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Author Topic: Alternative Magic System  (Read 2987 times)

Offline Angry Monk

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Alternative Magic System
« on: February 14, 2016, 04:43:38 PM »
I have been interested in creating a magic system (for both Magic-Users and Clerics) that allows casters to be more spontaneous than the Vancian fire-and-forget casters. I'm not trashing Vancian magic. If it works for you, great.

What I've come up with is probably not new or earth-shattering, and in fact I'm sure that I've picked it up from many blogs, magazines, and discussions I've read. Here's what I was thinking:

Spell Casting System using Saving Throws
•   Each time a spellcaster casts a spell, she must make a Saving Throw versus Paralysis
•   If the Saving Throw is a failure (below the target number), then the spell fizzles
•   If a particular spell fizzles three times, that particular spell is lost until the spellcaster can fully rest (minimum eight hours) and devote time to memorization or prayer
•   A roll of natural 20 means the spell has maximum effect (if the spellcaster chooses); no Saving Throw versus the spell will work (or a Saving Throw must be made with a -4 penalty)
•   A roll of natural 1 means the spell has completely failed and a catastrophic event may occur
•   Spellcasters must add the bonuses or subtract the penalties associated with the attribute associated with her class to her Saving Throw (Intelligence for Magic-users; Wisdom for Clerics); a MU with 18 Intelligence will add +3 to her roll
•   Spellcasters may attempt to cast spells from scrolls or spellbooks that are higher than they can usually cast; however, a penalty will apply (Spell Level - Spellcaster level = Penalty applied to saving throw) [does the spell disappear from the scroll or spellbook? probably]
•   Learning spells: casters must make a Saving Throw versus Spells (use Intelligence/Wisdom bonuses/penalties); if a Spellcaster fails, the difference between the Target number and the roll is the number of days of study that are needed to master the incantation

I'm trying to think through possible problems. Any advice or guidance would be helpful. I think this is easier than spell points and makes magic a little more dangerous/interesting.
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Offline Fjw70

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Re: Alternative Magic System
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2016, 04:47:15 PM »
Look at DCC. It uses a similar system. You may want to port over the spell tables.

Offline Angry Monk

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Re: Alternative Magic System
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 04:51:19 PM »
Look at DCC. It uses a similar system. You may want to port over the spell tables.
Yeah, I tried that, but I found it more difficult than I wanted. I like the idea of spell failure and all that, though. With "my" idea, you could still incorporate natural 20s being awesome and natural ones being awful. It would keep things simpler, I think.
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Offline Fjw70

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Re: Alternative Magic System
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 07:42:49 PM »
Look at DCC. It uses a similar system. You may want to port over the spell tables.
Yeah, I tried that, but I found it more difficult than I wanted. I like the idea of spell failure and all that, though. With "my" idea, you could still incorporate natural 20s being awesome and natural ones being awful. It would keep things simpler, I think.

Simplicity is good.

Offline Angry Monk

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Re: Alternative Magic System
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 11:05:03 AM »
I found a spell system in Knockspell #2 that uses a cleaned up version of the Chainmail rules. It looks very easy, too.
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Offline Dizzy

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Re: Alternative Magic System
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 11:53:35 AM »
Cool, I have that, will need to check it out!