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munkieboi

Creating different magic

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I was wondering how I'd go about creating a different magic option to go with the standard two in d6 fantasy. My idea is for a witchcraft/hedgemage type self trained magic user. The basic theme of the witch would be curses/debuffs, divination and healing and maybe one other. But since there's no guidelines for this in the book I don't know how I would do it without making a mess of a character. Any suggestions?

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I've developed several magic systems for D6...before there was ever D6 Fantasy.  I could offer lots of advice, but I kind of need to know what you general "know" about designing things in D6.  

Have you made things from "whole cloth" before using D6?  Either vehicles or creatures or stats for things other than characters?

Are you willing to think "outside" of the parameters of D6 Fantasy?  To not be bound by what you've read in those pages and willing to think and develop things that may go beyond what you generally accept at D6 rules?

Are the magic systems you're thinking of significantly different from the current magic to warrant a new design, or can you just rename the magic system in D6 Fantasy to match the "feel" of your magic?  Or do you have a particular feel you're trying to accomplish with a particular magic system?

 

If I can figure out where you fit in terms of development in the D6 system, I will know what sort of advice is going to be more helpful to give.

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Fist off, no I've never really built anything 'from the ground up' in d6. I'm still fairly new to the game. But as far as thinking outside the box so to speak, I'm not a fan of being in the box if you catch my drift.

The magic system I have in mind isn't really 'reinventing the wheel' on magic, just its different enough in tone and feel that it seems like it would be its own thing. Thinking something similar to arcane crossed with divine, but not necessarily either. Like in a druid is different from a cleric way I think. 

But if you have some advice on the topic I'm all ears even if it is radically different from d6 fantasy. I've always taken every rpg system I've played as a collection of suggestions, not like a law book or religious text. And if it turns out that your suggestions dont work for me, I can always use them for a different perspective and add to my own creative toolbox. 

So, please, share :)

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Okay, first bit of advice is to "non-mechanically", come up with a method of how your magic will work.  Is it going to be component based?  Prayer based?  Mana based?  Willpower based?  Mind based?  Whatever it is, you need to have that figured out.

Then you need to decide whether those components will play a big part of small part in the "casting" of the magic.  Do they need to have it to do it?  

If so, how do they get the components?  Will the components go away when something is cast?  Are the components reusable?

Then decide how you want this magic to "feel" in terms of when people are playing/using it?  Do you want it to be fast and quick?  Slow and calculating?  Will the caster be able to "flick their finger" and have it cast, or do they need to draw a design in the dirt or scribe a symbol on something to cast it?  

 

Once you have all that figured out, then you need to look at potential mechanics to FIT the aspects that you determined above.  Will "points" work with what you decided above?  If not, then what will?  Will die codes and the requirement of a roll work with the above?  Then compare with which potential mechanics you just chose to see if they fit with the the "feel" you decided on.  If you want "fast and quick", but the mechanics you thought of require spending components and scrawling something in the dirt, then that doesn't really work together.  Go back and rethink your potential mechanics to find something else that may work.

Keep tweaking and adapting as you build the components/no components, and the "feel" of how things are cast, until you get something that is the "bones" of your magic.

Then you begin to fine-tune your mechanics, determining power levels of spells cast and what kind of spells cast, and whether anyone will be able to resist the magic you just created.  

 

Also, go find the "D6 System" book and download it.  Look through that.  That is what I used when I started designing my fantasy rules  more than two decades ago.  You can also look on DrivethrRPG for the "Magic & Miracles" book that lists 2-3 magic systems and gives a brief overview of them.  It's in D6.  You may be able to use some ideas from that.

 

Hope this helps a little.

 

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That does help. Hadn't even thought about it like that since I have so little experience with the system. Thanks for the advice. I'll see about grabbing the books you mentioned too. I really appreciate your advice 

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Once you get the concept down, and settled on a type of mechanic for the magic system, the next thing you will need to do is determine the "power level" of the magic.

Are there "low level" magic and "high level" magic, or is it all really powerful?

If it IS really powerful, what is the limiting factor of the magic?  Can only one really powerful spell be cast per day or before the caster has used up all of their components?

Then you have to start putting Die codes in for the effects of spells.  Low power magic is going to be 1D to 3D or so.  Mid level power is 4D up to 6D or so.  High level power is 7D or greater.

Decide whether you want your magic to be something the targets can "resist" against.  Basically, does a target get a chance to roll  to "not suffer" any damage from the spell?  Or does the spell automatically cause damage?

Decide whether your magic is an "instant hit", with no die roll needed, or if they need to make a Spellcasting skill check or something in order to successfully hit the target.  If you have an auto-hit spell (for example, a "magic missile" that automatically hits the target, but the target roll dice to resist the damage..potentially mitigating the damage a little)  you can use the Die ranges I listed above.  If you make it so the spell caster must roll to successfully hit with the magic missile, so that the target can be missed completely, and then also has a resistance roll, you may want to adjust the die ranges up 1 or 2D.  So low level magic might be 2D to 5D and so on.  

Once you have the ranges to work within, write up a couple of spells you have in mind for the magic.  What effect does the spell have.  How much components, if any, does it use?  What is its range?  Is there a skill level or attribute level requirement in order to cast the spell?    Make up a couple of spells.  These spells will be your "base line" to build from.  If you are wanting the magic to be powerful and strong, these first couple of spells will be a benchmark.  If you envision that spell to be a "staple" of the spell caster, then all other spells will be built around it.  Future spell Y is supposed to be more potent than the "staple" spell, so you bump up the Die codes a die or two.  Future spell X is supposed to be less potent, so it's die codes may be only pips or 1D lower than your "staple" spell.  

 

After you get 5 or so spells written up with your mechanics, STOP!  Make an NPC who is a spell caster and another NPC who is not a spell caster.  Have them go toe-to-toe.  Does the spell caster snuff out the regular NPC without any threat?  Is that what you wanted?  If so, mission accomplished.  If not, then you know you set your die codes too high, or your component requirements too low.  

Did your mock combat take too long to resolve and your were shooting for a fast-moving magic system?  Time to revamp!  Did the regular NPC take out the spell caster without suffering much in the way of damage?  Is that what you wanted for a starting character?  If not, you need to rethink some things.  Don't just assume you need to bump up the die codes for damage if the regular NPC won the battle.  Perhaps you made the requirements for the spell caster too restrictive.  Perhaps you found that your component requirement only allowed the spell caster to cast one or two spells, and that didn't take out the regular NPC, then the spell caster was helpless.  If that is what you are going for with a starting spell caster, then you are on the right track.  If you want your spell caster to need to rely on others some of the time, and not be the all-powerful uber character right off the bat,  then perhaps you're going for a spell caster being able to cast only a couple of spells early, and then rely on other characters for protection.  

You should be able to get a good read on the power levels of the spells and the casting ability of the spell caster for your magic system.  If you have success with the first NPC vs. NPC, then make a few more spells and give those a try as well.  Then put your NPC spell caster up against a couple 3 or 4 NPCs and see how they fair.  YOU should have in mind how you want this magic to work in your setting.  These tests should be good at showing any obvious, glaring holes in your system.  

 

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