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Moons of High Sorcery

The most awaited Dragonlance product of 1999, the mega-adventure Dragonlance Classics 15th Anniversary Edition, is finally available. It brings all the necessary information to play the classic Dragonlance adventures using the SAGA and AD&D Rules, and a revolutionary way to play SAGA during the Fourth Age. However, the magic system in the Fourth Age is very different from the one in the Fifth Age, but not less interesting.

The rules for High Sorcery in SAGA lacked one of the most interesting details of the magic in Krynn: the influence of the moons. On this article, you will find optional rules to emulate this influence on magic, and how to keep track of the moons in the sky. This information is compatible to SAGA only: if you want the rules for AD&D, consult the boxed set Tales of the Lance.

 

The Moons of Krynn

During the Fourth Age, Krynn was surrounded by three moons. They were representatives of the three gods of Magic: Solinari, Lunitari and Nuitari. During the First Dragon War, the moons assumed the disguise of three young mages, and they walked the lands of Ansalon, unleashing powerful magic against the dragons. The magic went wild, and soon the brothers of magic realized that they should found orders to protect and teach the magic: the Orders of High Sorcery.

The mages should pledge their loyalty to one of the Orders, and take the dreadful Test of High Sorcery (as described in the product The Last Tower). Three Orders, each one loyal to one of the Moons, were formed. Below, a description of each Order and their patron moons:

The Order of the White Robes: The mages of the White Robes have their Nature extracted from a card with a White aura. They are masters of Divination and Protective magic. They swear alliance to Solinari, the white moon of Krynn. Solinari, the son of Paladine and Mishakal, is the god of good magic, and the moon that bears his name is the biggest one in the night skies.

The Order of the Red Robes: The mages of the Red Robes have their Nature extracted from a card with a Red aura. They are masters of Illusion and Mind magic. They swear alliance to Lunitari, the red moon of Krynn. Lunitari is the goddess of neutral magic, and the moon that bears her name is the second biggest one in the night skies.

The Order of the Black Robes: The mages of the Black Robes have their Nature extracted from a card with a Black aura. They are masters of Necromancy and Offensive magic. They swear alliance to Nuitari, the black moon of Krynn. Nuitari, the son of Takhisis, is the god of evil magic, and the moon that bears his name is the smallest one in the night skies, and impossible to be seen by anyone but the Black-robed mages.

 

The Influence of the Moons

Each one of the Orders of High Sorcery follows one of the moons of Krynn: therefore, the moons bestow the members of each Order with powerful spells. Depending on the phase of the moon, and the alignment of the moons in the sky, the magic powers a hero commands can be increased or decreased. Note that the mages of a given Order are only affected by the moon they are allied with: a White-robed mage will only receive bonus associated with Solinari, while a Black-robed mage will only receive bonus associated with Nuitari.

The bonus conceded by the moons never applies to a sorcerer with a reputation less than Adventurer, or those who never passed the Test of High Sorcery. The High Sanction bonuses apply only to those sorcerers with Reason equal or superior than 8. Both bonuses (moon phase and alignment) are cumulative. The bonuses are applied as explained below:

Phases of the moons: The phases of the moons are 4, similar to the Earth moon phases. The moon cycles are different for each one of the moons: Solinari's cycle takes 36 days, Lunitari's cycle takes 28 days and Nuitari's cycle takes 8 days. To determine the phase of each moon in a given day, draw three cards from the Fate Deck (one card for each moon) and look at their numbers: 1 or 2 means the moon is on Low Sanction; 3, 4 or 5 means that the moon is in Waning; 6, 7 or 8 means that the moon is on Waxing and 9 or 10 means that the moon is on High Sanction. You can also keep track of the moons' movement on a chart, using the number of days of each cycle as a reference.

Resistance to Magic: The value of this bonus is added to (or subtracted from) the resistance action made by the target of a mage's spell. That is, depending on the phase of the moon, the spells cast by a mage can be harder to be avoided by someone else. The bonus is always added to the difficulty of the resistance action (if the target is a hero) or it is subtracted from a hero's casting action (if the target is a character).

Number of Extra Spells: According to the rules in Dragonlance Classics 15th Anniversary Edition, a Mage can cast a number of spells equal to his/her Quests. The value of this bonus must be added to the number of spells a mage can cast, and it must be done once for each spell level the mage has. For example, if Solinari is on High Sanction, a mage with 7 Quests receives 8 more spells (he is able to cast spells up to the 4th level, so 4x2=8 more spells).

Extra Spell Levels: A Mage can cast a number of spells equal to his/her Quests, according to the rules in Dragonlance Classics 15th Anniversary Edition. The value of this bonus must be added to (or subtracted from) the spell level a mage can cast. For example, if Lunitari is on High Sanction, a mage with 7 Quests will be able to cast spells up to the 5th level (instead of the normal 4th level). Note that this new spell level does not affect the bonus spells above.

Moon alignments: Sometimes, the moons of Krynn align in the skies. When it happens, the magic of the Orders involved may be increased by the alignment. Use a circular chart to measure where the moons are in the sky, or simply determine if there is an alignment by using Fate Cards: draw 6 cards. Look at the table below to see the types of alignments that can occur. If it happens to occur a Night of the Eye (the alignment of all moons in High Sanction), the three moons of Krynn join together in the skies forming a white eye with red iris and black pupil. This is the night magic is on its highest level of power, and many people fear this dreadful event.

Moon Phase Effects Table
  Resistance to Magic Number of Extra Spells Extra Spell Levels
Waxing Normal +1 Normal
High Sanction +2 +2 +1
Waning Normal 0 Normal
Low Sanction -2 0 -1

 

Moon Alignment Effects Table
  Resistance to Magic Number of Extra Spells Extra Spell Levels
Solinari with Lunitari
(3 White Aura cards + 3 Red Aura cards)
+2 +1 +1
Nuitari with Lunitari
(3 Black Aura cards + 3 Red Aura cards)
+2 +1 +1
Solinari with Nuitari
(3 White Aura cards + 3 Black Aura cards)
+2 0 Normal
Night of the Eye - must be in High Sanction
(2 White, 2 Red and 2 Black Aura cards)
+4 +2 +1

 


Optional Rules and Online Resources


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