Arcanum of MagicHome

Karma & Advancement

No player character should be evil or chaotic---that is definitely not heroic and runs against the grain of the MARVEL SUPER HEROES game and the Marvel Universe; however, the character generation system allows the creation of non-player character villains.

The sorcerous community is a proud one and the reputation of a character almost always precedes him. As will later be explained, complete confidence in yourself as a magic wielder is extremely important. Although magic wielders earn Karma at the normal rate, they lose it at double the normal amount if they do extremely foolish or cowardly acts. Their Popularity will also take a nosedive due to this type of activity.

A mage who is excessively boastful and conceited (in the opinion of the Judge) will often begin to draw foes who are great and mighty mages themselves. They will be eager to test the newcomer or put him in his proper place.

Advancement for magically enhanced characters and heroes whose power is primarily found in their magic items is considered normal. Magic wielders differ in the following areas:
Karma Advancement Fund: If the character has a master, the fund already exists for the character (the master sets it up) and he may start investing in it already, without the 200 Karma point expenditure. If he has no master, the character must create the fund as usual.

Learning Spells: New personal, universal, and entreaty spells cost 2500 Karma points with no additions for spell rank. The cost of learning a new Group spell is equal to 1500 Karma for each spell in the group. The caster cannot use any spell in the group until all have been learned. The character can interrupt his study of a group spell to learn a different spell, but of course this delays the learning of the group spell. If a caster has a personal or universal spell that duplicates the effect of a spell in the group, he can use the other spell while still learning the group spell (remember that group spells use dimensional energy). As with other spells, there is no additional Karma cost for spell ranks.
The Karma costs for all new spells assume 2 things: that the character is being taught by a master (or is Master rank himself)I; or that the character has reached a rank (Disciple or Adept) at which he can learn spells from books and items on his own, with little supervision from a master. If a character has no master and is not capable of self-teaching, the Judge can either declare that he cannot learn new spells, or that he must spend extra time and pay a substantial increase in Karma (usually double). Character ranks are explained in the Mystic's Encyclopedia.

Spell Ranks: The spell rank of a newly-learned spell is fixed, not randomly determined (this is why there is no additional Karma cost for the spell rank of the new spell). If the spell is learned from a master, the initial spell rank is Ex(20). If the spell is learned from an item or text, the initial spell rank is Gd(10).

Improving Abilities and Known Spells: Magic wielders use the normal cresting method to increase an ability rank or the spell rank of a spell that the caster already knows.

Certain spells (Eldritch Blast, Matter Rearrangement, Mesmerism) can be improved in effect at their current rank, without increasing the spell rank. An improvement at the current spell rank costs 500 Karma for each improvement.

Popularity: In reading the Codex of the Magi, you will see that some villains have negative popularity. This represents how feared that villain is. Those with an evil reputation can get others to cooperate, but it is because of fear, rather than respect. Most NPCs will cooperate with a person with negative popularity, but seek to get away as soon as possible.