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Rerun941

d6 Magic a la Ars Magica

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I stumbled upon Ars Magica's magic system again, the other day and really like how it's been implemented. It's simple, elegant and functional.

 

In Ars Magica, magic has 5 Techniques (verbs) and 10 Forms (nouns).

 

Techniques (originally presented in Latin, but roughly translate to: )

Create (Conjure)

Destroy

Change (Alter)

Divine (Know, Sense, Seek)

Control

 

Form (again, presented in Latin, but translate to: )

Earth

Air

Fire

Water

Body

Mind

Magic (Arcane)

Animal

Plant

Illusion (Senses)

 

So in Ars Magica, to cast a spell you take a verb + noun + die roll vs difficulty

(example spells: Create Fire, Control Animal, Alter Mind, etc.)

 

To me, this fits in line with the d6 system. The original d6 Magic only incorporates the Technique (verb) but not the form (noun).

 

An alternate d6 Magic system might be the 5 verbs and 10 nouns as extranormal skills where you add dice pools against the difficulty number.

 

Rerun-Mage has Create 2D, Control 1D+1, and Change 2D+2... with Fire 1D, Animal 1D+2, Mind 2D.

 

So to cast Create Fire he rolls 3D (2D + 1D) vs difficulty, Control Animal he rolls 2D+3 (1D+1 + 1D+2) vs difficulty, and Change (Alter) Mind he rolls 4D+2 (2D+2 + 2D) vs difficulty

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Ooohh... interesting system. I've never played Ars Magica, but I had been kicking around something along those basic lines in my head. Basically I was trying to come up with different magic systems that would be used by different mage cabals. Each type of (witch/wizard/sorcerer/warlock/whatever) having learned to access their talents in different ways.

 

I like the idea you put forth with the combination of verbs and nouns. That would make it relatively easy to create different cabals, some with knowledge of several forms, others with knowledge of only a couple, but a far deeper understanding. It has the potential for a lot of flavor.

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How would you make different things different? One thing Ive had some difficulty with is deciding what spells should be, and what effects if any in D6, is a fireball, iceball, ball of kinetic force, ball of raw mana all the same except for flavor text?

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I have been working along the line of Ars Magica for my own version of Torg magic. What you need is a benchmark system. But to make things easy you have two systems, the value chart and the character creation system. It is easier to implement in D6 than in Torg, I think, as the character creation system of D6 offers more options than in Torg. If you want to build a damage or protection spell just pick verb and noun and base the DN on the intended damage value. If you want to create a homunculus, golem or conjure a demon, you just have to base the DN on the intended CP. If you want to change a skill or attribute or give a special ability this can also be gauged by the CP you would need to build this into a character. Sorry, that I am so vague, but can't remember D6 too well. I would have to go back to my notes on it.

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After I looked at my Dark Sun converstion, I realized something. AD&D magic for wizards has always focused around schools (conjuration, divination, etc.)what Ars Magica defines as Techniques. And AD&D Clerical Magic is centered around spheres (Animal, Plant, etc.) what Ars Magica calls Forms.

 

If we take a classic AD&D wizard and convert them to d6 he should have all his skill dice in the Techniques (verbs) and none in the Forms (nouns). That doesn't mean that he can't cast spells, he's just focused on the verbs rather than the nouns. In contrast, a classic AD&D cleric has focused on the Form (noun). So, a wizard has all his skill dice in Control, Create, Destroy, Divine and Alter. While a cleric has all his skill dice in Animal, Plant, Body, Mind, etc.

 

So casting a spell for a wizard becomes xD (verb) + 0D (noun) > difficulty

While casting for a cleric becomes 0D (verb) + xD (noun) > difficulty

 

A multi-classed cleric/wizard would have both dice pools (xD + xD > difficulty)

 

Alternatively, a "cleric" can be limited in his forms due to divine requirements. (e.g. A water god will not allow his followers to cast fire spells.)

 

I think I'll be using this magic system in my Dark Sun conversion. Any thoughts?

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Having only 5 Techniques compared to 10 Forms seems out of balance, giving wizards an unfair skill advantage. At least on the surface. Although, in D6 Fantasy there were 4 Magic skills compared to 3 Miracle skills.

 

Just something to consider.

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Ya, I thought of this...

 

In my Dark Sun conversion, the clerics are focused around the classic 4 elements. So I grouped the 10 skills around the 4 elements with each element having access to 4 skills. Each cleric is allowed to choose 1 major element (all 4 skills) and 1 minor element access (two skills). So they end up getting access to 6 clerical magic skills.

 

Plus that fits in very well with the Dark Sun setting and how clerical magic works there.

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I am about to start running a D6 Fantasy campaign, and I really like this idea for magic. I am going to use it in my games for sure.

I am really new to D6 stuff (used to play star wars back in the day though) and so I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how things should work at times.

Anyone have any ideas of how to detail out each of the skills?

What exactly would each one pertain to?

Most of them are pretty easy to figure out, like the verb ones, its some of the noun ones that are a little tricky (like magic).

I am also going to be using the verb words for Arcane casters, and the noun words for Divine casters (like Rerun is using in his Dark Sun conversion...very nice so far by the way).

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I am about to start running a D6 Fantasy campaign, and I really like this idea for magic. I am going to use it in my games for sure.

I am really new to D6 stuff (used to play star wars back in the day though) and so I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how things should work at times.

Anyone have any ideas of how to detail out each of the skills?

What exactly would each one pertain to?

Most of them are pretty easy to figure out, like the verb ones, its some of the noun ones that are a little tricky (like magic).

I am also going to be using the verb words for Arcane casters, and the noun words for Divine casters (like Rerun is using in his Dark Sun conversion...very nice so far by the way).

 

If you need some more detail regarding the magic system, check out the Ars Magica entry at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ars_Magica scroll down to the heading called "System"

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Thanks, that helps a lot. I thought about that after I got off my computer last night, but didn't have a chance to go look up Ars Magica yet.

That really helped clarify the set up. I will definitely start using this magic set up in my games soon.

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