Arcanum 1780: A New World
Mana Levels and RPM Energy Gathering
Mana Levels and RPM Energy Gathering.
The sole source of mana is “ur-ice”, from which the core of the Gomorrah Event comet was made. Ur-ice doesn’t melt except at temperatures most often seen in a furnace and has both the consistency and strength of quartz crystal. This strange substance also possesses one other weird property – it contains the raw stuff of magic!
Almost half a billion tons of ur-ice were scattered across the globe by the destructive high-altitude detonation of larger chunks as they heated in the atmosphere, exploding with the force of a thousand nukes. Most of the planet has enough ice dust fallout from the Gomorrah Event to be at least Low mana.
No Mana: Magic of any kind is impossible in a No Mana zone. Creatures which depend on Mana for their powers lose them, magic items do not function and Mages cannot cast spells. However, spells raised in another mana zone and cast into a Low Mana zone still function and any magical thing leaving the No Mana zone will regain its powers. No Mana zones are usually found underground where ur-ice dust has not penetrated or in areas where all the natural mana has been used up by some spell.
Low Mana: Rolls to gather ambient energy for magic are at -5. Most of the world’s surface and the air up to 270,000 feet (the maximum altitude at which ice crystals can be suspended in the thinning atmosphere) are Low Mana zones.
Normal Mana: Use the RPM rules as written. The areas in a wide swathe one to five hundred miles around major Gomorrah impact areas are Normal Mana, as are areas in tighter bands up to a dozen miles wide around lesser impact areas. Even in most low mana areas, however, places where dust first was blown into thicker drifts before being covered by soil exist and can be Normal Mana. These are usually in mountain crevasses, wind-trap valleys or hollows and where rivers washed dust into a sandbank. The largest become opencast mines, sifting the soil for dust for the commercial market – the rest are often coveted as sites for Mages’ Guild buildings, mages’ homes and magical supply shops.
High Mana: The area is treated as a +1 to +3 “place of power” and adds that bonus to all energy-gathering rolls. High Mana zones exist in close proximity to the original Gomorrah impact areas. Drifts or washes of larger crystals can create rare and valuable High Mana points in lower mana zones. Contact with small chunks of ur-ice – larger than dust but still only a couple of carats in weight, can also act as +1 to +3 places of power.
Very High Mana: The area is treated as a +4 or higher “place of power”. Such areas exist close to where a large chunk of ur-ice actually impacted rather than detonating in the air. Mages in physical contact with an active Franklin Engine, it’s power conduits, or a chunk of ur-ice larger than three carats will find they act as places of power of such strength.