Author Topic: Beejazz's Magic System.  (Read 2403 times)

beejazz

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Beejazz's Magic System.
« on: September 09, 2006, 08:38:29 PM »
The Premise: Magic is taxing to the caster, but not finite. Magic takes a temporary toll, making the caster's personal reality literally unstable. Existence is forgiving, however, and quickly recovers from its confusion, at which point it is ready to be molded and modified again.

The Execution: A caster buys spells by level and type. Every successive level of spell requires the previous level of the same type (or could require spells two levels lower of other types, at the GMs discretion). Every level of every spell type has a number of uses, usually between three and five. Magic of any given school recharges at the rate of (xd4-y) where x is the level of the spell and y is the highest level spell you can cast.

The affects of magic have to be weighed against the affects of combat and standard roleplaying before any individual spells can be formulated, but I'll give you examples of builds and how often they can use which abilities.

Let's say that my caster has SHADOW I, II, III, and IV; CHARM I and II; and SCRYING I, II, and III.

He could cast a level I spell every round if he wanted to (1d4-4=0).
He could cast a level II spell slightly less often (2d4-4=0,0,0,1,2,3,4).
Or a level III spell even less often (3d4-4=0,0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10).
Or a level IV spell even less often (4d4-4=0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12).

Note that the more dice are used, the more these ranges tend to remain in the middle.
The maximum spell level (if any) would be V or VI.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by beejazz »
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CYMRO

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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2006, 08:49:43 PM »
I am very leery of the premise.  Being a traditionalist, I am not happy with this fad of making magic this great strain on the caster.

That said, the actual execution seems straightforward.

beejazz

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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2006, 08:55:31 PM »
Actually, I had the thought of making magic a strain on the world around the caster, in a quantum-existencial sort of way. In any case, I wanted a limit that wouldn't stop you from spellcasting *period*. You know... lower level spells, so you can keep casting, but higher level spells for that desperate finale type thing. Just a thought.
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CYMRO

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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2006, 09:02:48 PM »
Quote
Let's say that my caster has SHADOW I, II, III, and IV; CHARM I and II; and SCRYING I, II, and III.

He could cast a level I spell every round if he wanted to (1d4-4=0).
He could cast a level II spell slightly less often (2d4-4=0,0,0,1,2,3,4).
Or a level III spell even less often (3d4-4=0,0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10).
Or a level IV spell even less often (4d4-4=0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12).


So, does the random element come into play once I cast spell level X?
Do I have to, in combat, keep track of up to five or six "count-downs" depending on the spells I shoot off?

beejazz

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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2006, 09:22:42 PM »
Nah... changed my mind on that. You've really only got one reality to burn, after all.
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England.
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CYMRO

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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2006, 09:35:55 PM »
Quote from: beejazz

Nah... changed my mind on that. You've really only got one reality to burn, after all.


So, are you abandoning the random recharge>
If so, in favor of what?

beejazz

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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2006, 09:47:04 PM »
Nah... still random recharge.
Everything is described in full above.
I cast a third level spell.
I wait x rounds.
I cast another spell.
What do I do in the meantime?
That depends on who I am and what I have.
I could just start shooting people.
Or run away.
Or throw blinding powder into that annoying swordsman's eyes.
I could freaking tapdance.
Point is, in a point-buy system, a caster is rarely *just* a caster.
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Numinous

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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2006, 10:15:51 PM »
Hm, so you changed that funky "spells from each school" recharge thing?
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beejazz

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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2006, 10:40:23 PM »
@Nat: Schools exist only for the purposes of the tech tree and such. They still exist though. Because you don't learn high-level divination based on a minimum level of low-level evocation.

The main impact of this on the rest of the system (and there is *always* an impact on the rest of the system) is that casters need something to do in the downtime. Little alchemical tricks and class features and such. Hopefully not a problem.
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CYMRO

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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2006, 11:18:59 PM »
Quote from: beejazz



The main impact of this on the rest of the system (and there is *always* an impact on the rest of the system) is that casters need something to do in the downtime. Little alchemical tricks and class features and such. Hopefully not a problem.


Not really a problem in a classless system.

beejazz

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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2006, 11:51:02 PM »
So... any still-glaring problems?
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CYMRO

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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2006, 11:52:55 PM »
Quote from: beejazz

So... any still-glaring problems?


Where does ubermagic, wish and such, fit?

beejazz

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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2006, 11:56:27 PM »
Ubermagic.
Incantations.
You pretty much have to quest to even find the ritual.
And then there's the personal expense of casting.
There's no per day or known limit... except that you spend character points, risk death, etc.
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beejazz

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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2006, 09:29:11 PM »
So... division of schools, and uses for spells.
Discuss.
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snakefing

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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2006, 11:33:31 AM »
Well, I'll put this here, even though similar questions largely affect my proposal too.

It seems to me there are several broad categories of magic:

Physical Stuff - magic that manifests itself physically. This would include all the kinds of elemental blasts, creation magic, some kinds of illusions. A lot of transformations and transmutations too, which are generally types of enchantments.

Mental Stuff - charms, some other kinds of illusions, mind reading and telepathy. Some kinds of psi stuff.

Spirit Stuff - talk with dead, animate objects, some kinds of mental projection and ESP, necromancy, resurrection and reincarnation. Will or spirit binding. There's some overlap with mental stuff, and they could be lumped together depending on your metaphysics. (That is, are mind and soul/spirit the same thing, or two different things.)

Interdimensional stuff - a lot of summoning, teleportation, time travel/slow time. Gates, ethereal travel, etc.

There's probably categories I missed, but there's a start. Not every world or magic system has to support all categories - to some extent I think you risk losing your flavor if you stretch to include stuff that doesn't fit well. And some of the categories probably need to be subdivided.

For example, it is common to subdivide along the four classical elements of ancient Greek philosophy - Air, Fire, Earth, Water. But medieval alchemy had different classifications. What of Galen's four humours? Or Chinese alchemy had five basic elements: Heat (or fire), Wood, Metal, Earth, and Water.

Anyway, that only works for physical stuff, and only for some of those. At least there are some thoughts to kick it all off.
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