Help me understand how to build a mage

Hi OL community, i am looking for a little help please. I have the core rule book and understand how to build a classic warrior or fighter style character. However I am really struggling to get my head around magic and how to build a mage!

Could someone please try and help me understand?

For an example, this pregenerated character on the hero muster website

Has several spells like ice spear, a damaging attack with a range or 50 ft. Or the spell frost wave that is an aura style spell.

How are these abilities decided? And how do you learn new spells then?

Thanks in advance

From what I understood (and I’m a new player so I might be wrong), you could theoretically, with energy, use a fireball spell, an ice spear spell, and other spells but mechanically it will be the same. So you just write down your “preferred” spells, based on your story, so you don’t have to search through the rules for how much disadvantage you get for a 15’ area attack for example.
But nothing stops you if it makes sense with your character to change in game the description of your usual “ice spear” to, say, a snowball attack

Everything is about flavor/fluff you add to your character.

The biggest thing about OL is usually you come up with a concept for a character, then you pick the attributes, boons, banes that make sense for that concept. OL is also about self-limitations, so even though you have an attribute that might have access to 10 boons, you only back 3 to 7 of them your character can do b/c of the concept you ahve for them. Or make some boons self invoke only instead of being able to invoke on others.

The ice example, even though they have energy, and have access to Fire, Lightning, etc, they choose to be an ice mage, so only ice related stuff.

When you look at the various Feats, Boons, and Banes, the names are only named that way to help you get an idea of what they are. The important thing is the effect, and modling that effect to fit the theme of your character.

Combat section explains ranges of attacks with extraordinary, as well as multi-targeting (melee/ranged/area) to help you understand how the straight attribute rolls as attacks work.

Ah ok! wow thank you that was incredibly helpful, I think i get it now, I sometimes stumble with just how open this system is! So if i may take a little more of your time, as an example if a magic using character were to try and make themselves invisible they would ‘cast an invisibility spell’ by rolling either alteration or influence to envoke the invisible boon on themselves?

correct. If the meet the Power Level CR (Challenge Rating) than they are successful, or th eGM might do success with a twist on it. (CR of 20/22 for invisible) they need to at least have an attribute score equal to the Power Level to be able to invoke it though.