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The Grand Falloon

Not sure how magic is supposed to work

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4 hours ago, The Grand Falloon said:

Okay, I get how magic rolls work, but I'm not seeing any reference to learning spells or anything.  It looks like maybe we make up our spells on the spot?  A fun idea, but maybe a bit too powerful?

How are folks doing magic?

It’s vague because it’s an open toolkit.  You could leave it open and make magic free form or you can create specific spells casters have to learn. Terrinoth will expand magic a great deal when it comes out.

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The massive spike in difficulty is the limiting factor, range in particular can make an easy spell Formidable with no other additional effects. The best results I have had so far is asking the players to describe what they want to do, what the Spell looks like. Then I quickly decide the difficulty based on the tables in the book and they roll... but I’m GMing for kids!

One thing I have definitely noticed is you need to look past the names of things, you need to boil down what a player wants to simple mechanics then find the spell and additional effects that matches that.

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Like other things in Genesys (language, ammo and the things appearing suddenly with a specific use of advantages/threats/triumph/despair), there are some details that shouldn't be a problem to develop the story and the scenes.

The difficult system is already there to difficult the things and even with the possibilty to create 12312312412 spells, I don't think a player would try to use more than a handful of spells. There are no need of this. Use few spells and try to use very well the advantages and triumphs to upgrade the effects.

I can't see where studying would help the game in a standard base. Could be a plot to a new adventure, just it. Otherwise the time flies and the character learn what he/she want.

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Also, for combat, it's remarkably hard to get a spell (even while using a staff) to do more damage than a gun of equivalent cost at the same range, with the same special effects.

This keeps the mage from overshadowing people in combat.

Also, remember, threats for magic are way worse than getting threats for normal skill checks. 

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Okay, I suspected that might be the case, but they really didn't seem to give much explanation, as far as I could tell.
I'm considering it for standard Fantasy, so I think I would have the characters build a number of spells with these guidelines, and then allow them to research more in their downtime.  Of course, you can try for almost any effect on the fly, with some difficulty upgrades (or increases?  Both?).  A triumph while casting on the fly might mean that you learn the spell and can cast it from then on as you like.

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As an alternative, use boost and setback dice. A spell you've seen and know the theory but haven't extensively studied would use the rules as normal. A spell you've seen at least once would warrant a setback die. A spell you've heard about or have just invented gets two setback. On the other hand, a 5XP talent could give a boost die to a particular spell, with the number of ranks being additional spells or additional boost dice. A 10 or 15 XP talent could give a boost die to a school of magic (Fire, ice, etc.)

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On 2/4/2018 at 11:23 AM, ESP77 said:

It’s vague because it’s an open toolkit.  You could leave it open and make magic free form or you can create specific spells casters have to learn. Terrinoth will expand magic a great deal when it comes out.

True, and other than what we do for possible RPG games/creations before then it might be worth seeing the take on magic and crafting in the Terrinoth sourcebook as you mention, both are promised to be a key element of the book, although some posts are saying crafting or 'spellbook' style magic isn't what Genesys should be I still have an interest in trying these forms out. Also fantasy has these various styles of magic- casting with a wand or staff, twisting reality with your hands (with or without pyrotechnics), making a spell from ingredients (especially for witches and the like), chanting a spell, using the mind, using a magic object, some combination of the above and so on, there are often different types of magic not limited to these examples in fantasy. There's also the illusion (or is it) 'magic show' and mind reading/paranormal (again hoax or is it) type of magic in this and other settings. Even the clever situation in real life settings where a magic show has a double deceit- the volunteer for the vanishing act becomes a missing person for example.

 

I liked an old wizard vs wizard computer game where collecting spell ingredients was part of the game, it can be fun to have that foraging and recipes crafting element, and named spells or other 'need to enable the possibility' magic can be fun too as it has that element of learning new things sorcerer's apprentice style, mastering your rival's abilities in some stories, thus actually having to work for it and educate yourself in its use, can even add some (if realism's the right word in fantasy) realism as its not just 'I've had this random thought I want to magically do this to you and I'm just going to roll to see if I can and invent an explanation on the spot'- which is totally fine for Genesys as it's designed to be that free, creative and unplanned, but for a setting with quite a deep lore of magics, it somehow feels a stronger experience to have to work to find or develop the skill and methodology to do the magic- excited to see the sourcebook's thinking on such matters.

As always it's partly down to how people prefer and want to play.

 

The great thing about Genesys is even for a learned magic situation it has an awesome break out which I think trumps most RPG's- it can be both prescribed AND on the fly- as in I've learned (or found) this spell that does this but I think I can adapt the spell to do this or I'm going to see what happens if I put this in the cauldron too etc- rolls dice that encourage storytelling- has just invented new spell if it works (or unintended new spell or disaster if not), or, another way things could go - attempts prescribed spell, slightly unusual/ game change die roll, has this unprescribed result. You could even if you wish add that to the learning so this new creation out of the gameplay is also there for future use.

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The only limiting factor for casters is Strain: a rested mage can cast around 5 spells, regardless of their level. A lot of other systems will limit a caster by charging more "spell points" for spells of higher level. The equivalent to this is making spells cost more Strain per attempt, which you can do by making Threats generate extra Strain.

In the long term, you can limit the effectiveness of spells by controlling how they are acquired: through research, quests, and the like. I suppose you could even price them in XPs and make PCs buy them like Talents.

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5 minutes ago, player966703 said:

The only limiting factor for casters is Strain: a rested mage can cast around 5 spells, regardless of their level. A lot of other systems will limit a caster by charging more "spell points" for spells of higher level. The equivalent to this is making spells cost more Strain per attempt, which you can do by making Threats generate extra Strain.

In the long term, you can limit the effectiveness of spells by controlling how they are acquired: through research, quests, and the like. I suppose you could even price them in XPs and make PCs buy them like Talents.

Well, not the only limit. Ramping difficulties for stacking is also a limiting factor. Magical items that reduce difficulties for certain spells are a major contributing factor for managing those difficulties, so if you don't have a tool that reduces difficulty, you're either casting very risky spells or very simple ones.

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I think what would be cool  is like a starting batch of Spells, standard spells you learn through your Training, then as you progress and discover other spells, they would become Actions for the character and would cost xp to add to your group of Spells just like a more powerful talent that would help downgrade more difficult spells but would be a tier 4 to 5 on the talents list.

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13 minutes ago, gilbur said:

I think what would be cool  is like a starting batch of Spells, standard spells you learn through your Training, then as you progress and discover other spells, they would become Actions for the character and would cost xp to add to your group of Spells just like a more powerful talent that would help downgrade more difficult spells but would be a tier 4 to 5 on the talents list.

You sparked a moment of inspiration for me with this. What if a starting character knows a number of pre defined spells equal to the casting characteristic. Utility is also an option, in which case they define a broad description of their typical utility spells. Otherwise they choose these spells as if they were casting a spell with the normal rules;

Choose one of the basic spells, including defining its general narrative description (its a spear of light).

Choose a number of additional effects that would raise the difficulty to a minimum of Hard if all where added. These effects don’t always have to be added but they are the only effects available for that spell.

Implements still add their usual additional effects on top, they don’t need to be learned.

more spells can be learnt later on through talents or narrative reasons. The maximum difficulty of additional effects can also be increased through Talents,

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