Witchcraft/Criminal Casting

Witchcraft at Salem Village. Engraving. The central figure in this 1876 illustration of the courtroom is usually identified as Mary Walcott.
Witchcraft at Salem Village. Engraving. The central figure in this 1876 illustration of the courtroom is usually identified as Mary Walcott.

Crime and Punishment

Author Keith Baker

Series Campaign Style

Publisher Atlas Games

Publish date 2003

Another question is the role played by magical items. If a nation fears arcane magic, its people probably won’t see much of a difference between using a wand of fire or casting a spell yourself. On the other hand, magic items with subtle effects may go unnoticed. You probably won’t have customs agents checking every sack to see if you’ve got a bag of holding. But dramatic items – like a brilliant energy weapon – may draw unwanted attention. And in extreme cases, the locals may use magehounds to sniff out any object or individual bearing the taint of supernatural forces.

If a nation fears magic enough, it may not have access to spells that detect spells; after all, these are themselves spells. However, there are a few mundane tools that can be used to spot the activity of those nefarious sorcerers. Spell Sense allows a character to recognize the emanations of magic – just the thing for your paranoid witchfinder general. The magehound is a dog with the ability to sniff out spells and magic items. Both should be relatively rare; you shouldn’t be bumping into magehounds on every corner throughout the continent. But if you are dealing with a serious Inquisition, be prepared to have these tricks used against you.

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