Realm Pair

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A Realm Pair is a distinct set of two Realms, that can be boosted as a pair in various ways, e.g. with a Focus, at a cost that is lower than the sum cost of boosting each Realm separately.

In this way, players are encouraged slightly to make certain character creation decitions, e.g. with regards to the Strong Magic trait (this reminds The Designer that Spellcasting Talent for Realm Pairs must also be discounted), and likewise characters are encouraged in the same direction, e.g. with regard to what kind of Focus to Enchant.


The Realm Pairs, overview

Fire Magic Frost Magic Element
Light Magic Shadow Magic Element
Combat Magic Defence Magic Grey
Emotion Magic Thought Magic Grey
Animal Magic Plant Magic Nature

The Pairs themselve

Fire Magic and Frost Magic

Some regard this as the oddball Realm Pair, seeing 3 of the others as being pairs of Realms that have something in common and in the last case as being commonly useful together.

Why Fire and Frost, though? The answer is that The Designer likes the presence of a couple of opposed Realms, that they work well together for a blaster mage (ideally he should also have Air Magic so he can shoot lightning bolts too), and The Designer has a very vague idea about a Staff of Fire and Ice, maybe some kind of Focus item.

Light Magic and Shadow Magic

This is the other Pair that consists of opposed Realms, yet people seem to have fewer problems with this one. One possible explanation is that Light only or Shadow only seems too weak, so people think it is nice to be able to have them both together, so that at least it amounts to something. Another possibility is that people are simply used to seeing this. After all, both GURPS and Quest FRP combines these two Realms into, respectively, one College and one Discipline.

From a usefulness point of view, it also makes a lot of sense. Various sneaky and/or trickster characters can make good use of both Realms.

Combat Magic and Defence Magic

This is much more straightforward. A great many players, and many characters, would choose this combination even if there wasn't a discount for it, but there is, because it fits as a theme.

Emotion Magic and Thought Magic

Like Combat & Defence, this is just a good, obvious theme, and like C&D also highly useful in combination.

Animal Magic and Plant Magic

This, also, is a good thematic combination, suitable for characters built as a "hippie druid" concept.

Effect of Realm Pairs

It is important to emphasize that the only mechanical effect Realm Pairs have, is that certain traits, and certain Enchantments, are reduced in cost, if they pertain to a Realm Pair.

Currently only the Focus Enchantment, and the Strong Magic trait, offer discounts for Realm Pairs, but this will be expanded so that Spellcasting Talent also has a Realm Pair Option, and Improved Spell Force as well. Further traits and options will also be added, or if already added may be given a Realm Pair option.


Keep in mind, Realm Pairs are not straitjackets. They're jus discounts, subtle encouragement. You don't have to follow them. If you have an idea for a character, that you think will be fun to play, that combines use of Curse Magic with Illusion Magic, then go for it. You'll have to pay the full cost for the boosts to each Realm, e.g. full Essence cost for two Realm-Focus Enchantments, but the Realm Pair discount isn't that big anyway. It's neat but never essential.

Please note

Again, it must be emphasized that there are no game-mechanical effects of Realm Pairs, other than that certain DP or ES costs are reduced, relative to if each Enchantment or each Advantage had been bought separately, twice, for two randomly chosen Pairs.


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The world

Realm Pairs are well known in any setting in which the Sagatafl Spell magic system has been in use for more than a few centuries. NPCs will not be surprised to discover, e.g., that a wielder of Plant Magic also turns out to be able to cast Animal Magic Spells.

World impact

There will be some world impact, with some NPCs gravitating towards Realm Pairs. Warrior mages will frequently like the idea of Combat Magic and Defence Magic. Blaster mages will probably be rare in most settings, but out of the few that are, most that do not utilize a single element, either Fire, Frost or Lightning (Air), will go for the combination of Fire and Frost. A tiny minority will pursue all three paths, for maximum versatility.

The Ärth setting

Nothing special here. Blaster mages are rare, but they do exist. Most favour Fire, but Frost- and Lightning-only are (probably) still more common than Fire and Frost-blasters. NPCs tend to be smart, though, so the minority of 3-way-blasters will be larger than is perhaps the case in most other settings.

Design Notes


Realm Pairs are not really a mechanical inheritance from Quest FRP, but an invention of The Designer, one of many steps taking to rectify the fact that neither Quest FRP nor GURPS does anything much to encourage themed spellcasters, instead having generalists as the expected norm.

That said, in Quest FRP the Discipline of Battle Magic encompasses the effects both of the Realm of Combat Magic and the Realm of Defence Magic, and both Quest FRP and GURPS has a Discipline or College that deals with with Light and Shadow. Also, Quest FRP has Disciplines, for Clerics or Mages, that approximate the combined effect of Animal & Plant, or of Emotion & Thought.

The non-Pairs

At least one other Realm Pair could be there, except The Designer thinks it is best left out: Air Magic and Water Magic. There is little thematic connection between the two, but as Weather Mages are effectively forced to learn both Realm in order to be able to cast Weather Magic Spells in reasonable safety,

For this reason, for a brief time, Air & Water Magic was a legal Realm Pair choice for the Focus Enchantment, but only if the item also contained a more powerful Focus Enchantment specifically for Weather Magic. This was deemed too complicated a rule, and simplifying it so that Air & Water was a legal Realm Pair in all cases was found undesirable. It was therefore removed as a Realm Pair, and characters desiring such an item terefore miss out on the 40%-or-so discount on the Essence cost.

Quick mini-glossary

Spell Magic Realm

Focus Improved Spell Force Spellcasting Talent Strong Magic

See also

Category:Spell Magic

Improved Spell Force
Spellcasting Talent
Strong Magic

Table to use

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