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Mavelic

another magic system (first draft)

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Hi,
I present you the magic system i'm working on. There'll be a complete version (in french) in futur.
My inspiration has many sources and comes from, Ars Magica, gurps magic, D6 Fantasy, "minisix simpler magic system" post, Rolemaster, AD&D, and Grimace's Magic & Miracles (i've had a lot of pleasure to read, and i'm actually translating in french).
How it works ?
First, there is 2 "magic skills" : one for verbs (in fr sommer) and one for names (in fr nommer). You use the lesser of them to reach TN. I'm steel thinking to keep only one Magic skill instead of two.
2) the system uses 9 verbs (create, heal, protect, etc.) and 14 names (air, mind, plants, body, etc.). Each of them have a base degree of difficulty (i note it °D in french version) that gives a base target number.
3) each spell has effects the player or gm want (ball of fire, magic missile, invisibility, etc.), the description helps the gm to decide what verb and name is necessary, and in special cases of very strong spells, there can be more verbs or names involved, increasing base TN. Also, it is possible to have different way to obtain the same spell effect.
4) With each spell comes range/reach, duration, mass and/or zone affected, casting time. Each gives a °D to add (or rarely substract) to obtain final TN. I use Benshmarks table in D6 Fantasy to find the good °D (expl : a speel with 100m reach has a °D of 10, 15 for 1km, etc. ; for zone of effect this is 0 for 1 sqm, 5 for 10 sqm, 10 for 100 sqm, 15 for 1000 sqm, and so on).
5) there is some special rules for special cases : the spell can obviously be resisted, divide final °D by 2 (need tweaks and tests) ; heal spells reach/range has a °D of +1 per meter, don't use benchmarks table ; Missile spells don't need skill, they use "move" verb instead ; damage spells do damages equal to the lesser magic skill, +1D per base °D of verb+name ; spells with large area of effect like fog or rain have a base area of +10 in the table (tweak) ; normal spell zone  (like fireball, mass sleep...) affect a maximum radius in meter equal to lesser magic skill Dices (3d+2 = 3m radius) ; the caster *must* see, by any mean, the target of its spell.
6) ritual : it is possible to ritualize a strong spell by increasing time of casting, substracting °D found in benchmarks table (taking 1h to cast a fireball give -18 to °D).
7) my two kids (11 and 14) find it clear and easy to create the spells they want ; i can find TN of almost any spell in about 10-20 sec and i'm sure it'll be better and better as we use it. Also, we keep notes about spells we (players and gm) have already cast to gain time.
8) that's all folks, for now ;)
Comments ?

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As I said in point 7), i tested with my 2 kids, i let them think about "effects" (they dont know anything premade spells as in AD&D or the like) and we calculated in short games situations, it was ok, fast and totally open to imagination (contrary to pre-made spells).

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Hi,

After some testing, it is a good magic system IF your players know well usual "spells" in many rpg, then IF they are experienced players.

If NOT, this is a waste of time for the table, as GM (me) lose time to suggest this or that spell effects to players. It is something to take in account when trying "low rules" magic.

Finally, i'm back to classic spell lists, took a lot of time to complete, adapt and rewrite my own "grimoire" for my game, inspiring from gurps magic, rolemaster, D&D and Grimace's M&M.

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