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RagingJim

Let's make "spells"

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I am trying to build some new spells to play with, or new ways to use the current spells that are available. For example there aren't any illusion spells, or teleport spells (probably a form of conjure). I have started to try and create a charm/fear/control emotion spell (but don't really like what I have done yet), and a fog cloud spell (which I am calling obfuscation). Hopefully the smarter people in the community can come up with some really interesting ways to use magic that I won't ever be able to come up with.

Thanks :)

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2 hours ago, RagingJim said:

I am trying to build some new spells to play with, or new ways to use the current spells that are available. For example there aren't any illusion spells, or teleport spells (probably a form of conjure). I have started to try and create a charm/fear/control emotion spell (but don't really like what I have done yet), and a fog cloud spell (which I am calling obfuscation). Hopefully the smarter people in the community can come up with some really interesting ways to use magic that I won't ever be able to come up with.

Thanks :)

Illusion spells sounds like conjuration to me. You're conjuring a figment, not a real thing, but the basics are the same.

Teleport could be conjure (conjuring a portal) or augment (augmenting yourself so you can teleport.

Charm/fear sounds like curse.

Fog cloud could either be a conjuration or a utility spell. It's just a cloud after all, nothing too complicated.

Most of the effects we're used to can be done with the current magic actions. You just need to think in broader strokes—not the rigid D&D spell schools/specific spells we're used to.

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We have begun working on some spells that are character specific and tied to that characters specific story. Not sure we are ready to unveil them but for example we have a character that is sworn to a goddess of life and death, sort of a priestly necromancer and one of her spells gives her the ability to pull the dark life force of nearby dead into an entity to do her bidding, very horrific if one is viewing from the outside and many call her evil, even though she will use her power to heal more often than harm.

Anywho, used the conjure format for the spell, she rolls with difficulty depending on the local dead and other factors... the creature formed is a standard creature that I will tweak depending on the situation. Calling Song of the Banshee at this time and when we are done with our setting tweaks and spells we will probably post them up. The creature is summoned and can fight or assist in other ways depending on the desire of the character... 

I love the system and the flexibility that it offers and the customization it allows for, not just with setting or genre but on a character to character basis. We are approaching spells almost solely on a character by character basis, based on the story. Our druid has a familial spell that was taught to her by her parents and unless she teaches it to another, then it is hers alone. Provides some heavy flavor...

Not sure if this is of any real use... but spells ;-)

Edited by ChocoCoveredGm

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5 minutes ago, Palomarus said:

Is anyone else thinking of attaching an XP cost for their PCs to learn new spells to use?

Either that or having to get their hands on another Mages spell book?

Yup, all spells learned will at this point in time be learned in game through the story/narrative. Either from other mages, lost tomes, libraries, colleges etc... Also looking at a way to "Craft" spells. Everything though will be story-driven and unique/flavored by the setting.

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Based on the way it's set up, there are a few ways to build spells for a game.

One, every spell can be available to everyone with the proper skill. Players can cast attack, and pick the upgrades they want. This could get a bit sketchy, though, but the ramping difficulty for stacking on effects is a decent enough balance.

Two, the GM can make various custom spells using the different categories as basis. This is what is used by the pregenerated characters in the GenCon module.

Three, each player customizes their own spells, with limits, but can't use other spells without paying for them.

In my opinion, there needs to be some XP cost. 15-25 XP, probably, as the increasing difficulty is enough of a counterbalance for me.

I, personally, like option two the most, though option three is fair for some occasions, like customizing super powers or psychic abilities for each player.

There are a few effects I would incorporate, like making a base curse spell trigger Ensnare or Disorient. The Force powers from Star Wars offer various ideas for additional effects.

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14 hours ago, Palomarus said:

Is anyone else thinking of attaching an XP cost for their PCs to learn new spells to use?

Either that or having to get their hands on another Mages spell book?

I'm considering something like that, mostly using the Talent system as inspiration leaning heavily on a character's rank in their spellcasting skill. You'd start with one effect of your choice (maybe two for attack) that costs a single Difficulty Dice and then can purchase other effects with XP, probably 5XP for Difficulty 1, 10XP for Difficulty 2, etc. In my mind, that will work to limit magic a little bit. 


I am also considering making a distinct Illusion and Polymorph discipline, if only for another homerule I'm kicking around to work. Illusion I'm stating is distinctly different from Conjure as it deals with creating sounds/smells/images of things, as well as masking thing and so creating larger things would be easier  than Conjuring. Illusion can also apply to Stealth and concealment, which also feels distinct from Conjuring. 

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I always recommend posting what you have worked on as others usually will help you make it better, Like my Races for Dragonstar others helped me make them more balanced and as I work on other stuff, this is a Community project usually and we the others would help make them more useable for our games as well.

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17 hours ago, Palomarus said:

Is anyone else thinking of attaching an XP cost for their PCs to learn new spells to use?

Either that or having to get their hands on another Mages spell book?

Yes I was, but I don't know how much will be too much.  I was thinking 5xp per difficulty die increase.  So being able to turn the attack spell into a blast would be 10xp, but that seems pretty steep. 

 

I don't know.  I'll discuss it with my group.  We're currently finishing up SKT from D&D 5e and Genesys will be the next game I run.  What setting is yet to be determined.  I'm really keen on getting a Fantasy game going in our own created world, however I think we might need a little gap between D&D and Fantasy Genesys to clear out the preconceptions playing D&D for long brings. 

 

We have a Star Wars game going on the side too. 

 

Maybe it's just me needing to let go of the structured spell/school format I'm so used to with D&D for the last 20+ years and embrace the open-endedness of this system?

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22 hours ago, Palomarus said:

Is anyone else thinking of attaching an XP cost for their PCs to learn new spells to use?

Either that or having to get their hands on another Mages spell book?

I won't make powers or spells into an XP sink like Star Wars and Force Powers. PC's have enough to spend xp on with skills and talents. I would definitely give non-magic/power users unique talents like martial characters gain bonus feats in pathfinder, to offset the fact that they don't have powers.

 

I plan on powers being a mix of earned through gameplay and also plot-centric here and there, depending on the setting my group wants to play in.

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I plan on using the rules to build spells similar to the GenCon characters. But i'm also breaking them into 5 ranks. Your ranks in Arcana/Divine/Primal will determine which ranks you can learn (so if you have 2 ranks in Arcana, you can learn Rank 2 spells). As for cost to learn, it will be money. It gives wizards, priests, and druids something to spend that hard earned cash on. Otherwise time will be required to study the spell (where you'll make a knowledge roll to see if you successfully assimilate the spell).

Ranks will be used instead of Knowledge for the power of the spell quality. So if you have Ignite Posterior III, then it's burn quality will be 3. Even if your Knowledge rank is 4, it will still only be 3 until you buy the Rank IV version of the spell.  

I'm also working on rules for lengthy rituals that bypass the strain cost, and reduce the difficulty based on implements used during those. 

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So correct me if I'm wrong. The way I've been reading spells/magic is that you take the Arcana skill (or one of the other skills), and you can perform the actions listed in the magic section? Thereby being able to cast anything so long as you roll properly? Or is the Magic section a toolkit to create individual spells? So if I'm playing a mage with Fire Blast, it's 2 difficulty to cast that spell within close range. But that spell is recorded as one of my spells on my sheet?

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9 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

So correct me if I'm wrong. The way I've been reading spells/magic is that you take the Arcana skill (or one of the other skills), and you can perform the actions listed in the magic section? Thereby being able to cast anything so long as you roll properly? Or is the Magic section a toolkit to create individual spells? So if I'm playing a mage with Fire Blast, it's 2 difficulty to cast that spell within close range. But that spell is recorded as one of my spells on my sheet?

Depends on the game. The GM would determine whether you can cherry pick the stuff from the list, or if there are specific spells you can choose from.

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2 minutes ago, Johan Marek Phoenix Knight said:

Depends on the game. The GM would determine whether you can cherry pick the stuff from the list, or if there are specific spells you can choose from.

If it's the latter, how does one determine how many spells a character gets? Does a mage get INT number of spells at start? How do they gain additional spells? Particularly if there's no XP cost.

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4 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

If it's the latter, how does one determine how many spells a character gets? Does a mage get INT number of spells at start? How do they gain additional spells? Particularly if there's no XP cost.

Once again, completely up to the GM. I’ve seen people on the forums talking about putting an xp cost on spell upgrades/additional spells, I’ve seen people talking about making it a narrative thing where you have to find the spells, and I’ve thought of the possibility of making it a Knowledge check when you are in an arcane library to research a new spell. You could also make it so that the character could buy new spellbooks and learn spells that way.

Personally though, I prefer the free-form spell creation, where the only limits are the limits of what your variety of magic is capable of.

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2 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

If it's the latter, how does one determine how many spells a character gets? Does a mage get INT number of spells at start? How do they gain additional spells? Particularly if there's no XP cost.

That is something the GM is going to have to determine when he creates his game. There isn't such a thing listed as far as I can tell.

For my own game, it's really going to be on the fly stuff. I am going to make it so that if you prepare spells ahead of time, you decrease the difficulty. But I haven't solidified such a thing yet.

Probably would go Int rating plus Arcana rating is the number of "difficulty" you can hold in reserve. So a mage with INT 3 and Arcana 3 would have 6 points of difficulty he could hold. If he preps a Fireball (P for casting, P for blast, and P for Fire), that would suck up 3 points worth of INT & Arcana. In return, it would cost one less Strain and grant one Success and one Advantage when cast. However, having a prepped spell hanging around adds a setback die to casting other, unprepared spells.

Actually, I'm just daydreaming on this. The point is:

There isn't a rule for what you asked.

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1 minute ago, Sketchpad said:

If it's the latter, how does one determine how many spells a character gets? Does a mage get INT number of spells at start? How do they gain additional spells? Particularly if there's no XP cost.

For now its completely up to the GM and players. You could link spells to characteristics or other stats like you suggest. You could make it entirely narrative by giving your players 1 spell to start and let them unlock more through in-game research (I could see you limiting what upgrades they know with this method too). You could even make some magic-learning talents or assign magic xp costs like the force trees from star wars.

Nice for someone who enjoys tinkering with systems, but hopefully an upcoming sourcebook that is heavily magic-based gives help to players who don't enjoy it or don't have the time/confidence.

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4 minutes ago, Doctor Xerox said:

Nice for someone who enjoys tinkering with systems, but hopefully an upcoming sourcebook that is heavily magic-based gives help to players who don't enjoy it or don't have the time/confidence.

Definitely would like to see an expanded Powers Handbook of some kind that would cover Magic, Psionics, Superpowers, etc.

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I feel like this system is designed for people who specifically have the time/confidence since it's more of a toolbox to create your own rpg than an rpg in itself.

 

Which is not to say I'm upset about that, it's exactly what I was looking for.

Edited by GroggyGolem

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On 12/1/2017 at 7:53 PM, Palomarus said:

Is anyone else thinking of attaching an XP cost for their PCs to learn new spells to use?

Either that or having to get their hands on another Mages spell book?

Yes.  Already using OggDudes app to make specific 'trees' for spells and Alchemy recipes and such.  I think leaving casters to just spend xp on a tree and Skills will lead to a campaign that progresses to retirement too quickly.  Although I am also awarding basic plans and upgrades to them as 'loot' found via tomes, scrolls, Twitter posts, etc....

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I wouldn't put it quite like that, Groggy. Though I can see where you're coming from. 

It looks like except for equipment that you could play it as is out of the box just by selecting from the options available. Sort of like GURPS or Savage Worlds or BRP. They're complete and usable games. The GM just has to make some setting decisions.

For example, with the magic stuff,  it works right out of the gate as simply an on-the-fly magic system. Mage says, "I'm going to cast an aimed attack spell with blast and fire using my staff." So he rolls his Skill roll  with Aim (say YYGGB) and the difficulty (PPP). Looks at the results. Sees if he's successful and rolled enough ^ to trigger blast and/or fire. 

It's only when we start tinkering to add a certain spin or flavor that the work of the GM goes up.

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