These are preliminary notes. They need playtesting. More to follow later.
08 A Types of Magic
Traditional spellcasting is handled by regular Ability tests. Anyone with the Wizard or Invoker abilities can describe their regular Ability tests with an arcane spin (“I smite him with Holy Fire” as part of a Fighter roll, or “I cast Haste upon myself” when making an Adventurer roll). This has no direct effect on gameplay, but can color non-player character perceptions of the wizard or priest.
Magic and Power pool points can also be spent to enhance General ability checks. Magic points give a one to one bonus, while Power pool points give a one to five bonus. Use of Magic/Power points justify 'impossible' special effects.
Finally, the Magic ability itself can be used to cast a spell that cannot be justified via the use of any other ability. In this case, the Difficulty Number is chosen by the GM, and always starts at 6. Magic and Power pool points can be used to improve the roll. Finally: reduce the Difficulty Numbers of Magic ability checks by one for every level of Power that the caster and/or the area itself has.
Enchantment in the game is represented by items that give bonuses to General ability checks: the traditional “plus-one sword” would reduce the Difficulty Number by one to hit, or adds one to his Fighter rating to determine initiative, or add one to damage. Player characters can start with up to half their Preparedness rating (roll down) in magical gear bonuses; any additional magical items that they acquire survive at the whim of the GM.
Example: Bob is a Fighter with Preparedness 5. He has a broadsword with +1 damage and strengthened leather armor (+1 to Damage Reduction). If he finds a Ring of Resistance (+1 Health) Bob can wear it, but the GM can also take it back at any time.
Wizards can actually enchant items, but only between adventures (if player-characters) or on the GM's schedule (if non player-characters). As a general rule, assume that characters can get reasonable (and non-permanent) access to items with a cumulative bonus of up to an appropriate Investigative ability rating, minus 1; it's up to the players to explain how they'll get them, and up to the GM to decide what the other costs will be.
Example: Bob, Irene, and Mai are all trying to get Super Ninja Cloaks (Adds 2 to Spy/Scout). Bob has Fighter package and Authority 3: he goes to the local Alliance supply depot, and talks the quartermaster into doing him a favor (the quartermaster also has a little list of things for Bob to look for). Irene has the Priest package and Power 3: she checks in with the archbishop, who looks at her oddly and asks why Holy Mother Church would have a Super Ninja Cloak (plenty of Medic 3 healing icons, though). Mai is a Bard with Charisma 3: she gets her Super Ninja Clerk from some guy she met in a bar, and her player probably should have asked himself why the GM was smiling afterward.
Alchemy is the creation of temporary magic items. Tinkerers are not automatically magic-users themselves, although access to magic can help in the process. Alchemical potions give one-time refreshes of General ability pools. The base roll is against Tinkerer or Wizard, with a Dififculty Number of 5, and gives a one point refresh in the appropriate General ability. Only Tinkerer or Wizard pools can be used to increase the chance for success, unless the player has a Wizard rating of 8 or higher; in that case, both pools can be freely tapped.
Pool points can be spent to either decrease the Difficulty Number, or increase the refresh level (three points spent will improve the refresh level by one). If the roll fails, something will still be created; and it might even be something survivable. Magic is a fickle thing.