There are two types of spell casters. Innate and learned.
A learned spell caster studies at a temple or a university to learn to harness magic. The words of a Clerics prayer or the phrases of a wizard's spell book are magical. Saying the incantation harness magical energy and shapes it into the spell that you desire. A learned spell caster's ability is limited by his mind's ability to contain the magic that the words are drawing to him. It is extremely painful to harness magic that is close to your limit, most spell casters learn where it is and don't try to exceed it. If you attempt to cast a spell too powerful you will invoke the cantrips you are taught on the first day of learning to dissapate the magic energy. If you fail to invoke the cantrips the magical energy is released in a pure form. Causing destruction all around you.
An innate spell caster uses more gestures and nonsense language to harness magical energy. It is a conscious drawing of magic to a purpose. The limit of your ability is defined by how much magic you can shape in time. Improvement comes from learning to shape the magic more efficiently and to greater purpose. If you draw too much magic you will feel it slipping away from you. If you are unable to prevent this it will cause all the magic for your spell to be released in the same fashion as a learned caster. Each innate spellcaster has their own way of coping with slipping magic, those who don't learn to deal with it don't live very long. An innate spell caster usually has a narrow focus of spells than a learned caster.
When training most spell casters use an implement such as a holy symbol, a totem, a staff or a crystal orb to focus their magic into. It reduces the effects of harmful spells going wrong.
Arcane spell casters come in both varieties.
All divine spells must be learned.
Primal spells are entirely innate.
Psionic powers are innate but other psions can assist in developing abilities.
Edited by Balthamos, 12 October 2010 - 05:05 AM.