Alternate Sphere Magic

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This is an alternate system of sphere magic for the World of Darkness. It replaces the spheres for Mage: The Ascension.

It is available as a PDF from The Storytellers Vault: Free PDF

You can also download a character sheet for this system here: Alternate Sphere Character Sheet

There are 12 Spheres in this system that are divided into coincidental & vulgar magic. The first three levels of each sphere are limited to coincidental effects, and the highest levels of the sphere are divided into two levels of vulgar magic.

The Twelve Spheres in alphabetical order are:

Control, Destruction, Feeling, Influence, Penetration, Production, Revelation, Restoration, Transformation, Travel, Understanding, and Vanishing

These are the degrees of power for the Spheres:

•	Awareness
••	Sympathetic
•••	Coincidental
••••	Manipulative
•••••	Miraculous

  • Awarenes

    Allows the Mage to sense things with their magic.

  • Sympathetic

    The Mage can effect things they're personally connected to.

  • Coincidental

    The Mage can work magic as long as it doesn't defy physics.

  • Manipulative

    The Mage can manipulate and bend the laws of physics.

  • Miraculous

    The Mage can now create impossible miracles.


These rules are just a few notes from the Mage: The Ascension rule book.

  • Arete

    Arete is the Mage's level of enlightenment. In game terms it is the number of dice a Mage rolls when casting their spells. No Sphere can be higher than your level of Arete. You can also only spend up to your level of Arete in quintessence on a single spell. A mage can optionally roll less dice than their Arete to avoid a potential botch.

  • Avatar

    A Mage's Avatar is the maximum Quintessence they can store.

  • Quintessence

    Quintessence is the power source for Magic. Spending Quintessence reduces the difficulty of a spell, up to a modifier of -3. Meditation is required to regain Quintessence for at least an hour at a place of power. Quintessence can also be stored in things that are carried by a Mage.

  • Willpower

    By spending a point of willpower Mages gets an automatic success on their spells. Willpower is tough to regenerate and can be useful for more than Magic.

  • Difficulty

    The difficulty of a spell is the level of the Sphere you are using. You then add +3 for coincidental magic, and +4 for Vulgar magic if there are no witnesses. Add +5 for Vulgar magic witnessed by Sleepers.

  • Successes

    Simple magic requires only one success, two successes are required for more powerful magic, and larger effects can take even more. If your level of Arete is at least one point higher than the Sphere you are using, you can succeed without a dice roll.

  • Botches

    If a Mage rolls a failure when casting a spell & they also roll a 1 on any of their dice then they botch. This is a dangerous situation.


  • Understanding

    • Power: Wisdom / ESP
    • Knowledge: Realization - Unveiling the inner knowledge within.
    • Description: The Power of Understanding manifests as inspiration and insight, granting effortless access to answers and discoveries beyond conventional understanding. It endows the practitioner with the gift of foreknowledge. The key to unlocking this power lies in the realization that all knowledge already resides within oneself.
•	Elevated Mental Functions	
••	Temporary Skills
•••	Seeing the Past
••••	Seeing the Future
•••••	Stopping Time

  • Feeling

    • Power: Empathy / Telepathy
    • Knowledge: Association - Recognizing the interconnectedness of all things.
    • Description: The Power of Feeling enables one to empathize and understand others deeply, perceiving their thoughts and emotions without the need for words. It stems from the profound insight into Association, the intrinsic link that binds all living beings together.

•	Reading Mindstates
••	Bonus to Social Attributes
•••	Mental Shield
••••	Reading Thoughts
•••••	Mental Link

  • Production

    • Power: Attraction / Creation
    • Knowledge: Synchronicity - Uniting the threads of existence.
    • Description: The Power of Production empowers a wizard to draw situations and desires into their reality. This ability stems from a profound understanding of Synchronicity, the cosmic principle that everything is interconnected and influences each other. It acknowledges that the power to attract lies within, awaiting manifestation.

•	Sensing Opportunity
••	Arranging situations
•••	Attracting Wealth	
••••	Produce Small Objects
•••••	Win Lotteries & Elections

  • Influence

    • Power: Charisma / Hypnotism
    • Knowledge: Possession - Will shaping the realm of the mind.
    • Description: The Power of Influence grants a wizard the power to captivate others. Known as Possession, it allows one to enchant and charm, eliciting positive perceptions or even gaining control over another's thoughts and actions. The essence of this mastery lies in the understanding that one's will can wield dominion over the minds of others.

•	Sensing Willpower
••	Social Influence
•••	Hypnotic Suggestion
••••	Mind Control	
•••••	Altering Identities

  • Penetration

    • Power: Escape / Intangibility
    • Knowledge: Spiritualism - Perceiving the world as a realm of spirit.
    • Description: The Power of Penetration delves into the realm of Spiritualism. It unveils the truth that the world is fundamentally composed of spirit, allowing a wizard to transcend physical boundaries and become intangible. Chains and locks lose their hold, dissolving effortlessly under the wizard's touch.

•	Find Exits
••	Open Locks
•••	Escape From Restraints
••••	Escape From Prisons
•••••	Becoming Intangible

  • Control

    • Power: Energy / Telekinesis
    • Knowledge: Evocation - Harnessing the forces of the spiritual realm.
    • Description: The Power of Control enables a wizard to command powerful forces. Through evocation, the practitioner can manipulate energy and bend it to their will. This understanding arises from recognizing that spiritual entities are themselves embodiments of force and possess the capacity to shape and impact the physical world.

•	Quick Reactions
••	Bonus to Physical Abilities	
•••	Influencing Physical Outcomes
••••	Moving Objects
•••••	Controlling Natural Forces

  • Restoration

    • Power: Renewal / Healing
    • Knowledge: Forgiveness - Liberating from suffering caused by transgressions.
    • Description: The Power of Restoration holds the gift of healing. It grants the ability to alleviate pain, cure diseases, and bring renewal to the afflicted. This power emerges from the understanding of Forgiveness, recognizing that suffering often stems from transgressions. By embracing forgiveness, a wizard becomes a conduit for healing and restoration.

•	Sense illness
••	Relieve Pain
•••	Protection from Disease
••••	Heal Sickness / Damage
•••••	Resurrection

  • Vanishing

    • Power: Stealth / Invisibility
    • Knowledge: Misdirection - Manipulating attention and perception.
    • Description: The Power of Vanishing encompasses the art of Misdirection. It allows a wizard to control focus and attention, rendering themselves unseen and secrets concealed. Meticulous study and practice grant the ability to achieve complete invisibility as the wizard manipulates perception and directs attention elsewhere.

•	Detect Lies
••	See in The Dark
•••	Stealth
••••	Disguise
•••••	Invisibility

  • Travel

    • Power: Direction / Teleportation
    • Knowledge: Unity - Dissolving the illusion of separation.
    • Description: The Power of Travel operates on the understanding that all separation is illusory. By harnessing this power, a wizard can navigate without traditional directions and locate objects or places that are lost or hidden. A skilled practitioner can transcend distance, stepping from one location to any desired destination.

•	Locate Lost Objects
••	Find Directions
•••	See at a Distance
••••	Teleport Objects
•••••	Make a Portal

  • Transformation

    • Power: Developing / Shapeshifting
    • Knowledge: Personification - Authoring one's own identity.
    • Description: The Power of Transformation allows a wizard to assume the form and essence of another being, whether it be an abstract concept, an animal, or even a deity. The essence of this mastery lies in the understanding that one has the power to create and define their own identity, refusing to be shaped by external forces. The power of transformation can also be used to improve who you already are.

•	Sense Physical Attributes 
••	Bonus to Physical Tests
•••	Developing Physical Traits
••••	Shapeshifting
•••••	Transmutation of Objects

  • Destruction

    • Power: Curses / Annihilation
    • Knowledge: Pragmatism - Dissolving the constructs of right and wrong.
    • Description: The Power of Destruction holds immense power that should be wielded with caution. It encompasses the ability to curse, annihilate, and disrupt the natural order. However, the utilization of this power draws one away from their true path and blurs the distinction between right and wrong.

•	Sense Black Magic
••	Protection from Curses
•••	Curse Enemies
••••	Cause Physical Damage
•••••	Kill & Destroy

  • Revelation

    • Power: Visions / Rapture
    • Knowledge: Above as Below - The symbiotic connection between gods, angels, and humanity.
    • Description: The Power of Revelation unveils profound visions and grants enlightenment to the practitioner. It is rooted in the understanding of the symbiotic connection between gods, angels, and humanity. By tapping into this power, a wizard gains access to celestial knowledge, perceiving the intricate tapestry that binds all realms and entities together.

•	Sense Spirits
••	Speak with Spirits	
•••	Banish Spirits
••••	Summon Spirits
•••••	Spirit Travel

Paradox & Quiet

The official rules say Paradox is caused by Vulgar magic. In these alternative rules Paradox happens when a Mage fails at casting their spells.

When a Mage fails a magic roll they gain a Paradox point. A botched roll will then releases that Paradox in the form of a Quiet (Insanity).

If a Mage has a Paradox level of 1-3, the Quiet happens in one of three ways:

Hallucinations, Fixations, or Attraction to Death

If they have a Paradox level of 4-6, the Quiet happens in three more ways:

Delusions & Mood Swings, Reoccurring Behavior Patterns, or Morbidity

If they have a Paradox level of 7-10, the Quiet happens as:

Wild Hallucinations, Obsession, and Anti-Social Behavior

If they have a Paradox level of 11+, the Quiet happens in more severe ways:

Complete Madness, Living a Repetitive Loop, or Becoming a Serial Killer

Quintessence can be spent to reduce Paradox, but it has to be done before the Insanity of Quiet occurs. If Paradox reaches a level greater than 10 it is released automatically.


This system of magic can connect to occult themes, for interesting role playing.

There are 12 Spheres in this system. Each Sphere connects to one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. And each Zodiac sign connects to one of 10 planets in Astrology. The 10 planets and 12 signs connect with the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Everything in the universe of Mage exists as Body Mind and Spirit. Events in this universe follow patterns of Dynamism, Stasis, and Entropy. Each Sphere of magic follows into these categories. Outlined here:



		Energy / Telekinesis	
		(Aries / Emperor) + (Mars / Tower)


		Developing / Shapeshifting 
		(Taurus / Hierophant) + (Venus / Empress)



		Wisdom / ESP	
		(Libra / Justice) + (Venus / Empress)


		Visions / Rapture	
		(Pisces / High Priestess) + (Neptune / Hanged Man)



		Empathy / Telepathy	
		(Virgo / Hermit) + (Mercury / Magician)


		Charisma / Hypnotism		
		(Leo / Strength) + (Sun / Sun)



		Escape / Intangibility	
		(Gemini / Lovers) + (Mercury / Magician)


		Direction / Teleportation	
		(Sagittarius / Temperance) + (Jupiter / Wheel of Fortune)



		Attraction / Creation	
		(Capricorn / Devil) + (Saturn / World)


		Renewal / Healing	
		(Aquarius / Star) + (Uranus / Fool)



		Stealth / Invisibility	
		(Cancer / Chariot) + (Moon / Moon)


		Curses / Annihilation	
		(Scorpio / Death) + (Pluto / Judgement)