Blackbird888

Magic Breakdown (What We Know)

19 posts in this topic

An analysis of how magic--and, presumably, superpowers, psychic abilities, etc.--works in Genesys. See here for the pictures.

Magic is tied to skills. There are 5 magic skills listed: Arcana, Divine, Primal, Runic, and Verse.

Magic costs strain to use. Both magic users have it listed as 2 strain, and I didn't see any modifiers to this.

The spells all had lore-specific names, specifically for Runebound. The names will probably be whatever the GM and players feel fit to call them.

Each of the spells have a Magic Action. Of the ones we know, there was Attack, Augment, Barrier, and Heal. This likely represents the overall ability name in the book.

Each spell had a list of additional effects. The "Arcane Spear" spell had the Deadly, Empowered, and Range effects.

Each spell had a list of options to change the effects (also called "Additional Effects"). Changing effects increases the base difficulty of the check by a listed amount. Arcane Spear had no options, while Imbued Strike could add Burn 3, for example.

There is a "concentrate" maneuver. In one of the listed abilities, it allowed the character to sustain the effects of their spell for as many turns as they would perform the maneuver. A replacement for committing a die?

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I agree, it makes the system extremely flexible and the Spells cumstomizable. In fact you can use the same mechanics to create supernatural effects, items and the like. A very generic approach and though it is simplified it feels like having enough crunch as well.

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One of the acid-tests will be if magic has a use outside of combat contexts. Both Savage Worlds and Fantasy AGE really suffer in this regard. 

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1 hour ago, dbm_ said:

One of the acid-tests will be if magic has a use outside of combat contexts. Both Savage Worlds and Fantasy AGE really suffer in this regard. 

They made Force powers have plenty of utility out of combat. I wouldn't worry.

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The Concentrate manoeuvre is a stroke of genius. I wonder if it has a strain cost?

I also wonder if there is a limit to the number of spells you can maintain at once.  Obviously there is only one example of this so we won't know from Gencon, but what happens when you have multiple spells that can be maintained? Is it a hard limit of one at a time or is it one per concentrate manoeuver therefore you can maintain two? Or can a single concentrate manoeuver maintain multiple spells?

The Signature Spell talent is really cool, so is the Magic Tome,  they both hint at  a wealth of possibilities 

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The concentration mechanic in D&D 5e was really good at keeping magic from being too overpowered in many ways. It would add to lots of magic systems in my opinion. In 5e you can only concentrate on one spell at a time, limiting the number of buffs or long-term battle shaping spells you can have to one-per-caster. And if you take damage you can lose concentration, making self-buffing in combat very brittle; this encourages more teamwork which is definitely a plus for D&D which is based around niche protection and forcing collaboration between character types. 

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Ok, none of this really tells me how magic worked in the demos...

im assuming, since it was a con game, that there was no information about how one actually ACQUIRED magic and specific spells at character creation?

7 hours ago, Blackbird888 said:

Magic is tied to skills. There are 5 magic skills listed: Arcana, Divine, Primal, Runic, and Verse.

So to cast a spell you declare you are doing so and make a skill check using whichever of these skills you have?

 

7 hours ago, Blackbird888 said:

Magic costs strain to use. Both magic users have it listed as 2 strain, and I didn't see any modifiers to this.

Each spell sorts the same amount of strain when you use it?

 

7 hours ago, Blackbird888 said:

Each of the spells have a Magic Action. Of the ones we know, there was Attack, Augment, Barrier, and Heal. This likely represents the overall ability name in the book.

Huh? I thought you used a skill?

 

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11 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

Ok, none of this really tells me how magic worked in the demos...

im assuming, since it was a con game, that there was no information about how one actually ACQUIRED magic and specific spells at character creation?

So to cast a spell you declare you are doing so and make a skill check using whichever of these skills you have?

 

Each spell sorts the same amount of strain when you use it?

 

Huh? I thought you used a skill?

 

The "Magic Action" seems to be some kind of category system. There should  be in the core book a specific list of "Magic Actions" but what that means is so far unknown. 

I'll speculate a little though as to how they could be used. First off different Magic Actions could have different limitations on when they can be used. Different Talents and Items could apply to specific Magic Actions too, providing their effects only to Spells of that type. Then finally certain Careers and Talents could be limited to learning only Spells of a specific Magic Action.

Of course it's possible there is only one of each Magic Action and it simply refers to the generic name of the Spell and therefore the list of upgrades a PC can acquire for it.

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5 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

I thought you used a skill?

"Attack", "Heal", etc. are categories for types of actions (similar to "move" or "drop item"), that probably act as broad tags for talents such as "Whenever you use Arcane or Primal to Attack, add a boost die for each rank in..." and so on.

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29 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

Ok, none of this really tells me how magic worked in the demos...

im assuming, since it was a con game, that there was no information about how one actually ACQUIRED magic and specific spells at character creation?

So to cast a spell you declare you are doing so and make a skill check using whichever of these skills you have?

 

Each spell sorts the same amount of strain when you use it?

 

Huh? I thought you used a skill?

 

Spells are skill based. The magic action is simply what they do, i.e. heal, attack, augment, etc.

The spell sheets for each character simply state the all spells cost 2 strain.

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1 hour ago, Richardbuxton said:

The Concentrate manoeuvre is a stroke of genius. I wonder if it has a strain cost?

I also wonder if there is a limit to the number of spells you can maintain at once.  Obviously there is only one example of this so we won't know from Gencon, but what happens when you have multiple spells that can be maintained? Is it a hard limit of one at a time or is it one per concentrate manoeuver therefore you can maintain two? Or can a single concentrate manoeuver maintain multiple spells?

The Signature Spell talent is really cool, so is the Magic Tome,  they both hint at  a wealth of possibilities 

Presumably,  it would cost strain if taking that maneuver costs strain (i.e. your second maneuver on your turn)...

Likewise, you might be able to maintain two spells, but there go your maneuvers for the turn.

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And force powers aren't the only things that can be used outside of combat. The actual combat skills can be used outside of combat for basic repair and maintenance of the specific weapons under their umbrella. You wouldn't be able to make an arrow from scratch, but, given a supply of arrowheads and a bow with a broken string, you could fletch some arrows and restring the bow.

You can also try neat things like attempting an entertainment check, though the GM will likely add a difficulty die or two for being off-skill, and may even require the check be made with Presence instead of its normal ability. This is fairly straightforward with weapon skills, but a magic check may be flavored as a series of spell combos instead of a single spell since you have plenty of time and safety in which to do cool tricks.

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I'm a bit concerned about Magic/Powers costing Strain to cast.

For one that feels a bit like Shadowrun.

And it heavily limits characters that want to play pure mages. (DungeonSlayer did a neat job by having Magic nicely balanced with mundane weaponry.)

I personally don't like a "Mana Pool" system and rather see Magic/Powers as "weak" as mundane powers. Or comparable to utility equipment.

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It will only take two advantage on the spell casting check to negate the strain cost. Force powers have required strain in a roundabout sort of way by  virtue of the dice. Roughlyhalf of the die faces require strain to be spent to be used.

 If a system or setting has an expectation of limitless effortless spellcasting it's also very easy to remove that strain cost.  I think the system they have implemented for Gencont is the simplest solution requiring the least number of moving parts. Fantasy flight games Warhammer RPG had a magic points system and really it only brought complexity

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Posted (edited)

Almost like I've thought in the "Thoughts on magic systems" topic, it was the easiest and most elegant option in my opinion. I'm happy with that.

Question: the dices are like the SW in terms of symbols distribution? Or they've changed something?

Edited by Bellyon
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2 hours ago, Bellyon said:

Question: the dices are like the SW in terms of symbols distribution? Or they've changed something?

No significant adjustments to amount of symbols, so statistically they remain the same (which means those who have a lot of Star Wars dice can use them without fuss).

The only change is the positioning on the Difficulty and Ability dice.

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3 hours ago, Blackbird888 said:

No significant adjustments to amount of symbols, so statistically they remain the same (which means those who have a lot of Star Wars dice can use them without fuss).

The only change is the positioning on the Difficulty and Ability dice.

This is nice. I have few sets of SW and maybe I bought some sets of Genesys just to burn some money, but it's good to know that we can use our dices to play it.

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