Nature of Magic:
Xypnomancers, or Awakaned Mages, believe that reality is a dream. That which we can see, hear, and feel around us does not exist, but is rather just a shared sleeping fantasy. Reality, to them, is as meaningless and forgettable as a drug-induced stupor. Once one becomes "Lucid", that is, aware of the dream, then one can begin to manipulate reality and create magical effects by simply "willing the dream to change".
There are no set formula or tools for casting an Xypnomancy spell, rather, the key to a Xypnomancer's spells is the caster's ability to "wake up" and become aware of the fragile nature of reality. Spells are cast by a combination of visual, auditory, and tactile cues used to get the Xypnomancer into the "right frame of mind". Whatever these cues are, they are, to the untrained eye, always flashy and unorthodox. The caster may shout obscenities, spout free-verse poetry, unleash primal screams, throw handfuls of glitter into the air, leap about, slap himself, imbibe all manner of intoxicants, stare intently at a spoon, or any of a variety of other stunts intended to convince himself that what he perceives is not real and that what he desires to perceive is.
Xypnomancers' spells are recorded as drawings or paintings. These are always done in a highly surrealist style, attempting to convey at once the desired effect of the spell, and the pliable, dream-like nature of the world. The exact content of the image has less importance than the feeling it evokes. The same spell, learned by multiple Xypnomancers, may result in a vastly different array of images when inscribed into their various spellbooks.
|Magic Missile? This is why you need a fricken Read Magic spell...|
Xypnomantic spellcasting is much more physically strenuous than any other form of magic. "Freeing one's mind" enough to perform the greatest feats of such magic can often escalate to the point of beating your own head in with a rock while screaming at the top of your lungs, or lighting yourself on fire. While the body can become inured to some level of hardship through practice and experience, even the strongest body can only suffer so much self-induced duress.
Breaking the Limit:
A Xypnomancer who has exhausted his daily allotment of spell slots can attempt to cast additional spells, but at this point his manic antics become truly self-destructive. A Xypnomancer who attempts to cast more spells suffers 1 point of damage per level of the spell being cast (caster's choice as to what type, but such damage cannot be resisted), and must succeed on a save vs spell or become Confused (as the spell) for one minute per level of the spell. The damage dealt by this exposure can be healed normally. The confusion in no way impairs the Xypnomancer's ability to cast further spells, but may put his life in greater jeopardy.