Magic in Cronia is a complex thing that takes great care to do properly. While wild talents exist, most mages join one of the five schools of elemental magic for formal training. None of these schools love each other, and the ones opposite each other on the Elemental Wheel (Wind, Fire, Earth, Nature, Water) outright dislike each other due to their magic’s opposing nature and the difficulty the presence of a spell or node of the opposing element causes them in their own casting.
To cast spells in Cronia you must have the Arcane Background (Elementalist) Edge. With this you get access to three appropriate Powers for your element. There are no Power Points in Cronia. Instead the book listed Power Point cost minus 1 is the drain the backlash of the elemental energies coursing through you causes. Thread weaving is how you protect yourself from drain.
A thread is a bit of magical protection that you put up around you. Creating a thread takes a Spellcasting (Smarts) roll, that takes an action. Each success or raise creates a thread. After you have created the threads you need you can cast the Power on your next turn. If you get a raise on a threading roll, and don’t need the extra thread it creates, you can instead use that raise to cast the spell during your current turn instead.
You are limited to one drain per level of your character. Novice Elementalists can weave 1 thread, seasoned 2, etc. Raises can create threads above this limit.
You may also choose at any time to cast the spell rather than continue to weave threads, even if you do not have enough threads created to protect you from the Drain. In this case you need to resist the effects of elemental energy. Make a Vigor roll. For each success or raise you get you resist one level of Drain. Any levels of Drain not resisted are converted on the following chart.
1 – Shaken
Each level above 1 – Take a Wound
Personal Elemental Crystals may be used to help cast without Threads. Each other level a character has gained allows them to use a single crystal. Therefore a Novice character can use 1 crystal, a Veteran character can use 2, and a Legendary character can use 3. Personal Elemental Crystals come in permanent and one-shot varieties. Crystals are also used in the creation of Magic Items through the Arcane Background (Enchanter), see Enchanting.
Being in the presence of an active spell or elemental node of an opposing element makes your spells harder to resist by one level or more level depending on the size of the spell or elemental node. Being in the presence of an elemental node of your own type has the opposite effect, allowing you to more easily control the element in that area.
Finally, Elementalists can upkeep 1 upkeep point per turn for free. Anything over that causes drain.
Monks follow all the same rules, only rather than Arcane Background: Elementalist (Element of choice) and Spellcasting (Smarts) they use Arcane Background: Chi (Element of choice) and Focus (Chi) (Spirit).