Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Critical Hits and Fumbles for Spells

More on the magic system I am in the process of developing.  I am implementing a roll to activate the spell.  Meaning no more automatic successes for magic-users who want to whip out a spell.  Spells will have a difficulty level depending on their level and other circumstances will effect the roll.  A quick note before I go on, my system uses spell points to determine if a magic-user is able to cast a spell therefore if a 1st level mage has learned the spell and somehow acquired enough points to cast a 6th level spell he may do so.  Here is the run down of difficulty levels (DL) and what would enhance the outcome.

0-level - 8 D, 1st level - 10 DL, 2nd level - 11 DL, 3rd level - 12 DL,
4th level - 13 DL, 5th level - 14 DL, 6th level - 15 DL, 7th level - 16 DL, 8th level - 17 DL, 9th level - 18 DL

- For every level of the magic-user get +1 to the roll.
- Caster adds his intelligence bonus to the roll.
- Spell specialization bonus.
- The caster suffers -1 to the roll for every point of damage taken during the combat.
- The caster suffers -1 for every spell he is maintaining.

A 1 is always a failure and a 20 is always a success.  Each spell has a critical failure or success result.  In case of a regular failure the spell points are expended, but the spell does not discharge.  A success and the spell goes off as planned.

The other wrinkle I put in is that mage's need to hit with their spells.  Not automatic hits with missile weapon or even a placement of a fireball.  He must roll 'to hit'.  So a mage may have critically succeeded in casting a magic missile, so its charged up to do max damage, it still needs to hit its target.  When mage attacks with a spell he gains his level and intelligence bonus (like in the roll above) to hit.  But it is possible to critically succeed on casting the fireball and maxing out the damage, but if the mage fail's to target it correctly it could explode at the party's feet.  Magic is fickle what can I say.  And as for any roll, the 'to hit' roll can have a critical hit or miss.  A critical hit with a magic missile may cripple the limb it hits, knock a person prone if it hits the chest, or knock a person out if it hits the head.

Like I said, its a process and something I still need to playtest.