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Touch of Magic Article

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I like where their thinking is on how a particular spell is built up from augmentation effects based on what you want it to do.  My only concern, because the magic system will inevitably be compared to those of other systems, particularly d20, is that you'll need to invest a huge number of XP into one or two particular effects and really won't be able to do much else with magic, particularly non-combat magic.  Hopefully the skills (Arcane, Divine, whatever) themselves will enable particular lower-powered capabilities (i.e. cantrips, or low level spells in D&D parlance) without having to invest XP into every little thing.

Edited by Dragonshadow

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Didn’t think that really provided much info at all. Ok, you basically build spells you want, but no info on how many qualities there are, what the various "magic skills" they keep talking about are. Just "oh, you can get drawbacks if you roll threat". Gee, really? Couldn’t have figured that out without the article. Oh, wait, we did. 

Basically, still need to read to full system before I have any idea how any of it works. 

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4 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

Didn’t think that really provided much info at all. Ok, you basically build spells you want, but no info on how many qualities there are, what the various "magic skills" they keep talking about are. Just "oh, you can get drawbacks if you roll threat". Gee, really? Couldn’t have figured that out without the article. Oh, wait, we did. 

Basically, still need to read to full system before I have any idea how any of it works. 

In all fairness, the GenCon character sheets were not publicly released by FFG. So this is all news for those that don't camp out in the various forums and groups.

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I think the article is useful in that it helps to delimit what magic (or even the "cool stuff" that dresdinseven notes) is not.  It's not "pay XP, buy a spell" and that's freakin' awesome, frankly.  The building block approach, what magic is for Genesys, should be a lot of fun and a constant gamble of pushing your luck.  If it's not for you, don't play a caster. 

Again my only fear is the cost of each of the building blocks.  If it's quite high, casters won't have many spell options.  Based on the demo game stuff for Terrinoth, it looks like the mage only has three core spells with some interesting augmentations (so a couple nice variations like AOE or additional damage, or reduced cost).  Since the characters are in the 200xp range, that's a little underwhelming in the utility department.  All niche protection arguments to the contrary, casters (especially those whose magic is their main ability) should be able to produce a decent variety of effects.

Still, I'd rather have a solid magic core that could benefit from some XP cost tweaks than a fundamental aspect of the game engine that has to be replaced in full.

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I'm not sure qualities as building blocks won't cost any xp, they enhance the difficulty of the check. I guess spells/suprnatural powers will be limited by the setting. The means to enhance the magic aptitude might lie within purchasing talents.

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Right now, there are two ways this may turn out:

  1. Spells are one-time buys. If you buy "fireball," you have all the effects and enhancements of that spell. It's like a talent or a piece of equipment, not like a Force power.
  2. Spells grow, like Force powers. Upgrades are unusable until they are purchased with XP.

It could be either, or they could have an option for both.

I like how it implies all spells of a single type are just a single profile, that can be customized by the GM. It stands to reason, even though a spell is built off of a single template, not every one in the game will have the same options.

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Or maybe not all base skills may have all effect options. I mean Arcane magic might have 'fobidden' the Cure effect (traditional D&D limitation). But I think this will fall into world definition and left for the GM criteria. 

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I have yet to write up any direct damage spells in my game so this will give me an idea or two on that.  

The bit on implements gives me ideas, and I liked the dice pool results chart.  I can start using that now.

I do like not having the list of 900 different spells, but by the same token I don't want the do whatever the F you want and roll some dice complete open ended approach either.  I want some specificity to spells and not just a basic Action list for all schools of magic.

I liked how WH fantasy put a bit more of a limit on the total number of spells, but had different options for how the dice pool results could be used by the spell.  I am mining that stuff for my spells and knocking them out like a Force power in Oggdudes app.  Requires more xp investment which I want in addition to higher Difficulty.

I get why in a generic system they need to condense things more.  I would expect they will expand the system with setting specific sourcebook.

The line about only putting it in about 10 or 20 pages pretty much confirms there is likely a little bit about a lot of settings in this book.

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I'm so pleased there is a new article... more and more frequently please...

There is some good info there; still would like more... Dragonshadow points out that we still don't know how to make a caster. Do we pay for access to add Blast or Burn in addition to the cost to actually invoke them? Tell me more about non-attack spells... etc. etc.

I'm not too worried about the xp cost unless it makes it too expensive to do anything cool. I'm fine if my cool casting thing costs 5 xp more than your cool melee thing provided I still get to do my cool casting thing. The problem would be if it's like the original Fate-based Dresden Files where to be a caster meant a) the power-level of the campaign had to be pretty up there and b) your mage PC was very limited to just casting... you didn't have enough refresh to do anything else the system lets you do. 

We'll see... hopefully soon... and in much more detail (a not-so-subtle hint if any FFG employees are listening)

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5 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

The line about only putting it in about 10 or 20 pages pretty much confirms there is likely a little bit about a lot of settings in this book.

If they use other parts of the book additionally, the 20 pages might cover quite a lot. There is the Burn quality and the blast effect mentioned, which are usually weapon qualites and will probably not being a direct part of the magic chapter. Talents elaborating magical effects will probably be parts of a talent chapter and not directly of a magic chapter. 

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2 minutes ago, dlw32 said:

There is some good info there; still would like more... Dragonshadow points out that we still don't know how to make a caster. Do we pay for access to add Blast or Burn in addition to the cost to actually invoke them?

With the fiery effect and one two more effects/qualities, you could cover a lot of fire spells like flame arrow, wall of fire, light.

What I am also interested to know how ongoing spells will be handeled and if they are dependend on keeping concentration or such.

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1 hour ago, DarthDude said:

What I am also interested to know how ongoing spells will be handeled and if they are dependend on keeping concentration or such.

From what I read about the gencon demo, there is a concentration maneuver, which lets you keep a spell going until the next round. If I understood correctly, you can keep up a spell indefinitely by performing concentration every round, but you have to suffer 2 strain if you want to move and such.

 

I like that it gives the players creativity on what they actually do. You could cast a generic damage spell and narrate it however you want, and however it fits your character. Also, I'm curious how the itemzation works out with what they describe, as thats often a problem with casters in my experience. A mage without a spellbook or wand seems to be the equivalent of someone having to brawl with their fists.

 

4 hours ago, Dragonshadow said:

Hopefully the skills (Arcane, Divine, whatever) themselves will enable particular lower-powered capabilities (i.e. cantrips, or low level spells in D&D parlance) without having to invest XP into every little thing.

I can't talk for Genesys, but I would definitely allow someone who can throw fireballs to light a campfire with an easy arcane check etc. Just be careful to not go overboard with what a character can do without training (though a story point might allow more). I'm more interested in how they're handling specific archetypical spells that don't have much "genericness" to them. Unless there's a generic transformation spell, I'm not sure how a druid's animal form would work, for example.

 

Edited by Klort

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16 minutes ago, Klort said:

I can't talk for Genesys, but I would definitely allow someone who can throw fireballs to light a campfire with an easy arcane check etc. Just be careful to not go overboard with what a character can do (though a story point might allow more). I'm more interested in how they're handling specific archetypical spells that don't have much "genericness" to them. Unless there's a generic transformation spell, I'm not sure how a druid's animal form would work, for example.

 

Yeah, I was thinking of minor effects, but considering how varied those effects can be in d20 for casters, I'd like to at least preserve a sense of wide ranging utility in Genesys, not just making big booms.  Since I'm thinking of doing a Starfinder conversion, the spells are measured against powerful tech weapons that can easily generate blasts or conical effects or extreme damage at long range.  I don't want casters to be is essentially just another combatant that actually has to pay a lot more XP to be able to dish out the sort of damage a soldier could do just by grabbing the right weapon. 

Regarding animal form, it's interesting, but balancing shapeshifting is one of the true tests of a generic system.  There's shifters, who typically get an alternate set of stats, and superheroes, who require recalibration of the normal scale of characteristics, and casters in general, whose magic can allow them to do nearly anything.  I'm anxious to see how Genesys rolls it all together. 

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Here is a summary of what was garnered about the magic system from the GenCon event. I think it helps paint a bigger picture of what the magic system is like in the game. Hope this helps. :)

Magic Actions 
Attack
Effects: Blast, Close Combat, Deadly, Empowered, Fire, Manipulative, Range

Barrier
Effects: Additional Targets, Range, Reflection


Augment
Effects:  Additional Targets, Haste, Range


Heal
Effects: Additional Targets, Range, Restoration

 

Spell List (Remember that named spells may be GM or setting specific, or simply there to remind the player of commonly used spells.)

ARCANE SPEAR (SIGNATURE SPELL) 
Magic Action: Attack 
Additional Effects: Deadly, Empowered, Range 
Arcane spear is a magic attack, and follows all the normal rules for a combat check. Leoric chooses a target at short or medium range (but not engaged) and makes an Average Arcana check. If the check succeeds, the attack deals 8 damage+ I damage per*, with a Critical Rating of 2 and the Vicious 3 quality. 
ADDITIONAL EFFECTS 
Leoric cannot add any other effects to his signature spell. 

IMBUED STRIKE 
Magic Action: Attack 
Additional Effects: Close Combat, Deadly 
Imbued strike is a magic attack, and follows all the normal rules for a combat check. Choose a target Leoric is engaged with and makes an Average Arcana check If the check succeeds, the attack deals 4 damage + 1 damage per success, with a Critical Rating of 2 and the Vicious 3 quality. 
ADDITIONAL EFFECTS 
Before Leoric casts this spell, you may choose to add any of the following additional effects, increasing the difficulty of the check correspondingly. 
Fire(+1 Difficulty): The attack gains the Bum 3 quality. 
Manipulative (+1 Difficulty): If the attack hits, you may spend an advantage to move the target up to one range band in any direction. 

SHIELD OF KNOWLEDGE 
Magic Action: Barrier 
Additional Effects: Range 
Select one target within short range of Leoric (which may be himself) and make an Easy Arcana check. If the check is successful, until the end of Leoric's next turn, reduce the damage of all hits the target suffers by one, and further reduce it by one for every uncancelled * * beyond the first. 
ADDITIONAL EFFECTS 
Before Leoric casts this spell, you may choose to add any of the following additional effects, increasing the difficulty of the check correspondingly. 
Additional Target(+1 Difficulty): The spell affects one additional target within range of the spell. In addition, after casting the spell, you may spend an advantage to affect one additional target within range of the spell (and may trigger this multiple times, spending an advantage each time). 
Range (+1 Difficulty): Increase the range of the spell by one range band. This effect may be selected multiple times. 
Reflection (+2 Difficulty): If an opponent makes a magic attack against an affected target and generates three threat or a Despair on the check, after the check is resolved, they suffer a hit dealing damage equal to the total damage of the attack.

RIGHTEOUSNESS OP THE CITADEL
Magic Action: Augment
Additional Effects: Haste 
Select one target, Alys is engaged with (which may be herself) and make a Hard Divine check. If the check is successful, until the end of Alys's next turn the target increases the ability of any skill checks they make by one (in effect this means they add +1 ability to their checks). In addition, targets affected by the spell can always perform a second maneuver during their turn without spending strain (they may still only perform two maneuvers a tum). 
If Alys performs the concentrate maneuver during her next turn, the spells effects last until the end of her following turn instead. The spell can be sustained indefinitely by performing the concentrate maneuver in subsequent turns. 
ADDITIONAL EFFECTS 
Before Alys casts this spell, you may choose to add any of the following additional effects, increasing the difficulty of the check correspondingly. 
Additional Target (+2 Difficulty) The spell affects one additional target within range of the spell. In addition, after casting the spell, you may spend an advantage to affect one additional target within range of the spell (and may trigger this multiple times, spending an advantage each time}. 
Range (+1 Difficulty): lncrease the range of the spell by one.

MERCY OF KELLOS 
Magic Action: Heal 
Additional Effects: Restoration 
Select one target Alys is engaged with (which may be herself) who is not incapacitated and make an Average Divine check. Upon success, the character heals 1 wound per success and strain per advantage. In addition, select one ongoing status effect the target is suffering. which immediately ends. 
ADDITIONAL EFFECTS 
Before Alys casts this spell, you may choose to add any of the following additional effects, increasing the difficulty of the check correspondingly. 
Additional Target (+2 Difficulty) The spell affects one additional target within range of the spell. In addition, after casting the spell, you may spend an advantage to affect one additional target within range of the spell (and may trigger this multiple times, spending an advantage each time). 
Range (+1 Difficulty): Increase the range of the spell by one range band. This effect may be selected multiple times. 

Implements
Magic Tome 
When Leoric uses a magic attack, he can add both the Range and Deadly upgrades without increasing the difficulty

Talents
Signature Spell 
Reduce the difficulty of checks to cast the character's signature spell by one.

Additional Mechanics
Casting a spell costs 2 strain (possibly setting specific).
Magic Actions may be tied to the spellcasting skill the career provides. Arcana gets Attack and Barrier while Divine gets Augment and Heal. 

Edited by Silverfox13

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7 minutes ago, Dragonshadow said:

Regarding animal form, it's interesting, but balancing shapeshifting is one of the true tests of a generic system.  There's shifters, who typically get an alternate set of stats, and superheroes, who require recalibration of the normal scale of characteristics, and casters in general, whose magic can allow them to do nearly anything.  I'm anxious to see how Genesys rolls it all together. 

Hmmm, animal/change form could be a magic skill talent tree.

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Silverfox13, thank you very much :) 

23 minutes ago, Silverfox13 said:

IMBUED STRIKE 
Magic Action: Attack 
Additional Effects: Close Combat, Deadly 
Imbued strike is a magic attack, and follows all the normal rules for a combat check. Choose a target Leoric is engaged with and makes an Average Arcana check If the check succeeds, the attack deals 4 damage + 1 damage per success, with a Critical Rating of 2 and the Vicious 3 quality. 
ADDITIONAL EFFECTS 
Before Leoric casts this spell, you may choose to add any of the following additional effects, increasing the difficulty of the check correspondingly. 
Fire(+1 Difficulty): The attack gains the Bum 3 quality. 
Manipulative (+1 Difficulty): If the attack hits, you may spend an advantage to move the target up to one range band in any direction. 


Implements
Magic Tome 
When Leoric uses a magic attack, he can add both the Range and Deadly upgrades without increasing the difficulty

This is done very elegantly. So usually the magic attack is easy doing the appropriate base damage equal to its linked ability. Leoric, the char using this spell has Intellect 4, so here you have your 4 base damage.

Close combat is range and deadly, both are free due to the Magic Tome implement, so still easy difficulty. Then the Vicious quality is added, which will raise difficulty to average. Both vicious and the additional fire quality have rank 3. Leoric's Skill Arcana is rank 3, so I assume that the rank of qualities might be linked to the magic skill, in this case Arcana 3.

I very much like this.

Edited by DarthDude

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So you obviously have a set of different magic actions, I can see four here: Attack, Augment, Barrier and Heal. It reminds me a little bit of schools/domains in D&D. 

So each magic action will have different base effects on which additional effects/qualities can be stacked like building blocks. I become very very enthused. With the combination of multiple building blocks you can create literally a lot of different spells/supernatural powers.

Yikes, I am giddy with excitement! 

Edited by DarthDude

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