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bharrington73

Pushing the limits in Magic

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Lately I've been contemplating how a player could push the limits of their magical capabilities (more successes and advantages) at an increased risk. I see the existing magic rules as a solid set for explaining how to cast (relatively) safely. You can add effects and even double the base damage by increasing the difficulty which in turn not only increases the risk to the character (in terms of disadvantages) but also makes it less likely to succeed at all.

Is a talent that adds two boost dice at a cost of upgrading the difficulty unbalanced? It kind of captures what I am going for... more power at a greater risk of Despair.

What else can a character risk in order to push the limits? How would we capture that mechanically?

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1 minute ago, bharrington73 said:

Is a talent that adds two boost dice at a cost of upgrading the difficulty unbalanced?

I'm not sure that's a Talent I'd ever buy.  You're tweaking both dice pools, so statistically it's kind of a wash...might increase the odds of success slightly, but everything else is a negative.

I'd separate the effects, so the positive effect adds boost dice, but the negative costs the PC something (Strain, or risk of injury).  Also limit the number of uses.  Eg:  "blood magic", where once per encounter the PC can alter the dice in their favour (add two boost dice, upgrade once, etc) but at great risk (3T or Despair and they roll on the crit table).

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One of the most effective ways to represent such effects is to "upgrade a purple to remove a purple." Upgrading one difficulty die to a challenge die lets you remove another difficulty die from the dice pool. Doing this once is exactly what the Magic Ring item provided in the rulebook does, though it's automatic and not voluntary.

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I use WFRP old system of magic, mushed into Genesys. It has extreme penalties for rolling despair. Which fits the setting and lore, so might not be for everyone. If you get a despair, you have to roll on a chart that is similar to critical hit chart, that can make crazy stuff happen, maybe food/rations spoil, plants die in the area, caster levitates uncontrollably, or if everything goes wrong, severely injure or cause mutations to the caster. Casters also do the most damage in my campaign to make the risk worth taking.

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5 hours ago, Souppilgrim said:

I use WFRP old system of magic, mushed into Genesys. It has extreme penalties for rolling despair. Which fits the setting and lore, so might not be for everyone. If you get a despair, you have to roll on a chart that is similar to critical hit chart, that can make crazy stuff happen, maybe food/rations spoil, plants die in the area, caster levitates uncontrollably, or if everything goes wrong, severely injure or cause mutations to the caster. Casters also do the most damage in my campaign to make the risk worth taking.

me too!  I took the WFRP v2 chaos manifestation tables based on the number of despair you roll. 1 = minor, 2=major, 3=catastophic. 

The original post is similar to leveraging dhar or warpstone to boost casting in WFRP v2 also.  Not sure how'd arbitrate it in Genesys without looking at the success tables. But I'd definitely wrap the cost into theme and as other suggest, cost strain/wounds and possibly add % to suffering a critical of some kind.

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Another option, also cribbing from WFRP, is when you're in a dhar heavy environment would be the you add boost, and the GM rolls a challenge die, but for the challenge die you don't count failures, you do count threats and despairs

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