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Touch of Magic Article

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So far I am really liking what I am seeing as far as the magic system goes. I recently made some custom spell trees for a homebrew, and they may have gotten a little out of hand in complexity, I will likely be redoing many as simplified versions and using what Genesys gives me where I can.

Something I have been wondering about is how more permanent magical effects will function, and if anything like will be included at all. I certainly hope there are guidelines for such things within the system they have created, as well as some kind of rules or side bar for higher powered spells. For lack of a better comparison, something akin to epic level in 3.5 D&D or mythic abilities in pathfinder. I hope to be able to create such spells in and outside the game.

A friend of mine also seemed slightly worried about the combat oriented nature of all magic that has been revealed thus far. He wants to see things like mage hand, ghost sound and the like. I myself am curious how non combat spells will function, but I'm sure they will be included in some form.

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4 minutes ago, PadreBoniface said:

Do we have any hints if they will differentiate between spellcasters and priests? Any support for "gods" magic?

i would expect that divine magic would treated, mechanically, the same as other magics. The GM may wish to differentiate divine magic beyond just "special effect" by adding additional setback dice, increases in difficulty, or loss of magic abilities if the caster was acting in a manner that was opposed to the goals of the deity such as a Cleric of Good acting "evil". As an example, a Fireball and a spell of Purifying Flame would, otherwise,  probably be mechanically the same.

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48 minutes ago, PadreBoniface said:

Do we have any hints if they will differentiate between spellcasters and priests? Any support for "gods" magic?

The Gencon demo character sheet had the following magic skills listed:

Arcana (Int)

Divine (Will)

Primal (Cun)

Runes (Int)

Verse (Pr)

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10 minutes ago, salamar_dree said:

The Gencon demo character sheet had the following magic skills listed:

Arcana (Int)

Divine (Will)

Primal (Cun)

Runes (Int)

Verse (Pr)

As a universal system, I would expect the magic skills/spells shown at Gencon were probably created either specifically for the Gencon campaign or are their example/sample skills/spells from the rulebook. I would not expect the rulebook to contain a specific magic system of any type and, instead, have some example spells on how different types of magic might be used skill-wise and created as spells to represent a desired style, flavor, or mechanical effect.

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27 minutes ago, salamar_dree said:

The Gencon demo character sheet had the following magic skills listed:

Arcana (Int)

Divine (Will)

Primal (Cun)

Runes (Int)

Verse (Pr)

Oh, is that what their thinking for magic skills. 

Gee, might have been a good idea to include that in the article. Then it might have included actual information. 

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56 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

Oh, is that what their thinking for magic skills. 

Gee, might have been a good idea to include that in the article. Then it might have included actual information. 

Outside of actually naming the magic skills themselves, I think the article provided enough information to get to the same conclusion.

 

If you want your character to cast a spell that you call “fireball,” for example, you start with the basic magic attack action. This allows you to target an enemy at short range. You’ll make an Easy combat check using a magic skill, and deal damage equal to the characteristic linked to that skill, plus one additional damage per success. So far, very similar to making a ranged attack with a throwing knife.

Skills and Spellcasters

So who can be a spellcaster? Well, that’s up to you! (And by “you,” we mean all you GMs out there). We offer a few different suggestions on how to integrate magic into your game and setting. Generally, we advise that only characters with a magic skill as a career skill be allowed to cast spells. This limits spellcasting to certain careers, such as a Wizard or a Priest.

Of course, maybe in your setting magic is widespread and anyone can do it! In that case, you can remove the restriction and let anyone buy ranks in magic skills. Certain careers may be able to focus on those skills for less experience, but there’s no problem with that.

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6 hours ago, salamar_dree said:

The Gencon demo character sheet had the following magic skills listed:

Arcana (Int)

Divine (Will)

Primal (Cun)

Runes (Int)

Verse (Pr)

I'm looking forward to rules to customise magic skills to fit all of the different settings and genres. If we can tag magic skills with any attribute, that would make me very happy. A Brawn-based mage would be wonderful.

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10 hours ago, Popdart said:

I'm looking forward to rules to customise magic skills to fit all of the different settings and genres. If we can tag magic skills with any attribute, that would make me very happy. A Brawn-based mage would be wonderful.

While I do enjoy the idea of the almighty fist wizard using a brick as their magic implement I'd be hesitant to use such a thing in my games as Brawn is already arguably the best stat :P

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5 minutes ago, DarthDude said:

They would, but which attributes would suit them most?

Depends on the setting and the specifics of the powers themselves.

Across the board, I would default to Willpower.

Something like biotics, though, and some superpowers (depending on the setting) could argue Brawn.

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45 minutes ago, DarthDude said:

I wonder, which magic skill would suit

- psionics

- bionics (mass effect)

the best?

 

26 minutes ago, Blackbird888 said:

 Just make them their own skills?

Yeah, part of reskinning is renaming.  I do like that the default skills encompass 4 out of the 6 characteristics.  Only two of them overlap for Int, and Arcane and Runic are coming from very different directions.  Lots of avenues into the magic system.

In my Starfinder conversion, I'm likely to swap out Runic for something tech-based like Fringe Science (for the mechanic, but using Int to cover everything from bot building through biotech).  Arcane will become Technomancy (for the Technomancer, using Int also).  The mystic will get Divine renamed as Mysticism.  The Solarian will get Verse renamed as...well, heck, not sure what to call it...Stellar?  Cosmic?  Solar?  The last is most obvious, but also doesn't sound right.  It would still use Presence.

I gotta admit, there's part of me that wants to really shake the tree (pun intended) by allowing quite a lot of freestyle actions among the careers with varying degrees of access to the magic system's building blocks.  I've read that a recent game called Hyperlanes (5E as Space Opera) has no "magic" but allows all classes to perform "gambits" which tend toward spell-like effects that are simply flavored by how each class would pull off such shenanigans.  The risk of such an approach is watering down the specialness of true casting careers, but frankly I'd rather err on the side of balance than creating uber careers once characters attain a critical mass of power (i.e. oldschool wizards in D&D).

Edited by Dragonshadow

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1 hour ago, Silverfox13 said:

I would carefully consider using Brawn for a magic skill pairing. It already affects a number of other game mechanics and may cause some loss in game balance. I would choose Intelligence or Willpower for Biotics myself.

Comparing Mass Effect to Star Wars, brawling/melee combat is much more of a rarity, so those skills will be rarer as well. Agility is the main combat stat, and Athletics and Resilience are useful in fringe, so Brawn doesn't do much other than allow you to carry stuff and provide soak. It probably wouldn't be much of an issue, but an easy enough counterbalance could be adjust how much soak you get for having a high Brawn (1 for 2 ranks, for example).

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It's often an issue in RPGs that some attributes are just better.

For the CoC conversion we're using for our current campaign, all attributes are important, Brawn for the obvious reason, willpower for sanity, intellect for starting skill points and learning new skills, agility for shooting (plus strain is based off the higher of willpower or agility), cunning and presence sets the base ranged/melee defence. We Roll the attributes randomly with an average of 3.125, which created some interresting characters - two attributes may be switched around. It works really well for CoC, but don't know if I'd do that for other settings.

Edited by Gallows

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8 hours ago, Gallows said:

It's often an issue in RPGs that some attributes are just better.

True that. This system is relatively balanced in my experience and I don't believe that Genesys will screw the pooch by creating any super attributes. We still don't know how characters will be able to increase their attributes during play but I'm hopeful that min-maxing won't be that prevalent if attribute increases are staggered in some way.

10 hours ago, Silverfox13 said:

I would carefully consider using Brawn for a magic skill pairing. It already affects a number of other game mechanics and may cause some loss in game balance. I would choose Intelligence or Willpower for Biotics myself.

For Brawn-based magic, you could apply a penalty as you're casting using a far more physical attribute than the other examples from the demo. Maybe you could apply strain or increase the penalty if balance was a concern. I'd be inclined to let it play out because I'm a fan of the idea of beefy casters.

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Frequently magic systems are divided into 2 elements, the skill needed to cast the spell and the power needed to fuel it. It is relatively easy to explain the power half being derived from brawn, but I’m having trouble seeing a rational for the skill aspect to be based there. Even an atheletc style of casting, such as dance, I would expect to be based on Agility rather than Brawn. What is it that the character does that determines whether he successfully cast a spell that is principly based on brawn? Reps? To cast fireball do a dozen push ups; teleport, 50 jumping jacks?

Edited by Forgottenlore

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In the Diablo series the Barbarian has their special abilities which really  equate to a Spell type ability. Things like Battle Cry, Leap Attack and even Whirlwind all have a basis in raw strength. 

The Brawn based magic would really focus on augmentation of oneself. Obviously it’s not fitting for every setting, in many Themes magic will be rare and only for those characters with a special connection. But in other settings it will be common, every character will have some form of extraordinary abilities and I can see the magic system being used to emulate that.

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tl;dr all three pages.

I can see them just have various disciplines you unlock with exp like specialties, but without the talent tree.

With descriptions what the discipline contains and eventually is able to do.

For example (values randomly chosen):

On creation choose one discipline, let's take Fire, and another discipline for +10 obligation. Let that be Telepathy.

And later ingame, our psyker buys Lightning for 20exp.

Skills aside, our Psyker now has three Disciplines which are explained in the CRB.

And now, whenever she uses a spell/power, she decides the components of the spell/power.

Extra Range, Blast, more Boom, whatever else there will be.

And thanks to the implements (talismans, fetishes, staffs, robes, etc) some components are a given without difficulty.

 

Ofc this is wild speculation, but I'd like to see that.

Just unlocking Disciplines.

I also believe, the spellcasters at GenCon have their fixed spells because the GMs weren't given all info.

ie: preventing spoilers.

And a Signature spell (maybe a Discipline of your choosing, or actually a really pre-built fixed spell) might be with less difficulty.

The demo at GenCon was just a "this is how it could maybe eventually possibly look like.

 

Wouldn't put too much in demos, as things are always subject to change with those.

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