Magic is common on Hypho. The origins of magic are poorly understood, but most of the practical uses are well studied. Magic comes from a field that permeates all of Permadus. This magic is impersonal and unintelligent. Think of it as an extension of the physical laws. Souls shape magic to their needs in the form of spells and other effects. Magic works most effectively in organic mediums such as bodies, closely associating it with living things.
In traditional D&D, magic can come from anywhere and do just about anything; in Hypho, the origins and effects are much more toned down.
Souls are living organisms that live in magic, manipulating matter to grow a material body. They contain all of that creature’s memories and genetics. Think of them as the “brains” of the setting. Bodies help provide the soul with sustenance, while the soul controls the body and helps it grow and heal.
The more intelligent or powerful a soul, the more difficult it is to sustain. Simple souls like wisps can survive off of ambient magic, and thus require no body. Souls that usually live without a body are called spirits. Most intelligent souls require a body of some sort.
While souls continue to exist after the destruction of the body, with no body to provide them with magical sustenance, most eventually starve and dissipate.
A golem is any soul artificially placed within another body. This includes everything from zombies to animated constructs, and a huge variety of other forms. Typically speaking, superior bodies can host superior souls.
A spell is a discreet release of magical energy by a soul.
Some simple spells require nothing but the energy itself. Others require complex patterns, and the individual casting them may need to perform somatic or verbal mnemonics to assist with the pattern. Complex spells may also require a specially crafted material focus, usually an instrument carefully crafted from an organic material to direct the energy. Some spells (any that require a material component with a cost in gold) require more magic than can be drawn from the ambient field, requiring the caster to “release” magic from organic crystals carried with them.
Energy can be released directly by magic in thermal, kinetic, and electric forms. This is the simplest way to use magic, although it often requires a lot of brute force and can be exhausting.
Healing magic works by transferring magic to an injured individual. The victim’s soul uses this extra magical resource to regenerate. This process is difficult, and requires that the caster know how to bypass a body’s natural protections against intrusive magic. Most living things are capable of regenerating with magic to some degree.