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Cyvaris

Alternative Magic System, New Spells and Implements

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Alright, this is my first draft of some alternative magic rules. I've modified how many spells a character has access to, limiting the number of spells a character knows to their number of ranks in the appropriate Magic skill. In addition to that, I added three new spells, Divination, Enchantment, and Illusion, and at the end are several new implements. I erred on the side of "underpowered", or at least I hope so.  I did not put a cost or rarity down for the new implements, as those are the biggest place I am not sure of in terms of rules. 

I would like to at some point add a Transmutation/Shapechange spell, but can't come up with an appropriate "first" entry before the effects. 

Genesys Spells.pdf

Edited by Cyvaris

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Good job! I was a bit dissapointed by the lack of Control or not-offensive magic actions but this will solve the problem.

Thanks a lot for the work.

BTW, maybe you should consider working together with DarthDude and add his Magic Talents. That way you could create a nice ¨¨ Advanced Magic Tome¨

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10 hours ago, Cyvaris said:

Alright, this is my first draft of some alternative magic rules. I've modified how many spells a character has access to, limiting the number of spells a character knows to their number of ranks in the appropriate Magic skill. In addition to that, I added three new spells, Divination, Enchantment, and Illusion, and at the end are several new implements. I erred on the side of "underpowered", or at least I hope so.  I did not put a cost or rarity down for the new implements, as those are the biggest place I am not sure of in terms of rules. 

I would like to at some point add a Transmutation/Shapechange spell, but can't come up with an appropriate "first" entry before the effects. 

Genesys Spells.pdf

Wow, this is a really great and helpful document! It covers what I missed so far and some of what they usually cover under the ambigious term "utility spell".

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Anything look horribly balanced? Enchantment was hard to get working the way I wanted it to work, especially when it comes to wording. In my mind, it's the most "you and the GM decide" power. 

 

The new Implements I was also a bit shaky on cost/rarity wise as the rules for making new ones result in very high costs. 

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To me it looks very well-thought-out.

The only hint of a charm power is Dominate:

Quote

Dominate (May use the Dominate action once per encounter, making an opposed Charm vs. Discipline check targeting one character in short range;
if successful, the target is immobilized for 1 round per uncanceled success, and Eliza may spend Triumph to stagger the target for 1 round). 

And this glimpse is very meager to build enchantment spells on. (unless they define them actually as a kind of Attack which still does not sound fitting). Same for illusion, both illusion and charm are mind influencing and from the snippets of knowledge I have (am still waiting for the book :/ ) there is no base spell covering mind influencing effects sufficiently. And also Curse doesn't cover charm person and the like very well.

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I too am going to steal this...fantastic work Cyvaris.

The only change I am going to make is to give the Characters the "Utility" spell and one other of their choice when they buy their first rank in Aracna/Divine/Primal. As I feel Utility lends itself more to the kinds of things that a beginner practitioner would be starting off with. Mages and their cantrips and such.

Plus you wouldn't believe how many Players I have had that want to have more "pacifist" type magic users, and not use magic to harm, and this allows them to do that if they want.

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I sort of forgot about the "Utility" Spell, which yes all casters would have no questions asked. 

Feel free to use this in your games, I'll probably be tweaking it a bit here and there as I adjust things. 

@DarthDude I like the Dominate power as a jumping off place for additional Enchantment powers. I also flipped back through the Genesys book and found the Psionic race and its Mind Shaper power under the the Space Opera setting. It's basically a rework of Influence from FaD, which is what I pilfered for Enchantment anyway. My biggest issue is just finding a way to not make the default power an opposed check. If there were rules for "emotions" it would help....again Enchantment I feel might be a rather GM dependent ability there. 

Edited by Cyvaris

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@Cyvaris

So I added the stuff you made to the Magic Section of the Players Guide I am working on.

I tweaked a few of the Magic Actions you created, as well as adding a third effect option to the standard Dispel Magic action.

Would love to get your thoughts on what I came up with, as they were your brain child to begin with! ?

Magic on Therill

Edited by Palomarus

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@Palomarus I decided to rework Enchantment a bit. I didn't like how it doubles up with Divination giving a Boost dice. 

New Enchantment 

Enchantment

Concentration: Yes

Skills: Arcana, Primal

By practicing the art of Enchantment, Arcane and Primal spellcasters lace their words with magic, allowing them to compel, terrify, and beguile their targets. A character selects one target they are engaged with the makes an Arcana or Primal check. The default difficulty of the check is Average (dd). If the check is successful, the caster caster adds Advantage equal to the Advantage rolled to their next social skill check against the target. Before making an Enchantment check, choose any number of additional effects listed on Table below.

 

Changed a few of the effects too 
Influence Emotions: The target is filled with an overwhelming amount of a specific emotion of the caster’s choice, such as anger, calm, disgust, fear, friendliness, or peace. The caster learns the Strength or Flaw of the targeted character. +1 Difficulty

 

Duration: The a bonus applies to the next two checks the caster makes. In addition, after casting the spell, you may spend Advantage to apply the bonus to the third check the caster makes (and may trigger this multiple times, spending Advantage each time). +1 Difficulty

Strength: The caster adds Success
 equal to Success, and Advantage equal to Advantage to their social skill check. +2 Difficulty


Cleaned up the wording on Rods and Totems as well. 


 

RODS

Both Arcane and Divine spellcasters wield rods, though their individual traditions are divergent to say the least. Arcane casters who use rods often skew towards the occult or destructive, while Divine casters that favor rods to punish the wicked or protect allies.

Depending on the magical skill used, rods augment a casters ability in different ways. When a character makes or finds a rod, you, the GM, determines one of the three following effects; adding the Blast effect does not increase the spell’s difficulty, or if the character has the Arcana skill, they removes one (d) from any Curse spell they cast while a character with the Divine skill removes one (d) from any Barrier spell they cast.

In addition, attack spell cast by the user increase their base damage by three.

 

 

TOTEM

Magical totems of wood or bone are favored by Shamans, Druids, and other Primal Spellcasters. These may be carved to resemble natural spirits, animals, or plants, or hung with beads, feathers, bones teeth, and other natural materials.

            Totems augment the elemental powers Primal casters. When a character makes or obtains a totem, you, the GM, determines one of the two following effects. When the totem is used to cast the Primal Fury Augment spell, reduce the difficulty by one (d). Alternatively, select either Fire, Ice, Impact, or Lighting additional attack effect. The totem allows the user to reduce the number of a needed to activate the selected effect by one a to a minimum of one a.

In addition, attack spells cast by the user increase their base damage by three.  

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I don't have the book yet (c'mon FFG! I'm waiting!!!)--are all magic checks against a set difficulty, rather than opposed?

Something like Enchantment feels, to me, like it has to be opposed in order to feel right: weaker minds are easier to sway, etc... Although, I suppose doing so might lead GMs to inflating their monsters' Discipline or some such in order to combat overuse of such abilities.

I think the Battle Meditation basic power and mastery upgrades may point to where this could be going--basically, if you succeed on the check, you reduce the target's Willpower, then when you give them orders, they have to make a check to resist, using their lowered Willpower, making resistance less likely.

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@CitizenKeen Mechanics for increasing emotions was...something I wanted to deal with, which is why I added the "reveal strength/flaw" part to Influence Emotions. I might change Dominate to something like reveal Desire/Fears.

@yeti1069 All the spells are checks against a set difficulty. Enchantment does feel like something that could be an opposed check, but felt like it stepped a bit too much on various Social Skills. I'll have to take a look Battle Meditation. I did lift a bunch from FaD as is to inspire these, so maybe Battle Meditation could be lifted as well. 

Here is the updated document. It now also includes my "Prepared Spells" alternate rule and a Signature Spells rule too. 

Genesys Spells.pdf

Edited by Cyvaris

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After spending more time on it, I'm thinking shapechanging could just be a subset of Additional Effects added to Augment. 

 

D: Alter Self: Change features of appearance, sex, race, grow or shrink a small amount (within same silhouette). May spend ^^ to mimic the appearance of someone else (upon examination, may substitute your casting skill for a Deception check to disguise your appearance). 

D: Growth: May grow or shrink 1 Sil from your base Sil, to a minimum of 0. Shrinking adds B to your Stealth and Coordination checks. Growing adds a B to your Athletics and Resilience checks. If you achieve Sil 3 or higher, Brawl and Melee checks you perform increase their range to Short. May be used multiple times. 

DD: Polymorph (Primal Only): Gain 1 of several benefits:

  • Hands and feet turn into fins, and you grow gills. You may function normally underwater, and add B per * to your Athletics checks to swim. 
  • Arms turn into wings, granting the ability to hover or fly, and add B per * to your Coordination checks to fly.
  • Eyes grow large and avian, granting Darkvision (remove 2 SB from checks due to darkness), and add B per * to your Perception and Ranged attacks.
  • Ears grow large, granting (something), and add B per * to your Vigilance checks. 
  • Hands or feet grow clawed (this replaces Primal Fury, granting the same effects)
  • <insert one or two other similar effects> 

May spend ^^ to gain an additional transformation benefit, or gain the benefit without replacing your existing features (such as by growing wings from your back, rather than transforming your arms). 

 

I would say Duration: Concentration, or adding a D: Extend duration for number of rounds equal to twice ranks in Knowledge would make sense here. 

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For Necromancy, I was playing around with some ideas all day...

Add it as Additional Effects to Conjuration.

Require a talent that modifies how you use the base Conjuration, and then adds new Additional Effects. 

Separate spell. 

 

On the last, I was thinking something like the following:

Necromancy: D: Works like the basic Conjuration + Summon Ally, except you may only raise a dead character or creature, and it is undead, either a skeleton or a zombie, GM's choice or caster's choice (or based on circumstances). Instead of spending 2 Strain to cast this spell, you must spend 2 Wounds.

D: Additional Summon: Works same as for Conjuration, except you may spend 1 Wound or ^^ to summon another undead minion. 

D: Medium Summon: Works the same as Conjuration. 

D: Grand Summon: Works the same as Conjuration. 

D: Bolster Undead: Undead you raise add damage to their attacks equal to your ranks in Knowledge, and improve their Crit rating by 1, to a minimum of 1. Affects one target of the spell. You may pay 1 Wound to affect an additional target up to the number of raised undead, or your Wound threshold. 

DD: Drain Life: If you select this Additional Effect when casting Necromancy, you first suffer 2 strain, and make an attack against a living creature at Short or Engaged range. If the check is successful, it deals damage equal to your casting characteristic plus any uncancelled *. You may treat the damage dealt after soak as Wounds for the purpose of paying for the basic spell and any additional effects of the spell. For example, if you cast Necromancy with Additional Summon and Bolster Undead, and you successfully dealt 6 damage to a target, you could spend that 6 damage to pay for the 2 Wounds for the basic effect of the spell, 2 wounds to raise an additional 2 undead, and 2 wounds to affect all 3 with Bolster Undead without suffering any wounds yourself. 

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Maybe it depends on the setting but for me Necromancy and Blood Magic are two different things. Although they could of course be combined if a player chooses to do so. Just don't make Blood Magic a prerequisite for Necromancy.

Also dealing direct damage (drain life) should be exclusive to Attack spells.

Can't say much about overall balancing because I still have zero play time. It's not easy to find a time slot everybody is happy with right before the holidays ;)

 

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23 hours ago, siabrac said:

Maybe it depends on the setting but for me Necromancy and Blood Magic are two different things. Although they could of course be combined if a player chooses to do so. Just don't make Blood Magic a prerequisite for Necromancy.

Also dealing direct damage (drain life) should be exclusive to Attack spells.

Can't say much about overall balancing because I still have zero play time. It's not easy to find a time slot everybody is happy with right before the holidays ;)

 

Honestly, the blood magic idea came about from trying to figure out how to give the caster access to creating a big horde of undead that aren't total pushovers. Thematically, possibly as a holdover from D&D/Pathfinder, Summon Monster is concerned more with bringing in a creature that serves some utility, or a sturdy companion to be an extra, full body, essentially, in a combat. Bringing in a group of minions seems underwhelming for Conjure. However, a necromancer raising a horde of undead is pretty iconic, yet the way Conjure works, it would be difficult to get more than a few. Then, undead are inherently kind of weak when you're dealing with zombies and skeletons, but summoning a single, stronger creature kind of goes against the trope, to my mind. So, there were a few options: Create a new Additional Summons ability that creates undead according to a characteristic, or ranks in Knowledge, at a time, or turn to another resource. Strain is already being taxed in a lot of ways, and paying wounds feels very necromantic.

As for the direct damage, maybe this is also a holdover from D&D, but I've always viewed necromancy as having some ability to drain life force. We have the Inflict spells and Harm in D&D, then KOTOR and the d20 Star Wars RPG had Drain Life, and F&D has Heal/Harm, where Harm can take someone else's wounds and heal themselves, or even revive a dead character. I didn't want to quite go that far, and felt like simply making a "hurt you to heal me" ability would tread too much on the toes of the other spells, but I felt like finding a way to make someone else pay for your undead raising made sense for a Necromancy spell.

The way I see it, the advantages of the way I wrote Drain Life are: it's not an Attack spell, so none of the stuff that benefits Attack helps here (the existing implements don't increase the base damage, for example), the spell doesn't really have other additional effects that can build on this, so you're very limited in what sort of damaging you're going to do so it isn't a go-to damage source, and it isn't directly healing you, so you aren't being encouraged to use the spell as a self-healing spell.

 

All that said, I do think I would rather have Necromancy raise undead for ranks in a Knowledge skill as base, then have a +D additional effect that gives you more undead for ranks in Knowledge, and uses Advantage to increase that again. It can go bigger than paying wounds, and isn't so clunky compared to other spells, so that's me leaning toward removing the Blood Magic aspect of the spell.

I also think I want to de-emphasize the bigger summons. Of course, there's the image of a necromancer raising a dragon, or some such, and that should remain, but it should probably be +DD or +DDD, with language that it turns off the innate multiple targets ability of the a new basic power.

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Just stumbled across what looks like a post of one of the enemies from the GenCon preview of Genesys, which included a Necromancy/Animate Dead spell: 

Here's my take on that, using what's been posted as a baseline of sorts.

Necromancy
Skills: Arcane, Divine
This is magic for raising the dead as unholy servants. Select one corpse of Silhouette 1 or less within Short range. The default difficult is Easy (d). That corpse rises as a zombie minion under your control until the end of the encounter. You may spend a maneuver on your turn to direct any undead raised with this spell.
+d      Additional Minions: Increase the number of minions animated by ranks in     Knowledge. May spend aa to increase the number of corpses animated by ranks     in Knowledge.
+d     Enhance: Corpses animated gain +1 to Brawn, which also increases their Soak and     Wounds. May spend aaa or x to reduce their crit rating to a.
+d    Range: May animate corpses at long range.
+dd    Haste: Animated corpses can always perform a second maneuver during their turn     without spending strain (they may still only perform two maneuvers a turn).
+dd    Armored (Arcana Only): Animated corpses gain melee and ranged defense equal to     your ranks in Knowledge.
+dd    Vigor (Divine Only): Animated corpses heal a number of wounds at the start of their     turn equal to your ranks in Knowledge.
+ddd Undead Champion: May animate a corpse of up to Silhouette 2 as a rivl. May                   increase the silhouette by 1 for aa.

 

Pardon the formatting, copied this from my own file, which includes Edge of the Empire font.

The idea here is to grant the ability to make a lot of minions, and make them formidable with some investment, or animate one dangerous monster. How does this look?

I would consider adding a version of Enhance, Haste, or Armored to the Conjure spell...

 

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