s density and shape to grant it a +1 item bonus to Attack Rolls or conversely a -1 item penalty to Attack Rolls
Armor: You can alter a set of armor by up to one step (Light to Medium, Medium to Light, or Light to Clothing), either increasing your own or an ally’s defenses or decreasing an enemy’s defenses. The associated Hardiness bonuses along with Speed and Skill penalties apply normally. 
Shield: You can enhance or weaken a shield’s physical properties, granting either a +1 item bonus or -1 item penalty to Block Defense Rolls.
 – As above, but the item bonuses or penalties for weapons and shields are +2 or -2. You can alter a set of armor by up to two steps (Light to Heavy, Medium to Clothing, or Full to Medium).
 – As above, but the item bonuses or penalties for weapons and shields are +3 or -3. You can alter a set of armor by up to three steps (Light to Full, Heavy to Clothing, or Full to Light).
 – As above, but the item bonuses or penalties for weapons and shields are +4 or -4. You can alter a set of armor by up to four steps (Clothing to Full, Full to Clothing).
 – Your magical attempt to alter the object’s fundamental properties fails, but you can change the object’s color or appearance.

Animate [Combat]   
[Binding: Rank 2] [Attention: ] [Spell] [Summon]

You bring one unattended object within 6 squares to life by binding magic into it, animating it with a semblance of life. This could be a hand-held object or as large as a small table or similar piece of furniture (GM’s discretion). This animation lasts for an Activity (10 minutes) and you can only have one such spell active at a time. The previous spell immediately ends if this spell is cast again.

The target object comes to life, able to strike at your foes or perform simple tasks within the limits of its physical characteristics. The object can magically hover over the ground but cannot fly freely.

Resolution: Binding

 – The animated object cannot directly attack your enemies, but it can attempt to Distract an adjacent enemy with an equivalent Perform Skill Rank of 6. It also has a Dodge Skill Rank of 6 and can give Surrounding bonuses to allies. It immediately ceases to be animated if it takes any Damage.
 – As above, except the object has a Perform Skill Rank of 8. It can attack enemies directly with a Fighting Skill Rank of 6. The object can take up to 4 points of Damage before it is destroyed.
 – As above, except the object has a Perform Skill Rank of 10. It’s Fighting Skill Rank is 8. The object can take up to 6 points of Damage before it is destroyed.
 – As above, except the object has a Perform Skill Rank of 12. It’s Fighting Skill Rank is 10. The object can take up to 8 points of Damage before it is destroyed.
 – You fail to bind your magic into the object.

More to come!