Riddle of Sappho explanationEdit
- "It's exponential with rating increases. If a baseline can do a light spell for a few minutes with a day's accumulated Essence, a Wiz-1 naturally gathers enough Essence to do that same spell for an hour. A Wiz-2 can sustain it indefinitely because Essence accumulates as fast as the spell dissipates it. A Wiz-3 could sustain dozens and dozens of copies of the spell. That's just from the natural accumulation of Essence because of the mutation." Kayda looked uncertainly at Mrs. Chulkris, not quite sure she remembered the details right, but the nod of agreement from the teacher let her know she'd explained the concept correctly.
- "So any mage with a big enough Well, enough focus and Will, and time to accumulate enough Essence, can cast any spell?" Lanie asked. "The advantage to a mutant is that the Well recharges faster?"
- "Exactly," Mrs. Chulkris beamed. "A baseline Journeyman mage with four to six years study and gathering Essence is likely to have as much Essence available to him as a mutant Wizard between 2 and 3 rating. Only a dedicated Master will match a new Wiz-3. Few baseline mages will ever match a Wiz-4 or higher. Because a Wiz mutant draws Essence at high rates, he or she will have much stronger Will and control over their Well than baselines with years and years of practice. And a mutant Wiz can begin spell-casting from practically the beginning of their studies. Who has the advantage in battle, Miss Nalley - a traditional mage with decades of experience, or a mutant Wizard?".
Note - This page needs serious revision. Kristen Darken posted a better set of ratings somewhere, but I've lost track of where.
The Wiz trait measures the inherent ability to pull in magical energy (frequently called 'essence' or 'quintessence') from outside and to hold it. This is what differentiates mutant Wiz types from baseline Wiz types: the latter don't have this inherent ability to simply absorb magical energy to recharge their batteries.
Contrary to the table below, the Wiz trait does not measure the ability of the sorcerer to sling spells. That depends on intelligence, preparation and other quite mundane activities. What makes a mutant wizard more dangerous than a baseline wizard is that they don't have to spend a lot of time and effort learning how to gather and manage essence - it's just there. However, once the baseline wizard has gotten that preliminary step out of the way, which may take years, he can be just as dangerous as any mutant wizard.
Fey is classified as a Wiz-7 because of her almost limitless ability to absorb magical energy from just about anything and hold it -- but then, Aunghadhail was once classified as one of the Elder Gods, and the combination is expected to get there in another few centuries. Circe, a goddess in her own right, may or may not be more powerful than Fey is at present; she's certainly got more available experience and readily available spells. The same is true of Elyzia Grimes. Majestic (Wiz-4) is probably the next most powerful student.
Also called mages or sorcerers, wizards have the ability to tap into a magical force and manipulate it at levels far beyond non-mutant sorcerers. This does not always mean that they have great CONTROL, just that they can tap into these forces. Fey and Chaka are wizards that tap into different fields; Fey is a Fairie wizard, while Chaka is a Ki wizard.
Wizard classification levels, based on general ability:
|Wiz-0||A mutant who does not have the actual WIZ trait but who's mutant abilities give some form of inclination towards magic (Phase's ability to see spell energies for example). A mutant with purely baseline level talent should receive no ranking at all, although mistakes are made, and neither would a baseline sorcerer.|
|Wiz-1||A mage at this level can manipulate some things with magic but anything more than a kleenex or tableware takes a lot of concentration to handle.|
|Wiz-2||Less concentration required for the above, plus able to mess with real intuitive magic instead of needing formulas and books, but still only the lightweight stuff like lighting a candle or putting said candle out without touching it.|
|Wiz-3||Intuitive magics are easier, but the mage still needs to really concentrate to achieve anything concrete (so to speak). Some with this rating can be formidable mages if they are smart and plan carefully.|
|Wiz-4||Now we're getting dangerous without all the preparations, spells in books or on parchment. At this level a mage can actually manipulate some of the natural energies around him/her. That isn't saying they can do it well, or safely, but they can do it.|
|Wiz-5||Uh oh! This one is definitely one to watch. Spells from books, scrolls, inscriptions, etc. are easily memorized, and manipulation of the surrounding elements is almost instinctive.|
|Wiz-7||Based on an esoteric power curve rating that is taken from the effects the mage has on his/her surroundings. DEFINITELY one to be carefully watched. At times — from a safe distance. A lot of mages in this category tend to self destruct for some reason. They can pull in phenomenal amounts of power, but can't always get rid of it in time.|
The above are general guidelines, at best. Mages have an annoying habit of defying categorization levels, which gives power testers no shortage of difficulty.
In addition, while most mages may not be exemplars, they do possess exemplar-level intelligence.