There are five different types of magic in RuneQuest 6th Edition, each involving a different approach to spellcasting and drawing upon different sources of power. The most common of these is Folk Magic, as it is potentially available to any character with a relatively modest expenditure of skill points. This type of spellcasting is governed by the Folk Magic skill, which is rolled to determine whether a spell is successfully cast and also to provide the opposed roll to any resistance roll made by the target of the spell. Folk Magic spells are generally weaker than spells from other magic traditions, being associated with hedge wizards and wise women.
The other magic traditions, Mysticism, Animism, Sorcery and Theism, are each governed by two skills and apply magical effects in different ways. Sorcery and Theism will be familiar to gamers with experience with D&D as they represent arcane and divine spellcasting. Sorcery is spellcasting in its most scholarly form. The two skills associated with this form of spellcasting are Invocation and Shaping. The former skill works much like the Folk Magic skill, it determines the degree of success or failure and also serves to oppose the resistance roll of the target. The Shaping skill determines how adept the sorcerer is at modifying spells. Spells can be modified or "shaped" in several ways, such as increased range, number of targets, duration or magnitude (a measure of spell effect). Multiple spells can also be combined into one casting. The degree to which such modifications can be applied is governed by the Shaping skill. There is no actual roll involved, but rather, the percentage of the skill determines the number of shaping points the sorcerer may apply.
Theism is the magic of priests. Like sorcery, there are two skills associated with this form of magic, Exhortion and Devotion. The former skill is the one rolled to determine success or failure and represents the skill of the spellcaster in convincing his god to grant his request for magical aid. Devotion is a measure of the priest's conduit to the source of his divine power. The higher his Devotion skill, the greater the intensity of his miracles. For example, an Intensity 1 Earthquake miracle would rattle the dishes in a large room, while an Intensity 10 Earthquake would level a city block.
The other two types of magic deal with the spirit world (Animism) and personal enlightenment through meditation (Mysticism). Like Sorcery and Theism, each are governed by two skills, although the way these magical traditions function is somewhat different from the more traditional spellcasting embodied in Folk Magic, Sorcery and Theism. The broad range of magical options for characters in RQ6 allows for a lot of experimentation, although it is important not to spread oneself too widely as it requires a lot of investment in a given magical tradition to achieve really awesome levels of power.