Friday, November 5, 2010

100 Followers and Oh God, Not Another Magic System

I finally crawled my way to 100 Brilliant People. I didn't realize they were so scarce. Thanks to Chris Kutalik for being the 100th.

Yes, I am working on a magic system. Don't throw things or groan or roll your eyes at me. Just pipe down and listen up. My two favorite systems are AD&D and GURPS. Two beasts with very little in common. Here are a few quick shots I like about both.

- I like the base level and experience that AD&D has compared to GURPS where it is a point based system that often result in very powerful characters in a short amount of time.

- GURPS has options out the wazoo. I like options, but I don't like getting my wazoo involved. The magic system can be manipulated in various ways that can make each culture have their own twist. AD&D, with the Vancian system is too cartoony for me. All of a sudden at 5th level you can learn a 3rd level fireball and blow up the world. It was fun when I was 14, but not as much now.

- I like the spell point system GURPS uses. You can be a starting character and cast potent spells from the get go, but it takes time to recover. AD&D the Vancian system you cast it and forget it. Never made sense to me. I like the idea a character can cast decent level spells from the beginning.

What my system for the game I plan to eventually run is a point based Vacian system. Ha, you thought I wasn't going to use the Vancian way since I talked smack about it. Let me rewind and go back to the beginning of character creation.

Oh and before I even start this section, players start at 0-level. Why not? A magic-use starts with a number of Spell Points (SP) equal to his intelligence. Intelligence also provides the base number of spells a magic-user can learn. These spells are memorized and can be used as long as the magic-user has available spell points. So say the mage has magic missile, hold portal and sleep in his arsenal he doesn't have to choose ahead of time which he uses he can use any of them because he knows the spell it's a matter of does he have enough spell points to cast it.

The base cost of spells is 10 spell point/level of the spell and 1 point for 0-level spells. When I say level of the spells it is for figuring point cost. If a 1st level magic-user learned a 6th level spell and managed to get the required spell points to cast it he may do so. In addition, certain properties of spells may be boosted by plowing more spell points into the casting. A magic-user may need to increase a spells range or make his light spell a bit more powerful. So this gives spells a flexibility that is not normally there.

Back to character creations and advancement. Magic-users gain a d10 in spell points at 1st level. This is done on odd level advancements. On even level advancements the magic-users may roll to learn a new spell or gain another d6 in spell points. It takes a number of weeks to learn the spell equal to the level of the spell. But there is always a chance the spell won't take. The chance of learning a spell is based on the player's intelligence. Spell points are gained automatically.

Available in the world are forms of raw and stored mana. There are raw forms of magic called viz. These form naturally in various magical places. A pond will form small pebbles of mana. Each of these pebbles may be used as 1spell point toward the casting of a spell. And of course larges stones may be worth more spell points. Once the viz is used it is gone. This idea I blatantly ripped off from Ars Magica.

Also there are power stones, and idea I blatantly ripped off from GURPS. I'm not proud. Anyway there are magic imbued stones, usually gems of some sort that absorb the magic out of the land. It does this passively and no effort is needed by the player. What it can do, depending on the size, is store a number of spell points to be used in casting. The charge time for these is slow usually one spell point/day, but they are reusable and helpful in a pinch.

So there is actually quick look at Oh god, not another magic system.


  1. Not to sound like a hawking salesmen,


    You might want to look at the Piecemeal Wizard magic system, it seems like it could serve as a useful backbone for your needs (Piecemeal is designed to rip parts out and plug them into other games). It could save you much in terms of reworking spell lists etc.

  2. Where might I find Piecemeal Wizardry Zzarchov? Anything that will save me work I am all for.

  3. Hey Babe - congrats on hitting 100. Smooch.

  4. Sweet, I love being the tipping point.

    So now that you have cohort, who do we march to conquer, centurion?

  5. Congratulations on reaching triple figures.

  6. Well there is a handy link on the left side of my blog that takes you to the download.

    Within the Magic and Spells section (and to a degree the Classes section) you will find the information you need.

  7. Great Zz, I went to your blog and looked all around and it would help if I read the captions by the pictures closer. I'll take a look thanks!