Whether a spell is cast as a powerful bolts of arcane energy or a burst of healing rays, magics in Alliance are represented by “spell packets.” In essence these are small beanbags used to safely target other players with various effects.
Spell packets are constructed with bird seed and fabric. The bird seed should be a small round variety, with no large sunflower seeds or other heavy or sharp items that could hurt.
Do not use replacements! Rice, for instance, can get wet and turn into a hardened ball. If you are caught using something other than bird seed, you will have your packets confiscated and will lose your spells for the rest of the day.
The birdseed is placed in the center of the fabric, and the fabric is gathered around it and held together with tape or a rubber band or sewn shut. If there is a “tail,” it must not have sharp tape extending past the end of the tail, and no metal or plastic tie wraps may be used.
Packets should be loosely packed—tight balls of birdseed can hurt! You should never use so much material that the resulting packet cannot fit into a 35mm film canister (remember those?). Packets that are larger than that will be confiscated by a marshal. Generally speaking, a 7 to 8 inch square with a tablespoon or so of birdseed will make a properly sized packet.
Spell packets may be of any color except orange or blue—orange packets are used to represent alchemical and trap globes while blue packets are used for weapon attacks such as arrows and bolts.
You may want to personalize your spell packets in some way by using a distinctive cloth or writing on the packets. This is a good way to make sure you can get your packets back after a battle without arguing with other spellcasters about whose packets are whose.
Spell packets are visible in-game as an opaque colored aura of energy only when held in the hand. In-game they are visible but they do not produce any light. They are not in-game items and cannot be stolen, disarmed or removed.
Example: Finther is walking down the road when he sees Darlissa the healer coming towards him. He notices that she has a handful of spell packets. In-game, he sees magic energy floating around her fingertips and knows that she has “called up” the powers within her to be ready to cast at a moment’s notice if needed. “Hey, stop that!” says Finther. Darlissa frowns but puts the packets back in her pocket. In-game, Finther has seen her turn off the magic energy. She can still reach into her pocket and pull them out, but the extra time it will take her represents the channeling of energy needed to cast the spell.
Example: A foul and evil liche has captured our heroes and has placed them in a cell. He sees Belthivis, the party’s mage, with magic energy floating around his fingers. “If you don’t call back that energy,” says the liche, “I will kill my captive.” Belthivis grudgingly pulls the energy back (by putting the packets back in his pocket.) The liche cannot take the packets away from the mage as they are not in-game.
You can not carry more spell packets in your hand than you can actually use at that moment (although you can have plenty of extra packets in your pouches or pockets). In other words, you cannot have a “cauliflower hand” with forty-two spell packets between your fingers if you only have the ability to cast three spells at that time (including magic items or scrolls at the ready).