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Terefang

Genesys Core Magic vs Spell Lists (aka. Vancian Spells)

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hello

i have to express some feeling about this issue.

The Creators of the Genesys Game have on multiple occasions expressed that the given Magic System in the CRB is a kind of Toolbox and not something set in stone (perhaps for their own Products).

The rules given in the Toolbox should be an inspiration to be adapted for your particular Game World and Play Style.

So far there is a Fraction in the Forum i would call the "Preservationists", that argue almost to the point of Ruleslawyering how Magic should be implemented.

Some of this can bee seen in the fan-created "Genesys Talents Expanded" Guide, yet it already expresses some variations in Play Style the "Preservationists" are comfortably with.

The target of the "Genesys Talents Expanded" is to provide Content that is aligned and compatible with the CRB and possible further published Product, so i cannot argue much against it, yet found it a Excellent Resource whatsoever.

 

I would call myself a "Creationist" and possible another Fraction.

I feel that the Magic Toolbox could be used as a guideline and variations should be modified for my particular Game World and Play Style.

I also feel that the constant message/mantra of "Why do you want to have inflexible hard coded spells, if there is a superior and very flexible rules in the CRB" quite annoying.

 

What if my Game Worlds Magic isnt based on "superior and very flexible actions" but "tediously researched and inflexible spell formulas".

 

And to compare a commercial products "Ars Magicka" has something of both in it.

 

i am closing with a citation:

Quote

You see, according to Cocteau's plan I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read.  I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice.  I'm the kind of guy likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder - "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?"  I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay?  I want to smoke Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section.  I want to run through the streets naked with green jello all over my body reading playboy magazine.  Why?  Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal?  I've SEEN the future.  Do you know what it is?  It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener".

-- Edgar Friendly (Demolition Man)

 

Edited by Terefang

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44 minutes ago, HorusArisen said:

Whats the point of the system if you can’t tinker with it.

 

that discussions in this forum mostly lead to unconstructive "Why do you want to have inflexible hard coded spells, if there is a superior and very flexible rules in the CRB" mantras.

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I hear you, I can definitely be a bit on the Presevationist side some times, but I hope I can come across as a person with suggestions that go beyond the core system.

Balance is somewhat important in an rpg, so when making something that’s an additional module for the core of a system it’s best to keep it in line with the published material. That’s the approach of the Expanded Talents project, expanding the talents list whilst attempting to maintain some level of balance.

If you are instead developing a unique setting, with its own contained character options, then the only balance needs to be within your specific setting. You can give every archetype 180xp to begin if you want and it won’t matter, it simply provides a different experience to the suggestions in the core. You can make up whatever rules you want, you can spend hundreds of hours developing it, you can keep all the work to yourself, it’s your setting to make.

As far as the spell system goes you can absolutely make 100, 300, or 1000 individual spells, you can take months to replicate everything in another game meticulously, and it will work. It will work just fine. But you don’t have to, you can just define the 10 spells your character is ever going to be able to cast, reduce the difficulty because they cannot be changed, give each spell a level and limit spell casting to x spells per level per day. Bam, in twenty minutes you have done the only work needed and it’s probably balanced because it’s based on the core system which itself is balanced.

So my problem that I continue to have is that people keep coming here saying “Where’s the list of 500 d&d spells? My players can’t be bothered making the 10 they actually need.” People can’t even agree on what a Fireball Spell should look like in this system (Blast? Burn? Knockdown?), how is anyone going to create a spell list that’s actually going to be what everyone else wants?

If someone would actually create a modular rules system for making and using pre-defined spells in any setting, with guidelines on creating those spells, then that would actually solve a lot of people’s problems.

 

TL;DR I agree, people (including me) can find it hard to help others with their personal pet project when it’s outside the guidelines of the core book, for that I apologise. But writing 500 spells won’t fix anyone’s problems. A toolkit for others to make the Vancian spells they need, and rules to use them, will solve many more problems.

Edited by Richardbuxton

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29 minutes ago, Terefang said:

 

that discussions in this forum mostly lead to unconstructive "Why do you want to have inflexible hard coded spells, if there is a superior and very flexible rules in the CRB" mantras.

Ah, I’ve not noticed. Dozens of settings I can half conceive typing this work better with set spells so that’s a silly response.

One size does not fit all.

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5 hours ago, Richardbuxton said:

But writing 500 spells won’t fix anyone’s problems. A toolkit for others to make the Vancian spells they need, and rules to use them, will solve many more problems.

some may want to ...

Quote

how is anyone going to create a spell list that’s actually going to be what everyone else wants?

hmm ... i might want to take the effort if i can find a reasonable subset

  • RoleMaster ... too many to have a reasonable result (ie. thousands of spells)
  • Dangerous Journeys/Mythus Magick (1400+) ... still too much, and the basic Arcane List is still 107 spells.
  • D&D Rules Cyclopedia (9x 13 + 7x 4 + 7x 8 = 201) ... still too much 
  • OSRIC 2nd Edition ... i stopped counting after i realized it had much more than the RC.
  • Labyrinth Lord (48 +121 = 169) ... in the hundreds ... still too many for my taste
  • Dream Park (27 +125 = 152, after deduplication exact 150) ... although still in the hundreds, the dream park thing was designed with many of the design goals similar to genesys and you can break them down by theme.
  • White Hack (85) ... a more  manageable list but i miss some effects from the list above.
  • Pits & Perils: The Single Word Spell List (24) ... essential spells for the travelling spell-caster

 

Edited by Terefang

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quick shot:

  • build a spell-formula with the rules given in the CRB but dont care about the difficulty limit.
  • assign the additional effects into two categories either Complexity or Magnitude. (eg. Target/Range/Silhouette fall into Magnitude)
  • choose one effect that need advantages to activate is auto-activated
    OR decrease Magnitude by one
  • choose one effect that you can spend advantages on, spending on other effects is prohibited
    OR decrease Magnitude by one
  • choose one effect that you can spend success on, if the basic action does not require it, spending on other effects is prohibited
    OR decrease Magnitude by one
  • base effect scores based on skills (eg. Knowledge) are fixed at 2, increase/decrease Magnitude if you want better/lesser scores
  • Final Difficulty is Base Action Difficulty + Complexity
  • Final Strain Cost is 2 + Magnitude

 

i need to build some examples to make that blurp more understandable

 

 

Edited by Terefang

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The Single Word Spell List (from Pits & Perils):

  • Bolt -- call down a magical lightning bolt
  • Call -- send for the caster's familiar
  • Calm -- pacify a number of wild animals
  • Cure -- treat disease on a single target 
  • Fade -- move through walls at half speed 
  • Fear -- panic any number of enemy targets
  • Find -- locate treasure within 1 mile
  • Foil -- break a single non-magical weapon 
  • Gaze -- see through walls up to #' thick
  • Glow -- light a radius around the caster
  • Heal -- reverse injuries on a single target
  • Hide -- invisibility; enemies attack at -3
  • Know -- learn the powers of any magic item
  • Link -- read the mind of a single target
  • Load -- double a target's carrying capacity 
  • Mend -- magically fix normal equipment 
  • Mute -- silence a radius around the caster 
  • Null -- reverse any spell or magical effect 
  • Pass -- move safely through locked doors 
  • Rise -- fly in any direction at half speed 
  • Ruin -- bring forth a magical meteor swarm
  • Send -- 10-word psychic message
  • Stun -- immobilize a single man-sized target
  • Ward -- resist normal, non-magical attacks

 

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Ok, a point I have to make. Predefined spell lists does NOT equal vancian magic. D&D’s vancian system might be the most recognizable one that uses extensive spell lists, but there are other, non vancian magic systems that do as well and I am seeing a lot of comments in various magic threads that equate spell lists to D&D style magic and that isn’t the case. It’s getting to the point that someone mentions spell lists and readers are assuming vancian. 

 

Edited by Forgottenlore

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1 hour ago, Forgottenlore said:

Ok, a point I have to make. Predefined spell lists does NOT equal vancian magic. D&D’s vancian system might be the most recognizable one that uses extensive spell lists, but there are other, non vancian magic systems that do as well and I am seeing a lot of comments in various magic threads that equate spell lists to D&D style magic and that isn’t the case. It’s getting to the point that someone mentions spell lists and readers are assuming vancian. 

 

Correct.

Vancian Magic == Prepared Spells

It's the difference between a pre-4th D&D Wizard and Sorcerer. In fact, they use the same spells, so it's exactly the difference between the Wizard and Sorcerer. The spell list is the same, but the Wizard uses Vancian magic, and the Sorcerer does not.

Starting with 4th, D&D stopped using real Vancian magic.

Edited by CMink

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So to draw a few parallels and assists answering future questions; the core book skill check based magic is representative of a Sorcerer, whether you use a large list of strictly defined spells or the smaller list of adaptive spells of the core book. 

The Wizard and their Vancian magic is currently not covered by any rules, Spell memorisation and automatically succeeding on casting needs to be developed. 

 

Edit:

A list of strictly defined spells could be developed in two ways. The first option is to define the spells using the core spells as a reference, in an attempt to have the two lists balanced and useable in the same game.

The second option is to only compare the strictly defined spells against themselves, thus them only being balanced with themselves. Theoretically this allows a more flexible design as numbers can be tweaked more precisely. Unfortunately that reduces the usefulness of such a list to the community since you would then have two separate magic modules  rather than one expanded and interchangeable module.

 

Its probably obvious that I’m in favour of anything that meshes with the core system, I enjoy creating modular tools for other gm’s to use in the same way the settings and tones of the core book are made. A Vancian magic system that works with the core spells would be awesome, add a list of pre defined spells to that and it’s even better... imho ?

Edited by Richardbuxton

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Because magic is not ‘real’ it is one of the most variable parts of any fantasy world. Magic works very differently in Lord of the Rings, Dying Earth and Harry Potter to pick just three at random...

Consequently, it’s one of the hardest things to address ‘generically’ and so games like GURPS have multiple magic systems you can chose from, and guidance on how to tweak them further. That’s after over 30 years of publishing, however, so naturally Genesys doesn’t have all that diversity available. But the system it does have is very flexible, which gives you a good start. 

To my mind it is important that magic be balanced as much as possible against purely physical and skill based capability, or it becomes the default choice for many players. The core magic system in Genesys is very flexible: you can attempt any spell available to your magic skill and each magic skill can do five or six of the eight possible actions. It is balanced by three things as default: only allowing people with a magic skill as a class skill to cast, a Strain cost to attempt a spell and the fact that threat / dispair results are generally more impacting.

If you switch to defined spells you take away a big chunk of the flexibility (in terms of what you can attempt) and if you specifically go to Vancian casting then you take away even more flexibility as the character has to decide exactly what spells they want access to each day (and how many of each...). Consequently, I would dial back the other limits on magic if I was introducing defined spell lists or Vancian casting. If I wanted true-to-the-books Vancian magic I would probably implement spell slots as a tiered advantage. In the original books even mighty archmages could only prepare a small number of spells for a given day. For defined-spells only I might just lessen then impact of threat and dispair.

 

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I had a thought; what if Talent slots on the talent pyramid could be purchased as a spell slot for this hypothetical Vancian system?

eg “A Tier 1 slot purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a maximum difficulty of Easy, once per day. The spell must be from your memorised and prepared list. You cast the spell at no strain cost and as if you had rolled a single net Success. Each Tier 1 Talent slot purchased in this way allows an additional Easy Difficulty Spell to be cast each day.”

 

I dont really know how you deal with difficulty beyond 5, I guess implements still impacts difficulty as would other talents like Signature Spell. I’m not sure how many individual specific spells you can remember either, possibly equal to your Intellect plus ranks in Knowledge (Arcana).

I have no idea how you deal with spell effects that require Advantage to trigger either, perhaps that’s a new talent as well. Otherwise you expend 2 Spell slots of the correct tier to trigger the additional effects.

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1 hour ago, Richardbuxton said:

eg “A Tier 1 slot purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a maximum difficulty of Easy, once per day. The spell must be from your memorised and prepared list. You cast the spell at no strain cost and as if you had rolled a single net Success. Each Tier 1 Talent slot purchased in this way allows an additional Easy Difficulty Spell to be cast each day.”

hmm ...

Vancian Spell Talent

Tier: varies

Concentration: varies

Activation: passive

Ranked: yes

  • A Tier 1 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Easy(1), once per rank per day.
  • A Tier 2 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Average(2), once per rank per day.
  • A Tier 3 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Hard(3), once per rank per day.
  • A Tier 4 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Daunting(4), once per rank per day.
  • A Tier 5 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Formidable(5), once per rank per day.
  • The spell must be from your memorized and prepared list.
  • Roll your dice pool normally using Strain Cost and Difficult from the Spells Description.
  • Each Tier N Talent slot purchased in this way allows an additional (different) Spell of the given Difficulty to be cast each day.
Edited by Terefang

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25 minutes ago, Terefang said:

You cast the spell at no strain cost and roll normally your dice pool at a difficulty of Routine(0).

This shouldn’t be encouraged too much, it makes Strain recovery far too easy and on combat checks could lead to insane critical hits.

Some mechanic does need to include skill checks, the narrative joy that comes from them should not be lost, but what?

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Vancian Spell Talent(Improved)

Tier: varies

Concentration: varies

Activation: passive

Ranked: yes

  • A Tier 3 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Easy(1), once per rank per encounter/scene.
  • A Tier 4 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Average(2), once per rank per encounter/scene.
  • A Tier 5 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Hard(3), once per rank per encounter/scene.
  • The spell must be from your memorized and prepared list.
  • Roll your dice pool normally using Strain Cost and Difficult from the Spells Description.
  • Each Tier N Talent slot purchased in this way allows an additional (different) Spell of the given Difficulty.

Vancian Spell Talent(Supreme)

Tier: varies

Concentration: varies

Activation: passive

Ranked: no

  • A Tier 5 Talent purchased for a Spell allows you to cast a single Spell, with a difficulty of Easy(1), once per round.
  • The spell must be from your memorized and prepared list.
  • Roll your dice pool normally using Strain Cost and Difficult from the Spells Description.
  • Each Tier N Talent slot purchased in this way allows an additional (different) Spell of the given Difficulty.
Edited by Terefang

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48 minutes ago, Richardbuxton said:

This shouldn’t be encouraged too much, it makes Strain recovery far too easy and on combat checks could lead to insane critical hits.

Some mechanic does need to include skill checks, the narrative joy that comes from them should not be lost, but what?

should the vancian spell magic coexist with the normal magic rules of the CRB, or be an exclusive alternative ?

either way buying extra talents for spell has a prohibitive extra xp cost associated unless you lower strain or difficulty to counter this -- or make the spells themselves more powerful (eg. my quick shot construction rules)

Edited by Terefang

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29 minutes ago, Terefang said:

should the vancian spell magic coexist with the normal magic rules of the CRB, or be an exclusive alternative ?

Ideally the gm and players should get to choose, you then have a broader selection of magic users available, one setting may be Vancian exclusive, another could use both.

 

 

42 minutes ago, Terefang said:

Vancian Spell Talent(Improved)

 

42 minutes ago, Terefang said:

Vancian Spell Talent(Supreme)

I assume with these that you have to buy a Tier 5 Basic Talent before you can get a T5 Improved? And therefore you need to buy a T5 Improved toget the Supreme. 

So if you had one of each would that result in the character being able to cast three Tier 5 spells in a day? One at a Difficulty of DDDDD, a second at DDD, and a third at D?

 

 

You could simplify those Improved and Supreme versions:

Master of Vancian Magic:

Tier 3, Ranked: Yes, Activation: Incidental. 

Once per day (or encounter?), per rank of this talent, you may use this talent to reduce the difficulty and rank of a spell you cast by 2, to a minimum of Easy(1).

 

Improved Master of Vancian Magic:

Tier 5, Ranked: No, Activation: Incidental. 

When using Master of Vancian Magic you may spend a Story Point to instead reduce the difficulty of the spell by 4 to a minimum of Easy(1)

 

The cost to use Improved could be different, 2 Strain would work, or a manoeuvre to represent the additional time required to cast. I kind of expect some spells will require a Prepare manoeuvre anyway.

The benefit of those talents is that you could take a 7 Difficulty Spell (something normally uncastable) and make it 5, or even 3, in a similar way to Signature Spell does for magic in the core book

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Ars Magica has the best and most comprehensive magic system of any game. It has both set spells and guidelines for the use of raw magic (basically, the effect a caster is going for determines the spell level). There are ten form skills (representing the things you affect, like fire, air, animals, et c.) and five technique skills (representing what you do to them, like create, destroy et c.).

Genesys would handle it really well. The process of building dice pools is very similar to the process in Ars Magica.

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31 minutes ago, player966703 said:

Ars Magica has the best and most comprehensive magic system of any game.

no, but it is quite good.

  • Earthdawn has also a quite workable spell creation system albeit colored for their setting.
  • d6 Fantasy has also a quite workable spell creation system based on real magnitudes without coloring.
  • Fantasy HERO  has probably the most complex spell creation system, because it is based on HERO powers which are complex by themselves if you do into details (in any edition).
  • i also like the Artesia RPG magic system since it has a natural explanation why there is a separation between freeform and charm (spell) magic.
  • i also know the spell creation system of d20 Sovereign Stone as a good alternative to the vancian approach, but is also colored for their setting.

really the best comprehensive spell/magic creation system is featured in "Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth" from Last Unicorn Games, but is out-of-print for decades and even pirated pdf copies are a rare find.

 

31 minutes ago, player966703 said:

Genesys would handle it really well. The process of building dice pools is very similar to the process in Ars Magica.

if you what the hermetic limitations in your setting

 

but i think there is consent not to invent an entirely new system,
but base it on the CRB system wherever possible.

Edited by Terefang

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Magic is always going to be open to different possibilities for magic as I've said before.

 

I really like how Realms of Terrinoth has developed the rune magic idea from the lore of the games that inspired the book, as well as for crafting 'mixed' magics, so this covers two common magic types, mixing (crafting) it as a witch might in a cauldron and magic based on shard/rune based items.

 

Magic items
are almost never offered for sale and cannot be crafted.

The creation of a magical item is beyond all
but the most powerful practitioners of magic.

As the GM, you decide if it’s possible for a character
to create a particular magic item.

 

So RoT does sometimes contradict itself on magic, but I'd say if there are magic shards in a setting and / or it's a fantasy setting then crafting magic items has to be possible likewise learning how magic is used, the difficulty and rarity and so on being up to the GM as per the background of the setting. I agree with RoT's view that magic should be difficult- it's realistically one of the hardest skillsets to master thematically, especially for the most powerful magics.

 

In the Runebound setting, a character may purchase ranks in a
magic skill only if it is a career skill (as described in the Different
Disciplines, Different Approaches sidebar on page 212
of the Genesys Core Rulebook). In other words, a character
cannot purchase any magic skill as a non-career skill.

 

It's worth remembering that point as well. Whatever the rules situation (I'm still digesting everything) perhaps a GM could rule that those without the magic skill(s) could still try to use it but with it being much more challenging and potentially with the much greater risk of things going wrong (greater risk of failure) as I'd argue for a fantasy-with-magic/Terrinoth game it would be wise to have at least one hero on the team with some magic knowledge at least. So I see no harm in slightly disadvantaging a group for such an oversight if they don't. I'd say therefore stick to the CRB rule- if your character does not have at least one rank in a magic skill, they cannot attempt to use magic.  See p210 CRB. The split into arcana, divine and primal is also worth keeping to avoid OP magic users. Players can if you wish have access to two or all three but it may likely cost more skills ranks 'purchases'. Another thought is as the 'skills only' approach suggests even in a world with magic no noob would be able to learn it at all (which is slightly illogical) perhaps to balance the fact anyone could try even if learning it for the first time, maybe non-magic-skill players can dabble with it for a story point cost, that way you're still reflecting the oversight of arguably poor party planning (no magic users!) but allowing these magically uneducated types to try their hand at the skill even though it's outside their core skill-set. They can attempt it but at a cost (a story point) and it's still going to be very difficult for them. Although if they have some form of instruction to refer to or/and a needed artifact or whatever it of course may then become easier.

 

I have the fun additional challenge for my campaign with the fact there may be distinct magic types of 'undeath' linked magics (the type Waiqar and his death-defying friends might use) and ynfernal magics, likely others too. I'm still thinking about how to do this and does it fit the three types or need its own rules.

 

Which in a roundabout way brings me to spellbooks. As I've also said before it is common in fantasy for two types (and others) of 'recipe based' or 'fixed formula based' magic- specific spells which have specific incantations and/or other means of casting which could be using a wand or staff in a particular way or performing a ritual or whatever. Then there are recipe based spells which require a pre-defined set of ingredients to be mixed together. Think Macbeth's witches, that kind of thing. The two are of course sometimes combined. And it is often the case that these spells have very specific results if successfully used. Plenty of other choices too- can the spell only be cast if the attempting hero has just mugged a wizard from a very lucrative franchise I mean Has a wand? Must it be mixed in a magic cauldron? Is just mixing the ingredients enough or do you also need the magic skill(s)?

 

So it certainly seems fine to me to have such hard-coded spells, I don't see it as inflexibility, just as something that has been learned and mastered over the ages by practitioners of magic who already have some experience of the rules behind it. A bit like cookery, you can make a new recipe and discover a new end result (which is either a yummy success or a yucky fail or somewhere in between) or use one that chefs and cooks have tried and tested and passed down over generations. But that's not to say set in stone need be 100% set in stone- in the same way chefs adapt and tweak recipes so too could magic users try stuff out- attempting to change a spell or make it stronger. This should only be allowed if logical- a slight change being easier (this spell makes fire, can I adapt it to just make warmth), a big change being harder, riskier and more prone to the laws of chaos (what happens if I change or leave out this ingredient). Logically changes to incantation spells should be fairly pointless- as it would likely do nothing, as should illogical attempts such as trying to change a spell that makes fire to one that turns someone into a frog- there should therefore be a logical justification for any attempts at reworking/remixing a magic formula that makes sense and has a logical premise behind it. Perhaps if it's that illogical there are consequences in terms of it very much not working. It might be worth noting the method and outcome of such experimentation- the player may use it again or try to make it work after a failure, and it could be a happy accident- something that eventually leads to something both new and useful.

 

The CRB does clearly allow for strict formulaic magics- CRB p210 'learning magic', among several options suggested it includes the point 'you may require a would-be wizard to seek out a tutor and convince them to accept an apprentice, or to discover and study an ancient tome of spells.' so spell book magic isn't off limits.

 

I'd say create / adapt what you need to create/adapt to suit your game. If it's a short, lightweight one you may not want much, if it's a long, deep, heavyweight RPG then you might want lots, how your players want it to be will probably be a key factor too. Magic can only really be decided per-game as there are so many possibilities, especially in fantasy which can have a whole load of different ways of using magic, it's not uncommon for fantasy to have whole libraries or academic/ magical institutions devoted to the subject and the idea that mastery of it can take a lifetime (or more!). And often even different magics for different entities and groups, witches may be masters of the cauldron, wizards masters of the spell book and the wand and so on. Magic could be hugely significant, widespread and well developed in your game's world or rare and uncommon with little knowledge on the subject, or even forbidden or not present.

 

Decide what your game requires, see how what's already there in the CRB and RoT source book fits, and fine-tune/adapt as needed.

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5 minutes ago, Watercolour Dragon said:

Decide what your game requires, see how what's already there in the CRB and RoT source book fits, and fine-tune/adapt as needed.

hmm ...

actually having seen many questions about pre-created spell-lists, lifts that issue to a much broader scope.

since there are no pre-created spells (formulaic nor vancian style), nobody can fine-tune/adapt, but has to create them on their own (from CRB or otherwise) in the first place.

 

i will try to create some "Formulaic Spell Lists", that can then be adapted via "Talents" to "Vancian Style".

yet i will need constructive feedback from gaming groups playtesting the thing.

putting it into a form similar like the Talents Expanded could be a lofty goal.

 

T

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I'm really not sure how much toolbox there is for building Vancian magic in the CRB.  They gave us the blueprint for building (really extending) skills, races, etc.  but Magic is already an appendix in the CRB, and it's one interpretation of how magic should work, not a series of options.  I like the Genesys magic system, but it's not much of a template to broadly diversify to alternatives.

Basically, if you want Vance, you're kind of on your own.  You can take the costing from the magic system and come up with relative difficulty levels, but there's no translation step to turn that into a...what?  Talent is the obvious choice.  Basically, what is a preconstructed spell in your campaign and how do you use XP to buy the ability to use it?  But factor into that also the fact that costs can't really be as expensive as they are for other talents, or else you're essentially penalizing casters by imposing far more XP costs than in the CRB.  You're making PC's buy their flexible list of spells as talents, plus ostensibly making them buy casting (and possibly knowledge) skills, while casters per the core rules only need to buy the latter, and then season their casting ability with some talents to make themselves better at some things.  The flexibility itself doesn't cost anything.  So Vance imposes some pretty harsh limits unless you want to create one trick pony casters.

I get the urge to translate another system to Genesys.  The narrative dice system, while not for everybody, rocks like **** for those of us who really like it.  So you find another system and really WANT that system to have Genesys NDS at its heart.  I felt the same about Starfinder, and may actually get back to converting it at some point.  But the closer I got to addressing magic, the more excuses I found to avoid continuing to work on it.

I like Genesys Magic, but having played only the Terrinoth playtest, I can't gauge how it works long term yet, and how resource management plays out for a caster across a variety of circumstances.  Conversely I don't like Vancian magic at all with it's garbage pre-memorization and 15 minute workdays, so porting Starfinder was more about porting the flavors of casters than any specific spells.

Sorry for the ramble.  The best advice I've seen repeated on these forums regarding reskinning Genesys to emulate another system is to make it emulate the feel of the other system but not its mechanical specifics--stick to Genesys for that.  If you need the mechanics to port over intact, why not just stick to the other system?  I realize the question sounds more aggressive than I intend, but it's really a question you have to ask yourself repeatedly as you're converting, since you can't lose sight of the fact that the result needs to feel more like Genesys instead of the other system, or else you might have been better served extending the other system to be a little more like Genesys instead.

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